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View Diary: Pro-war people were wrong (309 comments)

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  •  Why? (none)
    This is not to be meant as an insult, but why did you vote for Bush? I am intrigued.
    •  My personal choice . . . (4.00)
      Like most people I voted to some extent on issues but looked heavily to the question "who do I think I can better trust to try to do the right things?"  

      On the issues, I lean R.  Still, I could be sold on a DNC Democrat; but Gore turned me off as a person.  I got the sense that he would say or do whatever best served his goal of getting elected.  I know it's petty, but the sighing off-camera thing during the debate turned me off.  Has this guy no sense of dignity?  Finally, I thought Clinton was all in all not very effective in one of his primary roles -- chief foriegn affairs and national security executive.  I figured Gore would hire most of the same folks, and continue similar policies.  

      Bush on the other hand struck me as a guy who, on big issues, would try to figure out the right thing to do and push for it even if the polls showed iffy public support.  I figured Bush was a guy who would stick to his guns, and not be blown all over the map by shifts in the polls.  And I think I have gotten roughly what I bargained for there.

      I had real questions about whether Bush's lack of experience would cause him to flap and drift around.  To me, he has done better on this score than I feared.  To the extent Bush has screwed up, I do not think inexperience has been the reason.

      Note -- I have shared this reply as a good faith answer to Genf's qestion.  The rest of you-all:  please resist the urge to give me a piece of your mind, no matter how much you think I need and deserve it!  

      •  Thank more question. (none)
        Sorry, but you answered so nicely.

        I know you don't speak for all Republicans, but what do you think about this strategy of Dems "shifting" to the right to attract Repub. voters? Gore shifted to the right, why didn't this shift interest you?

        Okay that was more than one question. Answer, as you want.

        •  It 'did' interest me (none)
          Fairly or not, in the 80's, I viewed the Dems as hopeless doves, fiscally irresponsible, and constitutionally unable to tackle welfare reform.  Clinton, and Gore to an extent, went a long way to overcome these negatives.  

          The 'dove' thing hsa remained an issue for me.  Whatever one thinks of the current Iraq adventure, perhaps we can all agree that this is a dangerous world, and that even diplomatic solutions depend on us having the percieved will to use military force if necessary to protect our vital interests.  I have remained concerned that many of the D's have been tempted to cut military funding to increase domestic funding; and that many D's view the military with suspicion (a strange attitude to maintain when one is in charge of the military.  Congress can always keep the President from screwing up taxing/spending decisions too completely.  But the President has huge control over foriegen policy and national security.

          •  Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn (none)
            Mark, you just needed to sign up with the right Democrats.  A little jaunt through history with either of the above named gents would have shown you that combining progressive ideas at home with a big stick (when justified) abroad were down the middle ideas with the Democratic Party.  I live in Henry Jackson's home town (Everett WA) and I have a hard time thinking he would ever have signed off on this one.
            •  Maybe we talked our selves into war (none)
              For 8 years, Clinton made warlike noises about Saddam, and the UN joined the chorus.  And of course, a large congressional majority voted for the war.  It is quite debatable whether invading Iraq is a good idea, but the invasion was not a huge departure from the attitudes and policies the political class allowed themselves to voice (with whatever intentions) over the last decade.  To an extent, another illustration of the power of demogogey.
              •  Maybe you talked your way (none)
                Clinton's warlike noise equalled possibly dropping a cruise missile or two on a Saddam palace, not a ground invasion.

                And a large congressional majority did NOT vote for the war.  They voted to let the President use his best judgement, and presumed better access to intelligence, to decide, after all diplomatic measures were exhausted, to go to war - not at all the same thing.  At the time it seemed that only credible threats of force would get UN Inspectors in with unfettered rights of entry everywhere.  And that seems to have been correct - UN Inspectors were allowed in, and in retrospect were doing a fine job.

                Kerry's vote forced Saddam to allow Inspectors in.  And in a couple of months they would have demonstrated what we all now know to be true - Saddam has no deployable WMD.

                Contrary to murmerings we hear from the Right, Saddam did not kick the Inspectors out, he did not even try hard to obstruct their work.  Bush yanked them out because he needed to get his war on before the Dog Days of June and July made the dash to Baghdad difficult or impossible.  The plan was to have this all over by Fall.  And it seems that the follupup was to be a ramp up for a 2004 jaunt into Syria.

                Kerry did not vote to go to war.  And Bush made it clear that it was his war and his war only "I get to make the decision".

                Sorry, there is no collective responsibility here.  Bush lied, GI's died

      •  Decisions, decisions... (none)
        Mark G, it's interesting that you evaluated the candidates on those criteria. It shows how thoroughly the Bush-Rove line penetrated your thinking at the time. You were impressed by those character traits that the Bush campaign played as strengths: resoluteness, sees the right thing and does it, sees the big picture. And you bought into the picture of Gore that the Rethugs pushed: no central core, defaults to the expedient position, and the biggest Rethug canard--weak on foreign policy.

        Of course, the same Bush character traits you bought could be described as stubborness, obtuseness, unresponsiveness, not being open to contrary viewpoints, aloofness and a lack of curiosity amounting to being almost brain-dead. Add in a streak of cruelty (remember Karla Fay Tucker?), avoidance of responsibility (Natl Guard non-service, business bailouts) and a juvenile tendency to demean others (stupid nicknames), and we've got the man sitting in the Oval Office today.

        •  Sounds to me as if Rove got to both of us! (none)
          I call it 'resoluteness', you call it "stubborness, obtuseness, unresponsiveness . . ."  -- but we are both seeing the same trait, just in a positive vs. negative light.
          •  Never! (none)
            Mark, I'm one of those people who couldn't pull the Republican lever if it killed me. During the 2000 campaign, I knew I didn't like Bush, although I wasn't thrilled with Gore's campaign. I thought Gore made too many mistakes due to an innate sense of caution. But my opinions on the issues could never embrace the Republicans' stance.
      •  Thanks to all (none)
        Replying to my own post just to say thanks to all the folks who, though no doubt disagreeing with me, were very kind -- and even gave me 4's.  

        I am a little ashamed of my 'don't flame me' tag.  I won't do that again.

        •  appreciate your sincerity (none)
          No need to apologize for the "don't flame me" comment.  People have been flamed here at dKos for "unpopular" sentiments honestly expressed.  I'm really glad people treated you respectfully in this thread.

          If, after dropping the "no-flames" request you are ever flamed in the future after yourself being thoughtful, sincere, but "dissentful" -- please don't leave dKos immediately in disgust.  Just try adding the same "don't flame me" wording you used here.  I very much welcome your voice, even if we may disagree on some important issues.  You are a great contributer.

          Hear it? The Oracle cries the demise of He-Who-Lies. And the rise... of civil America.

          by Civil Sibyl on Tue Apr 20, 2004 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Genuine conversation :-) (4.00)
      I'm glad Genf asked and I'm especially glad that MarkG was comfortable enough and courageous enough to share his response.  Obviously many will disagree with his thinking - but he offers us a great gift - THIS is exactly the people that we need to reach and convince to vote Dem.

      the concerns and impressions are real.  
      The GOP has been very very adept at speaking to these voters - the Dems must be now.

      We need folks like this to form the sort of majorities it take - not just to get elected - but to implement policy changes.  

      It's also important, in my mind, not to have lockstep ideological purity - that is dangerous - regardless of who's ideology it is.  Only an environment where questions are not only permitted, but encouraged.  

      As I've often said - If I were in charge - things would be screwed up differently.   No one of us has all the right answers - and cults of personality lead to excess.

      I increasingly feel that Kerry is the right man at the right time for this country - maybe, just maybe - we can get beyond the hero worship and one liners and ingnite a new era of genuine political debate.

      the only thing that trickles down in a trickle down economy... is the bill.

      by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 02:24:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pulling together a majority (none)
        I know that most folks here have a hard time seeing Bush as anything but an extreme; but his strategy, like Clinton's, Gore's, and now Kerry's, is to win the middle.  Bush's steps to sound centrist is to avoid past R's bitching about the NEA, don't bash the unions, don't bitch too loud when the Supreme Court says you can't arrest gays, keep generally quiet about abortion, push an a perscription drug benefit as far as you can without R congressmen revolting, etc.  Does Bush deserve a medal for any of this?  No -- he is just trying to stay in the middle.

        Kerry does not have to agree with Bush on everything; but if he disagres with Bush about most things, he has either moved off the middle -- or he has calculated better than Bush where the middle really is.

        Apart from issue politics:  isn't personality decisive 3 out of 4 times?  Folks talk about Bush "defining" Dukakis as a liberal, but in my book Dukakis' bigger problem is that he came across as a grumpy, superior, tight-a**.  Who wants to vote for a guy like that?  Same problem Dole had.  And a better personality would have put Gore in the White House today.

        •  I agree... (none)
          It is the old adage which came first the chicken or the egg?


          Was Clinton popular because of his centrist leaning or because he was damn charming?

          I'd have to vote for damn charming.

          •  Both (none)
            Don't most of us fist rule out candidates on the 'other side' of our litmus test issues, then vote based on personality -- whether the candidate seems trustworthy, conpetent, and well-intentioned?  To get elected, candidates have to minimize the number of voters who fule them out based on some litmus test.  Thus, for example, R candidates shut op about pressing an anti-aborton constitutional amendment or drastically curtailing affirmative action, and D's soften their stance on gun control and supporting gay marriage.
            •  So that leads to more questions... (none)
              1. Kerry is shifting right on foreign policy i.e. Iraq and Isreal?
              As a "republican" would this attract you to vote for him?

              2. He is also shifting right on the economy more tax cuts.
              Declaring that he is "not a redistribution Democrat," Senator John Kerry told a group of wealthy and well-connected supporters on Thursday that he would soon start an aggressive campaign to define himself as a centrist, in hopes of peeling moderate Republicans from President Bush.

              As a "republican" would this attract you to vote for him?

              3. Kerry has already softened his stance on gun-control and gay marriage, the only thing he has not back down on is abortion.
              As a "republican" would this attract you to vote for him?

              Sorry to use you as a guinea pig, but I am just not convinced that these shifts to the right actually do anything but piss off the base. I do not see Bush shifting to the left. In fact he is going further to the right.

              So the REAL question is wouldn't be more effective to be a "centrist" within the Democratic Party than a centrist between the Republican and Democratic parties??

              •  Guinea Pig (none)
                Several reactions -- A candidate gets credit only for positions people believe he/she is really committed to.   I take Kerry's campaign positions with a grain of salt, to the extent I doubt (1) the sincerity of his commitment or (2) his ability to deliver any results.  As an illustration, folks took Bush's AIDS initiatives with a grain of salt, doubting his sincerity; and should question both candidates' (not feasible) promises to launch big new spending initiatives while simultaneously balancing the budget.

                That said, many of the positions you list would, in theory, make Kerry more attractive to me than otherwise.  Exceptions:  I am not an NRA type and have no issue with gun control beyond by lawyerly concern that we may not be execricing a proper level of respect for the text and history of the Second Amendment (I don't know enough about that to be dogmatic; y'all take your disagreements to Gene Volokh).  Also, I have no conceptual problem with taxing the 'rich.'  Unless there is some economic benefit I do not appreciate, I think the President's inclme tax cut should have left the top bracket alone, or at least created a new "really rich" bracket, at the top rate established under Clinton. (Inheritance tax is too big for this reply)

                Finally, I think Kerry's focus on 'outsourcing' -- unless he really favors economic isolationism -- is mostly grandstanding, and that his corporate tax proposals aimed at 'Benedict Arnold' corporatons will on balance hurt American job seekers more than it helps them.

                I am puzzled by Kerry's effort to tell a rich audience that he is not a 'redistribution Democrat.'  Obviously no president of either party (distinct from Ralph Nader) is going to adopt an agressive policy of soaking the rich:  the measures under serious debate will impact the rich only moderately.  And on those measures -- the top income tax bracket, capital gains, and inheritance tax -- Kerry not only sides against the 'rich,' but bashes Bush for pandering to them.  Probably a necessary theme for Kerry to win; but it makes his 'not a redistributionist' remarks seem a bit hollow.  

                Finally, with some trepidation, I will touch on gay marriage.  I have seroius reservations about court decisions striking down state laws as unconstitional, finding that long standing majoriarian ideas of decency do not provide even a "rational basis" for state legislation.  Taken to its logical conclusion, this view would leave states no power to regulate any behavior not proved to be harmful to others.  And if this view is not to be taken to its logical conclusion, the courts, in my view, are simply making political (=legislative) decisions, and using constitutional analysis as a pretext.  A small illustration -- in ruling that the Massachusetts constitution requires that gay couples be free to marry, the court made a point of saying it was not overturning other limitations on marriage, such as the rule against allowing first cousins to marry.  What is the 'rational basis' for that?  If two gay guys want to get married, but happen to be first cousins, what basis does the Court have for standing in their way -- apart from the historical majoritarian sense that it is not 'decent' for cousins to marry.  A good libertarian would say that the Courts should/ throw out all laws not designed to stop people from hurting their neighbors; but I am not a libertarian.  (Not a Nazi either).

                I am absolutely not trying to pick a fight with anyone on this issue.  And I do believe in 'privacy rights' of a constitutional magnitude, which may be burdened only to vindicate a 'compelling state interest.'  But that is not the analysis being applied by the latest decisions.

                Bottom line:  the positions voiced by Kerry would enable me to vote for him in theory:  but Bush is staking out many of the same positions more credibly.  And again, I do not think Kerry is a very appealing human being.  My assessment is that neither clintin nor Bush would never have said of his Secret Service agent "that son of a bitch knowcked me over."  No posturing, really -- that remark made me think Kerry is a nasty, petty guy.

                •  THANK YOU!!!!!! (none)

                  I really really appreciate your remarks.

                  As a lifetime Democrat looking in the face of another Bush term, I am having a hell of a time coming to grips with Kerry. Because, I just don't like the guy. You are right he is nasty and petty. Clinton could get away with taking candy from a baby and everyone would cheer.

                  Although, it seems slight the cursing of the SS guy but it was very telling. Also, the moment Kerry  knew he had the nomination sewn up he went on a rampage trying to purge anyone who worked with Dean from the Democratic Party. That is in it's self showed he was a weak petty man.

                  I could go on and on about what he did during the primaries, but as many people have noted the only way they can sell Kerry is to say that he is not Bush.

                  •  You are too kind (none)
                     . . but you are welcome.

                    I think one problem is that we the people have let presidential politics turn into such a snake pit that smart, capable decent people hesitate to run -- leaving us to choose among 'professional politicians, who too often are not the best our country has to offer.

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