April 2004 Archives

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) of the Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday and today has announced it is time for the American people to consider whether the U.S. should reinstate the draft. He gives reasons for this ranging from equity of rich and famous being forced to serve as the middle class and poor are now serving, and the fact that the National Guard and Reserves are simply insufficient additions to our needs for a larger military force. Hagel deserves a medal whatever his reasons, for bringing Bush’s view of decades of war in defense of God’s gift to all people - freedom, to the forefront.

My aunt says she will never discuss her politics with anyone else. I suspect we differ on a number of issues. This has not been a good political morning for me, but, I managed to find some relief from it all - more on that in a moment.

My aunt also won't discuss religion with others in public. It would appear she fears differences should her feelings be known. I have always thought there was nothing to fear in America for disagreeing with someone politically, or religiously. Today was one where I simply had to make my feelings be known. First, a little about this political morning.

Nader On A Roll

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Ralph Nader will appear on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on CNN this Sunday, April 18 beginning at 1:15 eastern time (check your local listings).

Just received an email from Nader's campaign announcing his launching of a campaign to call for an impeachment inquiry of Pres. Bush and V.P. Dick Cheney. Apparently it only takes 1 member of the House of Rep.'s to call for the inquiry to start the process of investigation.

posted by David R. Remer

Over at WatchBlog is an excellent and constructive discussion of who is responsible for 9/11. The discussion is taking place among Liberals, Conservatives, folks currently or previously in government and the discussion is, believe it or not, civil and constructive. Check out "Yes, 9/11 Could Have Been Prevented" and join in the discussion.

by David R. Remer, PoliWatch.Org, WatchBlog

Operation Vigilant Resolve this week would be better named Operation Vigilant Devolve. It was wrong for the U.S. to enter war with Iraq without the U.N.'s backing and cooperation. That is clear to all except the religiously loyal Bushites. The growing civil and anti-U.S. occupation war developing in Iraq threatens the handover of government to Iraqi's this summer, because it is becoming apparent what many scholars predicted before invasion, that the differing sects in Iraq will not cooperate in a unified government. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said today about the handover threat, "We will make it work."

Whether Donald Rumsfeld understands what he and our troops are really facing is in grave doubt due to such words as he spoke today. Before one can will a thing to happen, one must know that it is possible to make it happen. When the will and intent to win was adamant in the 60's but, the plausibility of any winning scenario was simply not believable, the United States was caught in a trap of pouring ever more American blood into Vietnamese soil with no end in sight. The reason there was no end to the stream of 52 thousand American body bags and 100's of thousands of injuries, was because the will to win was not matched by a strategy or plan that could win. And politicians refused to face the reality that they had erred in their calculations, erred in their planning, and hopelessly underestimated their opponent.

There is still a winning scenario - Turn the war in Iraq over to the U.N. by whatever means necessary. Then the U.S. can claim credit for deposing a ruthless demonic dictator, while laying the burden of decades of nation building and social and cultural rehabilitation which will be necessary in Iraq to allow self governance to become successful. But, like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Richard Nixon, the unwillingness of American leaders to admit loss or failure prior to the brink of domestic civil war in the U.S. is every bit as evident in President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld as in their predecessors. But there is no winning scenario if the U.S. pins its hopes of turning security in Iraq over to a civil democratic government representing the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. It will take at least a generation or two to bring that about, and our losses will only increase over those decades, threatening domestic peace and tranquility here at home.

It was wrong to invade Iraq without U.N. sanction - meaning, unless and until, the U.N. backed the invasion, the U.S. had no winning strategy, exit strategy, or any other kind of realistic appraisal or strategy backing its targeting of Iraq. Whatever we gained by having a presence in the Middle East, as the last year of history in Iraq demonstrates, will be outweighed by the countless billions of tax dollars, hundreds and even thousands of American troop deaths before it is over, 10's of thousands of injuries, losses of limb, and grief born destruction of families here in America. It was a wrong decision to invade Iraq without the U.N. and pursuing redemption by pursuing a war that has no end will not make the first wrong right, it will just continue to put make American troops in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in what otherwise should be pursuit of terrorists threatening the U.S. instead of a civil war and nation building in Iraq that will take a generation at least.

It is an old maxim in politics that the only person who can beat an incumbent is the incumbent themself. Often it is quoted as "The election is his/hers to lose". Polls this week appear to support that maxim as Kerry pushes past Bush in a number of polls. Kerry's platform is still relatively undefined in the minds of voters, but, President Bush's and his administration's actions are now everywhere in the media and being evaluated by voters. The polls are showing Bush's record, including his war on terrorism, are defeating him. The public is slow to respond to political news, but, given time and media saturation, the voting public is not easily duped or deterred by "doublespeak", spin, or contradictions.

A CBS article regarding its poll states:

Americans believe the Bush Administration is cooperating with the 9/11 Commission, but that there is still more to learn: most say the Administration isn't telling the entire truth about what they knew before 9/11.

With so many former administration personnel fired or quit coming forth with testimony that the Bush administration was on a mission and no facts or events were going to deter it from its original course, the American people are awakening to the realization that this President, rather than responding to events, may actually have partially been the cause of them: the rise in deficits and national debt, the growth in the number of terrorists gunning for the U.S., and the growth in the number of programs proposed that fail on their face to address our nation's most important needs.

Programs like the illegal immigrant amnesty program, moon and mars colonization programs, undermining the funding for public schools with voucher programs and undermining children's education by underfunding No Child Left Behind, and budgeting for a federal promotion of marriage, are mounting up in voters minds as ineffective, wasteful, and misuse of our nation's resources in addressing the more important concerns of voters like national debt, protecting our borders from terrorist entry, and exporting American jobs.

In a Los Angeles Times poll and article the following is quoted:

The survey found presumed Democratic nominee John F. Kerry holding a 49% to 46% advantage over Bush among registered voters, a difference within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Adding independent candidate Ralph Nader to the mix resulted in little change. In the three-man race, Kerry drew 47%, Bush 44% and Nader 4%.
This poll too shows "Most Americans accept Richard Clarke's key criticisms of President Bush's anti-terrorism record, but a majority also thinks that politics influenced the timing of the charges by the former White House aide, a Los Angeles Times poll has found."

These polls however must be countered with two other state polls reported on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire site which reports:

In Pennsylvania, President Bush "has moved to a six-point lead" over Sen. John Kerry in this key battleground state, the latest Daily News/CN8 Keystone poll shows. (Full poll results are available.)
In Indiana, President Bush leads Sen. John Kerry, 52% to 37%, according to the latest Bellwether Poll.

Indiana with a long history of being a KKK state, is not a great surprise. Pennsylvania's poll demonstrates that Bush's platform issues on morality and pro-choice still resonate with large numbers of voters in various parts of the country.

Polls this early in the game are no predictor's of election results. They do however, provide some evidence of the impact of candidate's campaign strategies and tactics and media coverage of issues of the day. Somewhere in the Whitehouse in the back of a political mind is a growing question of Karl Rove's ability to improve upon the year 2000's election results. Sometimes no amount of political strategy can overcome an incumbent's record. It remains to be seen if November will be one of those times.

by David R. Remer, PoliWatch.Org

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