Thursday, July 15, 2004
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Don't rush me off the fence, part IV
John Hawkins at Right Wing News has a post entitled "40 Reasons To Vote For George Bush Or Against John Kerry." I can't say I found all of them convincing, but #12 is somewhat compelling:
One could plausibly argue that Kerry's full-time job since early 2003 was running for president -- but he could have resigned if that were the case. The lead paragraph in this Reuters story doesn't make me feel any better about Kerry's posturing on Iraq, either:
Bush apparently didn't read it either, but I'm not sure Kerry wins my vote on the motto, "Vote for me -- I'll start paying attention after I'm elected." This was in the fall of 2002, when Kerry's only job as a candidate was raising money -- which is what all congressmen do all of the time. Plus, it's pretty hypocritical for a legislator to rail about executive branch overreach when he fails to exercise any due diligence when he has an opportunity to constrain said branch.
On a related point, Hawkins' 25th reason is also worth checking out.
Hmmm... maybe I should get off on the GOP side of the fence -- no wait!! Jesse Walker has a column at Reason online entitled, "Ten Reasons to Fire George W. Bush." His forth reason has weighed heavily on me since day one of the Bush administration:
As someone who cares about a good policymaking process as much as a good policymaking outcome -- because the former is a big factor that determines the latter -- the secrecy obsession doesn't sit well with me at all. Such an obession distracts from the suibstance of policy, and also needlessly filters outside feedback, which might be politically frustrating but is nevertheless an essential ingredient to the formulation of good policy.
Walker closes his column this way: "Making me root for a sanctimonious statist blowhard like Kerry isn't the worst thing Bush has done to the country. But it's the offense that I take most personally."
Walker gives fewer reasons than Hawkins, but the latter has a lot more chaff than wheat.
Still on the fence -- but slowly getting more depressed about my choices.
UPDATE: John Hawkins posts a response to Walker's points that's worth checking out. And Jonathan Chait's TNR essay about the Bush administration's attitude towards other political actors underscores Walker's point about secrecy.
Link via Matthew Yglesias, who thinks I'm undecided because I either want attention or a job from the winning candidate.
To be clear -- the reason I'm undecided is because I can't remember an election in my adult lifetime when I've been less enthused with my menu of candidates. There's an old maxim that voting is usually an exercise in choosing the lesser of two evils. I've felt that sentiment in some previous elections, but it was also easy to spot positive qualities that resonated strongly within me. This year I can't muster even the tiniest amount of enthusiasm for any candidate.
I'm pretty sure that attitude is not going to earn me a warm place in either candidate's heart. Besides, the Kerry team is already bursting to the gills with policy wonks, and as Mark Kleiman pointed out, the Republicans are probably pissed off at me as well.
[What about hallway rumors that you'll be the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate to face Barrack Obama now that Coach Ditka has passed?--ed. Yeah, that's how I want to spend the next three months -- getting thumped in the polls by the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention and having to dodge allegations about an unhealthy obsession with Salma Hayek. Not a winning formula for tenure, I'm afraid.]posted by Dan on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM
Let me ask you again. Are you indifferent to how the two parties view social issues?
I think there are a lot of pro and cons for both candidates and no party fully represents my views.
But when I see what the GOP tried to do with the Constitutional amendment I shudder to think what the US would be like if they had the legislative majority they want.
To me that's more important than any of the other differences. There are economic conservatives in the Dems (I would argue Clinton was one and Kerry is likley to be one) just like there are economic liberals in the GOP (Bush is one in some respects, including his anti-trade stance and increasing entitlements).
But on social issues the parties are becoming more and more polarized. GOP social liberals are few in number and have only regional influence and no national reach. One could argue the same about social conservatives among Dems but I am not a social conservative.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
It's pretty easy for me to decide.
Voting for Bush will annoy the French.
Depending on your perspective, that can sway you one way or the other, but I dare say it's part of many people's calculations.
(I do have other reasons, but this is my most amusing reason)posted by: Jody on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Wow, Dan, those are quite some reasons - on both sides. Even on the anti-Bush side you managed to pick a relatively obscure one to get excited about - given some of the other nine on the Reason list.
Ah, Dan. I feel your pain.posted by: Rus Steel on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Kerry an economic conservative?
How absurd. The man who heartily adopted the "Two Americas" BS from the Edwards campaign, the man who quotes "Let America be America again", a poem which celebrates socialism, a man who used to talk about "Benedict Arnold CEOs" until his campaign told him to stuff it, is not an economic conservative.
The marriage amendment was DOA, everyone knew day one it was DOA.
No, the important thing this election is deciding whether to elect a Jimmy Carter / George McGovern foreign policy president in the middle of a war against a dangerous and savage enemy seeking the slaughter of all Americans using the deadliest means necessary.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Another reason to vote against Kerry -- his definition of "honesty".posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I only have two words to rebut you with:
Bush Vacationsposted by: patriotBoy on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Jody: Voting for Bush will annoy the French.
Oh, really? I think the French government would be happy to see Bush stay - it means they can continue to use him as a pretext to not help us in Iraq and elsewhere.
If you want to annoy the French, vote for Kerry - they'd have to show their cards and either reveal that they really don't like us (no matter who is President) or change their ways.
Then again, I don't think annoying the French should really play into this decision one way or another...
Yes, Kerry is likely to be much more economically conservative (in the good sense) than Bush. I suspect like Clinton.
If we are in the middle of a war, it is like the war on drugs or war on crime and not at all like the WW2 or the Cold War. If people had a better understanding of statistics they would realize how small the terrosrist risk really is compared to others. And Kerry would do a much better job than Bush. Then again, who wouldn't?
The amendment is dead thanks to Dems. That's why it's important to vote for Dems.
I find it somewhat odd that one would state the number of votes missed by Kerry without some important facts: What is the average number of votes missed? How many of those votes were decided by, say, 1-5 votes? How many votes does the average Member of Congress who is running for President miss? Otherwise, doesn't it all seem irrelevant without that baseline for analysis? Maybe he is worse than average,posted by: Joel W on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Suggestion -- you do not have to commit until November. If thinking about this issue depresses you (and I can see the reasons why it would), the reasons to vote for or against both will still be around in November, and there may even be some new ones.
Personally, I do not see how Kerry could do worse than Bush, except maybe on trade. Odds are he will do betterposted by: Appalled Moderate on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Constitional amendments are very, very difficult to pass. In addition to passing in Congress by a 2/3 majority, they must also pass the majority of state legislatures.
No, there was NEVER any danger of the FMA becoming part of the constitution. In 10 years gay marriage will be legal everywhere.
Look, if you want to elect a Democrat, nominate a reasonable centrist like Clinton, not a far-left wet dream for the Michael Moore types like Kerry. Bush is governing like a centrist -- I wish he were far more conservative about throwing around money.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Look, here's the difference between Kerry and Bush. Yes, Kerry is spending a great deal of time away from his paid job in the Senate to pursue the other job he has undertaken to seek the Presidency. You are entitled to believe that the Senate job is so urgent that he has no excuse pursuing the Presidency while holding it -- I'd disagree, but whatever. The basic fact remains, however, that he works VERY hard in total, as did Clinton before him. There's every reasonable expectation that he would, as President, devote those considerable energies entirely to his Presidency.
Here's the thing about Bush, though: he has, so far as I can make out, NEVER worked hard at ANYTHING. The man appears to have less energy and motivation for real work than just about any person I have ever met. Most certainly he has never worked hard as a President, taking scandalously long vacations -- far far longer than any recent President, and far far longer than any of us would ever take, or feel right about taking.
Bringing up Kerry's "neglect" of his Senatorial job while he runs for Presidency, when the record of Bush's wretched work habits are so well known, and using this "neglect" as a reason to vote for Bush, goes way past bizarre.posted by: frankly0 on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
So if you had a job, and decided to seek a new job, it would be ok with your boss if you spent 1.5 years missing 80% of your work because you were pursuing a more important job?
And it's wrong for the new employer to look at your work record over the last 1.5 years to get an idea of how you might perform in the new job?
Right. Which country do you live in again?
I don't care that they are difficult to pass. I care that they TRIED. That tells me a lot about the GOP's priorities and views on social issues.
Maybe you are a scoail conservative and would like an amendment like the one that failed. But I don't. I see this exactly like the civil rights struggle amd I fully expect that 30 years from now we we will look at Frist and Bush the today we look at those that opposed civil rights.
If to this I add that Bush is the most protectionist president since Reagan, and maybe more so, and that he has made an utter mess of our budget and has no plans to fix it, then the vote is simple for me.
Kerry is clearly a centrist candidate and only extreme right wingers could see him as a far-left wet dream.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Kerry is hardly a "far left wet dream" - just ask some people on the far left. Indeed, one of the fears some of his supporters have is that he will be pulled to the left by people like Moore putting pressure on him. (Not to say that he is a centrist, but why should the Dem's nominate a centrist to please people who wouldn't vote for him anyway.)
So he missed a bunch of BS pork-laden votes. Would he miss Senate votes as President? The horror. Oh, wait. The President isn't a Senator anymore.
One point about the intelligence assessment: Kerry isn't on the intelligence committee. So that could be why.posted by: praktike on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Illinois is going to go to Kerry by 14% anyways, so send both the idiot power parties a wake-up notice by voting for your only other choice on the Illinois ballot, Michael Badnarik.posted by: Jeff Trigg on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The contortions a hawk and fiscal conservative have to go through to justify voting for Kerry are ridiculous. The man is a classic Massachussetts tax and spend liberal that has _no_ record of fiscal 'new democrat' restraint, but it is assume he'll govern that way. Why?
Want a good reason not to tip Kerry's way? How bout this, everything you assume about him but have no evidence in his record to support has to fall the way you hope, or this country is in for a disaster of rare proportion. Think about that particular risk when you find yourself nodding your head along with Kerry's PR flaks extolling his moderate policies.posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Not really Mark.
I for one don't know if Kerryb will be a foreign policy hawk. I don't really care in any case and I don't like foreign policy hawks much.
But Kerry's economic voting record plus the people he has surrounded himslef with makes me comfortable that he will be similar to Clinton on econ policy. At least he is a free trader which Bush is not. And it's hard for anyone to be worse than Bush on fiscal issues. Anything will be an improvement.
In the end a president does not have great latitude to change the country. If I am wrong there's not muc Kerry can do in any case, particularly with the GOP in control of Congress.
But I clearly dislike the Southern social conservative mores that the GOP is trying to impose in the nation. That is enough reason to vote for Kerry.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I suppose standing against Reagan, and going to Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra scandal is a bad thing?
I suppose there is a difference between a tax-and-spend liberal and a cut taxes and spend conservative (there isn't, as bush's tax cut is just a tax shift, to the future. Government spending is in fact government taxation)
I also suppose that people who call Kerry a tax-and-spend liberal want to do so without offering evidence.
For those who claim that Kerry is significantly different from Clinton, I'd like to see significant evidence exists that they are different on a number of positions, instead of assertions without evidence being thrown around.
Maybe Kerry is a "tax-and-spend" liberal, but so far his policy suggestions at least seem to have some thought put into them. There is evidence, for example, that marginal tax rates being hiked to 40% instead of 35% for the wealthiest Americans does very little to change their work habits--that taxation does not create large disincentives. The same is true of the minimum wage as it stands now. A small hike in the minimum wage will not create much disemployment. There is evidence for these statements.
Kerry on foreign policy is another question, but doesn't one think, shouldn't one think, that Kerry will have a hawkish bone, if at worst, to prevent political suicide in the coming 4 years? Is there anything wrong with projecting THAT upon him?posted by: Joel W on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
"but doesn't one think, shouldn't one think, that Kerry will have a hawkish bone, if at worst, to prevent political suicide in the coming 4 years"
Didnt happen that way for Jimmy Carter.posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Here's where i think people are dilluding themselves: I can see how an argument can be made that a president who would love to govern as a full blown liberal could become a successful moderate due to wanting to be reelected and being willing to listen to advisors. Fine, I dont believe Kerry will ultimately behave that way (have you seen his health care proposal btw?) but i understand the thought.
"So if you had a job, and decided to seek a new job, it would be ok with your boss if you spent 1.5 years missing 80% of your work because you were pursuing a more important job?"
Im pretty sure that the boss (the people of MA) would be pretty excited to have their former senator become President of the US. So in that case, the "boss" would probably demand that you do everything you could to get the "new job".
Sometimes I wonder if insipid Republican analogies have led directly to all the ludicrous Bush policies.posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
You obviously want to vote for John Kerry. Why don't you give up the pretense of going either way. When you complain about this administrations secrecy, and that being a reason you might vote for the dingbat, than why don't you just declare for him?
I fail to understand how a thinking person might vote for John Kerry, but you are welcome to. Once I realized that he was the one who had been spreading lies about American "bad acts" in Viet Nam, it was all over for me. I was in the Navy through the 1970's, and the story about the electric wires and all stuck in my mind.
What would be very enlightening, is if we could read all of Senator Kerry's fitness reports from his active duty service. He has not released the ones that are not complementary, but his commanding officer has spoken about their contents.
Obviously, you are at least center-left, if not on the left, if you would consider voting for John Kerry. It has to be out of emotion, rather than logic and reason. If logic and reason were an issue, you would not be able to vote for him.
One point about the intelligence assessment: Kerry isn't on the intelligence committee. So that could be why.
Does anyone know whether NIEs are available to all members of Congress? The Reuters article doesn't say that Kerry had the report. (I'm not saying he didn't; I'm just wondering if anyone knows for certain.)
I actually have seen Kerry's health plan lauded by a number of serious economists. The plan to cover "catastrophic" medical problems is widely praised as it will shrink premiums for people who CURRENTLY have health insurance. It's serious policy on health insurance, addressing a serious problem in the country.
I don't see how a president could lead without listening to a number of advisors. Isn't leading with out listening to people who can help you something like driving without seeing the road? I think one can be thoughtful and decisive, sensible and a solid leader. Look at Tony Blair. I think the Bush view of leadership is pretty misguided, and that the Blair view of leadership is one that should be aspired to. Anybody who thinks that The War in Iraq was necessarily misguided after the lack of WMD ought to listen to Mr. Blair. Frankly, I think Kerry is closer to Blair than Bush, maybe others disagree.posted by: Joel W on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The end game for government interference in health care is the same end game as government interference in education. High cost, low quality.
Why anyone thinks that the federal government can run health care efficiently and effectively has not been paying attention to the postal service.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Incidentally, Bush didn't resign from his post as governor of Texas until December 21, 2000.
But since Bush took credit for signing a Texas patients' bill of rights that he vigorously opposed and even vetoed (and never signed, but let become law by default when his veto was overruled), I guess that didn't really matter much since Texas seems to have provisions for governing itself. But somehow Dan managed to find hypocrisy in Kerry, not in Bush. Hm... (If you have forgotten about this incident, read the last three paragraphs of http://dir.salon.com/politics/feature/2001/02/07/patients/index.html)
His healthcare proposal is pretty good. One of the reasons to vote for him.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
alkali, I've been wondering that too. I asked some right-wingers at one of the sillier right blogs who were desperately pimping the "Kerry doesn't have time for security briefings!" meme, but they had no answer for me.posted by: DJW on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
"I think the Bush view of leadership is pretty misguided, and that the Blair view of leadership is one that should be aspired to"
Ah, the crux of the issue. The two men come to the same conclusions, based on the same evidence, and execute the same policy.. But Bush is a rube and Blair is the model of leadership. Doesnt making the correct decision at some point come into play over and above being well spoken or having the inteligensia think your smart? Obviously not. Its all about appearance.
"His healthcare proposal is pretty good. One of the reasons to vote for him. "
Well, speaking for the 80% of the country that does have health insurance, im not entirely sure why i should be paying for everyone elses when im busy paying for my own (which i never use).posted by: mark buehner on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Why anyone thinks that the federal government can run health care efficiently and effectively has not been paying attention to the postal service.
Actually, the US postal service is the envy of many developed countries -- efficient, timely, and extraordinarily inexpensive.
As for health care, you might want to check your statistics. Even if Kerry were advocating a shift to single-payer, his proposal would be more cost-effective than the current system. The US spends twice as much (public and private cost) per capita on health care as most developed countries and provides considerably less access and coverage (except to the wealthy) than at least Canada, France, and Switzerland. I'm sure there are others, but I don't have the specifics.posted by: Beartums on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Health care in the rest of the developed world is so good that they fly over to America and pay full freight so they can get surgeries, medical procedures, etc. without waiting months or even years. No thanks!
As for the US post office, while it may be a model of efficiency compared to the post office in other countries, it is a model of sclerotization compared to UPS, Fedex, and other competitors here. The price of sending first class mail goes up and up over time (much faster than inflation) and service is poor (waits over 30 minutes are common in my area).posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Now, what did he have access to read? Or is the Senate pretty much in the position of getting its intel from the Executive Branch?
I think the latter is unfortunately the case.
If you know for certain that you will always have or never need health insurance then I guess Kerry's proposal (or any other proposal) is of no interest to you. But to me it is of great interest.
Senator Bob Dole was made to resign his senate seat when he ran in 1996. He couldn't fully represent his state because of his campaigning. Kerry has been asked to resign by Mitt Romney and others but has refused to resign his seat even though he doesn't show up to vote. I believe he missed casting the key vote to extend unemployement benefits. He should be forced to resign. Edwards, too.
Something to think about: We are going to have to deal with Iran in the very near future somehow. This may be worth looking at:
Since this is a "should I vote for Bush" thread, let me throw my piece in:
1. Most likely, Bush will be the only president since Herbert Hoover, not to have created one single job during his term.
1. A war launched, for what has turned out to be bogus reasons. When Republican Pat Roberts, head of the Intelligence Commitee, opines that George Bush would not have gone into Iraq had he known that the intelligence was flawed, it is clear that the stated reasons for war, at least, are bogus.
Now, it could be said for all of the above, that George Bush is "not responsible". It's the recession. It's the CIA. It's a "few bad apples". But nevertheless, this all happened on George Bush's watch. It's his CIA, it's been his economic policy, it was his occupation forces. It was his decision to go to war, ultimately.
I believe you don't re-elect someone with the above record - whether they are responsible for it or not. The inability to create one single job, is alone reason to fire the man.
I've always thought that Bush/Cheney should have gone away this go round - that a new Republican face should have gone for the nomination. Even if George Bush was, from an economic perspective, the wrong man in place at the wrong time, inevitably, unfair or not, he assumes responsibility for economic conditions. Myself, and most of the people I know, don't want to reward the incompetent.
First of all, there is a huge difference between Blair and Bush, even if they came to the same conclusion: Blair admits his own mistakes, and when predicting future action, we might ask that a President be willing to do that! It's not intelligence, it's honesty I am asking for. Going forward in Iraq, I would like a leader to be able to say, "We messed up in Falujah, we won't make those mistakes again." Isn't personal accountability an important trait? Yes, arriving at an answer is important, but the method is important too when predicting future actions. If I solved a math problem correctly using the wrong method, wouldn't my teacher correct my methodology despite my answer?
On health care, Mark, I guess some of us (liberals) feel that we have a moral obligation to help out those 20% (you say 80% as if it's good) who don't have health care, as we have been provided with more fortune with them. I don't want to get into this issue, because it's at the crux of the whole debate, but yes, I do feel that given I was born into a wealthy white family I am lucky to have been born where I am, and am morally obliged to help others less fortunate.
Other people do fly to our country to get health care, because on average we have great health care. Our best health care is far superior to other countries. Of course, those people who can take advantage of it from other countries ARE WEALTHY ENOUGH TO FLY HERE.
Maybe the government isn't efficient. Who says efficiency is the be all and end all. I'm not even advocating public insurance, but if you look at the Kerry plan for catastrophic insurance coverage, it doesn't really make insurance public, and may in fact, increase competition among insurance companies. If companies aren't in the business of trying to not insure, aren't they going to try and make themselves the best insurance plan available? Isn't that what a market is best at?posted by: Joel Wertheimer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
"Bush has the instinct that when he gets slapped, he throws a punch."
And this claim is based on what? The fact that after the nation's capitol was attacked, he punked out and crawled under the farthest table (which turned out to be in NE)? That he once challenged his father (who has 22 years on him) to a fight? That he bravely agreed to protect southern bars in the US rather than waste his time like those posuers in Vietnam?
"Health care in the rest of the developed world is so good that they fly over to America and pay full freight so they can get surgeries, medical procedures, etc. without waiting months or even years."
Does anyone have anything other than anecdotal evidence about this? A link would be appreciated.Also, IIRC, Medicare pays about 2% in admin. costs, or substantially less than the private sector.
"I prefer supporting the Iranian people since 80% of them hate the mullahs and we know they want a democracy (Bush's more aggressive method) than talking directly to the mullahs, wasting time and them getting a nuke while we fiddle (Kerry' s method)."
What does this even mean? That under Bush we'll think good thoughts about the Iranian people, but not deal with their government? Or perhaps that we'll invade Iran for the people's good, and they will greet us with candy and flowers?posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The Iranian people hate their government . They are always demonstrating and desparately want a democracy. They demonstarted again just within the last week or so. If they had support, they would coup, and I think that helping to spread democracy there would be worth supporting. Getting rid of the crazy mullahs instead of keeping them around until they do get nukes would be a good idea. It would eliminate another terrorism supporting regime.posted by: Karen on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Oh and here's a funny fact for Mark and Matthew and other similar 'government can't do anything right" types.
We have about 1.2 million jobs less today then when Bush took office. But the situation is even worse if you look just at private sector jobs. We are 1.8 million below.
The only sector that has seen job growth under Bush is the government sector and if it weren't for that growth his record would be even worse.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Did Kerry have access to the National Intelligence Estimate in order to read it? I think not.
Unclear. The NIE was provided to at least some members of Congress shortly before the vote on the war (10/11/2002 was the vote; I can't find out when exactly the NIE was published). I also can't find out whether distribution of the NIE was restricted to the intelligence committees or not.posted by: alkali on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Dole was not forced to resign. He was not even pressured to resign. He did so voluntarily.
Kerry doesn't work for Mitt Romney. He works for the people of MA, and I very much doubt that a majority of them want Kerry to resign.
And while we're at it, Romney himself seems to spend all his time posturing for conservatives to set himself up for some sort of national office. In that sense he campaigns as much as Kerry does.posted by: Bernard Yomtov on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Salma Hayek – a uniter, not a divider.posted by: Fred Arnold on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Voting for Bush will annoy the French.Posted by Jody
Bush is governing like a centrist…Posted by Matthew Cromer
It was the Republicans that kept Kerry from being able to vote on a veteran issue recently purely out of petty political games.
Bush has the instinct that when he gets slapped, he throws a punch. Kerry wants to know why the guy slapped him. Posted by mark buehner
Why anyone thinks that the federal government can run health care efficiently and effectively has not been paying attention to the postal service.Posted by Matthew Cromer
Getting rid of the crazy mullahs instead of keeping them around until they do get nukes would be a good idea. It would eliminate another terrorism supporting regime. Posted by Karen
Whether Dole was forced to resign or not, he relinquished his seat because he knew he couldn't campaign and still fulfill his role as a senator. Kerry hasn't shown the same responsibility. His attendance record is abyssmal.posted by: Karen on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
If you're looking for a decisive reason to buck Bush, how about the fact that the national Republican party has not dismissed out of hand a proposal from the Texas party to declare the United States a Christian nation.
Bush has the instinct that when he gets slapped, he throws a punch. Kerry wants to know why the guy slapped him.Problem is, he gets slapped by a guy with a beard off to his right, and his instinct is to punch the guy with a mustache to his left. Without stopping to think what the consequences of punching the wrong person (and hitting a few coworkers with your elbow in the process) might be.
Crankyposted by: Cranky Observer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I'm not even going to give the "Bush hasn't created any jobs" with a response. If you are ignorant enough to think that Presidents create jobs, you don't belong in a voting booth. If you had paid any attention to history over the past 4 years, you would know exactly why the jobs were lost, how it had nothing to do with Bush. I bet you blame the recession that started during the Clinton administration on Bush as well.
Yes the postal service is cheaper at shipping packages than UPS. That's because they subsidize package shipping on the backs of first class mail, where they have a legally-enforced monopoly. The service still sucks, they still have long lines, and the price for the service I HAVE to use is overpriced. And they lose money to boot! That means I have to pay them again every April 15.
For the people who talk about the wonderful efficiencies of Medicare and Social Security, I have nothing to say. These programs are nearly bankrupt Ponzi schemes. Who cares if the efficiency of siphoning off Peter to pay Paul is efficient when the whole absurd system is crashing onto the shoals of demographic reality.
posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Karen, the Iranian people may hate their government, but they would hate an Iraq-style assault on their country by us even more. In fact, it would probably be the "best" way to unite them behind the mullahs.
Please read Kristof's insightful articles about Iran, in particular "Nuts with Nukes":posted by: gw on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Military Engagement was ruled out by a senior Bush Administration official.. so it wouldn't be like Iraq. It would occur from within, by Iranians not Americans.
If you are ignorant enough to think that Presidents create jobs, you don't belong in a voting booth.
So, Matthew, you would not let President Bush and his economic advisers vote anymore?
CNN Headline: "Bush economic advisers: Tax cuts will create jobs" (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/11/elec04.prez.bush.economy/)
Bush himself has also said that, although I can't find a really good quote right now. This one may suffice: "Bush: Tax Cuts Growing Economy, Will Create Jobs" (http://www.talonnews.com/news/2003/august/0814_bush_economic.shtml)
It's also quite interesting how the rationale behind the same tax cuts changed from "giving the surplus back to Americans" to "deficits don't matter", isn't it?
Oh, and Matthew, calling others here socialists is just plain silly. At best it shows that you have no idea what you are talking about and should thus be excused. Believe me, I know socialists, I have debated them in Europe, I don't like them, and they don't like me. And from my personal experience with several European postal services I can tell you that the USPS is both cheaper and better than most of them.
Am I the only one who has gotten the impression over the last few "fence sitting" posts that the Bush supporters have resorted to appealing to dogma and have otherwise run out of arguments?
Dan, that's a lengthy reply to the snarky part of MY's post, but no reply at all to the rather accurate point that vote attendence is a rather strange for people who know a lot about the political process to get worked up about.posted by: djw on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
My son and I discussed the same question, earlier in the evening. He would be a single issue voter, in other times, as he is very pro-abortion rights and opposed to religion in public life. The problem is, everyone who thinks that security is the only issue that matters has a start choice. Essentially, Osama would vote for John Kerry, if he could. Osama wants John Kerry to win, if he can't vote for him. John Kerry doesn't see us as being in a war. Case closed, as this is the only issue that matters. A close second is that John Kerry is weak on Israel. My son thinks that President Bush is not strong enough on Israel, but just think where the Democrats are at.posted by: Jim Bender on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Remember that Bush was the CinC in 2002 making the actual decision to go to war. I would argue that it was more important for Bush to read the NIE than Kerry.
As far as Kerry's attendance record, has he missed a vote which was in doubt or balanced on an issue that is of some importance ? [ TQhat is not just a symbolic vote]. Otherwise, I would consider it to be as relevant as GWB's spending time at Crawford.
Incidentally, probably we need fewer Senators bloviating on the floor anway.posted by: erg on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Karen, you are welcome, but then I'm not quite sure what the big difference between the two approaches would be. The Reuters article doesn't make it particularly clear either. In fact, it says that the Bush administration tried to talk to the Iranian government, but then decided to break off talks in May 2003. While a different reason for the break off is given, I don't think one can simply ignore the Iraq war in this context. Should we have really expected the Iranians to be particularly open to constructve talks with us at that point in time?
Also note that Kristof expresses his concern that Kerry's approach might not be different enough from Bush's. In general, I don't expect all that much change from Kerry in terms of overall policy.
We might, however, see some surprising changes in how Republicans respond to the same policies that they cheered on under Bush. Remember Kosovo? Remember how reluctant the Republicans were to support the war in Kosovo? Today any mentioning of problems in Iraq is called an act of treason by them, but back then they wouldn't even vote for a resolution supporting our troops and even filed a law suit against Clinton!
And this was a war that didn't cause any American casualties... Republicans seem to generally benefit from people's short memories.
Essentially, Osama would vote for John Kerry, if he could
"Al-Qaeda Wants Bush To Win Election, Claims Serving Counterterror Official" (http://www.plastic.com/article.html;sid=04/06/25/13214394)
"Al-Qaida may 'reward' American president with strike aimed at keeping him in office, senior intelligence man says"
"Al-Qaida will do Whatever it Takes to Assure Bush is Re-elected" (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0122-10.htm)
Mind you, these aren't meant to serve as conclusive evidence that Osama is getting ready to cast his vote for Bush, but the simplistic thinking behind "Osama will vote for Kerry" is really quite annoying.
That's OK Matthew. You'll get used to President Kerry.posted by: GT on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I'm a Democrat, and I'm against Bush. I have, upon further review of key issues such as free trade which have received unfair demonization in the media, climbed onto the fence. I must say that the Kerry-Edwards ticket is thoroughly uninspiring. Kerry has shown little principle during the campaign, and Edwards's dive to the left leading up to his run for the nomination has made me feel the same about him. What a horrible crossroads we are at right now: a man who has led us into a war we didn't need and has supported adding hatred to the constitution or an unprincipled demagouge whose biggest asset is the fact that he is not the other guy.posted by: Geoff on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I can't say I'm impressed with the "reason #25" that you cite, either. Kerry tries to give a nuanced answer: "We may have needed a war, but I'd have done it differently, and I'd have looked into other issues before we went."
The interviewer tries to get a thumbs-up/thumbs-down. "Would you have gone to war?"
Kerry repeats his nuanced answer.
Is nuance a bad thing?
I have to admit that the secrecy thing would pretty much blow *any* candidacy for me. I couldn't bring myself to vote for an administration that didn't feel it was answerable to me. Period. But that's my own bias.posted by: Dan on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The Kerry plan:
1) Choose an ambulance chaser for veep that so terrifies business that the Chamber of Commerce, normally non-partisan, is rushing to endorse Bush/Cheney
2) Raise corporate income taxes through the roof on multinational corporations other than Heinz Ketchup -- http://www.techcentralstation.com/041504C.htmlposted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
If some reasoning seems simplistic, it is because the alternate view takes some convoluted path to justify why you wanted to vote for the Democratic candidates. I happen to be pro-Israel, and like us to be proactive in defending against terrorist threats. I would rather err on the side of hitting someone who turned out not to be very much of a threat than letting the "bad guys" set off a nuke in NYC or LA.
The Democrats seem to be so stuck in the "Anti-War" mode (as well as being anti-Israel), that I wouldn't go near them.
I understand that most of Dan's commentors are social liberals, so they don't like anything that smacks of our Southern Baptist friends. I suspect that President Bush is an Episcopalian, but the socially liberal people all seem to think he is a closet Southern Baptist.
Most Democrats seem to be afraid of anyone who is genuinely a "person of faith".posted by: Jim Bender on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Anyone who wants to raise taxes on the top percentiles of taxpayers right now is a confiscatory socialist. Period. The tax rates that top earners pay right now are outrageous. Just because the Euros are worse doesn't mean the Democrats aren't fundamentally socialists at heart.
I noticed you didn't touch on the bankrupt and fundamentally insolvent Socialist Insecurity system, which Kerry would not fix and Bush has promised to privatize (which is absolutely the only possible solution to our disasterous oncoming Ponzi meltdown).
I don't like many, many things that Bush does, but Kerry has absolutely disqualified himself with his Carteresque foreign policy instincts, deference to the Kleptocratic UN, rapacious socialist domestic policies (raising taxes, government takeover of the health care system), and the disgraceful performance of the Democratic party in undermining American foreign policy in Iraq, getting in bed with lying whores like Joe Wilson (see http://www.johnkerry.com/honesty), and by exchanging body fluids with the likes of Michael Moore.
As soon as a more libertarian major-party candidate gets nominated, I'll be glad to support him or her. But you can be sure this candidate will come from the Republican party. The Democratic party with its rancid socialism, far past its sell-by date, is due for a destiny with death.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The Democrats (along with their Euro-Socialist fellow-travellers) are terrified by the religious folks because they know at some level that the religious folks are going to outlast them. Religious folks get married and have babies, Democrats much less so. See Robert Reich's latest screed for the bottom line on how most of the left views religion.
Personally, I am not conventionally religious, and I support gay marriage (prefer it enormously to bath houses). But I appreciate it that the socialists are not reproducing (anywhere) and the capitalists are. I do think that some sort of religion is probably a lot mentally preferable to nihilism, but I don't have strong feelings on what that religion should mean for any one person.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I just read your latest updates to this blog entry.
You are coming up for tenure. By all means, you had better go back on your support for this war and start cheerleading for Kerry. If you do this, you have a shot at getting tenure. If you go for Bush, you can kiss it goodbye! Make no mistake, the modern-day inquisition that runs university education will crucify you if you give the wrong answer here.
For the rest of us, let's evaluate the overall scenery.
Academia is absolutely determined to get rid of Bush and end the war on Terror.
The media is absolutely determined to get rid of Bush and end the war on Terror.
The Kerry for President campaign has embraced the most despicable dirtbags and liars (Michael Moore, Joe Wilson), going so far as to add them to their website (http://www.johnkerry.com/honesty -- visit soon, they have decided to throw Joe Wilson down the memory hole tonight and have started dismantling the website).
Somehow you believe that John Kerry is going to fight the war on Terror by dealing with the terror masters. This despite the fact that Kerry's base is allergic to the military. And the military is allergic to Kerry, probably more allergic than the Academy is to Bush.
So the bottom line is: If you think that Academia has the solution to winning the war on terror, vote for Kerry. If you think the solution involves the military and the creation of free market institutions in the middle east, vote for Bush.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Why, Mr. Drezner, do you think the choice of Kerry is such a dreadful one? As Joel W says, his health-care plan is one a lot of economists praise for solid reasons, the best on offer from any candidate this season. Here'a major social problem (as Senator Frist confirms) to which Kerry propounds a sensible, feasible solution, or the beginnings of one. Hard to think of a domestic issue of more importance, or of a better plan. What's depressing about that?
Question for Jim Bender: Why, in your estimation, is it important to combat terrorism by calling it a "war"? By my reckoning, wars on entities other than states (drugs, poverty) are generally miserable failures. Kerry clearly says he understands the fight against terrorism will at times require war-like ventures (removing the Taliban, etc) but is primarily a matter of global law enforcement. Terrorism is a form of crime--conspiracies to commit mass murder and the like. Why should we assume the 'war' model is automatically the best?posted by: merv rettenmund on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
There is a major difference in terms of being secrative during a war and being so during a criminal investigation, such as the secret location of the Rose Billing Records, hmmm?
Converse of your argument. It's a bit more significant to the country if the government is secrative about real cost of crappy prescription drug bills than secrative aboiut whether the President is being faithful to his wife or not...posted by: Appalled Moderate on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Being secretive about billing records or FBI records isn't the same as being secretive over one's sex life.posted by: h0mi on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Anyone who wants to raise taxes on the top percentiles of taxpayers right now is a confiscatory socialist. Period.
Well, since you continue to ignore all historical and logical arguments to the contrary, there is obviously no point in trying to discuss this in a rational way with you.
I noticed you didn't touch on the bankrupt and fundamentally insolvent Socialist Insecurity system
I didn't touch on it because I thought it was too ridiculous to address, not because I agreed with you. Those who want to replace social security with a stock market investment scheme are misunderstanding the current system and putting people's retirement savings at risk unnecessarily. The system isn't bankrupt at all; current estimates show that it may last for another 30-50 years (that's longer than oil reserves may last, and yet there is much less interest, it seems, in doing something about our dependency on foreign oil).
getting in bed with lying whores like Joe Wilson (see ">http://www.johnkerry.com/honesty)
Wow, a "lying whore", huh? So when there is any evidence at all that somebody who supports Kerry might not have said the truth, he is immediately branded a "lying whore" - without even giving him a chance to explain himself. (Could it be, for example, that Wilson was recommended by his wife without her telling him? Would it be far-fetched to think that she mentioned him to somebody who then took this as a recommendation even though she didn't really mean to make a formal recommendation and never told him this had happened?)
But when the President himself lies and lies again and again, that's just completely inconsequential or explained away in ways such as "well, he probably didn't completely understand what he was talking about".
He lied about the Texas patients' bill of rights (he took credit for signing a bill that he vetoed and never actually signed); he repeatedly lied about having made prescient qualifications when promising to put the social security surplus into a lockbox and not to engage in deficit spending (the "trifecta lie"); he lied about his prior conviction for drunk-driving.
So this is not somebody who endorses Bush and lied. This is Bush himself who lied. And yet, somehow it matters more if a Kerry supporter lies than if the President himself is a liar?
What kind of warped logic are you applying?
Anyone who thinks the current Socialist Insecurity system is anything other than a fraud and a Ponzi scheme needs to get away from Talking Points Memo, Kevin Drum, and start learning something.
Demography proves that with fewer workers and more retirees coming over time, the system is heading towards bankruptcy or else even higher taxation levels (already 15% of wages for SS + Medicare), later eligibility (can we say retirement pushed back to age 75) and reduced benefit levels (already at the cat-food level today!).
Social Security is a scam and a huge waste of resources. Contributors today below age 50 are destined to acheive negative returns on their contributions. A disaster. Stuffing your money into a mattress would pay better. Socialists just love it because in an investment-based system every contributor becomes a wealth-building capitalist who is getting rich instead of a transfer-payment socialist who stays poor and can be relied on for class-warfare rhetoric.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Oh, and the Wilson thing is all about a campaign using systematic lies to conduct the politics of personal destruction in conjunction with the unofficial branch of the Democratic party otherwise known as the mainstream media.
1) F911 as a work of cynical propaganda and innuendo demonizing Bush and the administration. Treated as masterpiece by the Democrats who gushed forth praises of this "Birth of a Nation" style screed.
2) Joe Wilson, a paid tool of the Saudis, utterly lying in order to attack Bush's credibility (no doubt upon the request of his Saudi paymasters who have no interest in the democratization of the Middle East)
3) A pervasive, widespread, and constant barrage of mainstream media attacks on this administration along with cheerleading for Kerry while claiming to be "centrist" and "unbiased".
There is an unprecedented effort on the part of the media, Hollywood, and Academia to thwart, defeat, and destroy this president because of his assertion of American power to drain the swamps in the Middle East which they ignored for decades.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Matthew, rather than restating Wilson's alleged lies, how about addressing Bush's actual lies?
Oh, come on... you can do better than this, AM. Have the Democrats EVER told the truth about the costs of such?
Matthew, rather than restating Wilson's alleged lies, how about addressing Bush's actual lies?
I keep seeing complaints about such... bt that's all I ever see... no evdience to back the chages.
On what conceivable basis is an obsession with Salma Hayek "unhealthy"???posted by: Ken on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Bithead: I keep seeing complaints about such... bt that's all I ever see... no evdience to back the chages.
Well, I mentioned three instances above, and I have given links to the evidence on other threads before.
But here it is again:
1. The Texas Patients' Bill Of Rights: first, he opposed Texas's Patients' Bill of Rights; then he took credit for it during the 2000 election; then he asked the Supreme Court to kill it (a good summary of what happened by Rodney Ellis, D-Houston)
More details with all the necessary quotes and references:
2. The "trifecta lie": Bush repeatedly claimed after 9/11 that he had presciently said to a journalist at a 2000 campaign stop in Chicago that deficit spending might occur in case of war, national emergency or a recession (but not otherwise). There is no record of this; the White House was asked to provide a transcript, but just submitted something else instead. Bush used the lie to raise money at several fundraisers and only stopped (without a retraction) after Tim Russert brought this up on "Meet the Press".
Details are here and on the Spinsanity web site (multiple articles):
3. Bush's lies about his drunk-driving record are documented here: http://www.bushwatch.com/dwi2.htm
There is also this interesting tidbit about Bush deceiving a public prosecutor in this context: http://dir.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/11/05/jury_duty/index.html (linked from the other page).
While I'm at it, I'd like to add one more, which I have also referred to in the past.
I know that Matthew Cromer and you probably think that tax cuts should always favor the rich and that anything else is simply socialism. But hey, Bush himself seems to disagree with you - at least in public:
4. Bush said in the 2000 campaign "by far the vast majority of my tax cuts go to the bottom end of the spectrum". This was, of course, a blatant lie, as many people have pointed out by doing the math behind his tax cuts. Here is just one link to illustrate that:
So now that I have listed four lies from the Man Himself, are you going to go back into ignore mode and pretend you didn't see this?
I'm quite amazed that people like Dan Drezner are still "on the fence" about voting for this liar.
Isn't the implication of replacing an incumbent president in wartime either that the challenger would do something different (and better) or "Anybody But Bush"?
With the exception of #8 it's hard to make a credible argument that a Gore administration (or by imputation a Kerry one) would have done much better.
I sincerely wish that John Kerry would give me a good reason for voting for him. He hasn't so far.posted by: Dave Schuler on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
I am amazed at some of the comments going on the posters here.
First on the deficit, there is news out today that there is a trend toward surplus for this quarter despite the spending and tax breaks. This happened also during Regan's administration. Our spending was up, the democrats were saying that we were going to have debts in the trillions for generations, yet, with the tax breaks, and higher spending, we had increased revinue.
How would you feel if you had someone come into your house and take 40% of your property? You'd be pissed. Yet, we condone the government doing that. Why is it fair that the more money you make, the higher price you have to pay?
If you went to buy a car, and after they checked your salary said because you make $75000 a year, your car is going to cost you $50000, but that guy over there who makes $50000 will only have to pay $25000. It's absurd. You would scream out about the injustice and the discrimination. Yet that is what our tax system does with higher rates for higher income levels.
As to gay marriage, all I can do is say why? It's about the money. You can scoff all you want about how it will do no harm to heterosexual marriage, but look at the countries that have legal homosexual marriage, they are very telling. First, in the Netherlands, most of the gays consider themselves in a committed marriage if they only have 3-6 partners a year. Hmmm. In the countries that have gay marriage heterosexual marriage rates are down over 60%. Most children are born out of wedlock, and the state is becoming more involved than the parents in raising the kids. (Wasn't this what the Soviets did?)
As the the war. I am sure that what we know of the war is less than the full story. In order to keep our plans from being broadcast throughout the world to our enemies it has to be. Did you see the UK repart on intellegence, they still say that the war was the correct course. Even Kerry is not going to change what is going on in Iraq. This is larger than what you see. I see it as a stepping stone for bringing stability to the middle east, yes, there is a component in this about the oil, but it's also about getting control of the terrorists training grounds.
As to Kerry's lack of being there for the voting and for doing his job, stop and think about how much of that time was on vacation, there were many times that he went on vacation from the campaign trail for photo ops with him playing macho. Bush has a lot of time off, but he also had a lot of time spent working during those vacations. After almost every one there was some kind of announcement on policy that was made. And, as Kerry admits, he is doing more for the country by not being there, (in my oppinion that goes double for him if he were to gain the presidency)
Do I agree with Bush, not all the time, but there are a lot of things that he stands for that I agree with. Far more than anything Kerry has stood for.
I think you need to list what means the most to you, rank them, then look at how the candidates stand on each of those issues. (Of course, you might find it hard to figure how Kerry stands, as he changes his words daily, so you'll need to look at his record to get a feel of where he really stands).
Here's how I would do it.
Abortion - For/Against, why?
These are jsut a few of the things I use to evaluate the candidate. Come up with your own, do a side by side. Put your values in, do they match with Kerry or Bush? Does the candidate stick with his values or throw them out for votes?
The Choice is yours and yours alone. But keep searching, look at posts from both sides, read alot of history, read about our founding fathers, their views, and if you believe in God, pray.
Good luck to you.posted by: oldgoat on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Top marginal US tax rate in 1975: 70%
I think "the rich" have won this one, long since.
Of course Bush put some extra sprinkles on their cake too: the dividend tax cut and the estate tax cut, which benefit the rich more (since the poor tend not to own stocks or bequeath much property.)
Still, 96.03 percent of taxes are paid by the top 50% wage earners.
Even at 33% its higher than what others pay. Remember this is a percentage, it's still a third of what you earn. Yet, if you earn low enough, you pay nothing. If something is "free" it means nothing to you, you don't value it, you certainly don't own it, so it makes you feel lower.
Economy in the 70s -- Sucked Rotten Eggs
Economy Today -- Tremendous growth
The top 5% of wage earners pay 53.25% of all taxes. Great that they earn a lot, but it is still imbalanced.posted by: oldgoat on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
oldgoat: First on the deficit, there is news out today that there is a trend toward surplus for this quarter despite the spending and tax breaks.
Mindlessly sucking up the right-wing propaganda and spewing it out here un-refined? (http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlow/kudlow200407160830.asp)
Yes, we probably had a surplus in the month of June - $19 billion. The problem with touting that as "good news" is that last year we had a $21.2 billion surplus in June, see http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B1C34EC92-9936-4304-AD8C-2703C223C578%7D&siteid=google&dist=google
Right now the preliminary estimate of the budget shortfall for the ongoing fiscal year (which began in October 2003) is $328 billion (YTD) compared to just $270 billion at the same point in time last year. So we are $58 billion deeper in the red thanks to how well those tax cuts have been working in terms of increasing revenue.
So why do you think would Larry Kudlow not point any of this out? Could "NRO's Economics Editor", who is also "CEO of Kudlow & Co. and host with Jim Cramer of CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer", be that ignorant? Or was he trying to deliberately deceive his readers? What do you think?
Even Kudlow himself points out that the projected deficit for the full year is $435 billion - after including the substantial surplus from what Matthew Cromer keeps calling a "Ponzi scheme". But all that matters according to him is that it is now projected lower than previous estimates (but not by any means lower than last year's deficit!) - even though extra costs in Iraq which haven't been included yet may well push it up again.
(My goodness, this disinformation campaign is frightening. And guys like you and Matthew are buying it without any reservation. Will you ever wake up from this?)
Kudlow provides no disinformation. He is talking about the rate of growth and the rate of increase in tax receipts. He is correct on both counts. He specifically argues that the deficits aren't dragging the economy right now, which is a completely uncontroversial claim outside of the Kerry campaign machine. For those who don't like debt, the problem lies down the road.
As a Kerry supporter, it takes some doing to argue that higher marginal rates would have been more stimulatory. It is also completely strange that they argue that the extension of unemployment benefits, the paying of people to remain unemployed, would have helped the recovery more.
Where is your outrage when the Kerry machine argues that the higher rates he proposed have no costs in terms of recovery?posted by: Jason Ligon on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
For someone with your astounding degree of ignorance on all things economic to talk about "waking up" is laughable.posted by: Matthew Cromer on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
GW; You do know those arguments have already been blown away, right? Every single one.
Which is more responsible?posted by: somedude on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Bithead: You do know those arguments have already been blown away, right? Every single one.
Maybe in your dreams. How about actually addressing them or at least providing a link to where they have allegedly been "blown away"?
Matthew: I think we have to agree to disagree - vehemently.
Jason: If you don't agree that Ludlow's pointing out that there will be a budget surplus in June as if this was something unexpected and dramatically positive is highly misleading, then I can't help you, sorry.
I also have given plenty of arguments why a tax increase does not have to be bad for the economy. Nobody has cared to address the fact that Clinton raised taxes, yet presided over the biggest and longest boom in recent US history.
Nobody addressed this either: http://www.eriposte.com/economy/other/demovsrep.htm
Of course, if I only had ideology and neither facts nor history on my side, I probably wouldn't want to address any of this either.
The evidence that Kerry would be equally or more economically conservative than Bush seems slight. He is not a fire-breather -- even when he tries -- and so may look less radical than many Democratic colleagues. But he's pretty solidly redistributionist of the sort that prefers to hand out goods (health care/insurance) rather than $. He will be something of a weathervane, but his default will be leftward when the wind is low.
I remain ticked at a whole new Dept of Homeland Security and the prescription benefits, but I am also aware that these were the sort of broad-appeal political moves that are hard to resist and still claim that you "care" about the problem. I suspect if such low-hanging fruit came by in a second Bush administration he would again adopt large overspending solutions. But this is against a background of tax cuts and good slowing of growth in the rest of domestic spending. That has to count for something at the end of the day.posted by: Assistant Village Idiot on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
GT needs to stop shuddering and get a grip. A lot of the reportedly fascistic moves by social conservatives have been compromise proposals to social progressives who would accept no compromises (See partial-birth, parental notification, stem cells, school vouchers, and faith-based initiatives).posted by: Assistant Village Idiot on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Why is it always, and I mean always a secret agenda or the VRWC when people post things that are Pro-Bush?
It seems that some people won't look at anything that might be a positive for the opposition with anything less than dismiss it, it's all a lie and twisted.
The surplus wasn't real either. It was projected, not actual. That's how you do things when you are planning, you project.
That's why I say, look things up as presented by BOTH sides, read things from both positions and make up your mind who rings truer to you.
This election is about many issues, and I hope that everyone will look at the big picture before just jumping on the party bandwagon. No side is totally wrong or totally right. However, this country is in turmoil over some very improtant issues, and our perceptions of this Nation are at stake. I don't care what Europe thinks about us, because we aren't Europe.
I worry that we are devaluing human life. Abortion, in my opinion is one major cause of that. Another is Animal rights. We are a Nation that has lost sight of the fact that our freedoms don't come cheap. There are consequences to our actions, our ideals.
I hear the arguments for abortion, and one thing that always comes up is the debate on when life begins. In my opinion, that doesn't matter. If you end the potential for life with an abortion, you don't allow it a chance. Abortions are on the rise for deformities, cleft palates (which are surgically correctable), club feet and so on. I have worked with people that have Down's Syndrome, it was among the most rewarding work I ever did, and the saddest at times. Yet, we want to end that potential life for inconvience. What a loss for all of us. You may not agree with me, that's your right.
Animal Rights? I am not into hurting animals for no purpose, but there are those who think that people should be exterminated so the animals can thrive.
We have forgotten that with freedom there is personal responsibility, that includes consequences from having sex. In cases of rape, why should the potential human be punished for the crime of the father? Is it hard, yes, but does that negate us from looking into alternate options?
posted by: oldgoat on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
1. The Texas Patients' Bill Of Rights: first, he opposed Texas's Patients' Bill of Rights; then he took credit for it during the 2000 election; then he asked the Supreme Court to kill it (a good summary of what happened by Rodney Ellis, D-Houston)
So, there were no changes in the resulting 'bill' that Bush wanted, huh?
(Clue: There was)
Since we demonstrably have had such a national emergency/war, I suppose this one to be moot.
Nonsense. Of couyrse, your complaint is you can't soak the rich even more. The fact is, Bush spoke correctly. And here's a clue: Look at the shift in income brackets vesus taxes on a percent of income basis which is the only real measure of such.
Next time you're going to lie about Mr. Bush, make sure you've actually looked into it farther than the usual DNC voices, OK?
posted by: Bithead on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Bithead, let me just summarize your responses to Bush's four lies:
1. Ask an irrelevant question to distract from the lie. (If Bush takes credit for "signing" a law that he vetoed and never signed, why does it matter if the bill changed?)
2. Completely misunderstand it and thus declare it "moot". (Bush never actually said what he claimed he said.)
3. Ignore it (the DUI conviction lies).
4. Babble incoherently about some weird technical way in which the lie can allegedly be disproven. (The vast majority of his tax cuts goes to the rich - you think that's fine, and that's ok with me, but Bush lied about it.)
Why don't you just come clean and say "Bush is a liar, but I'm voting for him anyway" - of course, that would almost be ironic: so much honesty in the face of so many lies...
1. Ask an irrelevant question to distract from the lie. (If Bush takes credit for "signing" a law that he vetoed and never signed, why does it matter if the bill changed?)
So, we're to ignore the legislative bargaining prcoess involved, when it suits the Democrats to do so?
And the rest of you claims are on a similar level. Sorry, no sale.
Bithead, can you parse and understand English sentences?
Bush took credit for "signing" a law that he never signed. He fought it, he vetoed it, he refused to sign it and let it become law by default. But then, after all this, he took credit for "signing" this law. How can this not be a lie?
It makes no difference whether the law was a good or a bad idea or whether it was changed during the legislative process. Clearly, Bush thought the law was a bad idea when he vetoed it. But later he flip-flopped (as he does very often) and thought it was something he could use in his campaign, so he pretended he had signed it. Except he hadn't. He lied about it.
Bush is a liar, but you are voting for him anyway. Get over it, and stop pretending it ain't so.
But Kerry is "always honest, except when I'm not".posted by: oldgoat on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
The choice is simple. Do you want free trade or fair trade? It appeared that both parties had come to an agreement on the merits of free trade after NAFTA was passed, but one party has moved more towards protectionism.posted by: Paoo Thompson on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
Here is an article where Kerry claimed to have voted for a bill when he voted against it.
Hate to say it but I am assuming every politician does this.posted by: ajanta on 07.15.04 at 01:13 PM [permalink]
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