Bush's Meet The Press interview

I was glad to hear Tim Russert ask tough questions. The press hasn’t entirely lost its spine.

Bush continues to draw a connection where none exists, referring to the war in Iraq as part of the War on Terror. Like the much ballyhooed WMD, there has been no evidence found that connects Iraq with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, or the September 11th attacks. This is bordering on lying. Justified or not, the war in Iraq was not about terrorism.

When Russert asked about Osama bin Laden (you know, the guy who actually attacked our country), Bush couldn’t provide information on any progress that has been made. Why? Because rather than seeing the war in Afghanistan through to a definite conclusion, Bush held back or diverted resources that could have led to the capture of bin Laden because he was dead set on going to war in Iraq. In addition to failing to catch bin Laden, the so-called national government is without national power; there is a joke in Afghanistan that Hamid Karzai is the President of Kabul because the government he heads has little or no authority outside of the capitol city.

Like his father, he ignores the actual state of the economy while closing his eyes and saying “everything is looking up”. He had no answer as to why 2.2 million jobs have been lost under his administration or why their job creation projections have been so inaccurate. He claimed his tax cuts help the “entrepeneurs,” who have apparently not been creating businesses that require employees.

Bush claims that he is still trying to be a uniter, while supporting a discriminatory constitutional amendment that bolsters his support with conservatives and alienates him from many Americans.

Then there is the general attitude the Bush administration has governed with, one of arrogant absolutes and hubris. One would think that he could recognize that he did not receive a mandate from voters, barely making it into office. Politicians who are elected (that Bush was even elected is questionable) under these circumstances usually accept that they must work with their opposition. Not Bush.

Overall, this interview reaffirmed almost everything I dislike about Bush and his administration: the inability to admit error, passing the buck (it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault!), governing as though God placed you in office, Bush’s fake folksiness, and the pandering to the most extreme on the Right.

Bush must go.

Greens

The Seattle Times has an article which includes quotes from several former or current Green Party officials.

Two from Kara Ceriello, former chair of the Washington Green Party:

“In 2000 it was a fine time to run a Green Party candidate and grow the party that way and gain a lot of recognition and that worked very well. Except we did end up with Bush,” she said.”

She says “we did end up with Bush” as one might say “I received my degree, but I got a paper cut from it.” This is Bush we’re talking about – he’s not some side effect that is a minor problem, far outweighed by the benefit.

“I think we can show that we are not separatists like the Democrats and Republicans; we will work with others toward a common goal.”

Not separatists? The Greens I’ve met are among the most adamant ideologues – if you don’t completely agree with them, you are wrong, stupid, and/or a sellout. That’s being inclusive? Last I checked, there was far more diversity of views in either the Democratic or, yes, the Republican party.

Two from Jody Haug, a Green Party facilitator:

“The Green Party does not want another party to take over our internal processes, and it is our overall, long-term strategy to build our own Green Party, not to take over another party.”

So where are the Green City Council members? Mayors? Senators? Congressmembers? Why doesn’t the Green Party think it needs a base of elected local and state officials upon which to build a viable and effective party? As was shown by Nader in 2000, shooting for the top spot without building such support will only result in failure. I don’t think the U.S. is inherently a two-party state, but the Green Party hasn’t built a party, they’ve built a mutual admiration society where they swoon over their own righteousness.

“My basic feeling is, I personally will not vote for the lesser of two evils, because I don’t think it gets less evil that way.”

This is a big part of why the Greens have so little support – they see everything in black and white, when most of the world is shades of gray. This is a form of separatism that is just as bad as the far Right – total dedication to an ideology while ignoring the reality that we live in.

Two from David Cobb, current Green Party presidential hopeful:

“My strategy is to focus resources in those states where the Electoral College votes are not considered in play.”

An admirable admission of political reality, but why is he running for President? Greens want to be at the top without having to climb the ladder to get there.

“We have a responsibility to exert our strength wisely for the good of the country and the good of the Green Party.”

A Green who puts the country ahead of their party?! They do exist!

Dean's Attacks on Kerry

First let me say that I think Kerry, Dean, Clark, or Edwards would be a huge improvement over Bush. I am leaning towards Kerry, but I’d vote for any of those four if nominated. Bush must go.

The thing that is pissing me off is the seeming willingness of Dean and some of his supporters to use the patently false argument against Kerry that Nader used against Gore in 2000: there is no difference between him and Bush. People who bought Nader’s bullshit then should consider that theory with the hindsight of the last several years. Would Gore have advocated drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge? Would he support a constitutional amendment discriminating against homosexual couples? Would he have launched a pre-emptive war? Would he say that God told him to do it?

Yes, Kerry has taken money from “special interests.” Please tell me: what was it that Dean’s campaign manager, Roy Neel, did before taking over for Joe Trippi? He was a big-time telecom lobbyist. Does this mean he is an evil guy and can’t possibly do good things for the country? No. It does mean that Dean’s campaign is not entirely free of the “special interest” influence that he now lambastes Kerry over.

Among the 2004 contenders, Kerry has the highest lifetime approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters (go here to see the scorecards). Bush has the lowest rating of all, a result of his policies as both Governor of Texas and President.

There are also some who seem to think that Kerry’s Boston Brahmin background and marriage to a woman of immense wealth mean he can’t do good things for common people. Does anyone remember F.D.R. or Kennedy? Both came from privileged families, but believed strongly in helping those who did not.

Considering that both Kerry and Bush come from wealthy families, why didn’t Kerry take the rich kid’s way out of Vietnam, using connections to enter the National Guard? Bush did. Rather than me citing the usual Kerry medals and citations information, here is a letter from a man who served with him:

“There are probably few people in Washington state who know Sen. John Kerry as I did. I served under Lt. Kerry on the USS Gridley DLG-21 from September 1967 to April 1968. I have the utmost respect for Sen. Kerry’s candidacy for the following reasons:

  • He tried to get to know his crew and spoke with sailors on a person-to-person basis regularly.
  • He worked hard at doing his work well; this set an example for us all to do our best, too.
  • He mentioned to me a concern for a Vietnamese village targeted for bombing missions. This translated to me a humanness and deep concern for casualties of war. I’ve never forgotten that encounter.
  • I’m a school teacher now in Port Orchard. I’ve followed Sen. Kerry’s career since he began making news protesting the war in Vietnam. Believing in the rights of citizens to influence government, he has served with distinction, first in the Navy, then citizen protester. He has served the people of his state, first as lieutenant governor, and now as a U.S. senator. Isn’t that what we’re trying to teach our students? To get involved, serve, do good and lead?

I’ve been proud to say to my students that I served under the senator in the Navy. I know he will make a great president. Please, Washington voters, make Kerry your choice in Saturday’s caucus.”

Does this letter describe Bush-Lite?

Kerry and Vet Votes

“In Davenport, Iowa, I observed one caucus where the results were startling and suggestive: Vets and their families made up two-thirds of newly registered Democrats, who gave Kerry a lopsided margin over all competitors.”

-The Nation: Kerry’s Army

“For many the bond is deeply emotional. Michael Steven Myers, a decorated Vietnam veteran from Virginia Beach, called Mr. Kerry’s office two weeks ago to volunteer. ‘In the start I backed the president on Iraq because that is what a soldier does,’ Mr. Myers said. ‘But after awhile the reasons they were giving fell away, and now it started to bring back my feelings about Vietnam. Again, a lot of us are ending up asking where is the endpoint and why U.S. soldiers are dying there.'”

-The New York Times: Veterans Move to Kerry, Even From Afar

John Kerry is polling strongly with veterans, a result of the combination of his veteran status and the fact that Iraq looks more and more like a war launched on either a pretense or massive, collective mistakes. If veterans have a choice between someone who knows what it is to have your life placed in danger because of the lousy decisions of politicians or a good ol’ boy who went AWOL from the Air National Guard, who do you think they are going to pick?

Lieberman

The New York Times: Democratic Chief Says ‘AWOL’ Bush Will Be an Issue After a Nominee Emerges

“Speaking to reporters after attending services at the New Destiny Fellowship Congregation in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Lieberman said that his campaign had enough money to continue through to the Virginia primary on Feb. 10 so that his ‘unique voice’ could be heard.”

“‘Unlike some of the other candidates — who, I’m beginning to fear, are drifting toward outdated class warfare arguments — I’m never going to be an antibusiness candidate because it’s businesses that create the jobs for people and help people work their way up into the middle class,’ he said.”

Advocating progressive, proportional taxation and a tax code which encourages businesses to play by the rules is not “class warfare.”

In other Lieberman news, in a recent Seattle-area synagogue straw poll, Lieberman won 3 of an estimated 70 votes. So much for “his people” sticking with him…