Friday, February 20, 2004

For anyone still on the fence about John Kerry, here's a couple of articles to check out, courtesy of the muckrakers at Counterpunch.

Kerry: He's Peaking, Already

As yet Karl Rove has yet to launch the Shock and Awe barrage that will explode over Kerry's head some time in the late summer, after the Democrats have got their boost in Boston.

Rove's targeting plans will obviously include such easy, but telling hits as Kerry's support for Bush's tax cuts for the rich. (If elected President, according to the bean counters at Forbes', Kerry will be the third richest denizen of the Oval Office in American history.) Kerry voted for the Patriot Act and he voted for the '03 attack on Iraq.

And this wasn't just a resigned Aye. Kerry was up there with Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair as a huckster for all the lies that have come home to haunt Washington. "These weapons represent an unacceptable threat", he bellowed last year...

Kerry agrees with Bush about the tax cuts. He agrees with him about the Patriot Act. He agrees with him on trade. He agrees with him on the war. Why change horses, Bush will ask the American people. "I can manage things better," Kerry will respond. What else can he say? He's never once, in three senate terms, offered legislation to inconvenence the "special interests" at which he's lately launched a few pop-gun attacks...

This is where the timid legions of the left, cowed by furious bluster about their treachery in deserting the Democratic standard back in 2000, might ask some serious questions, and maybe even threaten desertion again. All Kerry can offer is superior management of the imperial bandwagon at home and abroad...

Why is Kerry Getting a Pass?

...even after the war began, Kerry was a vocal supporter. At house meetings in South Carolina, Kerry avowed that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and had to be removed. It was not until the major media jumped on the "no-WsMD" bandwagon that Kerry dared to differ with the Bushies...

This is not the only curious case of Kerry sliding under the press's radar. Much has been made of Bush family connections with the band of thieves that ran Enron, but Kerry has his own history of complicity with corporate malfeasance. He had close connections to David Paul, CEO of the failed S&L, Centrust. Paul was convicted of ninety-seven counts of bank fraud and sent to prison for ten years, and the failure of CenTrust cost taxpayers $2 billion.

...the American mainline press suspended disbelief, sidled right up to the Bush administration, and spewed whatever nonsense about WsMD the prevari-cons decided to put out. Like Miller, the corporate media parroted drivel about Scuds, about mobile weapons labs, about anthrax spewing drones that might appear over Milwaukee or Paducah. So the big problem for them now is this: if they start to give Kerry a hard time for his spinelessness on Iraq, they might just have to confront their own spinelessness as well.
So what's the difference between Kerry and John Edwards, specifically on the issue of Iraq, when both of them voted for the war resolution?

There was a moment in the Wisconsin debate last week, when both were asked whether they felt "...any degree of responsibility for the war and its costs and casualties?" Kerry spent a couple of minutes avoiding the question, instead reminding everyone that he was a soldier once and took a potshot at Bush and his handling of the war. The panelist - Craig Gilbert, Washington bureau chief of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - didn't let him off the hook, though: "But what about you? I mean, let me repeat the question. Do you have any degree of responsibility having voted to give him the authority to go to war?" He again avoided accepting any responsibility for his vote, instead offering another long-winded dodge, concluding it with: "My regret is not the vote. It was appropriate to stand up to Saddam Hussein. There was a right way to do it, a wrong way to do it. My regret is this president chose the wrong way, rushed to war, is now spending billions of American taxpayers' dollars that we didn't need to spend this way had he built a legitimate coalition, and has put our troops at greater risk."

Edwards, on the other hand, answered it this way:

GILBERT: You cast the same vote, Senator Edwards, is that the way you see it?

EDWARDS: That's the longest answer I ever heard to a yes or no question. The answer to your question is of course.

We all accept responsibility for what we did. I did what I believed was right. I took it very, very seriously.

I also said at the same time that it was critical when we got to this stage that America not be doing this alone. The president is doing it alone. And the result is what we see happening to our young men and women right now. We need to take a dramatic course. We will take a dramatic course.

And by the way, Senator Kerry just said he will beat George Bush; not so fast, John Kerry. We're going to have an election here in Wisconsin this Tuesday. And we've got a whole group of primaries coming up. And I, for one, intend to fight with everything I've got for every one of those votes.

And back to your question. What we will do, when I'm president of the United States, is we will change this course. We will bring in the rest of the world; we will internationalize this effort. We will bring NATO in to provide security.

For example, we could put NATO today in charge of the Saudi Arabian border, the Iranian border, allow us to concentrate on the Sunni Triangle, where so much of the violence has been occurring.

We do need to change course. And ultimately, we have to get on a real timetable for the Iraqis to govern themselves and provide for their own security.
There are many different ways to measure Presidentiality. In my mind, the willingness and ability to stand by one's actions and accept responsibility for their consequences is crucial. Edwards did so. As much as I can't stand him, I can understand how Bush's supporters might say the same about him. But Kerry? The only thing he stands by are the polls that tell him when it's time to change direction.

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