Pennsylvania Democrat

The results of applying rational thinking to political problems

Cost of the War in Iraq
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War on Drugs: Wasted Resources

Friday, August 27, 2004

Perspectives: A vote for Kerry prevents bipartisan stupidity

Spoons explains why a conservative can be against Bush:

"Got that? A conservative with reservations about a Repubican President who supports affirmative action, who wants the government to restrict political speech, who wants to open our borders and give amnesty to illegal aliens, who wants to pass restrictive gun laws, who resists arming pilots, who surrenders to Democrats on judicial appointments, who embraces liberal junk evirovoodo on the
myth of global warming, who lets Ted Kennedy write his Education bill, who spends more than any Democrat President we've ever had, who proposes and passes the largest entitlement expansion in the history of the Republic.... Need I go

And any conservative upset that Bush is taking the liberal position on affirmative action political speech illegal immigration gun control arming pilots judicial appointments global warming education spending entitlements and free denounced as a "purist." Whatever...

As for the all-purpose "but there's a war on" defense of Bush, how much does that buy him? Are you willing for it to be illegal for you to criticize the President? Are you willing to give up on the First Amendment -- and don't kid yourself, that's exactly what Bush is trying to accomplish with his threatened lawsuit against the Swiftboat Veterans -- because you believe Bush might be better in the War? And what about that, anyway? Do we really think Bush is going to be that much better? Hell, he barely went into Iraq this time, and did so only after dicking around with the U.N. so long that all of Saddam's WMDs probably ended up in Syria. Do you think Bush is going to take on Iran in a second term? With half the country already thinking he's a warmonger and not believing what he says about threats, is Bush really going to pull the trigger on Iran? Could he even get the votesin Congress? Don't make me larf. Hell, Bush is already out there campaigning and promising, "I want to be the peace president. The next four years will be peaceful years!" Or when Bush explains, "For a while, we were marching to war; now, we're marching to peace!" Hell, he's still trying to negotiate with Moqtada al-Sadr -- and he's killing people today. Bush had had his moments, sure, but he'd have to be a whole fucking lot better at the War on [Some] Terror (he only opposes Palestinian terrorism during alternate weeks) for me to put up with his other shit.

I know, I know, "But Kerry will be worse than Bush on most of the issues you care about, and the War on Terror." True enough. But he's a Democrat. He's supposed to be wrong about everything. Bush is the leader of the Republican Party. If he leads that party to the wrong position on everything, then both of our parties will be out to screw us. We'll have true bipartisan idiocy. Disastrous.

Accusing the opposing ideology as lethal to liberty sounds a bit self-righteous and perhaps even dangerous, but he has a point. Going along with the "checks and balances" theme, neither Democrats nor Republicans are complete liberals or conservatives. The two-party system has its own built-in protection from extremism. Their views seem to be split into two categories: social and economic. Democrats believe in liberal economic policy but conservative social policy. Republicans favor a more loosely regulated economy but a liberal enforcement of moral behavior. However, with Bush supporting liberal economic policy, he allows Hillary Clinton-style liberalism to flourish. More on why a Republican should vote for Kerry here.

Aside from political theorizing, take a look at W.'s previous campaign promises:

  • In 2000, George W. Bush promised to provide affordable health insurance to every single American. Currently, 44% of Americans are uninsured.
  • In 2000, George W. Bush promised to fully fund the No Child Left Behind Act. Now he's left the act behind with only 35% of its proposed budget.
  • In 2000, George W. Bush promised to protect unborn fetuses by outlawing partial-birth abortions. This never happened, even when Congress gained a Republican majority. A bill banning partial-birth abortions was signed in 2003 (see comments for link). Nevermind.
  • In 2000, George W. Bush promised to end stem-cell research because of its moral implications. It's going on today with remarkable benefits.
  • In 2000, George W. Bush promised to protect the sanctity of marriage as an act between a man and a woman. When he went too far and tried to amend the Constitution, Bush was immediately shot down.
  • In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned as a "peace president," stating that "we cannont be the world's policemen." We now have troops throughout the Middle East watching for terrorism and spreading flawed democracy, because that became the popular thing to do after 9/11. If that isn't opportunism, I don't know what is.

How do we know he's telling the truth now? Doesn't this bear a frightening resemblance to Republican ads against Kerry?

There's what Bush says...and then there's what Bush does.

Kerry in 2004.


Some of the arguments I made are the same ones I had in 2000, and they needed to be updated. It serves as a reminder to follow current events better. Thanks to Spoons for pointing out some things I missed.