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"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Bush's Flip-Flop

It's official. George W. Bush has flip-flopped. After vehemently defending his position for several weeks that a new director of intelligence should not have budgetary powers, Bush has this week agreed that any new intel director should indeed receive those very powers.

Never mind that this is finally the right decision-- why aren't the Dems pushing this into the spotlight? While the Republicans have continually screamed that Kerry voted for the war and now opposes it (Kerry voted to give Bush authority to go to war, not for an alliance-breaking wild-goose chase for WMD's and Neo-con pipe dream of reshaping the Middle East in America's image), Bush staunchly protects Rumsfeld from any threat to his authority until pressure from the public and his own party finally force him to cave. Bush was practically the only one in the country to be against giving the any new intel director such powers, and now he's able to switch positions under the radar so easily? Perhaps this issue is getting more play in the states. I hope so, because over here we're not hearing a thing about it.

And while we're on the subject:

Is there a politician out there who has never changed his mind? Tom Coburn, a Republican running for the Senate in Oklahoma is an obstetrician who once performed abortions. Now he says those who perform abortions should be executed. Three years ago, Bush said he was in favor of diverting Great Lakes water from Michigan and other Great Lakes states to the rest of the country. Just last week, at a campaign stop in Michigan, he proclaimed his determination never to allow it. Indeed, in the campaign of 2000, Bush ranted on and on about the evils of nation building. What then exactly is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Politicians change their minds all the time, not necessarily for the worse. Michigan's water oughtn't be diverted (at least not without compensation). If we hadn't started nation-building in Afghanistan, we'd have left the Taliban in power there. And any national intelligence director ought to have budgetary powers. So what's so bad about changing one's mind? The Republicans have even scored points on John Kerry's support for the death penalty for terrorists (after long opposing the death penalty) while George Bush has presided over executions of the mentally ill in Texas. Can they really be serious? Most Americans can probably understand John Kerry's movement on the death penalty, especially after the events of September 11th. Has a majority of Americans ever supported the execution of a man with the IQ of a six-year-old?

And what's so great about a clear and decisive leader, whose decisions are all clearly wrong? Bush will remain firm against the terrorists, yes yes, we know. Are there folks out there who really believe that since John Kerry doesn't think the Iraq War was conducted correctly that he might just give in to the terrorists? The logic is mind-boggling. On the other hand, Bush has been very clear and decisive about alienating our allies, creating tremendous anti-American sentiment around the world (thus creating resistance to anything good that America might want to accomplish internationally). He has clearly made it easier for the philosophy of terror to gain popularity in precisely the places where we're trying to extinguish it, and he's clearly made a mess of Iraq (not to mention domestic issues like Education, Health Care, and Civil Liberties). So what good is a clear position when the position is clearly disastrous?

Indeed, Kerry has remained consistent on all the issues. Kerry has always said that he voted to give Bush the authority to wage war, because he would have wanted such authority. Kerry ought to be commended for trusting his president to wage war responsibly in a time of national crisis, even though Bush is a Republican and Kerry a Democrat. Kerry's a free-trader, with a record in the Senate of voting for trade and against protectionism. Bush on the other hand, imposed illegal steel tariffs to grab a few cheap votes in states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania (both of which he could lose this November anyway). Kerry has never strayed in his support for a middle-class tax cut. While touting middle-class tax cuts, Bush has pushed through gigantic and irresponsible upper-class tax cuts. Kerry has long supported giving small businesses tax-incentives to provide health care for their employees. Bush's health-care policy consists solely of giving big pharmaceutical corporations enormous tax cuts, which the vast majority of economists agree will do nothing to make health care more available to those who need it most. It certainly won't make drugs any cheaper for anybody. Bush says he supports "smaller government" but has presided over the largest expansion of the federal government in decades. He has said that he wants the government to get out of the lives of regular citizens, but the Patriot Act allows the government unprecedented powers to surreptitiously monitor the activities of its own citizens. The inconsistencies go on and on and on.

But we're not hearing any of this from the Democrats. Hypocrisy is Bush's biggest weakness, but the Republicans are making Kerry look like the hypocrite. If the Democrats don't use this ammunition, will it be any surprise if they lose on November 2nd?

To keep track of how the race is really going, take a look at this site: http://www.electoral-vote.com. The information is objective, and despite W's lead in the popular vote polls, the race still remains tight from an electoral standpoint. The charts and graphs, as well as coverage of Senate races and such, is impeccable. You can find great political links there as well.


Blogger Gustav said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/15/2004 09:54:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With respect to diversion of Great Lakes water, I think that the ecological consequences could be huge as it would affect not only the environment in the basin itself (bad enough), but also others farther away (for example, it is a major stop on bird flyways. In addition, according to economic analyses of which I am aware (a good friend of mine once did one for the Governor of Michigan), diverting Great Lakes water is never economically justified - it would simply cost too much. This makes sense when you think about it because you have to pump uphill most of the way to get to the places that would use the water.
From: Chuck

9/15/2004 03:32:00 PM  

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