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The Case Against Bush

September 29th, 2004

What is needed at this time is a portable yet comprehensive list detailing why Bush should not be re-elected. Here’s my shot at it:

Taxes: Gave trillion-dollar tax cut to the wealthy while giving token sum to middle class; in so doing, shifted the tax burden from wealthier Americans onto the middle class. What little the middle class got out of it was quickly nullified by higher oil prices, slashed public services, and a greater burden put on states, leading to higher property and other state & local taxes.

Jobs: Presided over the greatest loss of jobs since Herbert Hoover. What few jobs have been gained pay far less than before, with a hemorrhage of manufacturing jobs going overseas with Bush trying to give them tax breaks for doing so. The Bush administration’s solution to the loss of valuable jobs: try to get burger flippers reclassified as manufacturers.

Deficit and Debt: Inherited a historic, rare budget surplus. Immediately handed a gigantic tax cut to wealthy people as the economy was floundering, and allowed a Republican-controlled Congress to massively overspend on pork, while spending hundreds of billions on a war in Iraq that did not need to be fought. The result: massive, record-breaking deficits. The damage: the interest on the national debt alone is now costing us $375 billion per year, and more than $4 trillion over the next ten years. A Democrat would have stayed Clinton’s course and would have been paying down the debt right now instead of massively adding to it. Bush’s budgets have grown twice as fast as Bill Clinton’s.

Medicare: Lied to Congress about how much his Medicare plan would cost. Locked seniors into plans that healthcare providers could change at any time. Forbade the government from negotiating for lower prices from pharmaceutical corporations, and blocked state plans to import drugs from other countries like Canada. Illegally used government funds to create fake news reports which were little more than Bush campaign commercials.

Social Security: after doing little to nothing on the issue, Bush still wants to privatize social security, which could have catastrophic effects on seniors while handing a trillion-dollar windfall to financial service industries. It would also strand millions of seniors whenever the economy goes south just as they retire, and we will be forced to pay benefits to them anyway or let them starve.

Education: Failed miserably in reforming Texas educational system, instead corrupting the system and encouraging fraud and the abandonment of lower-performing students. Backs standardized testing which leads to a disastrous test-centered educational system. Massively underfunded education, most of all the “No Child Left Behind” system. Wants vouchers for private schools which cannot possibly work at the large scale; instead it will only limit quality education for wealthier families who already access private schools, while huge numbers of poorer children will see their own educational system crumble.

Foreign Policy: Alienated most of the world, after almost all countries felt an incredible level of sympathy for us. Abrogated several treaties, ridiculed and condescended to some of our strongest allies. Lied to the international community about Iraq intelligence, and met unheard-of opposition from other countries in his single-minded drive into Iraq. Has made the United States an international pariah.

National Security: Underfunded border and import control, local police, fire and emergency services. The invasion of Iraq has stretched our military forces to the breaking point, rendering us unnecessarily unable to fight any war that may need to be fought. Bungled the intelligence before 9/11, ignoring intelligence that pointed to the attack because it would have been inconvenient to focus on terrorism while pushing for a missile defense system. Admits that al Qaeda operates within the United States while having no clue as to who or where they are or what they may be doing. Abandoned any serious hunt for bin Laden or al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Military: Cut pay and benefits for soldiers, slashed veterans’ benefits, and chintzed on supplies for soldiers while handing billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to big firms, most of all Vice President Cheney’s firm, Halliburton. Created havoc in the military with the invasion of Iraq, a quagmire that is sapping our military strength. Is lengthening soldiers’ (including guardsmen and reservists) tours ridiculously long while draining forces from military bases around the world, discouraging re-enlistment and recruitment. America is now unable to take on any additional military tasks, and can barely handle what Bush is pushing on it.

Environment: Cut clean-air and -water regulations, cut funding for environmental protection, pushed for oil drilling in wildlife sanctuaries, allowed corporations to avoid clean-up costs, opened up public lands to logging, among countless other environmental failings. Subverted and distorted science to fit his policies, appointed pro-business and anti-environmental officials to key posts. Opposes the Kyoto treaty.

Energy: Among the main points of the very long list of malfeasance: allowed big oil, coal and nuclear industries to secretly write the nation’s energy policy, and refuses to this day to let you know the details. Mouths support for clean energy but does not fund them anywhere close to the point where they could actually produce anything. Oil prices under Bush have shot up to record levels, making Americans even more dependent on foreign oil, not less.

A Divider, Not a Uniter: Has polarized the American public to an unheard-of degree. Has played extreme partisan politics since day one.

Character: The only president in history with a criminal record. Arrested for drunk driving. Well-known for belittling people, putting them down. Once cruelly mocked a woman on death row who had become a born-again Christian and was doing good works. There is so much more… see here, here and here for a fuller accounting of the depth of this man’s petty character.

Lies: Lied about his criminal record. Lied about his relationship to Ken Lay. Lied about his intentions upon becoming president. Lied about the state of Iraq’s weapons programs, and our reasons for going into Iraq. Lied about who kept inspectors from doing their job in Iraq. Lied about the state of affairs in Iraq. Lied about wanting to find out about intelligence failures that led to 9/11, opposed the 9/11 commission. Lied about his tax cuts. Lied about the size and permanence of budget deficit. Lied about his Medicare program. Lied about countless other issues, large and small.

Corruption and Lawbreaking: As governor of Texas, lied under oath in a criminal case. Had Ken Lay as his biggest contributor, then denied knowing him. Had long-term relations with Saudis and other oil interests in the Middle East, then covered for them by censoring a report that identified them as supporting terrorists. Allowed energy corporations to write national energy policy. Subverted antiterrorism policy in favor of pushing pet policies like missile defense, leading to the open door the terrorists walked through on 9/11 and before. Fought tooth and nail to prevent the 9/11 commission from being formed, fought against it when it needed time and resources, and has failed to implement its recommendations. Lied to Congress about his Medicare plan costs, then illegally used public funds to make fake news reports which were thinly veiled campaign commercials. People in his administration committed a felony when they revealed the identity of a CIA operative as payback for her husband’s exposing Bush’s lie on Iraq’s nuclear program. Republican operatives for Bush purged mostly-Democratic and legally eligible voters from voter rolls in Florida (in 2000 and 2004), and then in 2000 led a massive campaign of fraud in Florida to stop recounts, aided by election fraud consisting of tampering with absentee ballots in two counties and suppressing the minority vote; without even one of these illegal actions, Bush would not have won. And the list goes on and on, from the man who claimed to bring “honor and dignity back to the White House. More here, here, and here (just recent stuff), and here and here and on countless other sites on the net, just do a Google and see the huge numbers pop up.

And remember: all of the above is the short list.

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  1. Enumclaw
    September 30th, 2004 at 03:25 | #1

    I think we can expect to see a “We’re about to catch Osama” story come out at least one more time before the election.

    I have to say that I’m really disappointed at how Kerry has run the election. What is it about Democrats that makes them unable to be as clear and vicious as the Republicans can be?

    Frankly, without Carville (whose instincts appear, to me, to be the best in the Democratic Party, bar none) I don’t know if the Dems will win a Presidential election. I’m severely depressed.

    Anyway, it’s gonna come down to the debates, and hopefully Kerry’s advisors are going to have him totally prepped and ready to go for Bush’s throat, tear it open with his teeth, spit down his windpipe, and then bayonet the wounded body when it falls to the floor.

    Okay, not literally. Sheesh, the Secret Service is already knocking at the door… :)

    Seriously, Kerry needs to hammer these themes home time and again. He needs to have an effective counter for what’s sure to be Bush’s biggest assertion- that to change horses now will hopelessly screw up Iraq.

    Bush’s strongest themes are playing to people’s patriotism and suggesting that at least he is doing *something* about terrorism by getting us in and keeping us in Iraq. Yes, I know, it actually makes it worse, but that’s not how people see it.

    Kerry also needs to have an effective way of saying “if you vote for me and I implement *my* plan for Iraq, it’ll actually help both America and the soldiers, and this is why…”


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