Kerry Promises to "Win" the War on Terror
In a rare moment of candor a few days ago, George Bush admitted that the war on terror can not be won.
Instead of agreeing with this sensible statement (and using it as a basis to criticize Dubya's hopelessly utopian foreign policy), Kerry pounced like a computer-programed attack robot:"We can, we must and we will win the war on terror." How utterly predictable, hollow, and dare I say girly man. Kerry had the same knee jerk anti-Bush response when Bush suggested that we might withdraw troops from Korea.
Dubya has now reversed himself too on his previous admission that we can not win the war on terror, of course. But that strikes me as a different matter, at least in this case. When Dubya said he now thinks we will win after all, he was just returning to his old post 9-11 mantra (after a small and temporary diversion). Kerry is supposed to offer an alternative vision, or so he tells us.
I wonder if my friend Jacob Levy, and other Libertarians for Kerry, are beginning to reassess wether Michael Badnarik (despite his wacky qualities) might not be so bad after all.
David T. Beito - 9/4/2004
I agree that a Kerry presidency would probably be a good thing for the GOP. This a strong argument for voting for Kerry but when I need more than that (and Kerry has not given me more than that) to throw my vote his way.
In any case, after Dubya's bounce, and Kerry's self-destructive midnight speech, this election might end up as a mere formality. Kerry is proving to be a terrible candidate.
Gus diZerega - 9/3/2004
I dop not expect to be very pleased by a Kerry Presidency, if we get one. But I think we will at least continue to have a fere society in which to try and make our cases.
Zell miller really put the current Republican position pretty explicitly - and was loudly cheered for doing so - criticism of the President in time of 'war' is treason. Since this 'war' is likely to go one for years, draw your conclusions on that one. A unified fairly disciplined part with THAT as its attitude - the right wing has been undermining the legitimacy of dissent in this country ever since taking power - might just be more than our constitution can withstand.
Consider also that it is creating a corporatist machine where the people's money goes to corporations who then return a chunk of it as campaign contributions. This creates a necessity for the Republicans to spend heavily at the national level so they will have lots to give corporate allies who in turn give them lots of contributions.
The issue is not so much pro-Kerry as anti-Bush - and especially anti-Republican machine. The right wing will make a President Kerry's life miserable anyway, and may go back to opposing the expansion of bureaucracy which it isn't now, and we will probably get Supreme Court appointments that have more sympathy fopr the Bill of Rights.
To me it's a no brainer.
John Arthur Shaffer - 9/2/2004
I agree that on the face of it Kerry and Dubya don't seem much different. However, I do believe Kerry would abandon the policy of preemption - at least a good first step away from the dangerous neocon path of Bush.
Kerry's problem is he chickened out when it mattered. He voted for Iraq and now Iraq is hardly even mentioned as a campaign issue, despite August resulting in a huge spike in U.S. casualties (see juancole.com). Clearly the cynical, hastily debated vote on Iraq, just months before an election, is still paying big dividends for Dubya.
David T. Beito - 9/2/2004
I am not rejecting Kerry because of his stands on deomestic policy. It is pretty much a wash between him and Dubya on that.
War criminal? Well, I rather like the John Kerry of 1971 and would vote for him if were running today. I think that the best speech in his life (at least that I have seen) was his testimony back in the early 1970s to the Foreign Relations Committee. But that was not the same John Kerry.
On foreign policy, I simply can't see a significant difference between Dubya and Kerry. I don't live in swing state but can't see how my single vote would make any difference in the election even if I did.
Gus diZerega - 9/2/2004
As Arthur Silber's 'Of catastrophic Success' post below makes very very clear, Bush is a murderer on a grand scale. His administration has also attacked our civil and political liberties and done things which I think would drive David Beito mad if they were done by a Democrat. No Child Left Behind, anyone?
Kerry is uninspiriing - but unless you want to go back to his Vietnam years and accuse him of murder - which I hope no decent person would do in this context - there is no moral equivalency at all between the two men. Even if all that matters to some 'libertarians' is tax deferments (there has been no tax cut - just moving the bill for present increased spending from people today to people tomorrow) a divided government would be safer for us all than one under the control of either party.
Voting Libertarian iIN A SWING STATE is simply self righteous posturing.
Sheldon Richman - 9/1/2004
I am sure glad my one vote won't make a bit of difference and therefore I can stay home and spend my time more wisely. I don't know what I'd do if my vote would make a difference.
John Arthur Shaffer - 9/1/2004
Isn't the basic problem that this is even called a war on terror? Like the war on drugs, poverty, etc. (wars that cannot be "won") they simply become a mechanism for larger government both at home and abroad.
The Republicans have bludgeoned the public with this simplistic war rhetoric and have used it as an excuse/rationalization for everything they've done.
As regards to Kerry, it seems he's grasping at straws at this point after being nuked by the Swift Boat vets. He is a pathetic candidate indeed. Before too long there won't be any reason for Levy to vote for Kerry to stop Bush - that train has left the station.