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I like George W. Bush.

I'm voting for John Kerry.

In 2000 I was not unhappy when Bush won. I didn't vote for him, but I thought it was a choice of two good men, and didn't much care who won.

In 2001, I was very glad that Bush was our President. I thought he was the right man in the right place at the right time to lead this country through the trauma of September 11.

In 2003 I applauded the President for the decision to invade Iraq, and based on his administration's leadership, based on his representation of why we had to act when and how we did, I supported that decision 100%.

On November 2, 2004, I'll vote for John Kerry.

I've distilled my rationale into three reasons. The first two reasons are based on reason and unassailable fact. The third is based on belief.

My reasons:

1)A Kerry Presidency will make the US stronger in the war against terrorism.
2)A Kerry Presidency will result in more fiscally responsible federal government.
3)A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on beliefs that are more rational than Bush and aligned with my own.


Long-winded explanation follows:

1 - A Kerry Presidency will make the US stronger in the war against terrorism.

As I stated, I supported the decision to occupy Iraq. This is well documented in my numerous screeds on the Current Events board in ealy '03. George Bush and this administration firmly believed invading Iraq was the right move to protect America and prosecute the war against terrorism. Even today, I think he was probably right in that decision. However, whether he was ultimately right or wrong probably cannot be determined, and in any case is irrelevant to this argument. What is relevant is whether he can be the same strong leader in the fight against terrorism in the next term. The answer is that he cannot. Here is why: To be a strong wartime leader, a President must be able rally the overwhelming support of the American people. Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator from Nebraska, wrote about this requirement in an article published in Foregin Relations in July of this year:

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"Republicans understand that a successful foreign policy must be not only strong but sustainable. A sustainable policy requires a domestic consensus and commitment. This begins with strong presidential leadership and vision about the United States' role in the world... Only a president can bring this effort together. Congress also has a constitutional role and responsibility to help shape U.S. foreign policy. Without congressional engagement and support, U.S. Foreign policy will lack legitimacy and sustainability. A lack of consensus at home means foreign policy trouble abroad. This was one of the lessons of Vietnam, where the United States, divided at home and isolated abroad, failed to succeed in Southeast Asia...

"The seventh and final principle of a Republican foreign policy is the importance of strong and imaginative public diplomacy. The coin of the realm for leadership is trust and confidence, and popular discontent and questioning of U.S. foreign policy intentions will undercut our efforts in the war on terrorism and initiatives in the greater Middle East."

Foreign Affairs
July /August 2004
A Republican Foreign Policy
Chuck Hagel


http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20040701faessay83407/chuck-hagel/a-republican-foreign-policy.html

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President Bush did successfully command consensus at home in the war in Afghanistan. President Bush did successfully command consensus at home in the beginning of the prosecution of the occupation of Iraq. However, because the stated reasons that President gave for the Iraqi invasion proved to be inaccurate, because the projected outcome of regime change in Iraq has not matched what is actually happening in Iraq today, he has lost the ability to rally the kind of overwhelming support from the American people needed to effectively wage war. Bush has, as a result of the administration's prosecution of the Iraqi occupation, lost the trust and support of close to 50% of the American populace. NOTE: I am not arguing whether Bush "lied" or not, whether he was misled by bad intelligence or shaped it, whether we are winning or losing in Iraq. None of that can be absolutely determined as fact, but none of that is relevant to the core argument I am making or to this unassailable fact: Bush could not today command the same support of the American people as he did at the beginning of the Iraq war.

Try this thought experiment. It is one year from now. The CIA has unearthed actionable but somewhat ambiguous intelligence about Iran or North Korea that requires a military action like that which was mounted against Iraq. Bush comes to the American people to say we must move now. It is clear to me that the distrust is so deep after Iraq, the level of evidence required so high, that Bush would not be able to take the needed action. On the other hand, if Kerry were to come to the American people with the same claim as President one year from now, it is likely that sufficient Republicans will rally round, and sufficient Democrats will be willing to invest their trust in Kerry that we could, as a nation, take the necessary action. I am not saying that Bush is good or bad, better or worse than Kerry. I am simply saying that as a direct result of how the Iraq war was justified and prosecuted, Bush has been emasculated as a wartime leader. We are at greater risk with him in the White House, because 50% of our fellow citizens will not follow him to war. If you truly care about the security of our country, this is reason enough to vote for Kerry.

2 - A Kerry Presidency will result in more fiscally responsible federal government.

This has nothing to do with individual policies, beliefs or values of either candidate. This is a result of a simple unassailable fact about how our government works. Our government is always more fiscally responsible when executive and legislative power is split between the parties. This fact has been shown conclusively by William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and former acting chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers:


These are the facts as he outlines in the following linked article. I repeat: These are facts, not opinion from an analysis of the every President since Eisenhower. As Niskanen states:
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"The only two long periods of fiscal restraint were the Eisenhower administration and the Clinton administration, during both of which the opposition party controlled Congress. Conversely, the only long period of unusual fiscal expansion was the Kennedy/Johnson administration, which brought us both the Great Society and the Vietnam War with the support of the same party in Congress. The annual increase in real federal spending during the current Bush administration, by the way, has been 4.4 percent -- not a happy state of affairs, given the war and a renewed majority of the president's party in both chambers of Congress."

http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-07-03.html

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"A" is A". Facts are Facts. Given that the Republicans will maintain control of Congress, you can only secure Federal fiscal restraint by voting for Kerry. You can still support Bush. You just cannot pretend that you are supporting anything except increasing government spending and expansion during the next administration if you do. In 2008, to maintain the same restraint by our government, you can again vote against Kerry (assuming the Dems take control of one house in '06). That is my plan. Hopefully Chuck Hagel will be running against him.

3 - A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on beliefs that are more rational than Bush and aligned with my own.

I won't make any claim to anything but personal opinion and belief on these next two items, as they are simply statements of personal belief. I will simply let them stand on their own without additional argument.

I believe that a fetus should not be accorded the same rights and status under the law as the woman who carries it in her womb. That in any supposed legal or moral conflict; the woman always has the higher value, greater rights, and the option to terminate the pregnancy. Full stop.

I believe that undifferentiated embryonic stem cells in a Petri dish are not a human being, should not be considered to have any legal status as a human being and if they can be used in research or therapeutically to save lives and relieve human suffering and disease, then it is a moral imperative to do so as quickly as possible. Full Stop.

It appears to me that GWB believes the exact opposite.

I believe these are also both sufficient reasons to vote for Kerry over Bush.

This will be my last word on the election, unless of course, I decide to post anything else.

- exoracle
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1)A Kerry Presidency will make the US stronger in the war against terrorism.
2)A Kerry Presidency will result in more fiscally responsible federal government.
3)A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on beliefs that are more rational than Bush and aligned with my own.




That's it, in a nutshell.


CF

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"That's it, in a nutshell." -CF"


yeah ... well... I said it was long-winded. -exo
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Excellent post. Logical and dispassionate.

Peter

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"I've distilled my rationale into three reasons. The first two reasons are based on reason and unassailable fact. The third is based on belief. "


Your reason and unassailable fact add up to having an informed opinion.

I think you are wrong about multiple points. I can not site facts to prove it, because your facts are opinion or conjecture.

No matter how much 'reason' you believe yourself to have, you make a boatload of assumption. These assumptions aren't facts either.

I hope you recognize this, but many of the Kerryites seem to have this belief that their 'thuths' are facts. A fact is something that actually is, not something you think will happen, something you think happened or something you believe 'simply has to be'.


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"A fact is something that actually is... - low


These are the facts I relied on:

FACT: GWB cannot muster the same level of overwhelming support among the American people that he enjoyed at the beginning of either the Aganistan or Iraq actions.

Evidence: Every poll.

FACT: For very aadminstration since Eisenhour, government is always more fiscally responsible when executive and legislative power is split between the parties.

Evidence: Analyisis of William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and former acting chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.

http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-07-03.html
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"FACT: GWB cannot muster the same level of overwhelming support among the American people that he enjoyed at the beginning of either the Aganistan or Iraq actions.

Evidence: Every poll.
_____________

But then you added conjecture that goes in the face of every Kerry action regarding what he would do.



_FACT: For very aadminstration since Eisenhour, government is always more fiscally responsible when executive and legislative power is split between the parties.

Evidence: Analyisis of William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and former acting chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers.
_______________

Mixing facts and conjecture can only lead to a conclussion based on conjecture,ie opinion. You mix the two completely, it is almost inmpossible not to hit a fact once in a while.

I am not even saying you are wrong, though I opine that you are. Only misguided in any belief you are relying on fact rather than opinion.


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exoracle added to your Favorite Fools list
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A tremendous post and a PA MUST READ!
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3 - A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on beliefs that are more rational than Bush and aligned with my own.


A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on the belief that private enterprise is destructive and government intervention is good - without regard to circumstances.

You consider this rational?
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"A Kerry Presidency will make social decisions based on the belief that private enterprise is destructive and government intervention is good - without regard to circumstances.You consider this rational?" - warrl

Warrl,
Ignoring the hyperbole in your question ...


[A hyperbole, largely synonymous with exaggeration and overstatement, is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated or extravagant. It implies strong feelings or is used to create a strong impression and is not meant to be taken literally. ref: wordiq.com]

... the answer is "No, it is not rational." However we are not electing Kerry to be king. He will have a Republican Congress to contend with, and the the combination will govern better, with more fiscal discipline, than we have seen with Republican single party control of both executive and legislative branches.

Reference: William A. Niskanen, chairman of the Cato Institute and former acting chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers:


http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-07-03.html


- exoracle
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Congratulations on the most intelligent post I've read here in a long long time, deserving of all the recs it has garnered. I don't entirely agree or understand your suppositions, but at least you've supported them. I only have two thoughts:

1) you leave out the possibility that CLEAR CUT evidence that Iran is doing something that is deserving of military action a la Iraq. In that case, I think the President would enjoy broad support of the American people.

3) I still do not understand why those who support a woman's right to have an abortion choose to make it a political issue. No matter who is appointed to the Supreme Court, no matter who is President, it will be political suicide to overturn Roe v. Wade and prevent a woman from having an abortion.

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I still do not understand why those who support a woman's right to have an abortion choose to make it a political issue. No matter who is appointed to the Supreme Court, no matter who is President, it will be political suicide to overturn Roe v. Wade and prevent a woman from having an abortion.


Not if you do so incrementally, by adding this restriction and that cooling-off period, banning one method, then another, and gradually making access so difficult that it's impractical, even if it's still legal under the law. That is the right-to-life strategy. They're completely overt about it; just read up.

This would be easy to do through the Supreme Court, which drew some delicate lines in Roe v. Wade. They would (probably) not vote to overturn Roe (the Rehnquist court has already had one chance to do so and didn't). But they could easily move those lines, just by ruling that a disputed restriction (a cooling-off period, for example) did not impose an "unreasonable" burden on the woman. Another conservative justice or two would make assembling a consensus to do that much easier.
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"1) you leave out the possibility that CLEAR CUT evidence that Iran is doing something that is deserving of military action a la Iraq. In that case, I think the President would enjoy broad support of the American people. - motley

Agreed. - exo

... "it will be political suicide to overturn Roe v. Wade and prevent a woman from having an abortion " - motley

Agreed. Supported by Bush loss of presidency later today. - exo
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A little more than a year ago, exoracle wrote (in part):

Try this thought experiment. It is one year from now. The CIA has unearthed actionable but somewhat ambiguous intelligence about Iran or North Korea that requires a military action like that which was mounted against Iraq. Bush comes to the American people to say we must move now. It is clear to me that the distrust is so deep after Iraq, the level of evidence required so high, that Bush would not be able to take the needed action.

I reply:

I thought I'd bring this forward, because it's so bloody prescient. --Bob
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