Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Why Bush must lose, and therefore Kerry must win

We're in the final push for the 2004 U.S. national elections. It's close, as have the last few elections.

Here's my case for the candidacy I prefer. Namely, Kerry/Edwards.

The first part of the artument is Kerry as the anti-Bush. The Bush administration has been so abysmally bad, as reflected by the low approval ratings, that I think another four years of this administration would be dreadful. What was wrong?

  1. The tax cuts: At the time they first proposed the tax cuts, the .COM had been crumbling for over a year. Yet they pointed at record surplus's, said "hey everybody, that's your money", ignoring that the surpluses were evaporated with the crumbled economic situation. The tax cuts then obviously decreased government income. But the "that's your money" argument is way off base because of the huge size of the national debt, the size of which his father had a lot to do with. The huge size of the national debt represents a huge interest cost, over $300 billion per year, that directly diminishes what the government can do with "your money". That yearly interest cost means that a huge chunk of "your money" that's taxed and sent to Washington is siphoned over to paying the interest on the national debt.
  2. The fake-out energy policy that just enriches the already entrenched oil companies: This war in Iraq is about oil, no matter the protestations of the Bush administration. In 2001 they released a National Energy Policy, and as we now know it was put together by Cheney in closed meetings with the Oil Industry. Most of the policy went over, in glowing terms and snazzy graphics, new drilling techniques and whatnot that the Oil Industry can use to improve their processes. It spent scant attention on alternative resources such as solar or wind power. To continue America's dependance on Oil means continuing our reliance on the Middle East, and there are a ton of already proven technologies with which we can make energy today without spending a drop of oil.
  3. Ignoring Terrorism until Terrorism bit us in the butt: We know from Richard Clarke's book that the Bush administration ignored warnings that Al Qaeda was a dangerous foe. The Clinton administration knew this, but in the changover to the Bushies this was lost. And, we know the results.
  4. Fighting a wimpy-ass campaign in Afghanistan: Fighters based in Afghanistan, known as Al Qaeda, were responsible for the September 11, 2001 attack. Iraq was not. Iraq and Al Qaeda hated each other, and we know that the Intelligence community was largely saying there was no connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Yet, the invasion of Afghanistan, for which there was broad international support and would have gone against the direct transgressors, was underfunded, undermanned, and did not achieve the obvious objective. Instead the culprits got away and have been performing much other nasty events since.
  5. Instead of doing a good job in Afghanistan, detouring us into the disaster in Iraq Again, the culprits were in Afghanistan. It was clear to me in August 2003 that the proof laid before the world to justify the invasion of Iraq were totally false. The results of invading Iraq have been horrendous, from U.S. soldiers abusing and torturing Iraqi prisoners to widespread slaughter end even more suffering laid at the doorsteps of Iraq.
  6. Lying repeatedly about the reasons to invade Iraq: In the fall of 2002 and spring of 2003 the case for war against Iraq was laid by the Bush administration. The crucial moment was the dramatic U.N. security council meeting with Colin Powell "proving" that Iraq was a present and clear danger. At the same time growing international, and domestic, opposition was raised. Unlike the invasion of Afghanistan where the U.S. had clear provocation, cause, justifiable reason, and broad international support, the "Coalition of the Willing" has been a joke. As I heard a comedian say recently, in 2000 when Bush was running for office he claimed to be a Uniter not a Divider, so did he really mean that he would unite the world in opposition to the U.S.?
  7. Destroying America's credibility abroad: Making such blatant lies to justify war in Iraq did nothing but extinguish the credibility America has in the world. Well, what was left of it anyway. America has stood for reasonable and just action for decades, yet this invasion of Iraq was anything but that.
  8. Putting in more and more tax cuts, while piling expenses higher and higher: Increasing the national debt does nothing but decrease the financial stability of the U.S.
  9. Launching an illegal war of agression: Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary general, recently claimed that the war in Iraq was illegal.

If I were to vote anti-Bush just because I'm bitter at the Bush administration, it would be sheer folly. If you're against one thing or person (in this case, GW Bush), well, there's a whole lotta people who aren't GW Bush. If you remove Bush from the equation, and not stated what you want to be the replacement, then literally anything can fill the hole.

In the current political system the U.S. has we boil down to two choices. That's because we don't have proportional representation, instead the elections in the U.S. are winner-take-all. Over the 200+ years we've existed as a nation, winner-take-all has translated into there being two national parties.

In effect that means that to toss Bush out of office I have to vote for Kerry. Maybe I don't want to vote for Kerry, and actually Wesley Clarke was more my cup of tea anyway. But, still, I am set on getting Bush out of office. So what do I really want as his replacement, and is Kerry an acceptible substitute?

The first mark against Kerry is that he voted (as a Senator) to support the resolution under which GW Bush was able to launch the attack against Iraq. But let's look at the record and see what he's standing for.

As a source I'm using the Kerry/Edwards book Our Plan for America: Stronger at home, Respected in the World.

  1. War in Iraq: He's standing for international cooperation in such matters, rather than go it alone. He's refused to say whether he would have actually launched the attack. He has said that he stands for a strong military that will be used to protect America's interests.
  2. Energy independance: The Kerry campaign realizes, and boldly says, that energy independance is fundamental to America's security. As things are, OPEC can cause a recession in America anytime they want, which then gives them a lot of control over the U.S. The Kerry campaign is calling for increased investment in energy independance research and deployments at all level. It's a very good program, and I support it wholey except for one thing. Under "biofuels" they only mention ethanol, which has a very strong lobby in corn growing states. From a technical viewpoint biodiesel is a better choice than ethanol.
  3. Standing for people: All through their plan they are standing in support of the American people. They aren't kowtowing to the already rich, and saying to the already rich "I see you as my base". Instead they're talking directly to the people and their support of people in their humanistic needs.
  4. It's the economy, stupid: Their plan reads as if they remember the lessons shown by the Clinton administration. Clinton's popularity is based in his support of economic growth in the U.S.