« message to ron hawaii | Main | Ted Rall wants you to suffer in the name of his righteousness »

rocking the vote in 2004

"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe because in the long run stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty..."

"We are pursuing long-term victory in this war by promoting democracy in the Middle East so that the nations in that region no longer breed hatred and terror."

I have been voting since 1980. Although I am, and always have been, a registered Republican, I have never voted for a Republican for president.

I am not a blind loyalist. Just because I support the war in Iraq does not mean I will automatically vote for Bush next year.

I've watched the Democratic debates. I've watched the Democrats fall apart. I've kept a watchful eye on everyone.

The Dems to have some things to offer me. So do the Republicans. So I have to think - what issue is most important to me? What issue affects me the most? What am I most concerned with?

In a word, terrorism. That is my concern. I am concerned with the Middle East being a breeding ground for terrorists from many countries and factions. I am concerned with the rumblings we hear once in a while about fresh attacks on our country. I worry about another 9/11. I worry what kind of world will my children have if we appease instead of defend, if we coddle instead of fight off.

I think of a the Democrats in charge of taking care of terrorism in the Middle East. I think of Democrats in charge if we should be attacked again. I think of years of Democratic appeasement. And I shudder.

As long as terrorism is my most important concern - and there is no reason to think that will change within the next year - I will be, for the first time, voting for a Republican president. I placed my faith in Bush two years ago, when I was a sworn liberal, but had to trust the president to guide us out of the wreckage of 9/11 and to make sure that it never, ever happened again. Not to us, not to anyone.

Bush did not disappoint me. He was the leader we needed when terrorism struck. I trusted him and he proved his worth to me.

I may be just one vote, but I wonder how many people are September 11th Republicans? I wonder how many who, just two years ago, could never fathom voting for a Republican president will be doing just that one year from now?

Unless the Democrats pull off some kind of miracle and give me a reason to throw my support at them, this weblog supports George W. Bush in 2004.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going out with the girls. It's been that kind of week.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference rocking the vote in 2004:

» The Democrats Made Their Bed & In 2004 They're Going To Have To Lie In It from Right Wing News
After the disastrous 2002 elections, I followed the debate on the left about what went wrong with great interest. What [Read More]

» The Democrats Made Their Bed & In 2004 They're Going To Have To Lie In It from Right Wing News
After the disastrous 2002 elections, I followed the debate on the left about what went wrong with great interest. What [Read More]

» The Democrats Made Their Bed & In 2004 They're Going To Have To Lie In It from Right Wing News
After the disastrous 2002 elections, I followed the debate on the left about what went wrong with great interest. What [Read More]

» Bush = Sauron! from Too Much To Dream
I. Wherein I insult the Art World I really need to get out of the house and do things, but I decided to get to this first: I was rather mean to Rossi in the comments to this post of... [Read More]

Comments

Ed Koch has never voted for a Republican in a Presidential race, and he has announced his intention to vote for Bush as well.

I'm with you on this as well. We don't need any candy ass president that will not do what is necessary to stomp on the terrorist scum that roam the earth.

I was gonna vote for dubya based on issues 'til I saw Sharpton express his desire for Ms Heinze-Kerry.
Now I'm all about voting for Al.
Yeah, rock that vote, baby.

Enjoy the evening!

Bully for you.

If only more people thought about their positions on the issues, instead of reacting viscerally all the time, we would be an even greater country that we are already.

In a world were the free and forward-looking societies are increasingly becoming the target of hatred by those who choose to remain in the past, security above all else has to be our priority.

About a week ago I decided that the Democrats are doomed.

This is just one more piece of evidence.

MonkeyPants

I could have written this very same post. I always leaned left prior to 9/11. Everything changed then. Without a nation to ruin, what good is all that leftist BS anyway?

I don't know who I'm going to vote for. I disagree with George Bush on a wide range of issues, and the Democratic field is weak and most of them are left-leaning. I'm a life-long Democrat, but I'd be thrilled to have a moderate Republican like Gerald Ford or John McCain to vote for over Bush and the current Democratic field.

GREYHAWK: I realize your comment was tongue-in-cheek...but have a squizz at this opinion piece regarding Sharpton and the Dems.

I've always been libertarian-conservative, and have always been a Republican, but up until 2001 I tended to view politics as a game, sort of a rooting contest. I would laugh and joke on election nights with my friends on the other side of the aisle. I could even understand why some of my less-intelligent friends from the balcony elected a boa-wearing pro wrestler as Governor, since the main function of politics seemed to be spectacle.

But no longer. Politics is serious business, and only the serious will get my consideration at any level of government.

As an aside, the "boa wearing pro wrestler" had been mayor of a large suburb and a small-L libertarian radio talk show host for some years prior to being elected Governor. Unlike Ah-nold, he didn't jump from the ring directly into relatively high office :)

I don't trust Bush at all, but since the dems have nothing to offer I probably won't vote at all.
I refuse to back Bush under any circumstances, even though I already know he's going to win.
Intersting though, presidents always do the most damage in their second term. I expect nothing less of BushCo.

Well said, Michele...while I disagree with Bush on religion and the place of such in society, and believe that his spending extravagance on certain issues are misguided, preventing terrorism and destroying those who would harm us is of greater importance.

Look at history. Terrorism has always been with us, and probably always will. It takes different forms, or goes by different names. Were the huns, goths, and mongols of the dark ages terrorists? Did the various national armies in the middle ages terrorists?

You show me how one person, even if they are the President of the USA, can change millenia of human nature.

9/11 didn't change the world; it just made some peolpe here realise they were in teh same world as many other countries.

Yes, acts of terrorism are terrible. Call tehm crimes against humanity, whatever you choose. But do you think George W. Bsh, or themilitary might os the US can stamp it out? Dream on.

I'm not a Republican nor a Democrat. I've never leaned to the right or the left as I was never one for the game [and I do mean game] of politics. I agree that when and if I vote, it's for reasons that I'm mainly concerned with.

After seeing how President Bush handled himself during the 9/11 attacks, I truly believe that he was [and still is] the right person for the job. I shudder to think how Mr. Gore would have handled our countries situation at that point in time.

Just one persons opinion...

Yikes. It's not like we needed any further evidence that there's a conservative bias in the media, but given the absolutely 180-degree misconception about the democrats that is in evidence on this thread, it's clear that some people are being fed some serious misinformation.

Let me start, though, by saying that I agree with the fundamental premise of M.'s post: the big, first-and-foremost issue here, has got to be terrorism, and the defense of the US and vital US interests from terrorism. (Of course our defense from any threat should be of paramount importance, but this is the only real threat on the radar. It's really quite amazing to think that we're in the historically unprecedented situation in which no nation with even the remotest possibility of attacking us (e.g., Russia or China) has even the slightest interest in doing so. So the real -- terribly, horribly real -- danger to us is from non-state actors).

So, having said that, why am I absolutely going to vote against GWB a year from now? Here are three reasons:
(i) His political priorities are so completely screwed up that he has pursued a dangerous course of ill-advised tax cuts INSTEAD OF FULLY FUNDING DOMESTIC HOMELAND SECURITY. I'm not making any fairness arguments here or anything like that (though I do think there are good fairness arguments to be made). It's simply a matter of wanting to know that my president would rather make sure our first-responders all have compatible radio systems, and our ports are sufficiently secure, and so on, than to reward his own fat-cat donors.

(ii) The follow-up in Afghanistan has been so poorly managed, that it is looking ever more likely to turn into just what we invaded to stop it from being: a chaotic cesspool of the sort where terrorists can breed, lurk, and plan their heinous acts.

(iii) Here's the post-9/11 reality: we need allies and good diplomacy way, way, way more than ever before. The radical go-it-alone-ism that is typified by VP Cheney and Sec. Rumsfeld is the ideology of a pre-9/11 world. How do you win a war on terrorism? Only by getting the world with you. Do not get me wrong: I want a president who will, if he must, utilize whatever military options are necessary to secure American safety, and if that means doing so without allies, so be it. But the operative terms there are "if he must" and "necessary". GWB has weakened our stance in the world by pursuing an optional war with Iraq. I'm not arguing about whether we had a right to go to war in Iraq -- of course we had a right to go to war in Iraq. What I'm arguing is that it's looking more and more every day like going to war in Iraq -- and in particular doing so in the way we did, in a manner that could not have been more calculated to alienate our allies and create a recruiting poster for radical Islamofascism -- was a very, very bad decision, in terms of protecting America from terrorism in both the long and short runs.

But what do the Dems have to offer? If there really was no better option at hand, then I would have to agree with M., and very regretfully choose the lesser of two evils. But have y'all really carefully looked at the main democratic contenders? I don't think so. All most of y'all are getting is the view of them filtered through whatever conservative website you're reading, crossed up with a view of the whacko Chomskyite left (like Kucinich) who, I agree, should under no circumstances be allowed to be in charge of our country. Listen to what Howard Dean -- and especially Wes Clark -- have to say about these issues. They are entirely on your wavelength. They are fully in a post-9/11 world, and have faced up to its complex realities in a way that no one in the Bush administration (except maybe Sec. Powell) has.

One last word: this myth of 'Democratic appeasement' has got to stop. The Dems were totally behind the invasion of Afghanistan, for example, and it's sheer insanity to think that a Pres. Gore would not have gone in there guns blazing as well. (Gore was an early supporter of the first Gulf War, remember!) The main difference between a Gore and Bush action in Afghanistan is that Gore would have had the guts, and the diplomatic know-how, to be doing a much better job in the reconstruction there than the current failed administration has. The only thing that looks like 'appeasement' that I've seen from the mainstreams of the parties is the Bush administration's disgusting inclination to give the Saudis a pass any time our interests seem to cross theirs.

The long and the short of it: if you want a safe, secure America, then be prepared to take a good look at candidate Dean, or Kerry, or Clark, and vote for them. Our post-9/11 world demands it.

M,

Well, yes and no.

While GWB43 has done a reasonable job of reacting to an enemy incursion with well-measured force, he & his administration have performed poorly in one critical arena. That arena is the province of leadership.

From Maine to California, from NY to Hawaii, from FL to Alaska, we are all in this together. We are all soldiers in this dirty little 100 yr war. We've been attacked and we stand ready to fight. It's just that some of us have more experience at this than others. Some of us are better tacticians or stategists than others.

During wartime (such as now), a leader needs to define who the enemy IS to both his regular and irregular troops, military and civilian (the enemy cannot hide from 250,000,000 of us once we have a name to associate with his carcass). It's a leader's fuckin' job! Damnit! Bush & Co has singularly failed to do this, thus insuring that the war will indeed last 100 years. The cheeky phrase "war on terror" in no way defines the enemy, nor singles that enemy out for destruction. Thus, the enemy is guaranteed continual survival & he will visit us again. At a time of his own choosing.

Until such a time as someone in a leadership position can grow a pair o' balls, the status quo will go on, and on, and on for 100 yrs or more. Someone with some mental artillery and entirely free from bureaucratic land-mines is gonna have to stand up and say that we are at war with radical Islam and it's dimented & twisted followers. If it's politically incorrect, so be it. If this statement incurrs collateral damage, in thier neighborhood or ours, we will have to accept this as well.

Ahem! Syria, Lebannon, Iran & the Bekaa valley. And the 'Stans. Us fat & lazy Amerikans still remember how to carry the fight to the enemy.

Let's hope heap big white man from Ivy League speakum truth. If not, let's hire some heap big common-sense dude and/or chick (with a bit o' legal training) from the Libertarian prolotariat to finish it, once and for all.

Aw, well. The Dems are useless (maybe even insulting). The Libertarians won't put up a candidate as viable as the commie-pinko Greens. I guess I'll be voting for W too. Nevermind.

1LT Elwood sends.

Only one man has demonstrated the leadership, strength of conviction, and backbone to carry on the fight. Mr. Bush got my vote last time, and will again. Without any strong conservative democrats left anymore, national security and democrats spoken in the same breath is a bad joke.

Scoop Jackson must be rolling in his grave right now.

Pretend for a moment that the terrorists were permitted to vote in our election in 2004. I'm absolutely certain that, to a person, they would vote for whichever democrat rises to the top of the heap. I'm going with President Bush.

JW wrote:
"...he has pursued a dangerous course of ill-advised tax cuts INSTEAD OF FULLY FUNDING DOMESTIC HOMELAND SECURITY."

OK, I think you have a basis for an argument as to whether or not the Dept. of Homeland Security has been funded properly, but when you couple it with "dangerous" and "ill-advised" tax cuts for "fat-cat donors," you've lost me. Tax cuts, historically, have generated MORE tax revenue for the government. It sounds weird, but think about it. Most people don't stuff the money they save thru tax cuts under the mattress. They'll spend it or invest it. And the "fat-cat donors" you mentioned? They own businesses, invest their money in the private sector, and create jobs (which generate payroll and income taxes). They pay capital-gains taxes, sales taxes, and luxury taxes on the high-ticket items they buy. When people get to keep more of their money, it stimulates the economy (witness the recent economic gains) and when the economy grows, tax revenues increase. This isn't just a Republican theory--JFK did the same thing.

"Here's the post-9/11 reality: we need allies and good diplomacy way, way, way more than ever before."

We tried that, and found that our so-called "allies" were willing to hamstring us at every possible opportunity. We got the UNSC to pass resolution 1441, but then found that other countries weren't willing to give that resolution (or the others passed since 1991) any teeth. So we, along with a few other nations who take danger seriously, went to war against a tyrant. Having allies is useful, so long as they aren't willing to hamstring you for what has been documented in various quarters as dubious reasons (i.e. lucrative trade deals with said tyrant). I really don't think we alienated our "allies" in old Europe. They alienated us with an attempt at an international power-grab.

Now, everybody is tired at my long-winded post, but I have to disagree with your assessment of the Dems. Clark's position on the Iraq war has never been coherent. The man couldn't find an articulate policy decision if it bit him on the ass. Dean has been consistent, but consistently wrong. He now wants to REDUCE our troop presence to 70,000. Most of the Dems want to turn the administration of Iraq over to the UN. Unfortunately, the UN decided to pull out of Iraq entirely after a terrorist attack. Are they going to administer Iraq from Turtle Bay? And the Dems are calling for international troops to stabilize the situation. But most countries want the country stable before they send in troops. Catch-22?

And JW cited our lack of follow-through in Afghanistan as a blunder. Oops! I guess somehow pulling our troops would have the opposite effect in an Iraq that is working toward democracy.

I'm done. Off to bed (too late) knowing that while I am critical of the Bush administration, I'll still vote for Bush in 2004 because the Dems don't have a clue.

"Pretend for a moment that the terrorists were permitted to vote in our election in 2004. I'm absolutely certain that, to a person, they would vote for whichever democrat rises to the top of the heap."

The 'who would the terrorists vote for?' question tells us more about the answerer than about the terrorists or the candidates. See, to my mind, the terrorists would love GWB -- he's turned Iraq and Afghanistan into massive recruiting zones for them, while doing very little to shrink their sources of revenue (heroin smuggling is way up in Afghanistan; the Wahabi extremists are continuing to be well-funded by the Saudi royal family whom the president seems personally unable to oppose).

Look, like I said, if the dem candidate really would not prioritize fighting terrorism in a real, pragmatic way, then I'd be with you in voting for Bush; and presumably your hypothetical terrorist voter would be against us. But I'm trying to say you need to look at the real positions & policies of both the current administration, and of the dem frontrunners, more clearly.

JW, some of us aren't getting our news about the candidates through the lens of the media. We're actually listening to what they say and how they vote. I'm supposed to vote for Kerry, who voted not to fund reconstruction? Clark, who has been consistently inconsistent about his position on the war? And Dean? Don't make me laugh.

"And JW cited our lack of follow-through in Afghanistan as a blunder. Oops! I guess somehow pulling our troops would have the opposite effect in an Iraq that is working toward democracy."

This is a perfect example of what I mean, when I say that too many people have swallowed a line out there in the media that does not correspond to reality. Get this through your skull: NONE OF THE FRONTRUNNING DEMS THINK WE SHOULD CUT AND RUN IN IRAQ. Dean wants to draw down our troop level, yes, but only after and as international forces can be brought in to do the job that our troops are now doing almost singlehandedly. He is committed to our following through in Iraq and doing the job there right -- which will, and must, involve bringing in international and Iraqi personnel -- just as he is committed to our following through in Afghanistan, in a way that Pres. Bush is either unwilling or unable to do.

Ditto for Clark -- I'm sorry that you find his view on Iraq incoherent, but again I think that that's probably because you haven't been paying real attention to it, but rather following the herd in trying to stick him in a 'pro-war' or 'anti-war' box. I suggest you read his recent speech available at
http://clark04.com/speeches/009/
and see for yourself that he is very committed to waging the right war against terrorism in a post-9/11 world.

Sean M. is fundamentally wrong about tax cuts in today's fiscal environment. Everyone agrees that there are tax levels at which the disincentives induced by the marginal rates are so high, that people work less, make less money, and revenues go down. So, when we are at those sorts of levels, a tax rate cut can indeed mean a revenue increase. But everyone (or, at least, everyone who is not totally insane, like Donald Luskin) acknowledges that it's possible to be on the other side of the hump, where tax rates are so low that one can raise the rates some and thereby increase revenues to a degree much higher than any disincentives create. (Thought-experiment: if this latter point didn't hold, then we could maximize tax revenues by dropping all marginal rates to zero! But obviously that would not, in fact, generate much in the way of tax revenue....) We have every reason now to expect that we're on that side of the hump -- and all you need to do is look at our deficit to know it.

Anyhow, let's put the 'fat cat' issue aside, and just note that GWB is both (i) unwilling or unable to trade however much of that tax cut or other spending to fully fund clearly necessary homeland defense priorities (not just in the Dept. of Homeland Security but also in helping state and local organizations who play a vital role in keeping us safe); and (ii) unwilling or unable to bring revenues in line with expenditures, in a way that Alan Greenspan himself just noted is risking the long-term financial health of the nation. These two points are quite enough to show the GWB's priorities lie far from what everyone here agrees should be front and center: keeping us safe.

"We're actually listening to what they say and how they vote. I'm supposed to vote for Kerry, who voted not to fund reconstruction?"

You do have to take seriously his (and others') stated intention there. It was NOT AT ALL to defund our efforts, or to move us towards a cut-and-run response, or anything like that. Rather, it's an attempt to grab one of the few political levers available to try to change what he (and many others) perceive as a disastrously wrongheaded policy -- or lack of policy -- about Iraq. The point was not ultimately to spend no more money on Iraq, but to force the president into getting his sh** together.

Now, I think there's definitely room to argue about whether this was the best way to fight that battle. But the basic motivation of that action was fear that GWB is in the process of losing the battle in the war on terror that is Iraqi reconstruction. So, the short answer to your question is: yes, once you realize that his point was precisely to make the administration do a better job in keeping us safe.

what an idiotic thread. jw, you wanna know why there are so many 9-11 republicans? because john kerry is one of the democratic nominees for president! a man who would, as you say, vote against the reconstruction of a country, even though he probably knows full well it's the right, and moral thing to do, as a POLITICAL MANEUVER! if you're okay with that, then fine, but at least understand why some of us MIGHT consider some democratic candidates unserious on foreign policy. they've turned the war on terror and the conflict in iraq into political fodder, and many of us, who believe that it's vital to reconstruct iraq and afghanisan no matter how long it takes, simply have no faith in the current democratic candidates (possibly with the exception of lieberman) to follow through on these issues NO MATTER WHAT.

i can't see john kerry, for example, standing up to public opinion polls and doing what he thinks is right as president, when the pressure on him is so high, when he can't even do it as senator.
moral imperatives are not political fodder, and sacrificing what you think is right for what you think might hurt your opponent or for what might make you popular isn't the kind of president i want anymore.

a man with courage is a majority. Bush has courage. the entire field of Dem candidates are a bunch of dainty, metrosexual eunichs. the idea of leaving the ME to the likes of Dean, Sharpton, Kerry or Clark leaves me shaking. who do you think these guys wd appoint for Sec of Def?

i voted for Bush reluctantly in 00, i will vote for him with both hands in 04.

Interject here:

The JW posting in the thread is not me, a conservative-libertarian-Southerner-type poster to OTB, JFP, ASV, and elsewhere. Just so there's no confusion. . .

JW, I have read Clark's speeches. He doesn't need press accounts to be incoherent. He manages that all by himself.

re: foreign troops... Just where are these foreign troops supposed to come from? We can't exactly order them into action, and foreign nations aren't exactly volunteering to send troops. Planning on the actions of someone else who isn't reliable is not a foreign policy that makes me feel safer.

Would you consider voting for John McCain?

BTW, JW, there's a tendency for people to think, "If he doesn't agree with me, it must be because he doesn't understand my position. If I explain it better, he'll understand and agree." Please do me the favor of believing that I was telling the truth when I said that I listen to what the candidates are actually saying.

Oliver, that's something I've thought about. I suppose I would have to know more about how he would handle the war on terror, security and the Middle East before I gave it any more thought.

A few thoughts.

1) Terrorism is not the worst thing in the world, statistically. It's very bad. The number of dead from terrorism doesn't reach, by any stretch, the number of dead from other preventable causes. It's also primarily a media run operation, and we know about the honesty and integrity of our journalists. (I can expand on that if you'd like...)

2) Allowing terrorism to be the only issue allows the Bush administration to frame the debate. (Note: other issues are going well too - e.g. the economy... but still, some, like abortion, are not (at least, from my perspective))

3) Bush has dropped the ball in afghanistan - not producing the aid that he said would be necessary in the most vital first front of the war. Hell, when this years funding package was revealed, Afghanistan wasn't even LISTED. We give more per capita to Egypt, screaming for Jihad, than Afghanistan. Why is Bush doing that?

4) where is that reconstruction money he promised New York after 9/11?

Just a few thoughts. Sadly, the Dems aren't any better.

JW thinks that some dem has a better plan. Let's find out more.

If JW got to decide how much should be spent on Bush's Iraq plan, would he spend (a) more than $87B, (b) less than $87B, or © about $87B?

How much does JW think should be spent on the above mentioned "better plan"? The possible answers are (a) more than $87B, (b) less than $87B, or © about $87B.

Does JW think that the Iraq sanctions were a mistake? (France and Germany did, and haven't changed their minds since the invasion.)

What does JW think that the allies that he wants to bring to Iraq want in return for their support? (Note - the answer should be something that they're not getting now.)

I can't vote for Bush based on 9/11 - he and his cronies have done exactly bupkus to keep America safer.

Cargo ships remain uninspected.
Terrorists run free in Syria and Saudi Arabia.
White-washing bills like PATRIOT are used for political prosecutions, since they have nothing to do with actual terrorism.
A large portion of air shipping and baggage remains uninspected or scanned.
The White House has managed to alienat almost every potential ally against terrorism on the planet.

That, to me, is not a person I want to give a 1st term as President to.

I just don't understand how people don't understand tax cuts.

The biggest expansions in the 1900s have all followed gigantic tax cuts. (the most gigantic being the Kennedy tax cut)

Is it hard to figure out that if you have across the board tax cuts, that the more money you make, the more you will get cut dollar wise? It's simple math really.

I can't wait to see what Deankerryedwardslieberman are going to complain about in 6 months...after 4 consecutive quarters of 4%+ growth, after jobs have increased for 6-8 straight months....Is it not possible to understand that 9-11 had a drastic and horrible effect on our economy? That the grossly over inflated internet economy bursting was no fault of GWB? Remember...stocks like CMGI, that were losing money hand over foot were trading at $200/share...doubleclick at 150, YHOO at 225....

Hello????? We had, what, 3 months of negative GDP growth, which came in the first 3 Q after Clinton left office. 2001, Q1, Q2, Q3. Did George Bush's policies have a chance to cause that? If you think that, I have a bridge.....

DEMS now ONLY have abortion and gay marriage....as a platform. Good luck with that.

The biggest expansions in the 1900s have all followed gigantic tax cuts.

Err, no. The biggest expansions came during wartime, which had nothing to do with tax policy. The two longest uninterrupted stretches of growth in the 20th century that didn't involve wars immediately followed the two largest tax increases of the century, in 1982 and 1993.

As for JFK, he set the top tax rate at 70%. (Yes, that was a cut.) Awfully hard to argue that 39.6% is too high if you're praising Kennedy.

Now, on to Michele's original point....

The Bush Administration has:

  • failed to find bin Laden
  • failed to find the anthrax mailer
  • enacted a law which allows John Ashcroft to render the Bill of Rights inoperative, merely by saying the T-word
  • failed to adequately fund the DHS
  • failed to wipe out the Taliban and establish a stable government in Afghanistan
  • bogged us down in a place that was irrelevant to the terror threat

And she's afraid that a Democratic President will do a bad job fighting terror? It's hard to see how anyone could do worse.

Michele, you basically summed up my exact feelings on this subject. I didn't even vote in 2000; I though Bush and Gore were lousy options, that Nader was worse, and that Browne was a complete flake. Now I look back, and think of how Gore would have handled 9/11, and shudder at the thought that he came so close to winning.

I think Bush has done as about good a job in the War on Terrorism as could be expected from anyone. I wish he'd get tougher with the Saudis, and I wish he'd replace John Ashcroft with someone less controversial, but basically I think he's doing a great job.

JW -- sure, none of the "frontrunnning" Dems think we should cut and run in Iraq. But all of the Democratic candidates either think we shouldn't have attacked, think we should have waited for "international support" (which we'd never have gotten, ever), or are incoherently trying to insist that, no, attacking was good and necessary, but we were "tricked" into doing it. The first group are idiots, the second group are even bigger idiots, and the third group are seemingly incapable of taking a coherent stand on the single clearest moral and military issue of the day. The thought of any of these losers as Commander in Chief makes my flesh crawl.

You don't need "the media" to tell you this stuff; all you need to do is read the official statements, and examine the votes, of the candidates themselves.

The simple truth is that the Democratic Party, and every single one of its potential Presidential candidates (save perhaps Lieberman), views the war as less important than "vital" goals like "elect a Democrat as President".

Bush has my vote in 2004.

Thlayli -
1982 Tax increase? Huh. I sure sure thought Reagan SLICED taxes in....news to me.

When he did cut taxes:
"This economic boom lasted 92 months without a recession, from November 1982 to July 1990, the longest period of sustained growth during peacetime and the second-longest period of sustained growth in U.S. history. The growth in the economy lasted more than twice as long as the average period of expansions since World War II." from the New York Free Press.

Hmm... none of those "failures" you mention could possibly have anything to do with the enemy in question trying real hard not to lose, eh Thayli?

Whatever.

oh my godess
i do support your right to rant and to roar
and to express yourself
but lordy i dont agree with you on this one
i think bush is the scariest thing to hit this country
since mccarthur
first on his list
abolishing a woman's right to choose
oh hang on that was second
first on his list was abolishing our constitutional rights to privacy
i have no doubt that bush will attempt to kill every terrorist out there
but when hes done
how much of our basic
freedoms and our basic
human rights
will be done too
the man is the most frightening version of
big brother ive ever seen
and his world wide
rapport
has made us public enemy number
around the globe
so now we have a whole lot more
terrorist enemies than we used to have
oh bring back clinton
i dont give a rats ass where he stuck his dick
at least the man had a brain

1982 Tax increase? Huh. I sure sure thought Reagan SLICED taxes in....news to me.

Apparently so. It was called TEFRA. You can read about it here. The tax cut you're thinking about was in 1981.

Hmm... none of those "failures" you mention could possibly have anything to do with the enemy in question trying real hard not to lose, eh Thayli?

Huh?

The proposition on the table is we should vote for Bush because the Democratic candidates would do a bad job in the "war on terror". I'd like to know why y'all think Bush is doing a good job, 'cuz I sure as hell don't see it.

"first on his list
abolishing a woman's right to choose
oh hang on that was second..."

Yeah, that's why we're hearing so much about the forcible closing of abortiion clinics, the abolition of Planned Parenthood, "back-alley" abortions, etc. Oh, wait...

"first on his list was abolishing our constitutional rights to privacy"

Can anyone tell me which amendment in the Constitution guarantees a "right to privacy"? Anyone? [tumbleweeds, crickets chirping]

"how much of our basic
freedoms and our basic
human rights
will be done too"

Name one fundamental constitutional right that americans have lost during this administration. And it has to be a concrete example of something that had never been done before Bush took office. I don't want to hear any whining about looking into your library check-out records, either. The feds could do that BEFORE 9/11, and they haven't done so since.

"...and his world wide
rapport
has made us public enemy number
around the globe..."

Huh? The use of the phrase "world wide rapport" would suggest that Bush is popular all over the world. I really don't get this one.

Rossi, normally you seem pretty sensible for a person who avoids capital letters, but this time I think you've gone off the deep end. Bush is the scariest thing to happen to the country? Um -- I think that thing that happened a little over two years ago where the terrorists flew the planes into the buildings and killed about 3,000 people (which act, by the way, the terrorists were planning when Bush was still a little baby governor) was just a teensy bit scarier than Bush. Maybe just, you know, a tad. And I don't even live in New York! And Bush has made us "public enemy number one" around the world? What does that even mean? Are the Belgians amassing an army to invade? Has Brazil kicked all our diplomatic personnel out of their country? Did Mideastern fundie nuts start screeching their "Great Satan America" crud the minute Bush took office, where before it was all sweetness and light from them towards us? Does no one remember that the Iranian hostage crisis took place during the administration of that presidential Nice Guy, Jimmy Carter?

You know, I get disagreeing with Bush's policies. I get not liking him as a person -- after all, not every personality can please everyone. But I just can't get this ridiculous fear. He's just a man; he's not Sauron.

"You know, I get disagreeing with Bush's policies. I get not liking him as a person -- after all, not every personality can please everyone. But I just can't get this ridiculous fear. He's just a man; he's not Sauron."

Oh, but to these people hi IS Sauron. Because he gives them something to quest against. Suddenly, their gray little lives take on a whole new meaning. Before Bush came along they were manning (er, personing) the Xerox machine to copy fliers for the vegan co-op, the rally for Social Justice for [insert chic oppressed minority] Now!!!, or the Coalition to Defend Fluffy Bunnies By Any Means Necessary!!! Now, they Take to the Streets! To FIGHT EEEEEEEEVIL!!! And JOOOOOOOOS!!! (As if the two weren't synonomous in their foil-wrapped minds).

And their freedoms, indeed their very LIVES, are in danger! The Ashcroft goon squad will no doubt be coming for them in the night. A chilling wind will blow across the land, extinguishing the light of liberty and free speech, harshing their mellow.

You see, it's just like Viet Nam (yay!), and that means they get to have relevance again. Meanwhile, the rest of us have jobs...

in the clinton administration
our standing with other countries
was at an all time
high
clinton knew how to talk
how to manuever
how to charm
also our economy was at an extreme high
it too bush
oh one year to blow our economy to hell
to blow our world wide support to hell
i was not anti war on iraq
and please dont group me with the food co-op
hippies either
but i am awake
the support we had globally after the horror of
911 was off the charts
even some of our enemies were in support of us
we could have used this momentum to get everything we want
and done it write
any smart politician would have done it right
bush not only lost all of our support
but plummetted this countires
world wide standing into the toilet
try traveling around the world and see how safe you feel when the people around you
realize you are an american
as to constitutional rights
hello
the patriot act
being detained indefinately without
even the right of an attorney
the right to know your crime
the right to be officially charged...
just throw in jail for suspicion
thats shades of a dark past if nothing is
do i think bush is going something bad
that has never been done before
hmm who knows
do i think he is doing a lot bad
thats been done before
all at once
yep
and if you dont think he is out to abolish abortion you obviously have not read
or watched the news in the last few weeks
lastly
when was the last time we heard anything about aphganistan
hello
did we drop the ball on that one or what
seems like a nice little breeding ground for exactly why we went to war against the taliban
i wanted the taliban out years ago
way before 911
for their human rights atrocities
in specific for the horrors they did to the women in that country
i wanted saddam out too
also for his human rights atrocities
but it sure would have been nice if we had a president who new how to walk and chew gum at the same time
not the one with the lowest IQ in presidential history
he is scary
because he is stupid
thats the worst thing
an idiot with power

Rossi -- my head hurts. Some brief comments:

Clinton was a flatterer. I think that is why so many people miss him. People love to be flattered and talked up. Flatterers have their uses, but I am not sure that in Clinton's case he did anything more than fob off the problems he had to deal with onto the next administration. (For instance, if Gore was in the hot seat he would be the one dealing with this, and Gore seems to no more have Clinton's shmoozing skills than Bush does.) As for the notion that our "standing in the world was at an all-time high" -- I don't recall living in such a world. On the contrary, I remember all sorts of Americasux™ blather, just as we hear now.

I was born during the Kennedy administration. My presidential memories start with Nixon. I have observed all sorts of presidents, from the bitter and paranoid (Nixon) to the goofy (Ford) to the ineffectual (Carter) and so on. One thing remains constant: there is a large contingent of people in the rest of the world who hate America and Americans, and they are not swayed by whoever is in charge of this place for four or eight years.

I am sure Bush would like to ban abortion altogether. I am also sure he wants to win a second term and keep his party in power. Believe it or not, one of these desires can conflict with the other.

We have not heard much from Afghanistan because all the reporters seem to have left for sexier places like Iraq. We are still fighting there, and there is still quite a bit going on. But you'll have to look up the stories yourself; no one is going to drop news in your lap like manna from heaven. You might try using this newfangled internet thingie.

The bit about Bush's IQ is a canard. Here is the entry on Snopes.com about it. If you don't believe me or Snopes, how about Gary Trudeau? The truth is, I don't believe anyone knows Bush's IQ, and calling him "stupid" is a playground insult anyway.

The yadda yadda about the Patriot Act and how it means we're all going to be dragged off into the night. Well. I would reply to you on it, but I can't understand anything you are saying here:
just throw in jail for suspicion thats shades of a dark past if nothing is
do i think bush is going something bad
that has never been done before
hmm who knows
do i think he is doing a lot bad
thats been done before
all at once
yep
Please translate. Anyway, here is the entire text of the Patriot Act. I don't know if that will help ease your fears of Bush turning into an American Saddam Hussein; probably not. But perhaps I am being naive, thinking this Bush-fear to be based on some sort of rational thinking process.

Oh well, I have taken up enough space in Michele's comments. I'm off to take a couple of Advil and then I'm off to Walmart to support our Capitalist Hegemony over the entire earth.

"If JW got to decide how much should be spent on Bush's Iraq plan, would he spend (a) more than $87B, (b) less than $87B, or © about $87B?"

I'm happy to spend however much is needed. I'm sure it's going to be way, way, way more than 87B. Given how much we are going to spend, though, I think it's terribly important that the guy in charge of spending it have a bit more of a clue, and be a bit less in thrall with the castle-of-clouds plans of his neocon advisors.

"Does JW think that the Iraq sanctions were a mistake? (France and Germany did, and haven't changed their minds since the invasion.)"

Something like sanctions was a good idea, we can say with hindsight, because in fact it kept Saddam from developing WMDs, and indeed from rebuilding his conventional forces.

"What does JW think that the allies that he wants to bring to Iraq want in return for their support? (Note - the answer should be something that they're not getting now.)"

I think that they should get some say in how Iraq is run. Iraq's reconstruction should be internationalized -- shared costs, shared responsibilities, shared control. Hey, it worked to win the Cold War, why think it won't work here? It makes things more complicated, sure, which is why we need leaders who understand how to manage complicated situations. But it's really the only course available to us, if we don't want to reinstate the draft.

Can anyone tell me which amendment in the Constitution guarantees a "right to privacy"? Anyone?

Real answer: The 9th, and I don't care what the Borks or revisionists say.

Snarky answer: If you want to live in a world where the only rights you have are the ones specifically named in the government's organizational documents, please move the hell out of mine, posthaste.

"Name one fundamental constitutional right that americans have lost during this administration."

You've got to be kidding! Even the demos know the answer to that one: http://www.blah3.com/freedom.html

I agree with this post Michele, and I'm going to vote for Bush as well, though it's a much bigger stretch for me, since I've been registered as a Green for much of my life.

But I think Dean is going to win the primary and run on a "if we just let them slaughter the Jews they'll leave us alone" platform.

Whoever the Green candidate is will either run on a "Bush = Hitler" platform, or if it's Nader, he'll probably run on "bring the troups home from Vietnam, don't buy Chrysler and Disco sucks" platform... Ok that wasn't so funny, but ever notice that the guy doesn't think anything's happened since 1970?

"But I think Dean is going to win the primary and run on a "if we just let them slaughter the Jews they'll leave us alone" platform."

I agree that if that is the platform, it may well constitute a good reason to abandon Dean. I find it very, very unlikely that that will be the platform, though. And of course it might be someone other than Dean. So please wait and see where the candidates end up, before making up your mind -- what bothers me most about this 'looks like I'll be reluctantly voting for Bush' idea is that it seems to me very premature. Give these guys some time to get their message out! If you think there are reasons to have worries about GWB, then the reasonable thing to do is wait and see whether the dem candidate, whatever your worries may be about him, is overall less worrisome than Bush.

(I find what you say about the Greens highly probable, though!)