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Old 03-02-2004, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Now we can focus

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040303/D812J3EO1.html

Quote:
Kerry Cements Nomination; Edwards Out

Mar 2, 8:15 PM (ET)

By RON FOURNIER

(AP) Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rests his hand on the shoulder of dock...
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John Kerry cemented the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, driving John Edwards from the race with a string of Super Tuesday triumphs.

Edwards, the sole major challenger to Kerry, planned to step aside Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C., two Democratic officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Kerry rolled up huge victories in Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut and his home state of Massachusetts as he made Edwards' presidential effort a political impossibility. The four-term Massachusetts senator also was favored in the late-poll closing states of California, New York, Minnesota and Rhode Island.

The freshman senator from North Carolina struggled even in his lone Southern stronghold of Georgia, with exit polls showing Kerry leading among blacks, low-income voters and Democrats in a primary open to all voters.

(AP) Volunteers Mark Bassett, Margaux Bell and Ryan Seher, from left to right, count Utah's Democratic...
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Kerry was already pivoting toward a general-election fight.

"Boy, wait until you see the fire in my belly," he told a TV interviewer.

The White House dispatched Vice President Dick Cheney to TV studios to criticize the presumptive foe. "He very clearly has over the years adopted a series of positions that indicate a desire to cut the defense budget, cut the intelligence budget, to eliminate many major weapons programs," Cheney said of Kerry, a 19-year Senate veteran.

In the too-little-too-late category, Howard Dean finally won a presidential election, two weeks after being run out of the race. It came in his home state of Vermont, as partisans gave their former governor a sentimental nod and a few delegates that he might leverage for a budding reform movement.

"I'm an ABB kind of fellow - anybody but Bush," said Dean voter Jeffrey Hughes of Shelburne, Vt.

(AP) Nick Normandin, front, Melissa Bock, center, and Whitney Williams, all students of Timberline High...
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Edwards, a 50-year-old senator who barely competed in half the states, targeted Georgia, Ohio and Minnesota for candidacy-saving victories.

In all, 10 states with a combined population of 94 million - one-third of the U.S. total - awarded 1,151 delegates, more than half of the 2,162 needed to seize the nomination.

Kerry, a 60-year-old senator, had 701 delegates to Edwards' 205, even before Tuesday's voting.

Winning nine of 10 states could give Kerry about 1,500 delegates - a virtually insurmountable lead.

As votes were being case, the lawmakers took a Super Tuesday time-out in the Senate to vote on extending the ban on military-style assault weapons. The extension failed, and they returned to campaign work after chit-chatting on the Senate floor.

(AP) A woman leaves the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building during voting Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004, in...
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The pair spent part of the day in Georgia, with Kerry looking ahead to November.

"President Clinton was often known as the first black president. I wouldn't be upset if I could earn the right to be the second," Kerry told the American Urban Radio Network.

His unbridled optimism muted, Edwards shook hands outside a polling place in suburban Atlanta, then declined to take questions from reporters.

Answers came all day from 10 states with nearly 50 million registered voters, many of them torn between the two candidates.

"The issue that drove me is getting rid of Bush, and that led me to Kerry," said Ron Debry, 47, of suburban Cincinnati. "Maybe Edwards someday, but I don't think he's ready yet."

Ousting Bush was the top priority for voters in nearly every Super Tuesday state, with large majorities saying they are angry at the president, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and TV networks by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

The economy and jobs were the dominant issue in the states.

Kerry won 18 of the first 20 elections, many by routs, in a six-week campaign that drew attention to his decorated service in the Vietnam War and amplified Democratic criticism of Bush. However, with the White House gearing up for Bush's re-election, Democratic leaders grew increasingly eager to end the nomination fight.

"Edwards is a team player," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said. "He'll know what to do."

Edwards won a single state, his native South Carolina - and that was four weeks and 11 defeats ago. He has had eight second-place finishes, five third-places and six fourth-places.

Bush's re-election campaign begins a multimillion-dollar TV ad blitz Thursday designed to bolster the president's sagging political fortunes. Kerry is prepared to dip into Democratic Party coffers to pay for his own ads.

Democratic interest groups, required to act independently of the Kerry camp, laid plans to air ads critical of Bush.

Two other candidates, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Al Sharpton of New York, had no chance of winning the nomination.
As a Republican who wants to see GWB relected, I have to say I'm VERY happy to see Kerry get the nomination. Not as happy as I would have been if Dean had won, but happy enough. Kerry will have to spend much of his time defending his record. Also most people don't know his past or where his money comes from.

Finally he has no personality. He had to be the weakest speaker of the group. Quite frankly I'm surprised he won, and most voters surveyed who voted for him don't connect with him on the 'issues' unlike Dean, but electability. If he doesn't excite even democrats, how is he going to sway the swing votes?

Good job Kerry, someone had to be the lamb before Hilary, and you are a fine man for the job.
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I do agree with this assessment.
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I personally believe that Kerry could be just about as dull as a dead fish, and Democrats and former Republicans will be excited to vote against the incumbent. This will be an interesting match-up...
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would also agree with the you, Kerry has many faults, we will soon see where his money comes from,and Bushs' as well. We will have to hear him speak in a dull voice, but he will pronounce his words properly, and probably wont make any up.
He will of course, lie about the issues just like Bush. His past will be dredged from the deepest sewers, and the Media will continue to ignore most of the indescresions of our current administration, it is , after all an election year.
His service record will be questioned, as would Bushs' if he had one anyone could verify. His ties to Buisness will be focused on, But the current president has none.....(cough). Questions concerning his foreign policy experience will arise, wheras Texas actually borders on a seperate country. We will wonder if he is smart enough to be president, and the intellect of Mr. Bush will not be in question.

The list of entertainment will be long and troublesome. As for my vote......I have many criteria required for a perfect candidate, But by far the most important.

The president of the United States MUST be smarter than I am!
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What difference does it make?

Bush hasn't even begun to roll out his war chest. How many hundreds of millions of dollars does he have to spend on this election?

Right, Bush can afford to put his face on every channel, every day of the next year.

What is really interesting is how much an effect mass media can have on public voting trends--not this so-called big battle looming.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Goody! Its finally time for the republicans to start engaging in all of the election season activities that they've been whining about the democrats doing to them.

I just came from my caucus. The turnout was amazing. They had eight people in 2002. Tonight there was close to one hundred. All passionate about the political process. All passionate about relieving the current administration of the white house. Kerry or not, bush's biggest liability is that he is bush, and has pissed off all of the people that he has pissed off. Sure bush has got character, but you know how the saying goes: fool me once shame on you...
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by filtherton
Goody! Its finally time for the republicans to start engaging in all of the election season activities that they've been whining about the democrats doing to them.
The nice thing about Kerry, is we don't even have to make any of the stories up.

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Old 03-02-2004, 07:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Finally, you know what it is like to be a democrat.
Bush also has plenty of "character"

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Old 03-02-2004, 10:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't underestimate Kerry. Yes, Bush has the upper hand, all incumbents do, but Kerry has shown time and time again that if he falls behind he is much more dangerous to his opponent. (just ask William Weld). Both men have records they will have to deal with, some good - some bad. The reality is that unless we have some major catastrophy or some great boon, it will be just as close as 2000 and that means it is anyone's game.

The name of this thread is "Now we can focus" let's try to focus on issues and facts and make this election season an interesting and enjoyable one.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Now we can focus

Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Finally he has no personality. He had to be the weakest speaker of the group.
Uh, UsTwo. Look before you leap. Bush can make a rice cake have character in comparison. Additionally, Mr. Bush feels to me to be the weakest speaker in the pool. He has no "off the cuff" ability without a pre-written speech. And when he goes "off the cuff" we get statments like 'Bring it On' from his mouth.

I'll be honest and say that I don't find Kerry to be a good orator. Now kindly be honest in your candidates speaking abilities.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mml

The name of this thread is "Now we can focus" let's try to focus on issues and facts and make this election season an interesting and enjoyable one.
That’s the question though, WHAT is a fact worth looking at?

Just an example, Kerry has had a LOT of votes which show he is pretty much anti-military spending. Please don't show me the ones he voted for (or who gave him money hehe)we are talking about a long term trend. Now the military is a pretty big issue right now, so is that an issue to bring up or is it 'mud slinging'.

Also based on what the left has charged Bush with, everything from being a deserter, to going to war for Halliburton, to even some saying purposefully allowing the WTC to be attacked, this is only going to get very ugly. Worse its not just some fringe elements but ELECTED members of the democrat party saying these things. As such you can expect this whole election to be nothing but one liners and distortion.

Right now the economy is doing pretty damn good and unemployment is quite low by all historical standards. You know you won't hear a single democrat (outside of Zell Miller) admit to it, and you also know they will do their best to distort this.

On the Republican side, you can expect Kerry to be painted as the biggest liberal since McGovern and not to be trusted in troubled times. Ramsey Clark's endorsement the other day isn't going to help him there any . Republicans will be sure to state that Kerry never met a tax increase he didn't like, is palls with Jane Fonda, and whatever else you care to put in.

I did come into some relief the other day though. While I think Kerry is unqualified to lead a boy scout troop, I don't fear him as president anymore, at least not domestically. If you take a good look at the congress, the senate, and who's seats are up for grabs you will know why I feel this way On the other hand, if he does win, who wants to bet the press starts to talk about the lack of federal judges and how the republican senate is holding them up, something they can’t seem to see right now.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i will undoubtedly vote for Bush, but I'm troubled by the selection of candidates.

Sure, Bush is a republican... but he is no conservative. I'm puzzled why his detractors call him a right wing extremist. His defense policy is hawkish, but overall he is very moderate. (increased government size/spending, prescription drugs, education spending.... etc.)

The only real alternative to Bush is Kerry... a senator from New England who appears to look down his nose at the South and votes to the left of Ted Kennedy. Forget about how Terry Mcauliffe wants you to think of Kerry, look directly at his voting record. Literally, there are very few people in recent history who have a more liberal record.

I'm sure this appeals to some, but it makes you realize how far to the left the Democrat strategy has shifted. Moderates like Lieberman were shunned and ignored.

LET THE SPIN BEGIN!!!
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
Sure, Bush is a republican... but he is no conservative. I'm puzzled why his detractors call him a right wing extremist. His defense policy is hawkish, but overall he is very moderate. (increased government size/spending, prescription drugs, education spending.... etc.)

...

I'm sure this appeals to some, but it makes you realize how far to the left the Democrat strategy has shifted. Moderates like Lieberman were shunned and ignored.

By your statements it appears that all of politics has shifted left of your views.
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Old 03-03-2004, 02:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kadath
By your statements it appears that all of politics has shifted left of your views.
no, by my statements it appears that both presidential candidates are primarily left of my views.

what of it?
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Old 03-04-2004, 08:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just an observation. You commented that most people don't realize how far left Democrats have shifted, and also that Bush was less conservative than you would like. I just wondered if maybe your own politics had shifted right and you didn't realize it.
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
Sure, Bush is a republican... but he is no conservative. I'm puzzled why his detractors call him a right wing extremist. His defense policy is hawkish, but overall he is very moderate. (increased government size/spending, prescription drugs, education spending.... etc.)
uh, what? how do you define conservative?

i'd say the degree to which bush pushes faith-based initiatives and opposes secular civil rights automatically excludes him from any moderate label.

it is generally considered that nixon and ford were moderate republicans, and that reagan's election was the return of real conservativism to the white house. the elder bush was considered less conservative than reagan when he ran against him before joining him as vp and his own presidency was more moderate. his son has so far shown himself to be far more conservative than all of them, compassionate or not.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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the republicans are having problems with kerry's voting record already. i've heard him be attacked for some votes with the "more liberal than ted kennedy" line, and i've also heard the "he voted with bush so bush was right" line.

the real picture of a lengthy voting record like kerry's is too hard to nail down into an easy sound bite. that is a problem for the RNC spin machine, who excel in branding and creating easily remembered tag lines and slogans.

you could say that kerry has soft on defense, for instance, but his voting record is mixed. he has voted strong on some defensive measures, but has actively challenged other defense programs. rather than just say he is soft, one needs to look at the programs he's opposed and ask if they were actually good for the nation's defense, or if they were good for the defense contractor.

i find it quite interesting that kerry's strategy has not been to attack the war on terror, but to attack bush for not having done enough.

of the other potential candidates, i perceive him as less liberal and certainly more old school. most of the means of character attack are the same areas where bush is vulnerable, like ivy league and skull and bones, family fortunes, special interests, etc. the RNC will have a hard time pinning him without pinning bush in the process.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think of "conservative" as being [historically] government-shrinking and people-empowering. In this aspect, Dubya is not at all a conservative. I'll go so far as to say that he is not a Republican, but a religious Democrat.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Oh, come on.
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think bush falls squarely within the "silver-spoon oilman with friends" party.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
That’s the question though, WHAT is a fact worth looking at?

Just an example, Kerry has had a LOT of votes which show he is pretty much anti-military spending. Please don't show me the ones he voted for (or who gave him money hehe)we are talking about a long term trend. Now the military is a pretty big issue right now, so is that an issue to bring up or is it 'mud slinging'.

There are a great number of facts we can discuss, and more will arise as the actual debate begins, and I look forward to discussing the real and legitimate differences between our candidates. I think that both candidates will have to answer for past choices, some good, some bad so not it is not mud slinging, but I am more concerned about the future.

Now, as far as Kerry's anti-militry record and the fact that he has voted against numerous weapon systems, I will respectfully say that this is a bunch of bullspin as this article from Slate points out.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2096127


John Kerry's Defense Defense
Setting his voting record straight.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004, at 3:41 PM PT

Before George W. Bush's political operatives started pounding on John Kerry for voting against certain weapons systems during his years in the Senate, they should have taken a look at this quotation:
After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B-2 bomber. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper [MX] missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. … The reductions I have approved will save us an additional $50 billion over the next five years. By 1997 we will have cut defense by 30 percent since I took office.
The speaker was President George H.W. Bush, the current president's father, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, 1992.
They should also have looked up some testimony by Dick Cheney, the first President Bush's secretary of defense (and now vice president), three days later, boasting of similar slashings before the Senate Armed Services Committee:
Overall, since I've been Secretary, we will have taken the five-year defense program down by well over $300 billion. That's the peace dividend. … And now we're adding to that another $50 billion … of so-called peace dividend.
Cheney proceeded to lay into the then-Democratically controlled Congress for refusing to cut more weapons systems.
Congress has let me cancel a few programs. But you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse-traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. … You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s, and F-16s—all great systems … but we have enough of them.
The Republican operatives might also have noticed Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the same hearings, testifying about plans to cut Army divisions by one-third, Navy aircraft carriers by one-fifth, and active armed forces by half a million men and women, to say noting of "major reductions" in fighter wings and strategic bombers.
Granted, these reductions were made in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution and the Cold War's demise. But that's just the point: Proposed cuts must be examined in context. A vote against a particular weapons system doesn't necessarily indicate indifference toward national defense.
Looking at the weapons that the RNC says Kerry voted to cut, a good case could be made, certainly at the time, that some of them (the B-2 bomber and President Reagan's "Star Wars" missile-defense program) should have been cut. As for the others (the M-1 tank and the F-14, F-15, and F-16 fighter planes, among others), Kerry didn't really vote to cut them.
The claim about these votes was made in the Republican National Committee "Research Briefing" of Feb. 22. The report lists 13 weapons systems that Kerry voted to cut—the ones cited above, as well as Patriot air-defense missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and AH64 Apache helicopters, among others.
It is instructive, however, to look at the footnotes. Almost all of them cite Kerry's vote on Senate bill S. 3189 (CQ Vote No. 273) on Oct. 15, 1990. Do a Google search, and you will learn that S. 3189 was the Fiscal Year 1991 Defense Appropriations Act, and CQ Vote No. 273 was a vote on the entire bill. There was no vote on those weapons systems specifically.
On a couple of the weapons, the RNC report cites H.R. 5803 and H.R. 2126. Look those up. They turn out to be votes on the House-Senate conference committee reports for the defense appropriations bills in October 1990 (the same year as S. 3189) and September 1995.
In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.
Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money—not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.
An examination of Kerry's real voting record during his 20 years in the Senate indicates that he did vote to restrict or cut certain weapons systems. From 1989-92, he supported amendments to halt production of the B-2 stealth bomber. (In 1992, George H.W. Bush halted it himself.) It is true that the B-2 came in handy during the recent war in Iraq—but for reasons having nothing to do with its original rationale.
The B-2 came into being as an airplane that would drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. The program was very controversial at the time. It was extremely expensive. Its stealth technology had serious technical bugs. More to the point, a grand debate was raging in defense circles at the time over whether, in an age of intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missiles, the United States needed any new bomber that would fly into the Soviet Union's heavily defended airspace. The debate was not just between hawks and doves; advocates and critics could be found among both.
In the latest war, B-2s—modified to carry conventional munitions—were among the planes that dropped smart bombs on Iraq. But that was like hopping in the Lincoln stretch limo to drop Grandma off at church. As for the other stealth plane used in both Iraq wars—the F-117, which was designed for non-nuclear missions—there is no indication that Kerry ever opposed it.
The RNC doesn't mention it, but Kerry also supported amendments to limit (but not kill) funding for President Reagan's fanciful (and eventually much-altered) "Star Wars" missile-defense system. Kerry sponsored amendments to ban tests of anti-satellite weapons, as long as the Soviet Union also refrained from testing. In retrospect, trying to limit the vulnerability of satellites was a very good idea since many of our smart bombs are guided to their targets by signals from satellites.
Kerry also voted for amendments to restrict the deployment of the MX missile (Reagan changed its deployment plan several times, and Bush finally stopped the program altogether) and to ban the production of nerve-gas weapons.
At the same time, in 1991, Kerry opposed an amendment to impose an arbitrary 2 percent cut in the military budget. In 1992, he opposed an amendment to cut Pentagon intelligence programs by $1 billion. In 1994, he voted against a motion to cut $30.5 billion from the defense budget over the next five years and to redistribute the money to programs for education and the disabled. That same year, he opposed an amendment to postpone construction of a new aircraft carrier. In 1996, he opposed a motion to cut six F-18 jet fighters from the budget. In 1999, he voted against a motion to terminate the Trident II missile. (Interestingly, the F-18 and Trident II are among the weapons systems that the RNC claims Kerry opposed.)
Are there votes in Kerry's 20-year record as a senator that might look embarrassing in retrospect? Probably. But these are not the ones.
Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.



These are facts - discuss them if you like.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Anyone is better than Dubbya.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally posted by HeAtHeN
Anyone is better than Dubbya.
Uhh, have you heard of Denis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, Al Sharpton?

Let's not get carried away. Bush needs to go, and thankfully we have a legitimate, capable and qualified alternative.


Go Kerry!
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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If I was an American.... I'd go with Nader in a heartbeat.
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