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First of all Hunt and NJ your posts were both informative and eloquent in their content, thank you for your logical approach. Now it looks like Tom Ridge, Homeland Security is also leaving along with the two top CIA officials who have resigned. OGE I don't care if you think this is normal it is not, there is something fishy going on in DC. I would think that Republicans would also be concerned with recent events. Also another point personally I like Connie Rice but how can you expect her to effectively negoitiate with rulers in the middle east who despise women in powerful positions?


I think Bush and his buddies have bitten off more than they can handle these next four years. I pray our country is not put into a bigger crisis than what we already face today.


OGE I would be happy to discuss Bush vs. Kerry with you anytime, I won't run from any of your questions.

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Acco says:


Maybe Bush will become less partisan and go looking for that "legacy" that too many second term presidents look for.


Well, if "less partisan" means "less ideological" and willing to compromise on issues, one can always hope, but... when I heard the president's "victory speech" and his comment about "now I have political capital, and I am going to spend it" (or words to that effect), I sort of got the opposite impression. I suppose you could interpret it the other way, but I heard it as a statement that there was going to more of a focus on ideology, not less. I guess by "political capital" he was referring to his 51 percent of the popular vote -- which considering that in the last three elections the winning candidate received 40-something (Clinton), 49-point-something (Clinton), and fewer votes than the "losing" candidate (GWB), 51 percent may seem like a landslide, but it really isn't.


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I still don't think you can make too much of the Cabinet departures. Many of them have been rumored for a long time. What really counts is what the replacements are like. The two so far, Gonzales and Rice, are loyal members of Bush's inner circle. Neither is a particular darling of the neocons and religious right. We'll have to see what the rest of the appointments are like, but I predict they will be Bush loyalists and Republican insiders. Bush will pursue his main agenda items--things like tax cuts, eliminating the inheritance tax, privatizing Social Security, etc., while largely ignoring the social issues. The result may be less division in the country, because people are less aware of the implications of the financial issues.

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Its been awhile, so can anyone tell me why Sen Kerry voted against the 87 billion dollars to fund armor for the troops? I must admit seeing Rumsfield on TV fielding questions made me think of this thread.


Let me make this clear, I don't think Bush's approach has been correct, but why did Kerry vote against providing the armor and then promise to give the military everything it needed?

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I have always been troubled by the credence given the Swift Boat veterans. One poster asked for some proof that the ads were lies. Here is an article, also by FactCheck.org that provides direct proof in the form of Navy documentation that Thurlow's statement that there was no enemy fire is a lie. Thurlow recieved an award IN THE SAME INCIDENT. The documentation for Thurlow's award noted that he was under enemy fire.




I say again: these people smeared a good and valiant man.


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Right, so the fact that someone else recieved an award with a similar sitation proves that Kerry was right.


No, it could just be evidence the Navy made two mistakes, not just one.




Also, one must recall that there are literally dozens of veterans who joined in the fight against Kerry.


Now, it is possible that the larger group of people who opposed Kerry were in fact engaged in nothing but a consipiracy to defraud the public. However, it is also possible Kerry and his supporters were either incorrect, confused, or were deliberately misleading.


If you look at the numbers of veterans supporting each version of what happened in Vietnam and after, more supported the Swift Boat Veterans version than supported the Kerry version. It seems to me implausible that there were that many veterans with either personal grudges against Kerry or political vendettas to make that sort of difference.


In any case, the entire Vietnam/Vietnam protest issue from the campaign was a total dissaster for everyone concerned. It would have been best if everyone had simply left the issue alone. However, that isn't what happened. So, instead the old animosity over anything even remotely related to Vietnam was dragged up and made fresh again. I guess it was too much to hope that the country would finally put all that behind it.


I certainly don't know which version, if either, was correct. I wasn't there, and those who were can't seem to agree on what happened. The official record is somewhat unclear on several points. So, I don't really think we will ever know. Some will choose to believe one version or the other, others will just be left more confused than they were before. However, one thing we should all agree on is that all who answered the call to service by their country in that act did an honorable thing. As to the question of weather their entire records are honorable, or their post-war activities were honorable, that I don't feel competent to judge.

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Kerry's service in Vietnam (and Bush's guard service) was relevant to the issue of ability to be commander in chief in wartime.


The war in Vietnam: how we got there, the ideology behind it, how it was waged, is relevent to the issue of our involvement in Iraq. "Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it." (Paraphrase)


If Thurlow thought the facts supporting his award are inaccurate, why hasn't he given his award back? I judge the truth of allegations based on eyewitness accounts and other direct evidence, not numbers of people supporting one side or the other. The Swift Boat veterans, the ones who appeared in the ads, lied.


I will add that I think criticism of Kerry for his anti-war activities is legitimate, although I don't agree with it, because this is a matter of opinion, not fact.



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gsmom; When John Kerry met with represenatives of the North Vietnamese govrnment in 1970, was he then acting as a good and valiant man as you have described him here in this forum? I believe he was still at that time a reserve officer in the USN. My understanding of the Uniform Code of Military Justice would sum this up as a court martial offense, I dont readily recall which article such a crime would fall under, but most veterans who are aware of John Kerrys actions in this matter would likely define it as treason, as I define his despicable act of meeting with the Communist members of a country we(the United States of America)were then in a state of war with. As a citizen of the finest country in the world, you have the right to air your views and your opoinions, as do I. But, you wonder how veterans could not support John Kerry? Have you asked any veterans your question? I am a veteran of 20 years active duty service in the US Navy and am also a combat veteran, and I did not cast my vote for John Kerry based soley on his conduct in 1970. Say what you like, treason is treason.

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this seems to be a balanced account of Kerry's meeting in Paris with delegations to the peace talks there.




He made no secret of it at the time, and I'm sure if it was treason, Nixon would have found a way to prosecute him since he was under surveillance by the FBI.


I don't think it was "treason" any more than it was "desertion" when Bush had a gap in his guard duty (I'm trying to use neutral phrasing here).


While there were many veterans who opposed Kerry, there were also many veterans who supported him, both for his antiwar activities and his Vietnam heroism.


I opposed the war in Vietnam back in the 70's, and I oppose the war in Iraq today for many of the same reasons. I do not oppose all war; I supported the first Gulf war, and the war in Afghanistan. Both the Iraq war and the Vietnam war were based on ideology. In Vietnam it was the domino theory (if Vietnam falls to Communism, the rest of the region will also), and in Iraq it is a reverse domino theory (if democracy is established in Iraq, the surrounding area will follow). Both of these wars were/are supposed to keep us safe. I don't think that goal is being accomplished today. Meanwhile, American and Iraqi lives are being lost.

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The title of this thread is Lessons Learned. Hopefully the loyal opposition (now the Dems) will learn something from the past two campaigns. I have just finished reading "What's the matter with Kansas." Although difficult, it explained a lot.


Hunt makes the point on 11/17 that the social issues (which won the election for Bush) will largely be ignored. What else will they run on if these issues are resolved in their favor? Even with 55 Republican Senators, 240 House and the White House, there will be little social change. The social and moral conflicts between red and blue ideology must be maintained for the working class in the red states to continue to vote Republican, even though these issues will not be resolved.


Gsmom, you continue to make my point with the Factcheck references. Kerry's compaign was not competently administered. There were clear answers to the attacks, yet the general public never "heard" them. Every Kerry supporter on a talk show could have gone "on message" with a clear concise rebuttal to the 87 billion attack which was effective in destroying credibility. Even OGE fell for it. Although the bill passed, the troops are still not being protected to the level THEY feel they need as has been shown in the recent Rumsfeld news.


The incompetence of the Bush administration should have been the theme from March to November. Starting with Bush on the ranch for the entire month of August, 2001 to the fiasco of Iraq, this theme was there and not hammered home.


The financial crisis that is coming will be unprecedented. We cannot sustain 400 billion dollar yearly shortfalls. The Debt limit was just raised to 8 trillion. It was 6 trillion when Bush started a mere 4 years ago. That's a 350 billion dollar mortgage payment every year. We have a 50 billion dollar MONTHLY trade deficit, mostly to China wich has tied their currency to ours. When they float their currency, ours will sink. What do you think the Chinese are doing with that money?


And the response? You are in danger. We must spend more on the Homeland. But we must not raise taxes on a wealthy person because it's their money. Such sacrifice at a time of war. The Republicans have always hated Social Security, Medicare and social welfare. The goal has always been to get rid of these programs. As the Federal Government bloats (it has not shrunk under any recent Republican administration), there will be no funds available to maintain these programs. The rich will get richer and be safe, the poor will not.


And Kansas continues to go red.

(This message has been edited by boleta)

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