The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
July 29, 2004
Kerry | Full Speech Text: John Kerry

Chaos here. This from the DNC:

We are here tonight because we love our country. We are proud of what America is and what it can become.

My fellow Americans: we are here tonight united in one simple purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

A great American novelist wrote that you can’t go home again. He could not have imagined this evening. Tonight, I am home. Home where my public life began and those who made it possible live. Home where our nation’s history was written in blood, idealism, and hope. Home where my parents showed me the values of family, faith, and country.

Thank you, all of you, for a welcome home I will never forget.

I wish my parents could share this moment. They went to their rest in the last few years, but their example, their inspiration, their gift of open eyes, open mind, and endless world are bigger and more lasting than any words.

I was born in Colorado, in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, when my dad was a pilot in World War II. Now, I’m not one to read into things, but guess which wing of the hospital the maternity ward was in? I’m not making this up. I was born in the West Wing!

My mother was the rock of our family as so many mothers are. She stayed up late to help me do my homework. She sat by my bed when I was sick, and she answered the questions of a child who, like all children, found the world full of wonders and mysteries.

She was my den mother when I was a Cub Scout and she was so proud of her fifty year pin as a Girl Scout leader. She gave me her passion for the environment. She taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature. And by the power of her example, she showed me that we can and must finish the march toward full equality for all women in our country.

My dad did the things that a boy remembers. He gave me my first model airplane, my first baseball mitt and my first bicycle. He also taught me that we are here for something bigger than ourselves; he lived out the responsibilities and sacrifices of the greatest generation to whom we owe so much.

When I was a young man, he was in the State Department, stationed in Berlin when it and the world were divided between democracy and communism. I have unforgettable memories of being a kid mesmerized by the British, French, and American troops, each of them guarding their own part of the city, and Russians standing guard on the stark line separating East from West. On one occasion, I rode my bike into Soviet East Berlin. And when I proudly told my dad, he promptly grounded me.

But what I learned has stayed with me for a lifetime. I saw how different life was on different sides of the same city. I saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free. I saw the gratitude of people toward the United States for all that we had done. I felt goose bumps as I got off a military train and heard the Army band strike up “Stars and Stripes Forever.” I learned what it meant to be America at our best. I learned the pride of our freedom. And I am determined now to restore that pride to all who look to America.

Mine were greatest generation parents. And as I thank them, we all join together to thank that whole generation for making America strong, for winning World War II, winning the Cold War, and for the great gift of service which brought America fifty years of peace and prosperity.

My parents inspired me to serve, and when I was a junior in high school, John Kennedy called my generation to service. It was the beginning of a great journey - a time to march for civil rights, for voting rights, for the environment, for women, and for peace. We believed we could change the world. And you know what? We did.

But we’re not finished. The journey isn’t complete. The march isn’t over. The promise isn’t perfected. Tonight, we’re setting out again. And together, we’re going to write the next great chapter of America’s story.

We have it in our power to change the world again. But only if we’re true to our ideals - and that starts by telling the truth to the American people. That is my first pledge to you tonight. As President, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.

I ask you to judge me by my record: As a young prosecutor, I fought for victim’s rights and made prosecuting violence against women a priority. When I came to the Senate, I broke with many in my own party to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do. I fought to put a 100,000 cops on the street.

And then I reached across the aisle to work with John McCain, to find the truth about our POW’s and missing in action, and to finally make peace with Vietnam.

I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.

My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war - a global war on terror against an enemy unlike any we have ever known before. And here at home, wages are falling, health care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends; they’re working two jobs, three jobs, and they’re still not getting ahead.

We’re told that outsourcing jobs is good for America. We’re told that new jobs that pay $9,000 less than the jobs that have been lost is the best we can do. They say this is the best economy we’ve ever had. And they say that anyone who thinks otherwise is a pessimist. Well, here is our answer: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can’t do better.

We can do better and we will. We’re the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We’re the can do people. And let’s not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves - and we can do it again.

So tonight, in the city where America’s freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation - here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom - on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot - for the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return - for all those who believe our best days are ahead of us - for all of you - with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

I am proud that at my side will be a running mate whose life is the story of the American dream and who’s worked every day to make that dream real for all Americans - Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. And his wonderful wife Elizabeth and their family. This son of a mill worker is ready to lead - and next January, Americans will be proud to have a fighter for the middle class to succeed Dick Cheney as Vice President of the United States.

And what can I say about Teresa? She has the strongest moral compass of anyone I know. She’s down to earth, nurturing, courageous, wise and smart. She speaks her mind and she speaks the truth, and I love her for that, too. And that’s why America will embrace her as the next First Lady of the United States.

For Teresa and me, no matter what the future holds or the past has given us, nothing will ever mean as much as our children. We love them not just for who they are and what they’ve become, but for being themselves, making us laugh, holding our feet to the fire, and never letting me get away with anything. Thank you, Andre, Alex, Chris, Vanessa, and John.

And in this journey, I am accompanied by an extraordinary band of brothers led by that American hero, a patriot named Max Cleland. Our band of brothers doesn’t march together because of who we are as veterans, but because of what we learned as soldiers. We fought for this nation because we loved it and we came back with the deep belief that every day is extra. We may be a little older now, we may be a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for our country.

And standing with us in that fight are those who shared with me the long season of the primary campaign: Carol Moseley Braun, General Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Bob Graham, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Lieberman and Al Sharpton.

To all of you, I say thank you for teaching me and testing me - but mostly, we say thank you for standing up for our country and giving us the unity to move America forward.

My fellow Americans, the world tonight is very different from the world of four years ago. But I believe the American people are more than equal to the challenge.

Remember the hours after September 11th, when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran up the stairs and risked their lives, so that others might live. When rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon. When the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol. When flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.

I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush’s call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.

Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities - and I do - because some issues just aren’t all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn’t make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn’t make it so.

As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as President, I will bring back this nation’s time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

I know what kids go through when they are carrying an M-16 in a dangerous place and they can’t tell friend from foe. I know what they go through when they’re out on patrol at night and they don’t know what’s coming around the next bend. I know what it’s like to write letters home telling your family that everything’s all right when you’re not sure that’s true.

As President, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war. Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: “I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm’s way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.” So lesson one, this is the only justification for going to war.

And on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and woman in our armed forces: You will never be asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace.

I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a President who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That’s the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.

Here is the reality: that won’t happen until we have a president who restores America’s respect and leadership — so we don’t have to go it alone in the world.

And we need to rebuild our alliances, so we can get the terrorists before they get us.

I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

We will add 40,000 active duty troops - not in Iraq, but to strengthen American forces that are now overstretched, overextended, and under pressure. We will double our special forces to conduct anti-terrorist operations. We will provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives - and win the battle. And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists.

To all who serve in our armed forces today, I say, help is on the way.

As President, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal: our economic as well as our military might; our principles as well as our firepower.

In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and I know the power of our ideals.

We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared.

We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation - to keep the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands in the world.

We need a strong military and we need to lead strong alliances. And then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.

And the front lines of this battle are not just far away - they’re right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city. Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As President, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn’t be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn’t be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn’t be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

And tonight, we have an important message for those who question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country. Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes and ears to the truth, they should remember what America is really all about. They should remember the great idea of freedom for which so many have given their lives. Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.

You see that flag up there. We call her Old Glory. The stars and stripes forever. I fought under that flag, as did so many of you here and all across our country. That flag flew from the gun turret right behind my head. It was shot through and through and tattered, but it never ceased to wave in the wind. It draped the caskets of men I served with and friends I grew up with. For us, that flag is the most powerful symbol of who we are and what we believe in. Our strength. Our diversity. Our love of country. All that makes America both great and good.

That flag doesn’t belong to any president. It doesn’t belong to any ideology and it doesn’t belong to any political party. It belongs to all the American people.

My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values. In the end, it’s not just policies and programs that matter; the president who sits at that desk must be guided by principle.

For four years, we’ve heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They’re what we live by. They’re about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.

You don’t value families by kicking kids out of after school programs and taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break.

We believe in the family value of caring for our children and protecting the neighborhoods where they walk and play.

And that is the choice in this election.

You don’t value families by denying real prescription drug coverage to seniors, so big drug companies can get another windfall.

We believe in the family value expressed in one of the oldest Commandments: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” As President, I will not privatize Social Security. I will not cut benefits. And together, we will make sure that senior citizens never have to cut their pills in half because they can’t afford life-saving medicine.

And that is the choice in this election.

You don’t value families if you force them to take up a collection to buy body armor for a son or daughter in the service, if you deny veterans health care, or if you tell middle class families to wait for a tax cut, so that the wealthiest among us can get even more.

We believe in the value of doing what’s right for everyone in the American family.

And that is the choice in this election.

We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America. Not narrow appeals that divide us, but shared values that unite us. Family and faith. Hard work and responsibility. Opportunity for all - so that every child, every parent, every worker has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential.

What does it mean in America today when Dave McCune, a steel worker I met in Canton, Ohio, saw his job sent overseas and the equipment in his factory literally unbolted, crated up, and shipped thousands of miles away along with that job? What does it mean when workers I’ve met had to train their foreign replacements?

America can do better. So tonight we say: help is on the way.

What does it mean when Mary Ann Knowles, a woman with breast cancer I met in New Hampshire, had to keep working day after day right through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt, because she was terrified of losing her family’s health insurance.

America can do better. And help is on the way.

What does it mean when Deborah Kromins from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania works and saves all her life only to find out that her pension has disappeared into thin air - and the executive who looted it has bailed out on a golden parachute?

America can do better. And help is on the way.

What does it mean when twenty five percent of the children in Harlem have asthma because of air pollution?

America can do better. And help is on the way.

What does it mean when people are huddled in blankets in the cold, sleeping in Lafayette Park on the doorstep of the White House itself - and the number of families living in poverty has risen by three million in the last four years?

America can do better. And help is on the way.

And so we come here tonight to ask: Where is the conscience of our country?

I’ll tell you where it is: it’s in rural and small town America; it’s in urban neighborhoods and suburban main streets; it’s alive in the people I’ve met in every part of this land. It’s bursting in the hearts of Americans who are determined to give our country back its values and its truth.

We value jobs that pay you more not less than you earned before. We value jobs where, when you put in a week’s work, you can actually pay your bills, provide for your children, and lift up the quality of your life. We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.

So here is our economic plan to build a stronger America:
First, new incentives to revitalize manufacturing.

Second, investment in technology and innovation that will create the good- paying jobs of the future.

Third, close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas. Instead, we will reward companies that create and keep good paying jobs where they belong - in the good old U.S.A.

We value an America that exports products, not jobs - and we believe American workers should never have to subsidize the loss of their own job.

Next, we will trade and compete in the world. But our plan calls for a fair playing field - because if you give the American worker a fair playing field, there’s nobody in the world the American worker can’t compete against.

And we’re going to return to fiscal responsibility because it is the foundation of our economic strength. Our plan will cut the deficit in half in four years by ending tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare - and will make government live by the rule that every family has to follow: pay as you go.

And let me tell you what we won’t do: we won’t raise taxes on the middle class. You’ve heard a lot of false charges about this in recent months. So let me say straight out what I will do as President: I will cut middle class taxes. I will reduce the tax burden on small business. And I will roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals who make over $200,000 a year, so we can invest in job creation, health care and education.

Our education plan for a stronger America sets high standards and demands accountability from parents, teachers, and schools. It provides for smaller class sizes and treats teachers like the professionals they are. And it gives a tax credit to families for each and every year of college.

When I was a prosecutor, I met young kids who were in trouble, abandoned by adults. And as President, I am determined that we stop being a nation content to spend $50,000 a year to keep a young person in prison for the rest of their life - when we could invest $10,000 to give them Head Start, Early Start, Smart Start, the best possible start in life.

And we value health care that’s affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Since 2000, four million people have lost their health insurance. Millions more are struggling to afford it.

You know what’s happening. Your premiums, your co-payments, your deductibles have all gone through the roof.

Our health care plan for a stronger America cracks down on the waste, greed, and abuse in our health care system and will save families up to $1,000 a year on their premiums. You’ll get to pick your own doctor - and patients and doctors, not insurance company bureaucrats, will make medical decisions. Under our plan, Medicare will negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. And all Americans will be able to buy less expensive prescription drugs from countries like Canada.

The story of people struggling for health care is the story of so many Americans. But you know what, it’s not the story of senators and members of Congress. Because we give ourselves great health care and you get the bill. Well, I’m here to say, your family’s health care is just as important as any politician’s in Washington, D.C.

And when I’m President, America will stop being the only advanced nation in the world which fails to understand that health care is not a privilege for the wealthy, the connected, and the elected - it is a right for all Americans.

We value an America that controls its own destiny because it’s finally and forever independent of Mideast oil. What does it mean for our economy and our national security when we only have three percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet we rely on foreign countries for fifty-three percent of what we consume?

I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation - not the Saudi royal family.

And our energy plan for a stronger America will invest in new technologies and alternative fuels and the cars of the future — so that no young American in uniform will ever be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

I’ve told you about our plans for the economy, for education, for health care, for energy independence. I want you to know more about them. So now I’m going to say something that Franklin Roosevelt could never have said in his acceptance speech: go to johnkerry.com.

I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let’s be optimists, not just opponents. Let’s build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let’s honor this nation’s diversity; let’s respect one another; and let’s never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

My friends, the high road may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And that’s why Republicans and Democrats must make this election a contest of big ideas, not small-minded attacks. This is our time to reject the kind of politics calculated to divide race from race, group from group, region from region. Maybe some just see us divided into red states and blue states, but I see us as one America - red, white, and blue. And when I am President, the government I lead will enlist people of talent, Republicans as well as Democrats, to find the common ground - so that no one who has something to contribute will be left on the sidelines.

And let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to you tonight: I don’t wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don’t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God’s side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country.

These aren’t Democratic values. These aren’t Republican values. They’re American values. We believe in them. They’re who we are. And if we honor them, if we believe in ourselves, we can build an America that’s stronger at home and respected in the world.

So much promise stretches before us. Americans have always reached for the impossible, looked to the next horizon, and asked: What if?

Two young bicycle mechanics from Dayton asked what if this airplane could take off at Kitty Hawk? It did that and changed the world forever. A young president asked what if we could go to the moon in ten years? And now we’re exploring the solar system and the stars themselves. A young generation of entrepreneurs asked, what if we could take all the information in a library and put it on a little chip the size of a fingernail? We did and that too changed the world forever.

And now it’s our time to ask: What if?

What if we find a breakthrough to cure Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and AIDs? What if we have a president who believes in science, so we can unleash the wonders of discovery like stem cell research to treat illness and save millions of lives?

What if we do what adults should do - and make sure all our children are safe in the afternoons after school? And what if we have a leadership that’s as good as the American dream - so that bigotry and hatred never again steal the hope and future of any American?

I learned a lot about these values on that gunboat patrolling the Mekong Delta with young Americans who came from places as different as Iowa and Oregon, Arkansas, Florida and California. No one cared where we went to school. No one cared about our race or our backgrounds. We were literally all in the same boat. We looked out, one for the other - and we still do.

That is the kind of America I will lead as President - an America where we are all in the same boat.

Never has there been a more urgent moment for Americans to step up and define ourselves. I will work my heart out. But, my fellow citizens, the outcome is in your hands more than mine.

It is time to reach for the next dream. It is time to look to the next horizon. For America, the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come.

Goodnight, God bless you, and God bless America.



Posted by Alan at July 29, 2004 11:09 PM | TrackBack
Comments

An unimpressive, long, rambling mess which he virtually shouted at us.

I think he has probably just lost the election.

Only a political master like Dick Morris could help revive him.

Posted by: DWC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 11:39 PM

” We will double our special forces to conduct anti-terrorist operations. ” followed ” We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations. “

Another flip-flop! But marginally better than “I understand terrorist operations - I was one.”

Posted by: bananas [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 11:45 PM

..they even screwed up the balloon drop…
http://www.drudgereport.com/dnc.mp3

Posted by: Rob_NC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 29, 2004 11:52 PM

This speech was full of demonstrable falsehoods that are contradicted by his record. It is the same junk we at Co Po have been refuting for months. I swear that I could debate the guy. No depth at all.

Plus, one would think after Al Gore, they would have kept him from sweating. Turn on the AC. Yuck.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 12:20 AM

“I swear that I could debate the guy. No depth at all.”

jones make funny. me laugh.

Posted by: bananas [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 12:49 AM

I suppose one of my favorite lines had to be:

And I will roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals who make over $200,000 a year, so we can invest in job creation, health care and education.

For me, after four years of waiting for supply-side economics to vividly produce magic, I am willing to vote for someone who will maintain that the affluent need to do their share to lower our government’s need to borrow.

Posted by: obelus [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 01:47 AM

” And then I reached across the aisle to work with John McCain, to find the truth about our POW’s and missing in action, and to finally make peace with Vietnam.”

THIS is ALL he had to say about how he stabbed all soldiers in the back when he returned from his BRIEF stay in Vietnam? That’s all? That’s it?

There are no words to describe the anger that I feel after reading this speech - especially the sentence quoted above.

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 03:23 AM

..so by circumventing McCain- Findgold we are showing our willingness to protect the consititution….;-((
.. “and let’s never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.”
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1803&u=/washpost/20040730/pl_washpost/a25850_2004jul29&printer=1

Posted by: Rob_NC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 08:15 AM

Behind all good humor there is a grain of truth.

He had nothing in that speech that has not been put forth and refuted by posters here. It is just more of the same mush.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 08:37 AM

obelius is in a hurry to start spending someone else’s money.

That’s the real crux of the liberal position, spend someone else’s money tax somebody else. Punish some one else’s success.

there’s no moral support for the tax the rich positions it just makes vacuous people like obelius feel good.

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 10:03 AM

Posted by: skip at July 30, 2004 10:03 AM

obelius is in a hurry to start spending someone else’s money.

That’s the real crux of the liberal position, spend someone else’s money tax somebody else. Punish some one else’s success.

there’s no moral support for the tax the rich positions it just makes vacuous people like obelius feel good.

Amen. I HOPE that symptomless (AND OTHERS!) sees your comment Skip…along the same lines as mine from previous thread where he/she asked for an explanation of the difference between Republican/Democratic ideals.

http://www.command-post.org/mt2/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=14006

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 10:34 AM

“…It is just more of the same mush.”

Except this::: “And then I reached across the aisle to work with John McCain, to find the truth about our POW’s and missing in action, and to finally make peace with Vietnam.” ain’t mush.

THAT was an outright lie.

The italicized portion Posted by: jones at July 30, 2004 08:37 AM

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 10:40 AM

First, I am glad to find that some have the same feelings I do and Second I need some clarity as I do not understand the logic of last nights speech.

1) How is that a person who only spends 4 months NEAR a combat zone, never be injured by hostile fire and willing and purposefully leave his troops behind be considered a WAR HERO?

2) How is that a political party can so boldly and dishonorably use a play on words like “Band of Brothers” for his own personal gain. Next thing I guess I will hear is that the Band of Brother series was created on Kerry’s 4 month experience.

3) Why would you vote to reduce the military and close bases all over America for 19 years and now all of a sudden you are going to add 40,000 and properly equip them but just last month you voted against giving them money they need right now?

4) Why would you build up the military if you are not going to use it? Why do we have a military? Definitely not for peace time situations!

5) Is it really important to the average American what other countries think of us? After 9/11 I realized that it was time to quit negotiating with terrorists. If we had quit these negotiations during the Clinton era we may still have the Twin Towers and the 3,000 plus that died that day.

6) I am still waiting to hear a solid plan to clean up Iraq. Kerry says he knows what to do but when will he let us in on his knowledge?

7) Do people really believe that a millionaire will raise taxes on his own income? Give me a break. We know that the middle class have for years and will continue to pay 90% of the taxes paid in America. Clinton tried the raise tax on the wealthy to and I felt the effects but hey, I was no where close to being wealthy.

8) Kerry bring jobs back to America? He could have already done this but has he? NO! And the import taxes the he proposed on companies producing over seas and shipping back to America will never affect Heinz and many other corporations because they don’t ship back here. All the products they create abroad stay abroad. So tell me does he really care about the middle class. Only to keep them working in order to provide for those who CHOOSE not to work. Guess if he gets elected we can truly kiss Democracy good bye.

9) If you want income, health care, and a pension then go to work and earn it instead of waiting on this government to hand it to you. If you want government to dictate to you and provide for you there are multiple countries you can move to and get just that! America is all about freedom and Democracy but so many people here are trying to steal that from us. Our only hope is to ensure that GWB remains president. My only hope is that the Good Lord sees us through until November and gives us another 4 years of GWB!

Posted by: FairNBal [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 10:59 AM

“1) How is that a person who only spends 4 months NEAR a combat zone, never be injured by hostile fire and willing and purposefully leave his troops behind be considered a WAR HERO?”

In all fairness, that one is a bit misleading. He was in a Combat Zone, and as far as I know, Purple Heart no.2 was for real…

The italicized portion Posted by: FairNBal at July 30, 2004 10:59 AM

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 11:10 AM

Here is an interesting take from various “people on the street” interviews by USA Today in South Boston, Kerry’s home turf. Spin it one way or the other, but this type of personal assessment can not be comforting to Kerry coming out of the convention. I’d love to see comparisons with simialr blue collar folks’ perspectives in other cities that Kerry/Edwards tours.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-07-29-south-usat_x.htm

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 11:36 AM

How ironic.

Here is the text of Kerry’s speech, in very clear black and white.

But it’s a speech of a man who insists on seeing everything in shades of grey, who can’t make a clear decisive statement on even the basic moral imperative of the Iraq War.

Fascinating, really.

Posted by: DJDrummond [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 11:44 AM

I guess the reaction from conservatives to Kerry’s speech is not surprising. I just have to call bullshit on most of the comments placed here.

I admire Cap’n Docs integrity in pointing out some inaccuracies. I would like clarification on why the statement Kerry worked with McCain to find POWs and normalize relations with Vietnam is a lie.

Hardly have all of the points raised in Kerry’s speech been refuted on the pages of the Command Post. There have been refutations, some well put, but many are simply parrotings of the unsubstantiated and vacant sound bites generated by the RNC, consistent with the neocon value that if they repeat something enough times, it must be true.

Take, for example Kerry is a flip-flopper. This has got to be the most intellectually pathetic banter put forth, but no doubt will get mileage from true believers.

The comment from DJDrummond demonstrates this. Kerry has been making a very clear statement on the Iraq war, much to the dismay of the uber-lefties in the Democratic Party. Kerry, like I, believes that eventually, some form of military action would need to be taken in Iraq. But we only do it as a last resort. Kerry explained that brilliantly last night when he said:

I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush’s call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.

The vote by the Congress to speak with one voice in support of the President was necessary to strengthen America’s credibility, and Kerry and many other democrats moved from petty party politics to do what was in the best interest of the country. But if you read [url=http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/bliraqreshouse.htm] the resolution[/url], it makes very clear that they were voting for war in Iraq only as a last resort.

Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: “I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm’s way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.”

To me, this is about as clear decisive statement on even the basic moral imperative of the Iraq War that you will every find, and it is the closest statement I have ever heard from any politician that accurately reflects my own feelings about the use of U.S. military might. I don’t know how those who served could disagree with this statement. This has consistently been Kerry’s position since Bush issued “those 13 words” and it became clear that he was launching headstrong into war regardless of the state of readiness or military objective.

But not that I expected Kerry to convince any readers of this web site or other conservative true believers that he has principled positions that are rooted in core American values, which they most certainly are. But I will tell you this. I have been one of those who believes that George Bush is not the best person to lead our country, often mischaracterized as “any one but Bush” vote. I will vote for a conservative as soon as they offer up one with a moral compass who isn’t a complete idiot, not to mention poor administrator. Before this week, I was not thrilled that Kerry was going to be the nominee, but I was willing to, as several pundits put it, “hold my nose” and vote for him simply because the other alternative is unbearable. But after hearing the Kerry-Edwards vision for the future, I have much more faith and confidence in there ability to lead. And to that end, I think it was a great success. Kerry has galvanized the democratic party. As for the swing voters, I doubt few were paying attention. As for the conservatives, I think my 73-year-old mother said it best, “They all sound like a bunch of little kids in the sandbox. Nah-nah-nanny-nah.”

Would someone, please, like to post an intellectually honest and rigorous refutation of any of his points, rather than wholesale dismissal? Kerry was criticised for having a lack of substance. What, of substance, has the conserviative agenda to offer?

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 01:43 PM

Rather than indulge myself in an extended lecture, showing Todd’s own arrogance and errors point-by-point, I will simply observe a problem with one of Kerry’s statements, ironically quoted by Todd himself:

“I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush’s call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.”

Many of us remember, precisely, when that unity was shattered. Democrats would like to have us believe that they were all for proper response to the terrorist attacks, and only quelled when Bush [allegedly] dragged us into Iraq.

Leaving aside the fact that the Democrats had access to exactly the same intelligence as President Bush, and at the time the decision was made to use force against Iraq, many leading Democrats reached precisely the same decision as President Bush. Kerry’s own enthusiasm for the war was evident, until he decided to run for President, and needed to change his statements in order to compete with Howard Dean.

We have seen in months gone by, how many Democrats falsely claimed that President Bush “lied” or “misled” the Congress and the nation, by relying on information we now know was verified by every major intelligence agency at the time as CORRECT. We have seen how Democrats who spoke boldly in defense of the nation in September, now deny their own words because they don’t want to admit President Bush was right.

But even laying aside Iraq, go back and see how many Democrats wanted to impugn President Bush for attacking the al Qaeda bases in October 2001. Gary Hart promised “tens of thousands” of US casualties, and Tom Daschle claimed we could not possibly win in Afghanistan. The very men who had planned 9/11 were people we dare not attack, to hear the leading Democrats. The bold plans of President Bush in October 2001, were opposed by the men who would replace him with their own candidate. And they have the chutzpah to deny their own words, their own obstacles to taking the war to al Qaeda. And they somehow expect the American public to forget that it was the Democratic Party which destroyed the unity of September 12-20, simply because they saw a political advantage in doing so.

The United States needs strong leadership. The leadership of the Democratic Party offers nothing but lies, bitterness, and bile.

Posted by: DJDrummond [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 02:22 PM

Take, for example Kerry is a flip-flopper

Forgive me for starting with the “low-hanging fruit”, but well…

GWII
Kerry Voted For Authorization To Use Force In Iraq. (H.J. Res. 114, CQ Vote #237: Passed 77-23: R 48-1; D 29-21; I 0-1, 10/11/02, Kerry Voted Yea.)

In First Dem Debate, Kerry Strongly Supported President’s Action In Iraq. KERRY: “George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.” (ABC News, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/4/03)

Kerry Later Claimed He Voted “To Threaten” Use Of Force In Iraq. “I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Announcement Of Presidential Candidacy, Mount Pleasant, SC, 9/2/03)

Now, Kerry Says He Is Anti-War Candidate. CHRIS MATTHEWS: “Do you think you belong to that category of candidates who more or less are unhappy with this war, the way it’s been fought, along with General Clark, along with Howard Dean and not necessarily in companionship politically on the issue of the war with people like Lieberman, Edwards and Gephardt? Are you one of the anti-war candidates?” KERRY: “I am — Yes, in the sense that I don’t believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 1/6/04)

Eliminating Marriage Penalty For Middle Class
Kerry Said He Will Fight To Keep Tax Relief For Married Couples. “Howard Dean and Gephardt are going to put the marriage penalty back in place. So if you get married in America, we’re going to charge you more taxes. I do not want to do that.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 10/23/03)

Said Democrats Fought To End Marriage Penalty Tax. “We fought hard to get rid of the marriage penalty.” (MSNBC’s “News Live,” 7/31/03)

But, In 1998, Kerry Voted Against Eliminating Marriage Penalty Relief For Married Taxpayers With Combined Incomes Less Than $50,000 Per Year, Saving Taxpayers $46 Billion Over 10 Years. (S. 1415, CQ Vote #154: Rejected 48-50: R 5-49; D 43-1, 6/10/98, Kerry Voted Yea)

The Patriot Act
Kerry Voted For Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the House. (H.R. 3162, CQ Vote #313: Passed 98-1: R 49-0; D 48-1; I 1-0, 10/25/01, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Used To Defend His Vote. “Most of [The Patriot Act] has to do with improving the transfer of information between CIA and FBI, and it has to do with things that really were quite necessary in the wake of what happened on September 11th.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Town Hall Meeting, Manchester, NH, 8/6/03)

Now, Kerry Attacks Patriot Act. “We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night. So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft. That starts with replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time. I’ve been a District Attorney and I know that what law enforcement needs are real tools not restrictions on American’s basic rights.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Iowa State University, 12/1/03)

The First Gulf War
Kerry Took BOTH Sides In First Gulf War In Separate Letters To Same Constituent. “Rather than take a side—albeit the one he thought was most expedient—Kerry actually stood on both sides of the first Gulf war, much like he did this time around. Consider this ‘Notebook’ item from TNR’s March 25, 1991 issue, which ran under the headline ‘Same Senator, Same Constituent’:

ü ‘Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition … to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war.’ —letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 [1991]

ü ‘Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush’s response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf.’ —Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31 [1991]” (Noam Scheiber, “Noam Scheiber’s Daily Journal of Politics, The New Republic Online, 1/28/04)

Gay Marriage Amendment
In 2002, Kerry Signed Letter “Urging” MA Legislature To Reject Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage. “We rarely comment on issues that are wholly within the jurisdiction of the General Court, but there are occasions when matters pending before you are of such significance to all residents of the Commonwealth that we think it appropriate for us to express our opinion. One such matter is the proposed Constitutional amendment that would prohibit or seriously inhibit any legal recognition whatsoever of same-sex relationships. We believe it would be a grave error for Massachusetts to enshrine in our Constitution a provision which would have such a negative effect on so many of our fellow residents. … We are therefore united in urging you to reject this Constitutional amendment and avoid stigmatizing so many of our fellow citizens who do not deserve to be treated in such a manner.” (Sen. John Kerry, et al, Letter To Members Of The Massachusetts Legislature, 7/12/02)

Now, In 2004, Kerry Won’t Rule Out Supporting Similar Amendment. “Asked if he would support a state constitutional amendment barring gay and lesbian marriages, Kerry didn’t rule out the possibility. ‘I’ll have to see what language there is,’ he said.” (Susan Milligan, “Kerry Says GOP May Target Him On ‘Wedge Issue,’” The Boston Globe, 2/6/04)

On Attacking President During Time Of War
In March 2003, Kerry Promised Not To Attack President When War Began. “Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts … said he will cease his complaints once the shooting starts. ‘It’s what you owe the troops,’ said a statement from Kerry, a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. ‘I remember being one of those guys and reading news reports from home. If America is at war, I won’t speak a word without measuring how it’ll sound to the guys doing the fighting when they’re listening to their radios in the desert.’” (Glen Johnson, “Democrats On The Stump Plot Their War Rhetoric,” The Boston Globe, 3/11/03)

But Weeks Later, With Troops Just Miles From Baghdad, Kerry Broke His Pledge. “‘What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States,’ Kerry said in a speech at the Peterborough Town Library. Despite pledging two weeks ago to cool his criticism of the administration once war began, Kerry unleashed a barrage of criticism as US troops fought within 25 miles of Baghdad.” (Glen Johnson, “Kerry Says Us Needs Its Own ‘Regime Change,’” The Boston Globe, 4/3/03)

Death Penalty For Terrorists
In 1996, Kerry Attacked Governor Bill Weld For Supporting Death Penalty For Terrorists. KERRY: “Your policy would amount to a terrorist protection policy. Mine would put them in jail.” (1996 Massachusetts Senate Debate, 9/16/96)

In 1996, Kerry Said, “You Can Change Your Mind On Things, But Not On Life-And-Death Issues.” (Timothy J. Connolly, “The ‘Snoozer’ Had Some Life,” [Worcester, MA] Telegram & Gazette, 7/3/96)

But, In 2002, Kerry Said He Supported Death Penalty For Terrorists. KERRY: “The law of the land is the law of the land, but I have also said that I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 12/1/02)

No Child Left Behind
Kerry Voted For No Child Left Behind Act. (H.R. 1, CQ Vote #371: Adopted 87-10: R 44-3; D 43-6; I 0-1, 12/18/01, Kerry Voted Yea)

But Now Kerry Is Attacking No Child Left Behind As “Mockery.” “Between now and the time I’m sworn in January 2005, I’m going to use every day to make this president accountable for making a mockery of the words ‘No Child Left Behind.’” (Holly Ramer, “Kerry Wants To Make ‘Environmental Justice’ A Priority,” The Associated Press, 4/22/03)

Kerry Trashed NCLB As ‘Unfunded Mandate’ With ‘Laudable’ Goals. “Kerry referred to [No Child Left Behind] as an ‘unfunded mandate’ with ‘laudable’ goals. ‘Without the resources, education reform is a sham,’ Kerry said. ‘I can’t wait to crisscross this country and hold this president accountable for making a mockery of the words “no child left behind.”’” (Matt Leon, “Sen. Kerry In Tune With Educators,” The [Quincy, MA] Patriot Ledger, 7/11/03)

Affirmative Action
In 1992, Kerry Called Affirmative Action “Inherently Limited And Divisive.” “[W]hile praising affirmative action as ‘one kind of progress’ that grew out of civil rights court battles, Kerry said the focus on a rights-based agenda has ‘inadvertently driven most of our focus in this country not to the issue of what is happening to the kids who do not get touched by affirmative action, but … toward an inherently limited and divisive program which is called affirmative action.’ That agenda is limited, he said, because it benefits segments of black and minority populations, but not all. And it is divisive because it creates a ‘perception and a reality of reverse discrimination that has actually engendered racism.’” (Lynne Duke, “Senators Seek Serious Dialogue On Race,” The Washington Post, 4/8/92)

In 2004, Kerry Denied Ever Having Called Affirmative Action “Divisive.” CNN’s KELLY WALLACE: “We caught up with the Senator, who said he never called affirmative action divisive, and accused Clark of playing politics.” SEN. KERRY: “That’s not what I said. I said there are people who believe that. And I said mend it, don’t end it. He’s trying to change what I said, but you can go read the quote. I said very clearly I have always voted for it. I’ve always supported it. I’ve never, ever condemned it. I did what Jim Clyburn did and what Bill Clinton did, which is mend it. And Jim Clyburn wouldn’t be supporting it if it were otherwise. So let’s not have any politics here. Let’s keep the truth.” (CNN’s “Inside Politics,” 1/30/04)

Ethanol
Kerry Twice Voted Against Tax Breaks For Ethanol. (S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #44: Rejected 48-52: R 11-32; D 37-20, 3/23/93, Kerry Voted Nay; S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #68: Motion Agreed To 55-43: R 2-40; D 53-3, 3/24/93, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Voted Against Ethanol Mandates. (H.R. 4624, CQ Vote #255: Motion Agreed To 51-50: R 19-25; D 31-25, 8/3/94, Kerry Voted Nay)

Kerry Voted Twice To Increase Liability On Ethanol, Making It Equal To Regular Gasoline. (S. 517, CQ Vote #87: Motion Agreed To 57-42: R 38-10; D 18-32; I 1-0, 4/25/02 Kerry Voted Nay; S. 14, CQ Vote #208: Rejected 38-57: R 9-40; D 28-17; I 1-0, 6/5/03, Kerry Voted Yea)

On The Campaign Trail, Though, Kerry Is For Ethanol. KERRY: “I’m for ethanol, and I think it’s a very important partial ingredient of the overall mix of alternative and renewable fuels we ought to commit to.” (MSNBC/DNC, Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Des Moines, IA, 11/24/03)

Cuba Sanctions
Senator Kerry Has Long Voted Against Stronger Cuba Sanctions. (H.R. 927, CQ Vote #489, Motion Rejected 59-36: R 50-2; D 9-34, 10/17/95, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 955, CQ Vote #183: Rejected 38-61: R 5-49; D 33-12, 7/17/97, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1234, CQ Vote #189, Motion Agreed To 55-43: R 43-10; D 12-33, 6/30/99, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2549, CQ Vote #137: Motion Agreed To 59-41: R 52-3; D 7-38, 6/20/00, Kerry Voted Nay)

In 2000, Kerry Said Florida Politics Is Only Reason Cuba Sanctions Still In Place. “Senator John F. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview that a reevaluation of relations with Cuba was ‘way overdue.’ ‘We have a frozen, stalemated, counterproductive policy that is not in humanitarian interests nor in our larger credibility interest in the region,’ Kerry said. … ‘It speaks volumes about the problems in the current American electoral process. … The only reason we don’t reevaluate the policy is the politics of Florida.’” (John Donnelly, “Policy Review Likely On Cuba,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/00)

Now Kerry Panders To Cuban Vote, Saying He Would Not Lift Embargo Against Cuba. TIM RUSSERT: “Would you consider lifting sanctions, lifting the embargo against Cuba?” SEN. KERRY: “Not unilaterally, not now, no.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 8/31/03)

Kerry Does Not Support “Opening Up The Embargo Wily Nilly.” “Kerry said he believes in ‘engagement’ with the communist island nation but that does not mean, ‘Open up the dialogue.’ He believes it ‘means travel and perhaps even remittances or cultural exchanges’ but he does not support ‘opening up the embargo wily nilly.’” (Daniel A. Ricker, “Kerry Says Bush Did Not Build A ‘Legitimate Coalition’ In Iraq,” The Miami Herald, 11/25/03)

NAFTA
Kerry Voted For NAFTA. (H.R. 3450, CQ Vote #395: Passed 61-38: R 34-10; D 27-28, 11/20/93, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Recognized NAFTA Is Our Future. “‘NAFTA recognizes the reality of today’s economy - globalization and technology,’ Kerry said. ‘Our future is not in competing at the low-level wage job; it is in creating high-wage, new technology jobs based on our skills and our productivity.’” (John Aloysius Farrell, “Senate’s OK Finalizes NAFTA Pact,” The Boston Globe, 11/21/93)

Now, Kerry Expresses Doubt About NAFTA. “Kerry, who voted for NAFTA in 1993, expressed some doubt about the strength of free-trade agreements. ‘If it were before me today, I would vote against it because it doesn’t have environmental or labor standards in it,’ he said.” (David Lightman, “Democrats Battle For Labor’s Backing,” Hartford Courant, 8/6/03)

Double Taxation Of Dividends
December 2002: Kerry Favored Ending Double Taxation Of Dividends. “[T]o encourage investments in the jobs of the future - I think we should eliminate the tax on capital gains for investments in critical technology companies - zero capital gains on $100 million issuance of stock if it’s held for 5 years and has created real jobs. And we should attempt to end the double taxation of dividends.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At The City Club Of Cleveland, 12/3/02)

May 2003: Kerry Said He Opposed Ending Double Taxation Of Dividends. “Kerry also reiterated his opposition to the Republican plan to cut taxes on stock dividends. ‘This is not the time for a dividends tax cut that goes to individuals,’ he said.” (“Kerry Says Time Is On Dems’ Side,” The Associated Press, 5/8/03)

Raising Taxes During Economic Downturn
September 2001: Said Should Not Raise Taxes In Economic Downturn. “The first priority is the economy of our nation. And when you have a downturn in the economy, the last thing you do is raise taxes or cut spending. We shouldn’t do either. We need to maintain a course that hopefully will stimulate the economy. . . . No, we should not raise taxes, but we have to put everything on the table to take a look at why we have this structural problem today. . . .[Y]ou don’t want to raise taxes.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 9/2/01)

ü We Should “Absolutely Not Raise Taxes.” “Well, I think it’s very clear what I favor because we voted for it early in the spring, which was the Democratic budget alternative that had triggers in it where you didn’t wind up spending money you don’t have. It had a smaller tax cut but more tax cut for a stimulus, which is what we need. So you ask me, what do we need now? Yes, we need additional stimulus. We should absolutely not raise taxes. We should not cut spending. What we need to do is drive the economy of this country. The economy is the number one issue. It is the most important thing we should focus on.” (CNN’s “Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields,” 9/8/01)

April 2002: Said He Wanted Larger Tax Cut And Was “Not In Favor Of” Repeal. CNN’s TUCKER CARLSON: “Senator Kerry . . . [many Democrats] [g]et a lot of political mileage out of criticizing [President Bush’s tax cut], but nobody has the courage to say repeal it. Are you for repealing it?” KERRY: “It’s not a question of courage. . . . And it’s not an issue right now. We passed appropriately a tax cut as a stimulus, some $40 billion. Many of us thought it should have even maybe been a little bit larger this last year … [T]he next tax cut doesn’t take effect until 2004. If we can grow the economy enough between now and then, if we have sensible policies in place and make good choices, who knows what our choices will be. So it’s simply not a ripe issue right now. And I’m not in favor of turning around today and repealing it.” (CNN’s “Crossfire,” 4/16/02)

December 2002: Flip-Flopped, Would Keep Tax Cuts From Taking Effect. NBC’s TIM RUSSERT: “Senator . . . should we freeze or roll back the Bush tax cut?” KERRY: “Well, I wouldn’t take away from people who’ve already been given their tax cut … What I would not do is give any new Bush tax cuts.” … RUSSERT: “So the tax cut that’s scheduled to be implemented in the coming years …” KERRY: “No new tax cut under the Bush plan. . . . It doesn’t make economic sense.” … RUSSERT: “Now, this is a change …” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 12/1/02)

ü Called For Freeze Of Bush Tax Cuts In Favor Of Year-Long Suspension Of Payroll Taxes On First $10,000 Of Personal Income. “Kerry said Bush’s tax cuts have mainly benefited the rich while doing little for the economy. Kerry is proposing to halt Bush’s additional tax cuts and instead impose a yearlong suspension of payroll taxes on the first $10,000 of income to help the poor and middle class.” (Tyler Bridges, “Kerry Visits Miami To Start Raising Funds,” The Miami Herald, 12/7/02)

Small Business Income Taxes
Kerry Voted Against Exempting Small Businesses And Family Farms From Clinton Income Tax Increase. (S. Con. Res. 18, CQ Vote #79: Motion Agreed To 54-45: R 0-43; D 54-2, 3/25/93, Kerry Voted Yea)

Three Months Later, Kerry Voted In Favor Of Proposal To Exclude Small Businesses From The Increased Income Tax. (S. 1134, CQ Vote #171: Motion Rejected 56-42: R 43-0; D 13-42, 6/24/93, Kerry Voted Yea)

Kerry Claimed He Fought To Exempt Small Businesses From Income Tax Increases. “I worked to amend the reconciliation bill so that it would … exempt small businesses who are classified as subchapter S corporations from the increased individual income tax.” (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 6/29/93, p. S 8268)

50-Cent Gas Tax Increase
In 1994, Kerry Backed Half-Dollar Increase In Gas Tax. “Kerry said [the Concord Coalition’s scorecard] did not accurately reflect individual lawmakers’ efforts to cut the deficit. ‘It doesn’t reflect my $43 billion package of cuts or my support for a 50-cent increase in the gas tax,’ Kerry said.” (Jill Zuckman, “Deficit-Watch Group Gives High Marks To 7 N.E. Lawmakers,” The Boston Globe, 3/1/94)

Two Years Later, Kerry Flip-Flopped. “Kerry no longer supports the 50-cent [gas tax] hike, nor the 25-cent hike proposed by the [Concord] coalition.” (Michael Grunwald, “Kerry Gets Low Mark On Budgeting,” The Boston Globe, 4/30/96)

On Leaving Abortion Up To States
Kerry Used To Say Abortion Should Be Left Up To States. “I think the question of abortion is one that should be left for the states to decide,” Kerry said during his failed 1972 Congressional bid. (“John Kerry On The Issues,” The [Lowell, MA] Sun, 10/11/72)

Now Kerry Says Abortion Is Law Of Entire Nation. “The right to choose is the law of the United States. No person has the right to infringe on that freedom. Those of us who are in government have a special responsibility to see to it that the United States continues to protect this right, as it must protect all rights secured by the constitution.” (Sen. John Kerry [D-MA], Congressional Record, 1/22/85)

Litmus Tests For Judicial Nominees
Kerry Used To Oppose Litmus Tests For Judicial Nominees. “Throughout two centuries, our federal judiciary has been a model institution, one which has insisted on the highest standards of conduct by our public servants and officials, and which has survived with undiminished respect. Today, I fear that this institution is threatened in a way that we have not seen before. … This threat is that of the appointment of a judiciary which is not independent, but narrowly ideological, through the systematic targeting of any judicial nominee who does not meet the rigid requirements of litmus tests imposed …” (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 2/3/86, p. S864)

But Now Kerry Says He Would Only Support Supreme Court Nominees Who Pledge To Uphold Roe v. Wade. “The potential retirement of Supreme Court justices makes the 2004 presidential election especially important for women, Senator John F. Kerry told a group of female Democrats yesterday, and he pledged that if elected president he would nominate to the high court only supporters of abortion rights under its Roe v. Wade decision. … ‘Any president ought to appoint people to the Supreme Court who understand the Constitution and its interpretation by the Supreme Court. In my judgment, it is and has been settled law that women, Americans, have a defined right of privacy and that the government does not make the decision with respect to choice. Individuals do.’” (Glen Johnson, “Kerry Vows Court Picks To Be Abortion-Rights Supporters,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/03)

Federal Health Benefits
In 1993, Kerry Expressed Doubts That Federal Employees Health Benefits System Worked Well. “Hillary Rodham Clinton today offered a fresh description of one of the most confusing elements of the Administration health care plan, the health insurance purchasing alliances, saying they would let all Americans choose coverage in the way members of Congress do. … Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said he was not sure that the Federal program worked all that well.” (Adam Clymer, “Hillary Clinton Says Health Plan Will Be Familiar,” The New York Times, 12/8/93)

Kerry Expressed Personal Dissatisfaction With His Coverage Through Federal Program. “Earlier this month, when Hillary Rodham Clinton came to Boston and vowed that average Americans would get as good coverage as that enjoyed by their senators and representatives, Sen. John F. Kerry told Clinton that he thought the country could do better. The Massachusetts Democrat said he was thinking, among other recent disasters, of his $500 dental bill for treatment of an abscessed tooth. ‘Because it was done in the dentist’s office, rather than the hospital, they didn’t cover it. So they were urging me to go spend twice as much in a hospital,’ said Kerry, who is covered by BACE, the Beneficial Association of Capitol Employees.” (Ana Puga, “Lawmakers Talk Health Care,” The Boston Globe, 12/19/93)

Now, On Campaign Trail, Kerry Is Enthusiastic About Health Care He Receives As Senator. “As a U.S. Senator, I could get the best health care in the world. Most people aren’t so lucky, and we need to change that. That’s why my plan gives every American access to the same kind of health care that members of Congress give themselves. … Because your family’s health care is just as important as any politicians’ in Washington.” (Sen. John Kerry, “Affordable Health Care For All Americans,” Remarks At Mercy Medical, Cedar Rapids, IA, 12/14/03)

Kerry: “I’m Going To Make Available To Every American The Same Health Care Plan That Senators And Congressmen Give Themselves …” (Sen. John Kerry, AARP Democrat Candidate Debate, Bedford, NH, 11/18/03)

ax Credits For Small Business Health
In 2001, Kerry Voted Against Amendment Providing $70 Billion For Tax Credits For Small Business To Purchase Health Insurance. (H. Con. Res. 83, CQ Vote #83: Rejected 49-51: R 48-2; D 1-49, 4/5/01, Kerry Voted Nay)

Now, Kerry Promises Refundable Tax Credits To Small Businesses For Health Coverage. “Refundable tax credits for up to 50 percent of the cost of coverage will be offered to small businesses and their employees to make health care more affordable.” (“John Kerry’s Plan To Make Health Care Affordable To Every American,” John Kerry For President Website, www.johnkerry.com, Accessed 1/21/04)

Health Coverage
In 1994, Kerry Said Democrats Push Health Care Too Much. “[Kerry] said Kennedy and Clinton’s insistence on pushing health care reform was a major cause of the Democratic Party’s problems at the polls.” (Joe Battenfeld, “Jenny Craig Hit With Sex Harassment Complaint - By Men,” Boston Herald, 11/30/94)

But Now Kerry Calls Health Care His “Passion.” “Sen. John Kerry says expanding coverage is ‘my passion.’” (Susan Page, “Health Specifics Could Backfire On Candidates,” USA Today, 6/2/03)

Welfare Reform
In 1993, Kerry Voted To Kill Bipartisan Welfare Work Requirement. In 1993, Kerry and Kennedy voted against a welfare-to-work requirement that was supported by many Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV):

ü Fiscal 1993 Supplemental Appropriations - Welfare Work Requirement. “Moynihan, D-N.Y., motion to table (kill) the D’Amato, R-N.Y., amendment to sharply cut federal welfare administration aid to states that do not, within a year, require at least 10 percent of their able-bodied welfare recipients without dependents to work. The required workfare participation rate would be increased by 2 percent a year until 50 percent were working.” (H.R. 2118, CQ Vote #163: Rejected 34-64: R 1-42; D 33-22, 6/22/93, Kerry Voted Yea)

But In 1996, Kerry Voted For Welfare Reform. (H.R. 3734, CQ Vote #262: Adopted 78-21: R 53-0; D 25-21, 8/1/96, Kerry Voted Yea)

Stock Options Expensing
Kerry Used To Oppose Expensing Stock Options. “Democratic Senator John F. Kerry was among those fighting expensing of stock options.” (Sue Kirchhoff, “Senate Blocks Options,” The Boston Globe, 7/16/02)

Kerry Said Expensing Options Would Not “Benefit The Investing Public.” KERRY: “Mr. President, the Financial Accounting Standards Board … has proposed a rule that will require companies to amortize the value of stock options and deduct them off of their earnings statements … I simply cannot see how the FASB rule, as proposed, will benefit the investing public.” (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 3/10/94, p. S2772)

But Now Kerry Says He Supports Carrying Of Stock Options As Corporate Expense. “On an issue related to corporate scandals, Kerry for the first time endorsed the carrying of stock options as a corporate expense. The use of stock options was abused by some companies and contributed to overly optimistic balance sheets. Kerry applauded steps by Microsoft Corp. to eliminate stock options for employees and said all publicly traded companies should be required to expense such options.” (Dan Balz, “Kerry Raps Bush Policy On Postwar Iraq,” The Washington Post, 7/11/03)

Medical Marijuana
Kerry Said His “Personal Disposition Is Open To The Issue Of Medical Marijuana.” “Aaron Houston of the Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana said that just a month ago Mr. Kerry seemed to endorse medical marijuana use, and when asked about the content of his mysterious study, said, ‘I am trying to find out. I don’t know.’ Mr. Kerry did say his ‘personal disposition is open to the issue of medical marijuana’ and that he’d stop Drug Enforcement Administration raids on patients using the stuff under California’s medical marijuana law.” (Jennifer Harper, “Inside Politics,” The Washington Times, 8/8/03)

But Now Kerry Says He Wants To Wait For Study Analyzing Issue Before Making Final Decision. “The Massachusetts Democrat said Wednesday he’d put off any final decision on medical marijuana because there’s ‘a study under way analyzing what the science is.’” (Jennifer Harper, “Inside Politics,” The Washington Times, 8/8/03)

Burma Sanctions
In 1995, Kerry Was Against Burma Sanctions. “‘I question whether isolation is a successful means of promoting political change,’ Kerry told a constituent in a 1995 letter justifying his opposition to a Burma sanction bill.” (Geeta Anand, et al., “Menino Gets Ahead Of Himself, Starts Contemplating Third Term,” The Boston Globe, 5/18/97)

But Now Kerry Supports Burma Sanctions. “In his 1996 reelection campaign, Kerry, after Governor William F. Weld took up the cause, was badgered by advisers into shifting his position. But as he eyes a presidential campaign and the Burma sanction movement gains credibility, Kerry … describes the Burma regime as a ‘semi-criminalized dictatorship … which should not be treated with respect by other nations, but should be instead subject to limitations on travel, investment, and access to the most developed nations.’” (Geeta Anand, et al., “Menino Gets Ahead Of Himself, Starts Contemplating Third Term,” The Boston Globe, 5/18/97)

On Military Experience As Credential For Public Office

Kerry: Service Should Not Be “Litmus Test” For Leadership. “Mr. President, you and I know that if support or opposition to the war were to become a litmus test for leadership, America would never have leaders or recover from the divisions created by that war. You and I know that if service or nonservice in the war is to become a test of qualification for high office, you would not have a Vice President, nor would you have a Secretary of Defense and our Nation would never recover from the divisions created by that war.” (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 10/08/92, p. S17709)

But Now Kerry Constantly “Challenges The Stature Of His Democratic Opponents” Over Their Lack Of Military Service. “And more than ever, Mr. Kerry is invoking his stature as a Vietnam veteran as he challenges the stature of his Democratic opponents — none of whom, he frequently points out, have ‘worn the uniform of our country’ — to withstand a debate with Mr. Bush on national security.” (Adam Nagourney, “As Campaign Tightens, Kerry Sharpens Message,” The New York Times, 8/10/03)

PACs

Kerry Used To Decry “Special Interests And Their PAC Money.” “‘I’m frequently told by cynics in Washington that refusing PAC money is naive,’ Kerry told his supporters in 1985. ‘Do you agree that it is “naïve” to turn down special interests and their PAC money?’” (Glen Johnson, “In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A PAC,” The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)

But Now, Kerry Has Established His Own PAC. “A week after repeating that he has refused to accept donations from political action committees, Senator John F. Kerry announced yesterday that he was forming a committee that would accept PAC money for him to distribute to other Democratic candidates. … Kerry’s stance on soft money, unregulated donations funneled through political parties, puts him in the position of raising the type of money that he, McCain, and others in the campaign-finance reform movement are trying to eliminate.” (Glen Johnson, “In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A PAC,” The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)

$10,000 Donation Limit To His PAC
When Kerry Established His PAC In 2001, He Instituted A $10,000 Limit On Donations. “A week after repeating that he has refused to accept donations from political action committees, Senator John F. Kerry announced yesterday that he was forming a committee that would accept PAC money for him to distribute to other Democratic candidates … The statement also declared that the new PAC would voluntarily limit donations of so-called soft money to $10,000 per donor per year and disclose the source and amount of all such donations.” (Glen Johnson, “In A Switch, Kerry Is Launching A Pac,” The Boston Globe, 12/15/01)

One Year Later, Kerry Started Accepting Unlimited Contributions. “Senator John F. Kerry, who broke with personal precedent last year when he established his first political action committee, has changed his fund-raising guidelines again, dropping a $10,000 limit on contributions from individuals, a cap he had touted when establishing the PAC. The Massachusetts Democrat said yesterday he decided to accept unlimited contributions, which has already allowed him to take in ‘soft money’ donations as large as $25,000, because of the unprecedented fund-raising demands confronting him as a leader in the Senate Democratic caucus.” (Glen Johnson, “Kerry Shifts Fund-Raising Credo For His Own PAC,” The Boston Globe, 10/4/02)

Using Personal Funds In 1996 Race
In 1996, Kerry And Weld Established $500,000 Limit Of Personal Wealth To Be Used In Senate Campaign. “In 1996, Kerry and Weld gave their already noteworthy Senate race added significance by establishing a spending cap. The candidates agreed to spend no more than $6.9 million from July 1 through the election. Weld ended up spending $6.6 million and Kerry $6.3 million. One key element of the agreement limited the candidates to spending $500,000 in personal wealth, a clause Weld favored because Kerry is married to a millionaire, Teresa Heinz.” (Glen Johnson, “In Kerry’s Plan For A Pac, The Resolution Of Opposites,” The Boston Globe, 12/18/01)

Kerry Broke Agreement By Spending $1.2 Million Over Limit. “[P]ost-election reports showed a last-minute infusion of $1.7 million from Kerry’s wife, heiress Teresa Heinz. … [K]erry denied that his campaign violated its agreement. The money had been loaned—not contributed—by his wife, he explained. ‘There was nothing in the agreement that restricted us from taking a loan … and we paid it back in $1,000 and $2,000 chunks.’” (“Global Ecology Lobby Rocked By Defection,” Political Finance, The Newsletter, 1/02)

The Israel Security Fence
October 2003: Kerry Calls Fence “Barrier To Peace.” “And I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government’s decision to build a barrier off the green line, cutting deeply into Palestinian areas. We do not need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israel’s security over the long- term, they increase hardships to the Palestinian people, and they make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks Before Arab American Institute National Leadership Conference, Dearborn, MI, 10/17/03)

February 2004: Kerry Calls Fence “Legitimate Act Of Self-Defense.” “US Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, described Israel’s construction of a security barrier as a ‘legitimate act of self defense’ after Sunday’s suicide bombing in Jerusalem, clarifying a position he took in October when he told an Arab American audience, ‘We don’t need another barrier to peace.’” (Janine Zacharia, “Kerry Defends Security Fence,” The Jerusalem Post, 2/25/04)

Ballistic Missile Defense
Kerry Called For Cancellation Of Missile Defense Systems In 1984 And Has Voted Against Funding For Missile Defense At Least 53 Times Between 1985 And 2000. (“John Kerry On The Defense Budget,” Campaign Position Paper, John Kerry For U.S. Senate, 1984; S. 1160, CQ Vote #99: Rejected 21-78: R 2-50; D 19-28, 6/4/85, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1160, CQ Vote #100: Rejected 38-57: R 6-45; D 32-12, 6/4/85, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1160, CQ Vote #101: Rejected 36-59: R 1-49; D 35-10, 6/4/85, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1160, CQ Vote #103: Rejected 33-62: R 28-22; D 5-40, 6/4/85, Kerry Voted Nay; H.J. Res. 465, CQ Vote #365: Motion Agreed To 64-32: R 49-2; D 15-30, 12/10/85, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 4515, CQ Vote #122: Ruled Non-Germane 45-47: R 7-42; D 38-5, 6/6/86, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 2638, CQ Vote #176: Motion Agreed To 50-49: R 41-11; D 9-38, 8/5/86, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2638, CQ Vote #177: Rejected 49-50: R 10-42; D 39-8, 8/5/86, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1174, CQ Vote #248: Motion Agreed To 58-38: R 8-37; D 50-1, 9/17/87, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1174, CQ Vote #259: Motion Agreed To 51-50: R 37-9; D 13-41, With Vice President Bush Casting An “ Yea “ Vote, 9/22/87, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2355, CQ Vote #124: Motion Agreed To 66-29: R 38-6; D 28-23, 5/11/88, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2355, CQ Vote #125: Motion Agreed To 50-46: R 38-7; D 12-39, 5/11/88, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2355, CQ Vote #126: Motion Rejected 47-50: R 38-6; D 9-44, 5/11/88, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2355, CQ Vote #128: Motion Rejected 48-50: R 6-39; D 42-11, 5/11/88, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 2355, CQ Vote #136: Motion Agreed To 56-37: R 9-34; D 47-3, 5/13/88, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 2355, CQ Vote #137: Motion Agreed To 51-43: R 38-5; D 13-38, 5/13/88, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 4264, CQ Vote #251: Motion Rejected 35-58: R 35-9; D 0-49, 7/14/88, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 4781, CQ Vote #296: Motion Agreed To 50-44: R 5-39; D 45-5, 8/5/88, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1352, CQ Vote #148: Motion Agreed To 50-47: R 37-6; D 13-41, 7/27/89, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 3072, CQ Vote #202: Rejected 34-66: R 27-18; D 7-48, 9/26/89, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 3072, CQ Vote #213: Adopted 53-47: R 39-6; D 14-41, 9/28/89, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2884, CQ Vote #223: Adopted 54-44: R 2-42; D 52-2, 8/4/90, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 2884, CQ Vote #225: Motion Agreed To 56-41: R 39-4; D 17-37, 8/4/90, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2884, CQ Vote #226: Motion Agreed To 54-43: R 37-6; D 17-37, 8/4/90, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 3189, CQ Vote #273: Passed 79-16: R 37-5; D 42-11, 10/15/90, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 5803, CQ Vote #319: Adopted 80-17: R 37-6; D 43-11, 10/26/90, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 4739, CQ Vote #320: Adopted 80-17: R 37-6; D 43-11, 10/26/90, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1507, CQ Vote #168: Rejected 39-60: R 4-39; D 35-21, 7/31/91, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1507, CQ Vote #171: Motion Agreed To 60-38: R 40-3; D 20-35, 8/1/91, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1507, CQ Vote #172: Motion Agreed To 64-34: R 39-4; D 25-30, 8/1/91, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1507, CQ Vote #173: Rejected 46-52: R 5-38; D 41-14, 8/1/91, Kerry Voted Yea; H.R. 2521, CQ Vote #207: Motion Agreed To 50-49: R 38-5; D 12-44, 9/25/91, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2403, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 61-38: R 7-36; D 54-2, 5/6/92, Kerry Voted Yea; H.R. 4990, CQ Vote #108: Adopted 90-9: R 34-9; D 56-0, 5/21/92, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 3114, CQ Vote #182: Motion Rejected 43-49: R 34-5; D 9-44, 8/7/92, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 3114, CQ Vote #214: Rejected 48-50: R 5-38; D 43-12, 9/17/92, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 3114, CQ Vote #215: Adopted 52-46: R 39-4; D 13-42, 9/17/92, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 5504, CQ Vote #228: Adopted 89-4: R 36-4; D 53-0, 9/22/92, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1298, CQ Vote #251: Adopted 50-48: R 6-36; D 44-12, 9/9/93, Kerry Voted Yea; S. Con. Res. 63, CQ Vote #64: Rejected 40-59: R 2-42; D 38-17, 3/22/94, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1026, CQ Vote #354: Motion Agreed To 51-48: R 47-6; D 4-42, 8/3/95, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1087, CQ Vote #384: Rejected 45-54: R 5-49; D 40-5, 8/10/95, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1087, CQ Vote #397: Passed 62-35: R 48-4; D 14-31, 9/5/95, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 1530, CQ Vote #399: Passed 64-34: R 50-3; D 14-31, 9/6/95, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 2126, CQ Vote #579: Adopted 59-39: R 48-5; D 11-34, 11/16/95, Kerry Voted Nay; H.R. 1530, CQ Vote #608: Adopted 51-43: R 47-2; D 4-41, 12/19/95, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1635, CQ Vote #157: Rejected 53-46: R 52-0; D 1-46, 6/4/96, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1745, CQ Vote #160: Rejected 44-53: R 4-49; D 40-4, 6/19/96, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1745, CQ Vote #187: Passed 68-31: R 50-2; D 18-29, 7/10/96, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 936, CQ Vote #171: Rejected 43-56: R 2-53; D 41-3, 7/11/97, Kerry Voted Yea; S. 1873, CQ Vote #131: Motion Rejected 59-41: R 55-0; D 4-41, 5/13/98, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 1873, CQ Vote #262: Motion Rejected 59-41: R 55-0; D 4-41, 9/9/98, Kerry Voted Nay; S. 2549, CQ Vote #178: Motion Agreed To 52-48: R 52-3; D 0-45, 7/13/00, Kerry Voted Nay)

Kerry Then Claimed To Support Missile Defense. “I support the development of an effective defense against ballistic missiles that is deployed with maximum transparency and consultation with U.S. allies and other major powers. If there is a real potential of a rogue nation firing missiles at any city in the United States, responsible leadership requires that we make our best, most thoughtful efforts to defend against that threat. The same is true of accidental launch. If it were to happen, no leader could ever explain not having chosen to defend against the disaster when doing so made sense.” (Peace Action Website, “Where Do The Candidates Stand On Foreign Policy?” http://www.peace-action.org/2004/Kerry.html, Accessed 3/10/04)

Now Kerry Campaign Says He Will Defund Missile Defense. FOX NEWS’ MAJOR GARRETT: “Kerry would not say how much all of this would cost. A top military adviser said the Massachusetts Senator would pay for some of it by stopping all funds to deploy a national ballistic missile defense system, one that Kerry doesn’t believe will work.” KERRY ADVISOR RAND BEERS: “He would not go forward at this time because there is not a proof of concept.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 3/17/03)

1991 Iraq War Coalition
At The Time, Kerry Questioned Strength Of 1991 Coalition. “I keep hearing from people, ‘Well, the coalition is fragile, it won’t stay together,’ and my response to that is, if the coalition is so fragile, then what are the vital interests and what is it that compels us to risk our young American’s lives if the others aren’t willing to stay the … course of peace? … I voted against the president, I’m convinced we’re doing this the wrong way …” (CBS’ “This Morning,” 1/16/91)

Now Kerry Has Nothing But Praise For 1991 Coalition. SEN. JOHN KERRY: “In my speech on the floor of the Senate I made it clear, you are strongest when you act with other nations. All presidents, historically, his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, did a brilliant job of building a legitimate coalition and even got other people to help pay for the war.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 1/11/04)

View Of War On Terror
Kerry Said War On Terror Is “Basically A Manhunt.” “Kerry was asked about Bush’s weekend appearance on ‘Meet the Press’ when he called himself a ‘war president.’ The senator, who watched the session, remarked: ‘The war on terrorism is a very different war from the way the president is trying to sell it to us. It’s a serious challenge, and it is a war of sorts, but it is not the kind of war they’re trying to market to America.’ Kerry characterized the war on terror as predominantly an intelligence-gathering and law enforcement operation. ‘It’s basically a manhunt,’ he said. ‘You gotta know who they are, where they are, what they’re planning, and you gotta be able to go get ‘em before they get us.’” (Katherine M. Skiba, “Bush, Kerry Turn Focus To Each Other,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/13/04)

Two Weeks Later, Kerry Flip-Flopped, Saying War On Terror Is More Than “A Manhunt”. “This war isn’t just a manhunt – a checklist of names from a deck of cards. In it, we do not face just one man or one terrorist group. We face a global jihadist movement of many groups, from different sources, with separate agendas, but all committed to assaulting the United States and free and open societies around the globe.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At University Of California At Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 2/27/04)

Funding For Our Troops In Iraq
Kerry Pledged To Fund Reconstruction With “Whatever Number” Of Dollars It Took. NBC’S TIM RUSSERT: “Do you believe that we should reduce funding that we are now providing for the operation in Iraq?” SEN. JOHN KERRY: “No. I think we should increase it.” RUSSERT: “Increase funding?” KERRY: “Yes.” RUSSERT: “By how much?” KERRY: “By whatever number of billions of dollars it takes to win. It is critical that the United States of America be successful in Iraq, Tim.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 8/31/03)

Then Kerry Voted Against Senate Passage Of Iraq/Afghanistan Reconstruction Package. “Passage of the bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in fiscal 2004 supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq, including $5.1 billion for security and $5.2 billion for reconstruction costs. It also would provide $10 billion as a loan that would be converted to a grant if 90 percent of all bilateral debt incurred by the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein has been forgiven by other countries. Separate provisions limit reconstruction aid to $18.4 billion. It also would provide approximately $65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance and $1.3 billion for veterans medical care.” (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Kerry Voted Nay)

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve
In February 2000, Kerry Said Release Of Oil From Strategic Petroleum Reserve Would Not Be “Relevant.” “Without being specific, Kerry, a key member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested the US could retaliate economically in other trade areas. He also said he does not want a release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. A release ‘is not relevant. It would take months for the oil to get to the market,’ he said.” (Cathy Landry, “US Energy Chief Warns Of Gasoline Crisis,” Platt’s Oilgram News, 2/17/00)

Now, In March 2004, Kerry Called For Stop In Filling Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Reduce Prices. “Kerry would pressure oil-producing nations to increase production and temporarily suspend filling the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to campaign documents. … ‘The Bush administration has put the SPR fill program on automatic pilot without regard to the short-term effect on the US market,’ the campaign documents said. ‘The program needs better management … Kerry would temporarily suspend filling SPR until oil prices return to normal levels.’” (Patricia Wilson, “Kerry To Offer Plan To Reduce Record Gasoline Prices,” Reuters, 3/29/04

Hmmm, GEE...no flip-flopping THERE huh!?!

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 02:33 PM

Posted by: Todd at July 30, 2004 01:43 PM
Would someone, please, like to post an intellectually honest and rigorous refutation of any of his points…

As NONE of my post represents opinion, and is ENTIRELY FACTUAL...would you consider it “Intellectually Honest” enough?! How ‘bout “Rigorous” enough?!

NOW, are you intellectually honest enough to concede this point?! If so, I will happily move along…

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 02:46 PM

BTW- Please ALSO see my post on this thread in regards to the “moral compass” remark.

http://www.command-post.org/mt2/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=14066

I awaited your replies.

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 02:47 PM

DevilDoc - EXCELLENT post!

All the balloons, confetti, slick speeches and Michael Moore “crockumentaries” in the world can’t cover up that pathetic record. Incredible!

Thank You!

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 03:10 PM

Devil Doc…

Excellent use of the keyboard and not because it portrays one side or the other but because it has more facts than name calling.

The left side or our political spectrum have to understand that most of America is not enthralled with the perception of doing the right thing as much as the consistency with which any action or series of policies are accomplished. The Democratic Party has embrassed two candidates who do not share the same vision as over 90% of those attending the nominating convention. (ref: WSJ, MSNBC, NBC, Polling Report and Gallup web sites, et. al.)

Most us have to wonder why? Don, your own words speak as much concern going into the convention. If they can make you feel better after the speech and presentations, all the better. If you hope to win over converts to your side (me included) you must try to do a better job of presenting facts versus opinions and beliefs to support your honest and strongly held views. We are all not conservative lackeys or attack dogs out here. Devil Doc has made a pretty strong case for why your candidate is in trouble with a significant number of folks. I wish you well in trying to explain or justify the detailed and well documented trail of political actions and commentary by Sen. Kerry. Unfortunately 30 years of political activism leaves a pretty definitive trail one way or the other.

Good luck for all of our sakes and to ensure that the best team wins, I hope you and the Democrats can find a reasonable explanation for what Devil Doc and the media has already shown to be a potential flaw in the Kerry team race.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 03:32 PM

Well done, Devil Doc!

Amazing detail, indisputable evidence!

Posted by: DJDrummond [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 04:00 PM

Jim/Steve/DJ,

Many, MANY thanks (and Jim, you are VERY welcome!). As I said, it WAS the “low-hanging fruit”…!!! 8-)

I am eagerly awaiting the response(s) to see if the appeal for “intellectual honesty” was genuine. I SINCERELY hope it was. If not, I can always resort to the “Whack-a-Mole” tactics!!! ;-)

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 04:18 PM

Devil Doc:

Hmmm… is this short for Devil Dogs Doc as in a FMF Hospital Corspman?

If so… you guys are the best in my book… but so do a whole bunch of Marines think so, too.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 04:24 PM

Yep…many “fond” memories of Camp Pendleton!!!

Again, many thanks! Although I was USN, I STILL consider myself one of Uncle Sams’ Misguided Children!!! ;-)

I joke about it all the time…we were like ‘little brothers’, THEY could pick on us…but GOD FORBID should someone ELSE!!!

8-@

8-)

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 04:35 PM

Devil Doc,

Thank you for taking the bait.

In my response to a request for intellectually rigorous debate, I got a canned spew of RNC talking points. Well done, sir, you can cut and paste. So, no, I will not concede the point just yet.

It seems a chorus of yes men have joined in to congradulate you, but lets not celebrate so soon. You have hardly presented “irrefutable evidence.”

Lets start with the difference between fact and spin. Obfuscating this distinction is a common technique, I believe perfected by Limbaugh, which is the heart of the intellectual dishonesty. It can be stated it various ways, but this is the more direct: Fact + Spin (and only my spin) = Fact. Or, Fact + Spin + Repetition = Fact.

Either way, it is not “fact” unless you make the word fact devoid of meaning.

Now let’s take one of your examples and show what I mean. I will agree that they demonstrate Kerry is a flip-flopper if you already believe Kerry is a flip-flopper. But if you deconstruct some of them, you realize that they aren’t really a change of position at all. Take for example the medical marijuana snippet. Let’s start by separating the fact (what Kerry said) from the spin (how the reporter characterized what he said in the first example.

‘I am trying to find out. I don’t know.’ Mr. Kerry did say his ‘personal disposition is open to the issue of medical marijuana.’

Now lets look at what was put in the second example, his presumed flip-flop:

The Massachusetts Democrat said Wednesday he’d put off any final decision on medical marijuana because there’s ‘a study under way analyzing what the science is.’

See, take away the spin, take away the flip-flop. In the first section he is “open” and in the second he hasn’t made a final decision, perfectly consistent positions. I know that any ardent supporter of president Bush thinks it is unfathomable to wait and see what the science is (i.e. get the facts) before making a policy decision, but that is the way that reasoned persons go about making policy decisions.

So, DD, here is what you said:

.bq As NONE of my post represents opinion, and is ENTIRELY FACTUAL...would you consider it “Intellectually Honest” enough?! How ‘bout “Rigorous” enough?!

As a result, my and answer is no: not intellectually honest, nor rigorous enough. Your premise is flawed so, no surprise, the conclusion you seek is unwarranted.

But let’s continue. Take your laundry list of votes where Kerry voted no on certain bills. In order to prove he is a flip-flopper, you must demonstrate that each decision to vote “No” was motivated by an unprincipled abandonment of a previously held position. Anyone who has ever studied or worked for Congress knows that a vote against a particular bill may have nothing to do with the original purpose of the bill or even with 99% of its content. Bills are famous of having all kinds of things attached to them as they make their way through Congress. So no, not intellectually honest or rigorous enough.

In this same vein, look also at Kerry’s statement to Tim Russert that Kerry wants to fund the troops. He restated this position in his speech last night. The subsequent paragraph that is supposed to prove Kerry flip-flopped simply states some of the provisions on a spending bill. In order for this to establish a flip-flop, or more precise a contradictory statement, you must prove that Kerry voted against the bill because of these provisions. The “logic” of the argument follows somewhat the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo proper hoc, after the fact, therefore because of the fact. There are no “facts” in you statement establishing that Kerry voted against the bill because of the provisions you cite. Instead, you simply have to assume what you are trying to prove. That, friend, is not intellectually honest or rigorous.

Now don’t think I’m Intellectually Dishonest to state that Kerry has never changed his position on an issue. He most assuredly has. To wit, his decision to start a PAC with contribution limits. Certainly a principled thing to do, trying to take a step towards much-needed campaign finance reform. After a year, he realized unilateral action was hamstringing the overall effort. He faced a choice. Do I refuse to change to win a battle and lose a war, or do I change a policy that isn’t working to ensure I’m around to continue the fight. Kerry thought it was more important to continue to the fight. I don’t fault him one bit for that decision.

So yes, absolutely I agree that Kerry has changed his position on various issues, for reasons of both superceding values and political expediency. Does that make him a flip-flopper. Not necessarily. Obviously, the RNC has created the “flip-flopper” talking point as a proxy for the argument that Kerry has no principles or values, and absolutely it has appeal for those who are too intellectually weak to think for themselves. I do not believe that changing a position is inherently bad or makes one a flip-flopper. And hence my objection to the use of the term, because it allows people to be intellectually lazy, which the crap you have posted here is.

But if we simply agree on the proposition that changing ones position makes one a flip flopper and, therefore, unfit for the presidency, then the Republicans have 30 days to find a new candidate. Remember this fiasco.

Ex-officer: Bush file’s details caused concern
By Dave Moniz and Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — As Texas Gov. George W. Bush prepared to run for president in the late 1990s, top-ranking Texas National Guard officers and Bush advisers discussed ways to limit the release of potentially embarrassing details from Bush’s military records, a former senior officer of the Texas Guard said Wednesday.

White House Releases Bush Military Pay Records
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
WASHINGTON — Pummeled by election-year questions about President Bush’s military record, the White House on Tuesday released documents it says proves the president did serve out his term with the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. Barraged by reporters at the daily White House briefing, press secretary Scott McClellan waved pay records and other papers at the media and repeatedly said the Bush administration has been upfront from the start about his military background.

White House blasts ‘gutter politics’
Pentagon requests full personnel file from Vietnam era
From John King
CNN Washington Bureau
Wednesday, February 11, 2004 Posted: 10:36 PM EST (0336 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — People who question President Bush’s Air National Guard service 30 years ago are engaging in “gutter politics” and “trolling for trash for political gain,” a White House spokesman said Wednesday.
The strong words from White House press secretary Scott McClellan came a day after a contentious White House briefing at which some new records were released about Bush’s Air National Guard service in Texas and Alabama during the Vietnam War era.
McClellan said the Pentagon had requested Bush’s full personnel file and the White House expects to get a copy also.
He said any new “relevant” information would be released but did not offer a definition of what he considered to meet that test and did not commit to releasing the entire file.
McClellan did not answer directly when asked if the administration would release any records dealing with possible disciplinary issues.
The White House said the documents released Tuesday prove Bush met his requirements and was honorably discharged.

McClellan said Wednesday he considered the key question resolved.
Those who are raising additional questions are practicing “gutter politics,” he said. “The American people deserve better.”
Twice he accused critics of “trolling for trash,” at one point saying they are “trolling for trash for political gain.”

President Bush releases Vietnam-era military files
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush, trying to calm a political storm, released his Vietnam-era military records Friday to counter Democrats’ suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard. But there was no new evidence that he was in Alabama during a period when Democrats have questioned whether he showed up for service.

Summary: Bush refused to release records, said everything had been released that was relevant. Well, I release the med records, but nothing else. Well, I’ll release the dental records, then nothing else. Ok, here is everything.

Flip, flop.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 05:54 PM

Todd,

I resent being called a yes man for Devil Doc. He presented a very fair and detailed response to Don’s position. I merely responded to that fact and encouraged his doing this without a whole lot of mean spirited comments.

His premise still stands in that the evidence against Kerry is significant, just as the evidence that Bush may not have completely played by the rules or ensured complete records were kept on his National Guard duty. I served over 24 years as a Reservist and I’m sure if any cared to do so, errors and omissions could be found in my records, especially when so much of the records at the time were by hand and not automated. I also know that from time to time, my CO gave me a break as I was working over 50 hours a week and going to school working on my MBA. I missed some musters and made up drills on days not normally authorized. All of this with the unofficial approaval of my CO so that I would not have to resign my commission due to periodic conflicts at work and school.

The bottom line is that not just Devil Doc or the other critics have labeled Kerry a flip flopper. The overwhelming number of people polled are sensing the same, with or without the Republicans’ help.

Kerry and the Democrats must find a way to overcome that perception if indeed it is just a perception. I feel that as a professional politician and overly cautious man who wants to be precisely sure of the details before he acts, Kerry has voted the way he has for very good, and to his sense, patriotic reasons. However, many Americans do not see it that way. That is the challenge. Devil Doc’s details are condeming… your response sheds some light on the reasons or facts to support his taking the vote and actions he has. Will the majority of people see your way or Dod’s way? We shall see by November, but the ball in Kerry’s court to prove your points and overcome the image created in part by his own actions and words. I do not think that the approach Senator Kerry has taken in over 30 years as a member of Congress is necessarily the traits and approach many of us want in a President. I could be wrong, but it is what I’m hearing from many of my friends, neighbors and associates.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 10:27 PM

Devil Doc:

Semper Fi! You did receive counter battery fire but it appears to be mostly harrassment and interdiction in nature. It is hard for a battery to lay down a solid barrage when it is constantly having to pick up and change positions to avoid incoming rounds.

I keep hoping that “the other side” can really put it together and explain some of Kerry’s and the Democrats’ discrepancies, but it appears that the emotion keeps getting in the way. Unity developed on hatred of a principle, action or person is not a very good idea nor will it sustain momentum. Just ask the “Dixie-crats” of 1948 and the supporters of George Wallace who swore to unite in order to keep Americans divided along racial lines.

Try to keep your responses clear of emotional pitfalls… you have some excellent points… let the facts speak forthemselves and keep to the high ground… but don’t forget to stay off the ridges. It makes for too easy a target. (Rember the way the Japanese use to call U. S. troops names along the lines in the Pacific campaign to try and get them to give away their position.) Baiting is one way the the enemy gets you to expose yourself emotionally.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2004 11:43 PM

One problem, Todd

Is that all Kerry gives us is flowery rhetoric and promises, with no plans, and no proof that if he had a plan he could make it stick. On anything. Kerry, gives me a very bad, quesy, Clintonesqe feeling on his tax policy. And is defense policy ain’t much better.

The Current President has new Democracies coming alive in 2 formally hostile countries. Has uncovered and shut down a worldwide nuclear proliferation ring.(Which included Libya). He also has one of the worst offenders in supporting terrorrists(Pakistan) actively involved in the fight. In addition to that, I got a tax break!(and I’m no millionaire)

What can Kerry offer to make me beleive he’ll do better. What “nuanced” position would have talked Libya out of it’s nukes and got Pakistan, Qataq, Bahrain, and maybe, Saudi Arabia, rooting out the Taliban?

Chads

Posted by: Chads [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 12:00 AM

Steve,

You are far from a yes man. That comment was directed at other posters.

But I think you are misunderstanding my base point. The attempts to cast Kerry as a flip-flopper are politically expedient, but intellectually irresponsible. That is not to say that they won’t get mileage out of it, just as those who say Bush is a liar will get mileage out of it, but will be equally intellectually lazy.

My first point was that if you actually look at the proffered “evidence” that Kerry is a flip-flopper and deconstruct it, it doesn’t prove that which it purports to prove. I deconstructed a couple of Devil Docs examples to show how this is true.

I am not naive enough to believe that people will take the time to deconstruct the RNC spew, certainly not Joe Six-Pak sitting in his living room in Omaha, NE. Often, the difference between perception and reality becomes obscured, and I am trying to refocus the distinction for the following reason. I want to be a conservative. But I can not sign on to a party that engages in this kind intellectually bogus argumentation.

I fundamentally believe, to the core of my being, that the wing of the conservative party that engages in the politics of hate, which Rush Limbaugh became very rich perfecting, is destroying this country. The amount of resources, energy, and attention that was spent to vilify and obstruct Clinton during his tenure was a great embarrassment to the country. And it had very real consequences. It is clear that Clinton wanted to bomb Al Queda posts in Afghanistan during the impeachment, but he lacked the political capital to do so, because everyone was complaining that his previous bombing raids were a “wag the dog” response. The people that prosecuted the lynch-mob against Clinton, in my heart-felt opinion, bear some of the responsibility for 9-11.

And, Steve, I think you understand my second point. The point about the records is not whether Bush could have been more forthcoming with his records, which he obviously could. The point was, the administration changed its mind. And those who deplore Kerry here and elsewhere for changing a position, and fail to deplore Bush as equally despicable, are simply engaging in the politics of hate that I find so distasteful and destructive to our country.

Not that the Democrats are perfect, but given the fact that the majority of Americans (who voted) did not want George Bush president, and given the fact that the majority of Americans today do not approve of the job he is doing, I think their tone in the campaign has remained relatively positive.

It’s harder to look for underlying principles and values, and see the ambiguities in life. Most people don’t take the time, and, quite frankly, have not practiced the art. I have no doubt that people prefer not to, and want a leader that charts a course and sticks to it, regardless of the unforeseen negative consequences that may follow. George Bush is that kind of leader in many respects. But make no mistake. He flip-flops for political expediency with the best of them.

Chads,

I understand that you don’t like nuanced policies. I do. But putting that aside, the idea that Bush’s policies were the cause of disarming Libya is, undoubtedly, the quintessential post hoc ergo propter hoc. I will grant you that point if and only if you grant that the economic boom was due solely to Clinton’s policies and the recession was due only to Bush’s policies.

Two other points on Kerry’s rhetoric. I think he is exercising good judgment in being intentionally vague. One of the problems of the Clinton health care policy fiasco was that they were committed to delivering it through the government. When it became clear that that option wouldn’t work, the policy failed. I like the idea of expressing campaign goals and being open to finding a way to make them work. It is unrealistic to expect Kerry to say exactly how each and every policy will be executed, and it is also unwise. There are many competing forces on any policy issue, and being firmly committed to a particular avenue, rather than an overall goal, is not only politically difficult, but it is not in the best interest of the country.

But I think if you listen more closely, he actually is giving more details than the media is covering and the RNC is giving him credit for.

And as for tax policy, I am torn. I expect to cross the 200K threshold in the next four years, so I would be included in the group on whom Kerry is raising taxes.

However, Bush’s “tax cut” is a fraud. Yes, my federal taxes when down. But the Bush administration has also created a fiscal crunch on the States, many of whom, including my own, have raise income and property taxes to compensate. I am in the little-talked about group whose taxes have actually gone up during the Bush administration.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 12:50 PM

How can you blame Bush for what the states do? Anyway, I would much rather have taxes at a state level. Much easier to have a voice there.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 01:32 PM

Jones,

Its easy. Bush creates policies that put a financial burden on the states that he doesn’t pay for. To wit, the terror alert system. Everytime that goes up, states and cities around the country have to mobilize and that mean more overtime, e.g., more money.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 01:38 PM

If anyone still believes that the politics of calling “Flip-Flop” is legitimate, answer me this:

In the vice-presidential debates, Dick Cheney said gay marriage was a states-rights issue (meaning the states should decide for themselves.

Well, one state did, Massachusetts. But Cheney didn’t like that decision, so now he supports a Constitutional amendment.

Flip Flop.

Is Cheney despicable too?

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 01:41 PM

Is there a sparrow that falls that is not Bush’s fault? Legislature spend too much and the Clinton recession reduced revenues. Bush’s upturn is increasing revenues.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 02:45 PM

A flip flop is trying to be on both sides at once. It is not changing your mind after a situation changes.

No state approved gay “marraige” four judges did. That is why the amendment is being pushed.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 02:47 PM

Todd,

Thanks for the clarification. I do understand your point and try to see both sides fairly. Choosing a President is an important event, but is not life or death for the most part.

As an observer, I see more damage from the Republicans well developed and documented “flip flop” categorization of Kerry’s voting record. It is up to the Kerry camp and more importantly, the candidate himself to take that charge head on. Of course, by forcing him to keep playing defense, it denies him the chance to go on the offense as effectively… just the nature of the political scene. Accusing Cheney of flip flopping to counter the charge against Kerry will unfortunately not carry as much weight with most Americans.

Also, be cautious about the majority of voters choosing Gore in 2000. The Bush states and majorities are coming from the fastest growing segment of our population and are overwhelmingly conservative in general.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 05:31 PM

Steve,

I respectfully disagree. Our country is a liberal country, as polls of attitudes and positions on social issues point out. Fiscal conservatism, as long as it gets the stock market moving again, is the exception. I don’t think, emperically, you can support the “overwhelmingly” portion of your statement. I think the conservatives are more vocal, but not more plentiful. I truly believe that a party that could effectively carve out the middle from the start, rather than being shackled to the vocal extremes of either side, would be imminently successful.

And Jones, I’m not buying your disingenuous twist of words. The judges were exercising the power given them by the state to make the decision. (Incidentally, I believe Massachusetts supreme court justices are elected, as are judges in many states). But this proves my point. Cheney is all for states rights, unless it doesn’t like the outcome. He is on both sides. He’s for states right unless he isn’t for states rights. Flip-flop. I think what your really saying is a Flip Flop is what Kerry does, and a principled change of position is what Bush and Cheney do. You are simply assuming your own conclusion.

Do you want to talk about “I don’t believe troops should be used for nation building”?

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 08:00 PM

Before I waste any time arguing with a fanatic, I need to know Todd- In your world Superman a bad guy?

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2004 09:03 PM

Todd,

I understand your sense that social liberalism and fiscal conservatism being more widely accepted. Most people seem to be turned off by extreme labels and rabid activism. However, a recent Gallup poll and some more recent polls in Zogby and othes did a match up with counties and communities going for the Repbulicans and how they were classifying themselves politically. As I recall, about 20 to 30% said they were liberals while over 40% called themselves conservatives. The rest were inclined to refer to themselves as moderates with both inclinations present. I wish I could recall the exact URL’s or listings, but it has been over six months since I saw these.

Not a overwhelming majority on the extremes in either case but still a voting block that went for the Republicans in far larger numbers collectively in 2000.

The census bureau accords these Southern, Southwest, Mid-West and predominantly Sun-belt areas as part of the fastest growing areas. The Eastern urban areas and the old Rust Belt areas were declining in numbers (where most of the current liberal focus resides) and more moderate and conservative groups were coming into play on the West Coast. A majority of the current generation of young folks tend to refer to themselves in the categories you described, but as these folks age and have children, they tend to move to the right in their voting patterns it has been reported. Most of my association with European military seem to show these professionals are on the right side of their respective country’s political spectrum for the most part.

It should be interesting to see if the reenergized left can change this pattern and trends this time around. From what I can tell in most places I’m familiar in the South (other than say Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans), the term “fiscal conservative” is not part of their own self-classification and most definitely not social liberalism, especially among the 40 and over population. But I could be wrong… things can change rapidly in this age of cyber space.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2004 12:13 AM

Steve,

I think that you are correct that more people self-identify as a conservative rather than as a liberal. I think much of reason has to do with the Republican campaign to demonize the word “liberal.”

My point, however, was that if you strip the labels away and look at surveys of individual issues, attitudes, and values—rather than labels—you will find that on most of the important issues, attitudes and values tend to the liberal (properly so called) side of the spectrum.

If you want an interesting article on this issue, I refer you here.

http://www.skreed.com/politics/big_lies01.html

Granted, it is from a liberal with an anti-conservative bent and, to boot, a book to sell. But the aregument he constructs is compelling.

Of other interesting items, I was curious how much the “flip-flopper” label was working for the Republicans. Not so well, according to the Gallup Poll:

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE (June 28, 2004)
PRINCETON, NJ — Although the campaigns of President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry have attacked each other’s candidates on various personal grounds — for example, that Kerry is a “flip-flopper,” or that Bush does not care about the needs of the average American — the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey suggests many of those criticisms are falling on deaf ears. Only a few characteristics appear to correlate with voters’ choices of a presidential candidate.

Personal Traits of Candidates — Importance in Predicting the Vote for President
Traits Importance Score in Predicting How People Will Vote
%
Shares your values 100
Can manage the government effectively 49
Is honest and trustworthy 43
Party affiliation (of respondents) 35
Is a person you admire 30

Is knowledgeable about the issues 13
Is a strong and decisive leader 9
Does not change his positions on issues for political reasons 5
Cares about the needs of people like you 3
Has an optimistic vision for the country’s future
So, it looks like the American Public is smarter than I gave them credit for. My appologies to Joe Six-Pak.

Additionally, I think American attitudes to the war in Iraq tell an important story. As you are probably well aware, there was much tension in the Democratic Party between the more ‘liberal” forces who were completely opposed to war (Kucinich and Dean) versus the more moderate voices (Kerry and Leiberman) who thought war was necessary. Kerry had to do quite a balancing act to apease his own party while maintaining his stance. Well, the American voters’ attitude is even more liberal than the Democratic candidate:

June 24, 2004 USA Today

Poll: Sending troops to Iraq a mistake
By Susan Page, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Most Americans now say that sending U.S. troops to Iraq was a mistake, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds. For the first time, a majority also says that the war there has made the nation less safe from terrorism.

It is the first time since Vietnam that a majority of Americans has called a major deployment of U.S. forces a mistake. When the war in Iraq began last year, the public by three-to-one said sending troops wasn’t a mistake. Just three weeks ago, 58% still held that view.

Now, 54% say it was a mistake.

But as we all know, the only poll that maters is the one conducted Nov. 2.

Jones,

In response to your question, I offer you this:

price list of china tea
green tea:
1,Bi luo chun tea:
place of production:shu zhou,jiangsu province.
special grade,$36.00/500g
first grade:$28.00/500g
second grade:$19.00/500g

You can find the rest of it here:

http://www.yixingteapotsale.com/teaname.htm

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2004 05:09 PM

Ok Todd, call me suggestable, but I am going to brew up a pot. I got a chuckle from your post. I toast you.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2004 07:17 PM

Posted by: Todd at July 30, 2004 05:54 PM

…blah, blah, blah. “Mission Accomplished”!!!

(paraphrasing mine)

Todd,

Typical. So much for the benefit of the doubt. I WILL give credit where credit is due, you DID manage to use the term Intellectual Honesty correctly (and more than once even!). Shame you do not understand the overall concept.

BTW-Behind all of those trees is a forest.

Interesting that you chose Medical Marijuana for the ONE premise you wanted to “dissect” and then proclaim the balance to be equivalent and therefore the Universal Truth Everlasting™. Interesting, AND quite Intellectually DIShonest. Really expected little more, but one can always hope.

BTW- Not to overburden your diminutive intellect, however I thought it important that I point out that it is possible to build a valid argument from false premises, and arrive at a false conclusion..to wit:

Todd’s premise

Bush advisers discussed ways to limit the release of potentially embarrassing details from Bush’s military records

Todd’s inference

Summary: Bush refused to release records, said everything had been released that was relevant

Todd’s “conclusion”

Flip, flop.

Hmm….yeah, REAL Intellectual Honesty there too. Please.

Apparently, the laughable left is under the impression that Boolean is some obscure African language.

Sad really.

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2004 12:55 PM

Posted by: Todd at July 30, 2004 05:54 PM
It seems a chorus of yes men have joined in to congradulate you, but lets not celebrate so soon.
Posted by: steve at July 30, 2004 10:27 PM
I resent being called a yes man for Devil Doc
Posted by: Todd at July 31, 2004 12:50 PM
Steve, You are far from a yes man. That comment was directed at other posters.

Well Steve, considering that there were exactly three “other posters”, including yourself, I can certainly understand your confusion. Perhaps Todd simply “changed his postion” in a relatively short time frame…but PLEASE don’t accuse him of flip-flopping!

~8-O

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2004 12:57 PM

Posted by: steve at July 30, 2004 11:43 PM
Semper Fi! You did receive counter battery fire but it appears to be mostly harrassment and interdiction in nature. It is hard for a battery to lay down a solid barrage when it is constantly having to pick up and change positions to avoid incoming rounds.
I keep hoping that “the other side” can really put it together and explain some of Kerry’s and the Democrats’ discrepancies, but it appears that the emotion keeps getting in the way. Unity developed on hatred of a principle, action or person is not a very good idea nor will it sustain momentum. Just ask the “Dixie-crats” of 1948 and the supporters of George Wallace who swore to unite in order to keep Americans divided along racial lines.
Try to keep your responses clear of emotional pitfalls… you have some excellent points… let the facts speak forthemselves and keep to the high ground… but don’t forget to stay off the ridges. It makes for too easy a target. (Rember the way the Japanese use to call U. S. troops names along the lines in the Pacific campaign to try and get them to give away their position.) Baiting is one way the the enemy gets you to expose yourself emotionally.

Steve,
Semper Fi brother!!!
To me is seemed like it was little more than indescriminate fire from a M79 belching M680’s…apparently about the only thing in their arsenal.
I have/HAD that same hope, but alas it seems that once again under all the fluff and sunshine that their intellectual pantry is a bare as the one containing character and morals. I guess that along with having absolute license on conviction, the right is also apparently overly optimistic.

Don’t worry, there are only a couple of things for which emotion negates reason…and discussing Senator Windsock is CERTAINLY not one of them. Remember, bait is only ONE part of the equation. Unfortunately the laughable left chooses to deep sea fish using cane poles.

Sad really.

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2004 12:59 PM

Posted by: Todd at July 31, 2004 12:50 PM
And, Steve, I think you understand my second point. The point about the records is not whether Bush could have been more forthcoming with his records, which he obviously could. The point was, the administration changed its mind. And those who deplore Kerry here and elsewhere for changing a position, and fail to deplore Bush as equally despicable, are simply engaging in the politics of hate that I find so distasteful and destructive to our country.

Not that the Democrats are perfect, but given the fact that the majority of Americans (who voted) did not want George Bush president

Steve,
Not that there WAS an actual first point to cause a second…HOWEVER, isn’t it interesting that the ONE example relates to something ENTIRELY political with absolutely NO bearing to the subject at hand which is the ability to lead and specifically, having conviction. Given that ALL of the examples cited were DIRECTLY related to POLICY and Kerry’s LACK OF conviction, yet Intellectually-Honest-Todd cites a NON-ISSUE/NON-POLICY political example. Then, in a stunning example of Appeal to Emotion/Appeal to Fear, attempts to make it a valid argument.

Further, I find it particularly amusing that DESPITE ‘wishing to be a conservative’, Intellectually-Honest-Todd then invokes the TIRED/DISPROVEN mantra of the laughable left of how President Bush “STOLE!” the election.

Sad really.

Perhaps this will shed even FURTHER light on an already well-illuminated subject…except for those who CHOOSE to remain in the dark!:
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St.Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent Presidential election:

Population of counties won by:
Gore=127 million Bush=143 million

Square miles of land won by:
Gore=580,000 Bush=2,2427,000

States won by: Gore=19 Bush=29

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore=13.2 Bush=2.1

Professor Olson adds:
“In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land
owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore’s territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare…”

Posted by: DevilDoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2004 01:01 PM

Devil Doc,

You are clearly not trying to understand my arguments, and perhaps that is why you fail miserably in your attempts to refute them. Let me help you out.

1. Regarding the medical marijuana topic, I take your post as your concession that it wasn’t really a flip-flop after all. So much for irrefutable evidence, eh? You whiffed on the low-hanging fruit, old boy. Your metaphor of the forest behind the trees is apt. My point being, you need to have trees to have a forest. You pretend you have trees, because you desperately want to see a forest.

2. I did not say that all your examples were like the medical marijuana example, or that they did not prove your point for the same reasons that particular example was fallacious. To the contrary, I stated that was in a different category than the other proffered contradictions. So shame on you for being intellectually lazy.

3. Big shame on you for the “Bush won more populous counties” tirade. An interesting slice and dice of the data, no doubt. I particularly like the fallacious inference that only criminals and welfare recipients supported Gore. This is about as interesting as the reports I have read that if you look at the percentage of votes in various demographic categories from the 2000 election, the categories that Gore won in 2000 have grown. If Bush carried the same percentages of those demographics in 2004 as he did in 2000, he’d have is ass handed to him. But if frogs had wings . . .

But I in my response to Steve’s question, I referred to the fact that Gore won the popular vote, which is very different from the statement that “Bush stole the election.” That type of pigeon-holing is both intellectually lazy and dishonest. Here is the statistic to which I was referring:

Vote totals nationwide are: George W. Bush - 50,461,080; Al Gore: 50,994,081.

The point being, regardless of the debate about the Electoral College and the Supreme Court deciding the election, Bush does not have a popular mandate. That, friend, is a FACT, not an appeal to emotion or fear (although some find if frightening that Bush took us to War in the absence of a mandate).

4. I notice you tend to substitute ALL CAPS for argument. Can you at least concede that your posting was not ENTIRELY FACTUAL and there was some spin in there?

5. I see you have a hard time following along if I don’t number first, second, etc., or when the topic of the thread shifts, so I have numbered this post for your convenience.Here is the point from my post that, textually, was first.

But I think you are misunderstanding my base point. The attempts to cast Kerry as a flip-flopper are politically expedient, but intellectually irresponsible. That is not to say that they won’t get mileage out of it, just as those who say Bush is a liar will get mileage out of it, but will be equally intellectually lazy.

6. I note that your argument against Bush’s flip-flop on releasing his military records sought to draw a distinction between Bush’s Advisers and Bush himself. Well, yes in strictly Boolean terms, I used them as one in the same. If you recall, Bush, himself, didn’t actually release the records, it was the White House. What is your point? The intellectually rigorous analysis of “Please” doesn’t offer any insight. Are you suggesting that Bush wanted to release his records back in 2000 and his advisers stopped him? In case you need help on the topic, see Steve’s post above for an example of how someone with integrity and intellectual acumen answered this.

7. I note, for posterity sake, that your argument against my Mission Accomplished post was “blah, blah, blah.” Stings, doesn’t it, to realize you do not have a monopoly on righteous indignation. I also note that you have declined my invitation to discuss “I do not believe troops should be used for nation building.” I understand. That one’s a toughy.

8. Here’s another one: How about Condi Rice testifying before the 9/11 Commission? Was that a flip-flop in the face of political pressure or a principled change of position.

Perhaps you can use the tears from your sadness to douse your straw men I have set ablaze. Again, I’m here to help.

Posted by: Todd [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2004 06:22 PM

You keep using the word flip-flop wrong. Do you know what the word means? Or are you truely from Bizarro World.

Posted by: jones [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2004 11:27 AM

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