Wow, there is so much to discuss in this article on Kerry's latest blathering that I thought about breaking this up into separate posts. I finally decided to lump it all together into a lengthy post.
Democrat John Kerry accused President Bush on Monday of sending U.S. troops to the "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" and said he'd try to bring them all home in four years. Bush rebuked him for taking "yet another new position" on the war.
This appears to be an extension of his on-again, off-again support of the war; apparently he is against the war this week. Bush rightly condemns him for what appears to be his his nineteenth different position since 1997. As to a pullout, four years for a complete withdrawal may be possible, but his plan calls for pullouts in six months, which is unrealistic and irresponsible.
On Iraq, "suddenly he's against it again," Bush said. "No matter how many times Senator Kerry changes his mind, it was right for America and it's right for America now that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power."
I'm looking forward to seeing the Kerry campaign try to rebut that one little statement. Somehow, I suspect they will either ignore it, or distort it into something totally unrecognizable.
Bush is struggling to escape the distinction of being the first president since the Depression-era Herbert Hoover to finish a term with job losses. With 1.7 million jobs created over the last year, the economy is still down 913,000 jobs overall since he took office.
Kerry doesn't need to challenge Bush when the media parrot his talking points for him. According to this Bureau of Labor Statistics report (look at the chart on page 4), the Current Population Survey (the "Household Survey") and the "Adjusted Household Survey" (which takes the data from the CPS and applies the same criteria as the Payroll Survey, employment has increased, not decreased, since Bush took office. The Payroll survey, which is a larger but more narrowly tailored survey, shows a decrease, but it does cannot account for the self-employed, those who work on farms, or privately employed household workers (which can be anything from maids and nannies to private nurses). The Democrats have been using the Payroll survey because it buttresses their arguments, but its methodology is becoming more and more out of date.
With the quantity of jobs rising, Kerry turned to their quality. "If you want four more years of your wages falling ... if you want four more years of losing jobs overseas and replacing them with jobs that pay $9,000 less than the jobs you had before, then you should go vote for George Bush," Kerry said in Pennsylvania.
Kerry cited a study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute from January indicating jobs in growing industries pay $8,848 less on average than jobs in fading industries. One-third of the new jobs are for janitors, fast-food workers and temporary employees, and they are less likely to offer health insurance than other work, his campaign said.
The EPI study has some serious flaws, as the Annanberg Center's factcheck.org has pointed out.
Addtionally, I don't hear Clinton Administration officials attacking Kerry for "talking down the economy" with the same vigor that they did with Bush in 2000. Somehow, I just can't picture Gene Spurling doing that, since he is an economic advisor to the Kerry campaign.
Kerry said last month he would try to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within his first six months in office, conditioning that goal on getting more assistance from other countries. But he's avoided until now laying out a possible end game.
Hmmmm, since the war ended, Spain and the Philippines have pulled their troops out. France, Germany, and Belgium have said that they would not send troops to Iraq under any circumstances. Who is Kerry expecting to assist us?
He called the president's coalition in Iraq "the phoniest thing I ever heard" and played up the money spent on Iraq that could have gone to domestic needs.
With the departure of troops from Spain, Philippines, Honduras, and Dominican Republic, there are now only 31 countries participating in the coalition. I'm sure that they appreciate the sneering condescension from the Kerry/Edwards camp. After all, the Democrats are the ones who are accusing Bush of "alienating our allies".
"This president rushed to war without a plan to win the peace, and he's cost all of you $200 billion that could have gone to schools, could have gone to health care, could have gone to prescription drugs, could have gone to our Social Security," he said.
So, even though both Edwards and Kerry voted FOR the war, both voted AGAINST funding it. Little wonder why the active-duty military breaks for Bush by over 20%. Instead, they've decided to demogogue the issue, rather than provide solutions to the problem.
If they believed that Bush didn't have a plan, why did they authorize the use of force in Iraq? Wouldn't that be reckless and irresponsible as well?
On the war issue in particular, the Kerry/Edwards campaign is desperately attempting to be on both sides of the issue at once. The media are doing their best to comply, but blogs and search engines are underming the effort. As more and more people discover blogs, they will read and see how the Democrats' position changes from week to week, and some of them will vote accordingly.