In the past I’ve given my party-mate John Kerry a few suggestion on running a more successful campaign. As we get down to crunch-time, real the nitty-gritty of the campaign I think I can provide a little prospective on a few “issues” of the campaign. Namely, the notion of decisive leadership and the importance of past job performance and service to the current campaign. Today, in part one we will address decisive leadership.
President Bush says the difference between him and Kerry is that he’s decisive and that Kerry flip-flops.
OK, you’re saying Kerry changes his mind sometimes. I’d have to agree with that, he changes his mind, particularly when new information is brought to his attention that changes the situation. President Bush on the other hand would rather us ride out the mistake.
Take Iraq for example. Clearly, we went to war based on the morally questionable premises of increased regional stability and securing a large oil supply for foreign export.
We’ve certainly gone to war over less, but it’s hardly Washington crossing the Delaware in terms of noble causes.
The rest of the reasons we heard were bull shit to help gloss over the harsh realities of the potential American dead with democratic platitudes and outright irrational fear.
Saddam did the worst of his genocide before the first Gulf War, if we cared that much about gassed Kurds and murdered political prisoners, we would have taken care of it over ten years ago—therefore the immediate need to save the Iraqi people is crap, we had lots of chances to do it and now is no better a time than before. Weapons of mass destruction never existed, the CIA said as much and the Pentagon told them to shut the hell up. International networks of Arab terrorists weren’t hiding out in Iraq (but they are now). So let’s not even address those reasons as immediate or credible.
But we did go and now we have to deal with the problem. But we never had and still do not have a plan for Iraq’s post Saddam stability. After all this time we still don’t have enough troops (ours or better yet those from allies) on the ground to achieve that goal--this isn't just my opinion but the opinion of most military experts out side of the Presient's immediate sphere.
It is decisively bad leadership—they picks one Titanic-esque direction and don't bother to turn for any on coming icebergs.
The situation is the same on every possible campaign issue.
Education. No child left behind, a questionable idea for raising the bar on American education that the President left un-funded, despite promises to congressional voters that it would be fully funded.
The economy. He’s the first President in 75 years to lose jobs over his 4 years, almost 2 million of them. The inflation adjusted income of most Americans going down while the corporate crooks in Enron write our national energy policy and the richest Americans gobble up the bulk of ridiculous tax cuts. Oh, and the largest budget surplus in history became the largest deficit in history. Makes the Panic of 1837 look the Yahoo! IPO.
Homeland Security. Tom Ridge recently got his business cards which is nice, but our airports are still highly vulnerable, not to mention our virtually unguarded ports, nuclear facilities, bridges, and chemical plants. Oh, and the soft targets… look what regular Americans did to our national psyche in Columbine, CO. and Oklahoma City and tell me that an international terror network couldn’t cause that level of fear with twice the damage and half the effort.
So, basically, George Bush has been a lousy President. Seems obvious to me that decisive isn’t necessarily a good thing when you usually choose the wrong path and then are too stubborn to correct your mistakes.
Please stay tuned for part 2 of this article.
Down to die, for everything I represent
Meant every word, in my letter to the President