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I am not being careless with the truth and I don't want this to get ugly.


The Swift Boat Vets are not liars. Have you read their book "Unfit for Command"? Have you visited their web site? Or are you merely repeating the pro Kerry spin as echoed by the main stream media?


Why should Kerry be granted total credibility on the issues surrounding his time in Viet Nam and his activities after returning, compared to over 200 people who served in the same unit and POWs who returned from the Hanoi Hilton? What makes Kerry's version of these events so special? These people had no interest in going public with their complaints. Kerry had every interest in trying to shut them up. Based on interest alone, Kerry's claims deserve thoughtful scrutiny based on all the available evidence. Kerry still has not executed form DD180 (?) the form that lifts all restrictions to his personnel records. George Bush did that concerning his records. Kerry's claim that he has released all records is simply a lie.


Referring to Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this took place after he secretly met with representatives of the North Vietnames and Viet Cong in Paris in 1970. He did at that time in 1971, or shortly thereafter, acknowledge these meetings, but why the earlier secrecy? He was still a naval reserve officer at that time. Interestingly, Section 3 of the 14th amendment probably precludes Kerry from holding his current office, much less that of President. Look it up.


The problem with Kerry's claims in 1971 is that he claimed that the US military committed war crimes on a daily basis as a matter of policy and with the knowledge of all officers at all levels of command. This directly slandered those with whom he served in the navy, his superior officers, and all other veterans of that conflict, including me. No one pretends that no crimes were ever committed. We have Lt. Calley and his superiors to thank for that. The fact that the North Vietnamese used flame throwers against a defenseless village called Dak Son to make an example was a crime that does not excuse Lt. Calley, but was never explored by the critics of the US military at that time. To them it was only the US that was capable of war crimes. But I digress....


If Kerry had not continued the slanders in the puff piece biography released earlier this year, and made his Viet Nam service the centerpiece of his qualifications for president at his convention, the Swift Boat Vets might have taken a pass on the whole thing. I think we should grant them no less good faith in their complaints about Kerry than is granted to Kerry's claims. They had nothing to gain and a great deal to lose by their public opposition to Kerry.


I could write more, but this is enough for now.

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eisley, I am truly disappointed in you. The Swiftboat Liars did more to slander the dignity of all veterans by slandering a comrade in arms and establishing themselves as liars. The record of their claims being debunked as pure fabrications or half-truths twisted beyond recognition has been clearly documented. Those funding the Swiftboat Liars also funded the smears directed at Sen. John McCain.

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Back from TDY, I was in a foreign country for the election. No names, please (but I was able to get a flu shot).

During the days after, I was often politely queried about my feelings. I told them. It seemed to be a relief that I shared their feelings...that they could identify one American who seemed to be an exception to the stereotype they were forming. This bothers me some (but I'm glad I helped dispel the stereotype).

These people who were our friends, are now fearful of us. That bothers me a lot.

The election is over. Kerry is history. The Democrats, if they proceed as with past losses, will bury this crop of candidates with stakes through their hearts.

This administration got the mandate it wanted and they now have a lock on every branch of our government. They can proceed unopposed to do everything they want. No excuses, there will be no others for them to blame because they are in complete control. We elected them. We have given our nod to every program on their agenda. And through that choice we are collectively responsible for everything that comes next. Game over. Get over it.

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I guess I do not see it as the red states as "not ready" for the majority of the Democrat's social agenda. That implies that the Republicans as a group will eventually change to accept them. That will not happen.


What you have are two very different philosophies, and while a few may change from one side of the coin to the other, you will not see either side totally embrace the the other sides concepts. That doesn't mean that one side isn't right. :)

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While the Republicans now have control of two branches of government, they did not get a "mandate" in the sense that a landslide victory, like Reagan got over Mondale, would have given them. One of the most disappointing aspects of Bush's presidency is his abandonment of the "uniter not a divider" philosophy. He is supposed to be president of ALL the people, not just the ones that agree with him. True leadership is building consensus even with those that disagree with your policies.


The results of Bush's "leadership" can be seen in the "we won so go stuff it" attitudes of many "red state" voters.



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One of the most disappointing aspects of Bush's presidency is his abandonment of the "uniter not a divider" philosophy. He is supposed to be president of ALL the people, not just the ones that agree with him. True leadership is building consensus even with those that disagree with your policies.


If two parties (or individuals) are on opposite sides of an issue, such as the Iraq war, how does one build consensus? Capitulating will only serve to aid the enemy and demoralize our troops.




Reread your first post. While it may have been good-hearted, it was really rather condescending to conservatives. As a conservative, let me say this I am not ready for homosexual marriage, nor will I ever be. I am not ready for abortion, nor will I ever be. I am not ready for many things that the democrats stand for. The point being, this is not about the conservatives being ready to accept change. Its about a large number of people losing their moral compass. 50 years ago, this ugly divide between democrats and republicans was not so large. Today, it is what is, not because democrats have evolved or grown, but because they have digressed from our countrys foundation (Judeo-Christian values) and embraced an amoral attitude. Sorry, but I have to call it as I see it. Clearly, until we all agree on the same moral foundation this country will remain sharply divided.


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I find it amusing that nobody wanted to debate the issues, or the campaign in general, BEFORE the election, but people want to debate it now. (To be fair, Rooster did take a couple of jabs at John Kerry in the past month or so, but apparently nobody (including me) felt like taking him up on it.) The election's over, and I for one don't feel much like debating the issues now, after the horse has left the barn, or the elephant has left whereever it is that you'd keep an elephant. I have no problem with OGE's desire to open a discussion of "lessons learned," which is a legitimate subject for after the election. However, I am not surprised to see what it has devolved into. I think it's a bit soon for most people to step back and look at "what it all means." Most people, especially some who frequent "Issues and Politics," are going to see it in terms of the other side side won (or lost) because they are liars, cheats, thieves and scoundrels, with Rooster adding in that the moral people won out over the immoral people. It's predictable, but it doesn't seem inviting as a discussion topic at the moment.


To underline the point that it is a bit soon to step back, yesterday I received an e-mail from a relative of mine who doesn't think Kerry should have conceded and thinks the results in Ohio should be challenged. This is just to say that I am seeing a range of viewpoints on how ready we all are to learn our lessons from this election. (Now that I think about it, the person who sent me this e-mail is an Eagle Scout.)


I do agree with Bob, and Rooster, that there doesn't seem to be much room in this country for "can't we all just get along." We can't, unfortunately. Look at the map. The last time it looked that way, we had a Civil War. Listen to the rhetoric from this election, not just from the candidates but especially from some of their supporters and "independent" groups. (I suspect that my view of who is mostly responsible for the divisiveness differs somewhat from that of Bob, Rooster, eisely and others, but I'm trying to make an objective point here.) On a smaller level, look at the "level" of discussion in this forum sometimes. "Getting along" in politics is a thing of the past, and where that can ultimately lead, I hope we never find out.


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I am a republican and voted for the 1st time in the general election during a presidential year. My analysis is as follows: (If your democrat/liberal you may not want to read)


Its been proven that the hidden reason for a lot of people to get out and vote is because of moral values. The Democratic Party does not have this with the American people. A good example of this is looking at the south. I was watching Hanity and Colmes on fox news (Best network for coverage) Sean brought up a great point with this issue. In 1980 there were about 20 some democratic senators in the south and only 6 republican senators now those numbers have flip flopped. Back then Democratic Party had good religious values but now they've lost. Bush won the catholic vote over his opponent who is catholic.


When you have hardcore liberals such as Michael Moore sucking up a lot of light and being a spokesmen in a way for Kerry its also a bad idea. Michael Moore and his fellow liberal stars failed horribly to try to defeat Bush in this election.


As for my home state of Pennsylvania, my party did half decent. I am a member of college Republicans at Bloomsburg University. I got to see Dick Cheney speak at my university live on my first day of college. I was able to be a staff member at a Bush rally at the Wachovia arena in Wilkes Bare PA a couple weeks ago. Getting to see the president speak lvie is totally different then you see him on TV. The energy surging through a 10,000+ filled arena is incredible. I was very lucky at the entrance from where Bush came out I got to shake his hand which was very big for me at such a young age. I'd compare to my Eagle Scout ceremony or my first deer kill. I knew at that point Bush was going to win the election.


State wide races didn't go to well. I think my party only won attorney general, but that was the only one I was expecting us to win. My state senator won reelection by a lot who is NRA endorsed and has his son in cub scouting. My state rep who is a democrat who I support also is NRA endorsed and has 2 or 3 sons who are eagle scouts. (he even owns his own paint ball field and shop)


The republicans kept Arlen's seat intact. Better to keep the incumbent in office who is a moderate. Toomey a conservative ran against him in April and Arlen squeaked the victory. Since PA is very democratic now it was just better to keep specter to face off against the democrat.


Republicans now have a firm control over all 3 branches of Government. Bush is the first president in 68 years to have won relection and gain seats and both houses. Daschile the minority leader lost his election which was a huge blow for democrats.


Kerry going Canadian geese hunting was the worse thing I had ever seen. As a sportsman for the 2nd Amendment I was very disgusted about that and that also might have pushed a lot more hunters out. John Kerry is very much against the 2nd Amendment.


If Rudy or (if laws are changed) Arnold are the republicans nominees in 08 there is something very wrong with the Republican Party. Arnold for sure won't be and I don't know Rudys views well enough to decide but I do know he is moderate. I'm expecting Hillary as the nominee in 08 and use her husbands legacy (if thats good or bad) to her advantage. Edwards won't be a factor. If Hillary runs in 06 for senate seat again and if Rudy is her opponent she'll get killed. Rudy is moderate enough in my view to win New York for a senate race.


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OGE writes: "Sometimes we have to accept people arent where we want them to be, but being insulting and arrogant and talking down to them doesnt work."


I agree with that. I will not debate the election now, though interestingly enough I'm surrounded by family and friends who of a different political party than I am, and they are suddenly interested in wanting to debate. I don't get it; the election is over now so where is the value in the debate?


Our sons have heard quite a bit on the playground at school, and they have formed some very wrong opinions based on what others say rather than fact. One thing I learned is that I need to help our sons learn to research: check out voting records, read all literature from all candidates, watch the debates, etc. in order to form their own opinions based on reason rather than hearsay. They don't have positions they can defend, but one was particularly quick to speak up about his--and that landed him in some hot water.


Another thing I have learned is that it isn't easy asking others to agree to disagree. I'm fine with others having different opinions, but please don't try to tell me I'm wrong for having mine. That is insulting, and it seems to indicate that I am somehow less competent than those of an opposing view. I'll stay away from talk of the present parties, and instead use an example from the past. When a presidential candidate had won that I have not voted for, I had written a letter of congratulations to him but stated that I had not voted for him and gave my concerns. Why would I bother? That is the candidate who won, and I respect the position even when I disagree with the person holding it. That is the candidate who was given a say in what effects my life, and I won't always get my way in who wins. I have the right to disagree and to express that disagreement, but I do not believe I have the right to put down another--no matter how intensely I may disagree with that person.


One other thing I learned, and I am fascinated by this observation, is that the same information is used by opposing parties to show why each is better than the other. The *same* info! The record, the transcript, the document--whatever the item is may not be nearly so important as how each individual percieves it.


It was an interesting campaign. It is one that showed how different the parties are and how different the candidates are. The issues that divide the parties may have no common ground at all, nor would I even try too hard to make that happen (then what defines each candidate?), but that is what makes the voting process such a privilge to me: we each have a say in who will lead us. We won't all win, but we will all take part in the process, and I was proud to be able to vote. I'll echo the sentiment expressed earlier: God bless the USA!

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NJ, Laurie, my answer to your rhetorical question is that we didn't debate this stuff prior to the election because we 'knew' that such 'debate' would be unlikely to change a single person's view. We choose to debate now because we can do so safely, continuing to separate ourselves from the others without suffering consequences of responsibility, that is, the election's over and the guy is in now no matter what. It is trading one form of deception before the election for another one now. But these responses could be worse. I refer you to:


Bon Apetite

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I guess the lesson that could be learned by reading that little sophmoric rant in the UK Mirror is that drugs and alcohol don't mix well. I suspect that Keith Richards or Ozzy Osbourne could write something just as stunning (perhaps even better) if they could pull themselves off the floor long enough to do so. The article was good for a laugh anyway.

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And I'm sure your embrace would be one of Christian love and forgiveness.

I'm not certain of the authorship. I did note that there was no attribution.

I believe, aside from content, it is important to note that it comes from our strongest ally and may represent a rather popular view in the rest of the world.

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