So, what did John Kerry accomplish in the Senate that qualifies him to be President?
Quite a bit. A good start for reviewing Kerry's Senate career is David Corn's article in The Nation, What's Right With Kerry. (An excerpted version of this article is included in MoveOn PAC's Kerry Kit.)
Shortly after arriving in the Senate in 1985, Kerry recieved a tip from a fellow Vietnam vet that the CIA-backed Contras were linked to drug smuggling. Fighting against the CIA, the Reagan White House, and other Congressional Democrats, Kerry's invesigation pressed on. His report asserting the linkage between drug runners and the Contras with the knowledge of the CIA and State Department was released in 1989. Many dismissed Kerry's report as a conspiracy theory, but the CIA later acknowledged that they had worked to fund the Contras through drug smuggling.
After the Contra investigation, Kerry launched an investigation against the notorious BCCI, the terrorist's and money launderer's favorite bank. Of course, BCCI wasn't known as a criminal entity, then. And one of BCCI's board members was Democratic fundraiser Clark Clifford. Pressure was strong against Kerry to lay off BCCI, but he blew the lid off it. BCCI was shut down by regulators in 1991.
Kerry also worked with fellow Vietnam vet and former POW John McCain to settle once and for all, the Vietnam POW issue. Kerry's comprehensive investigation concluded that there were no American POWs still captive in Vietnam, opening the way for Bill Clinton to normalize relations with that country.
These are just some of the highlights of Kerry's long record in the Senate. He's also fought for campaign finance reform, blancing the budget, and environmental issues. Daily Kos diarist intrados compiled a list of Kerry's 50 most important bills passed into law, and notes that Kerry has sponsored or co-sponsored 4784 bills and amendments. By contrast, in the same period, John McCain sponsored or co-sponsored 4247.
Ironically, it is Kerry's long Senate record that makes him such a target for some of the worst Republican charges. In their internally inconsistent, out of context way, even the Republicans admit Kerry got things done in the Senate.
Kerry has a record that he can be proud of, and it's a record more Democrats should learn about. Now that I've studied Kerry's accomplishments, I believe more strongly than ever that he will make a good President -- not just a better President than Bush.
P.S. OK, I did my duty by writing about John Kerry. So here's my take on the memos. Either:
- The documents are geniune, authored by Jerry Killian (or his secretary) on an IBM Selectric or Composer in 1972 and stored in his personal files until now; or:
- The documents are the world's most incompetent forgeries, typed up in Word 2002 and photocopied a couple times for "aging." The details in the memos were created by someone with familiarity with Bush's Guard record, probably based on sites like AWOLBush.com; or:
- The documents are the world's most ingenious forgeries, designed to fool CBS News with enough correct details about Bush's Guard service, then blow up in their face when challenged by amature fontologists. Bush is immunized against further questions about his Guard record. (For the extra paranoid, assume the documents are forgeries, but every detail in the documents is true.)
Crossposted from the new Minnesota-based group blog, The New Patriot.