Friday, September 24, 2004

Kerry Ambivalence

Steve outlined his reasons for voting for Kerry as follows:

I'm voting for Kerry because: a) I'm furious that Bush screwed up a war that was justified and could have been a serious step for transformation of the Middle East; b) I'm still pissed off about the Bush tax cuts and; c) I'm much more confident in the sort of people that Kerry will appoint to the thousands of positions under presidential control.

I agree completely with that and would add that Bush's support for the federal marriage amendment is an outrage. Let me also add that I've always voted Democratic and never before had reason to seriously consider doing otherwise.

So why am I ambivalent about Kerry? Because the biggest issue for me is Iraq. The U.S. will make it through the next 4 years regardless of whether Bush or Kerry gets elected in November. But consequences of this election for Iraq are far more extreme. I'd love nothing more than to punish Bush for the way he's screwed things up there and, perhaps more importantly, his seeming unwillingness to acknowledge problems and attempt to put things right going forward. I'm afraid that the only way Bush will wake up to reality is if he loses the election.

But I'm not sure electing Kerry will put things right in Iraq. His varying statements have let me uncertain about exactly what he would do to try to improve things. I also think the pressure on him to pull out quickly will be enormous. First, the sooner he gets out, the easier it will be to blame Bush if things go to hell. Second, the Democratic left will give him about 6 months to a year before they start talking about "Kerry's War" or "Kerry's Occupation." If he doesn't begin pulling the troops out by then, the latter day versions of Gene McCarthy will start lining up to take him on.


Palooka said...

You all had unreasonable expectations about Iraq. Blame yourselves, not Bush.

What, exactly, do you think invading another country, at the heart of the Middle East, and building a democracy is going to look like? You thought it was going to be easy? That's your miscalculation.

Ever hear of a sunk cost? It's stupid and emotional to want to somehow punish Bush for mistakes made--especially since you supported those mistakes. Regardless, the past is the past. Those are sunk costs.

Who will be better positioned, and has the better judgment, to resolve the Iraq situation? That's the only question which matters to a rational voter on Iraq.

I can't believe you think the FMA is some "outrage." I favor the Hatch amendment, which gives full latitude to the states. What if the President supported that proposal instead?

Marriage is about the family, very few gay couples will have or raise children. It defies logic, then, to afford absolute equality of "marriage" to relationships which are not equal (though they are not lesser, just different).

Marriage is also about companionship, of course, but very few of those benefits and responsibilites of marriage are created with that in mind. The current form of marriage is a result of the need to protect unequal gender spouses, and to protect children. Gay marriage presents, generally speaking, vastly different questions. I don't see the demand of "equality" as justified. I especially object to Goodridge and the judicial activist approach.

Rothko said...

"You all had unreasonable expectations about Iraq. Blame yourselves, not Bush."

That's like telling a battered wife that being abused is her fault.

Bush mislead American's about the true cost of the war both in dollars (he never has come clean on how much it will cost...he just keeps asking for more money) and in lives. And more importantly he mislead American's with his rationale for going in the first place.

It's a lot easier to accept the costs and the ongoing turmoil if Iraq had indeed been a clear, present and immediate danger to the U.S.. It turns out it was not. It was George W. Bush's sole responsibilty to determine the level of the threat and to make the appropriate judgement. He miscalculated and now there are over 1,000 dead Americans and coutnless dead Iraqi's and we cede ground to violent insurgents every day. Stop blaming war supporters, it's not their fault that Bush is incompetent.

I happened to be against the war from the start and as you said in your post the war was a I guess that make me right...gosh my Mom will be proud

Here's your quote...just to keep you honest...
"Ever hear of a sunk cost? It's stupid and emotional to want to somehow punish Bush for mistakes made--especially since you supported those mistakes. Regardless, the past is the past. Those are sunk costs."

And on a final note...
I could list lot's of ways other than banning gay marriage to protect American family's. They all have one thing in common ECONOMIC SECURITY. That means health insurance for all, stronger protection of overtime regulations, more forceful federal oversight of corporate honesty, tax breaks on college tuition, A LIVING WAGE...

You see strong emotional bonds are nice, but they don't pay for groceries or clothes or health care. You want to save marriage...go ahead... just be's not homosexuals who threaten's economics...

Palooka said...

Yeah, liberating Iraqis from oppression is costing too much. Good argument.

Bush misled Americans about how many lives Iraq would cost? Maybe you can quote him where he gave a casualty estimate. Good luck finding that.

I expected several thousand dead in the initial invasion, and always considered "winning the peace" to be the real challenge.

All this bloviating about Bush Admin incompetence is ridiculous. All of you had this idea of a perfect little war, and you were wrong. Wars are from perfect. That is the norm, not the exception. Every American war is full of blunders and miscalcalations. Iraq is no different.

Listen, I really don't care much about gay marriage, but it's a symptom of a much larger problem--an out of control judiciary. They need to be bitch slapped pretty bad, so they learn their constitutional role.

Living wage? Over time baloney? It's always easy to spot a liberal. He's the one that doesn't know dick about economics.

Rothko said...

You're right I don't know...gosh I don't want to use that vulgar word....about economics. I can't imagine how keeping WORKING AMERICANS(that means people who work full time and then some) in poverty is good for our nation or our economy. Making sure there's a nice healthy population of poor WORKING AMERICANS must be good for us as you suggest.

I guess the personal pride and satisfaction of having a job is enough to sustain them. "Gosh, honey I know were poor but it's so great to be out of the house 16 hours a day, away from you an dthe fact I think I'll get a third job...Mrs. Walton needs her share price to go up by another half cent this quarter if she is going to get that new House."

You are happy to talk about liberating oppressed people in Iraq but you won't do the same for your neighbor.

Dude, you're a hero to the children. A pillar of the self-righteous conservative establishment.

Palooka said...

Yes, apparently you don't realize that minimum wages cause unemployment, hurting the very people you claim to support.

You don't realize income redistribution saps growth, reduces job creation, and hurts the people you claim to support.

You just don't realize these things because you, like many other libs, are totally ignorant of economic reality.

Anonymous said...


I disagree with this point. I don't see why Kerry is likely to cut and run if elected. His rhetoric has been to attack Bush for the decision to go to war, and to promise to try to reduce troop levels after four years, if conditions make it possible. But I haven't seen anything from him pushing unconditional withdrawal; certainly not in the near term.

As for outside pressure, if he does leave Iraq early, he will be blamed for any negative outcome. The right will be dying to blame somone other than Bush, after all. We could have made a difference if only we'd seen it through. On the other hand, if he sees things through, I think most people will be more forgiving because he didn't get us into this situation in the first place. I think most people know we're stuck in an extremely difficult situation where there are no obviously good options.

As for the left, there are a few liberal sites that are calling for quick withdrawal, but they're not in the majority. I think most moderate to left sites will give Kerry a lot of room; we've had four years of Bush afer all, and there will be plenty of partisan attacks from the right to keep us focussed. Also, I think a lot of us honestly aren't sure what the right thing to do is at this point.

As for "putting things right in Iraq," I don't even know if that's possible. But if it is, I think the chances of that happening are far far better under a Kerry administration under a Bush administration.


Pusillanimous Wanker said...

Excellent post.

Palooka said...

Klinker and Teles,

If the Swiftees are full of crap, then maybe you can make a fool of Beldar. I'd love to see it :) If you're unwilling to debate the facts, you should have the class to refrain from slandering veterans on a topic you're totally ignorant of.

MWS said...

"I expected several thousand dead in the initial invasion, and always considered "winning the peace" to be the real challenge."

That's extremely disingenuous. You must have been the only one who expected several thousand casualties in the initial invasion. You're saying you thought that Iraq could inflict Tarawa or Okinawa level casualties on U.S. forces? The Administration never cited a casualty figure, but it went out of its way to make people think it would be a cakewalk (in fact, Cheney used those words). After the 1991 war, I doubt anyone expected large casualties in the invasion.

Palooka said...

16,000 Americans died on Okinawa, Genius.

If Cheney said "cakewalk" then you can find me a citation.

Moreover, it is almost entirely useless to equate the 1991 Gulf War with Gulf War 2. The former did not involve urban combat, the latter did. Different ballgame entirely.

Yes, I thought several thousand dead before it was all over (initial invasion, at least) was not unrealistic. Of course I hoped for less.