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corporate dominance | government | imperialism & war selection 2004

THIRD OPTIONS FOR '04: Nader (Ind.), Peroutka (Rep.), Buchanan (Rep.) Terrify US Estab.

SPLIT THE REPUBLICAN VOTE,'04! Ralph Nader and the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka announce Presidential candidacies on a February 2004 weekend, terrifying the establishments of both major American political parties. Because of an antiquated way of tallying voting, called first past the post (FPTP), Electoral Congress votes go to whomever has the largest minority of votes, instead of having proportional representation in the Electoral Congress which would make all third parties nationally viable immediately). Until this change occurs, the outcome of the Presidential election in the first Tuesday in November may hang in the balance due to the divide-and-conquer contexts of third party demographic surges due to appeals to the swing vote in select states and appeals to ex-Democratic or ex-Republican party loyalists.

Plus, the journalist who broke the story about definite Bush family UNPUNISHED connections to Nazi German war profiteering, John Buchanan is running as another Republican leaning "9-11 truth" candidate.

For those rightists you know who are unable to stomach a huge idenity change and vote Nader, suggest Peroutka or Buchanan. "During the [Peroutka '04 announcement celebration] meal, I am seated next to a young man and wife in their 20s, obviously new to political gatherings and the rubber-chicken circuit. They voted for Bush in 2000, their first year of voting eligibility. Distressed at their own economic plight and the Iraqi War, it had crossed their minds to ". . . vote for Nader. But then friends of ours told us about this man, Peroutka."
Stop the Neo-con Bush/Kerry '04!
Stop the Neo-con Bush/Kerry '04!
BACKGROUNDER ON THE 'SPLIT THE REPUBLICAN VOTE' PROJECT: TRIM THE NEO-CON BUSH BACK DOWN TO SIZE.

1.

REPUBLICAN: Michael Anthony Peroutka, a graduate of Loyola College in Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law, is Chairman of the Constitution Party of Maryland and a member of the Executive Committee of the Constitution Party National Committee. Michael and his wife, Diane, live in Millersville, Maryland with their three children, Elizabeth, Timothy and Patrick. Founder of The Institute on the Constitution, a nation-wide program teaching the principles incorporated in the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, Michael has, for 18 years, been a partner with his brother Stephen in the Pasadena, Maryland law firm of Peroutka & Peroutka. Inspired by his parents, Anthony and Elizabeth Peroutka, Michael was called to public service at an early age, providing leadership in support of the right to life, the right to keep and bear arms, and other Constitutional causes. Michael resigned from a position with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when he recognized that none of the programs on which he was working were Constitutionally permissible. Michael also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Conservative Caucus Research, Analysis & Education Foundation.

2.

REPUBLICAN: John Howard Buchanan was born in the Civil War town of Petersburg, Virginia. He is the grandson of a Methodist minister, John Hardy, and the son of a civil service bookkeeper, Edna Hardy Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan attended Massanutten Military Academy, where he graduated in 1968 as the Salutatorian of his class. He studied journalism and creative writing at New York University, The New School for Social Research (NY) and UCLA. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in February 1970 as a staff writer for The Hudson Dispatch in Union City, NJ. He later joined the Newark Evening News, and the New York entertainment monthly After Dark. Mr. Buchanan actively protested the Vietnam War until it ended in 1974, and draws upon the painful but essential lessons of that era today in his analysis of the Iraq war and its aftermath. In 1974, Mr. Buchanan and his wife moved to Mount Desert Island, Maine, where he became a freelance magazine writer. In 1976, he founded Maine Magazine, one of the first statewide regional magazines. In late 1978, Mr. Buchanan sold the magazine and moved to Los Angeles, where he became a travel writer and editor. In 1985, he formed Buchanan & Associates, an advertising agency and public relations firm whose national clients included Neiman-Marcus, Corona Beer and Paramount Studios. In the spring of 1993, Mr. Buchanan returned home to Virginia, where he cared for his ill mother for three and a half years. He relocated to Miami Beach in January 1997 and returned to his passion for journalism. He has been named "Best News Writer" in Miami by the Miami Beach Sun Post, and cited for the economic impact of his reporting by the Downtown Miami Development Authority. His work has been published in more than 100 newspapers, magazines and Web sites on six continents.On September 17, 2003, Mr. Buchanan became the first reporter in US history to visit The National Archives and Library of Congress and prove the long-rumored "Nazi past" of the Bush family. His story was sent out all over the world by Associated Press.




Ralph Nader and Michael Peroutka Terrify the U. S. Establishment
Mark Dankof, 24.02.2004 21:26 [if you are lefty or greenie, read this to see how they understand/talk about Bush at least]

Ralph Nader and the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka announce Presidential candidacies on a February weekend which terrifies the establishments of both major American political parties. The outcome of the Presidential election in the first Tuesday in November may hang in the balance.

For immediate publication and distribution with attribution

Nader and Peroutka: Throwing a Left-Right Counterpunch at the Establishment's Jaw in 2004
by Mark Dankof
Mark Dankof's America at  http://www.MarkDankof.com

Michael Anthony Peroutka of Baltimore will use a Presidential candidacy on the Constitution Party line to make an indelible imprint of his own on the 2004 Sweepstakes for the American Presidency-and along with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, may play a kingmaker's role in determining the eventual winner on the first Tuesday in November. On February 21st, the day of his official declaration of intent to seek the Presidency of the United States, he spent two hours with Lutheran pastor and free-lance journalist Mark Dankof to discuss the vision and roadmap ahead.

Two hours before the official declaration of his Presidential candidacy outside of Baltimore this past Saturday, Michael Peroutka greeted me at his law offices in Glen Burnie, Maryland. At age 50, with an established law practice, a wife and three children, and full-time activity as an instructor and lecturer for the Institute on the Constitution, one wonders where the time and energy to run as a 3rd Party candidate for the Presidency of the United States will come from. But Peroutka, armed with a Loyola College and University of Baltimore Law School education, an expansive intellect, seemingly limitless energy, and a charmingly disarming personality, would appear equal to the daunting task ahead.

His professional law office is a most interesting combination of literary and artistic classics and an atmosphere of the casually affable. Shelves of books dedicated to law, Christian theology, and American history line the perimeter of the room; the academic degrees on the wall are complemented by portraits of icons of the American historical past like Patrick Henry.

An incased Civil War-commemorative Bowie knife with symbols of the mid 19th-century Confederate States of America on the blade and handle suggests other kaleidoscopic dimensions and themes in the Peroutka past and present. Close friends and family members come in and out of the candidate's war-room at will. Brother Steve's jovial, heavy-set appearance manifests itself in the office during one point in the interview. He indicates to his brother that before the latter's declaration for the Presidency in a few short hours, the former has committed to attending a high-school basketball game.

Several campaign aides who look wholesome, naive, and barely old enough to shave, stop in to greet their boss by his first name. Wife Diane telephones to ask her husband routine questions about food, dress, and the afternoon's impending activities. Later, she and the Candidate offer me the opportunity to follow them personally in their white Chevy Astro van to the announcement gala and speech at Michael's 8th Avenue restaurant in Glen Burnie. It proves to be a two-vehicle motorcade.

Peroutka's answers to the interviewer's questions seem as direct and forthcoming as his persona and the ambience of his law office. The first question is a softball, designed to give the outside world a sense of his mission, his ideology, and the window to his soul. For Michael Anthony Peroutka, one senses that the first two are inextricably linked to the third.

Why a heretofore nationally unknown Baltimore lawyer as a viable alternative to George Bush and the Democrats in the first Tuesday of November? The Candidate's demeanor remains affable as he answers, but the steely character of his eye contact with the interviewer suggests the fire that burns within. [Sounds like Communist Party propoganda about Mao, eh?]

"My candidacy, and the existence of the Constitution Party itself, have to be seen in the context of a country-and a Republican Bush Administration-careening out of control. We're in the middle of a Constitutionally undeclared, preemptive war in Iraq with no viable occupation policy and no end in sight; a 2.3 trillion dollar federal budget with a 500 billion dollar+ deficit; a non-existent immigration policy comprised of open borders and a Presidentially declared amnesty for another 12 million illegal aliens;

"our New World Order NAFTA, GATT, and WTO treaties are exporting American manufacturing, service, and tech jobs abroad while allowing for the importation of cheap Third World labor at home; the USA Patriot Act threatens the civil liberties and Constitutional protections of every citizen in this country; Bush's budget and trade deficits [330 billion with China alone over 3 years] will have a long-term disastrous effect on the value of the American dollar; and we are stuck with activist Federal and State judiciaries trying to usurp legislatures by un-Constitutionally imposing a radical, perverted social and economic agenda on the entire country.

"Our elected officials are not looking out for the interests of the average American or the country as a whole. This is where it is. Time is running out. But I must emphasize-most emphatically for your readers-that all of these terrible policies stem from a root cause-a complete ignorance and disregard for the Constitution of the United States and the underlying philosophy that characterized the Founders.

"I became fully aware of how tactfully and skillfully the benevolently shrewd interviewee had maneuvered an experienced interviewer into asking the obviously begged question. Sensing that it would provide the Rosetta Stone of interpretation and understanding of the psyche of the Candidate-and his subsequent exegesis and analysis of every derivative policy position--I acquiesced with, "What are the cohesive philosophical principles in your understanding of the American Constitution, and how do they differ from the policy makers you believe have betrayed the American people?"


Michael Peroutka looked thoughtful as he stood up from his chair and made a purposeful beeline for the office coffee-maker. Pouring pure black octane [CHEVRON?! ;-)] into his cup, and that of his office interrogator, one sensed the interlude in conversation was a purposeful silence leading to the point he wished to softly brand into the center of the debate which will surround his fledgling candidacy and its public examination between now and the first Tuesday in November. Carefully replacing the pot on the burner and returning to his seat, he reacquired the eyesight line of his counterpart sitting across the expansive wooden desk. Simultaneously, he keenly reacquired the exact point of the conversation, resuming it as effortlessly as he did earlier after the departure of his brother, continuing with the segment of the hour's conversation key to understanding him and his Constitution Party brethren:

"America needs a President who actually applies the Constitution and the underlying principles of the Founders to daily governance. First and foremost, any fair understanding of the Constitution presupposes the acknowledgment of the existence of a Creator God. It must be foundationally emphasized that all fundamental Constitutional rights of individuals stem from God and not the State.

"Government exists to secure these God-given rights for each person. Our rights are Constitutionally inalienable only insofar as our acknowledgment of their Divine origin and conveyance. The notion that the State is the source of our rights is incompatible with the notion of the Founders regarding their inalienable, Divinely-imparted character. If the State is the source of our rights, it logically follows that the State can always revoke what it has granted.

"The Federal Government and its allies in the drive toward a New World Order infrastructure of World Government, are not in the business of securing the Divinely-imparted, inalienable rights ensconced in the American Constitutional tradition-they are specifically in the enterprise of controlling and suppressing what used to be a free people. The specific purpose of Constitutional government can never be the redistribution of wealth [socialism] or any other version of radical social engineering. And the presupposition of the existence of a Creator God as understood by the Founders preempts the neo-pagan view of Culture and State so pervasive today.

"Properly understood, it is clear that the prevailing view of the Founders which underscored the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, was that God's revealed law, along with a proper understanding of natural law, were given absolute priority--to insure that municipal law was in harmony with the first two. This philosophical foundation would eliminate the acceptability in our government and culture of two of the biggest moral blights and cancers of our time-abortion-on-demand and the gay rights movement. Constitutionally speaking, there is no Federal or State court in the land, including the State Supreme Court of Massachusetts, that can make moral or legal what the revealed and natural law of God have made immoral and illegal. This is the bottom line, without equivocation or apology.

"And [emphasis] I'm not talking about a theocracy. Recognition of the doctrine of the existence of the Creator God and His role in the bequeathing of inalienable rights to the people has no inherent connection to the notion of theocracy as some charge. Freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and the avoidance of a Congressionally declared State Religion of America are all a part of the package of what I believe, and what the American Constitution teaches, foundationally. The charge that either I or the Constitution Party stand on the premises of governmentally induced notions of theocracy is absolutely false-a complete canard.

What would Peroutka do to rein in a runaway, activist Federal judiciary?

"It's really simple, you see. I endorse the Constitution Restoration Act (CRA) recently introduced in Congress in the aftermath of the Judge Roy Moore controversy in Alabama. It basically states that; 1) the future jurisdiction of Federal courts in cases like the Supreme Court's ordering of the removal of the 10 Commandments Monument in Montgomery would be restricted, per Article III of the United States Constitution; 2) United States Supreme Court judges will confine their rulings to what conforms to the United States Constitution, without reference to foreign constitutions or legal precedence established in foreign countries; and 3) Federal judges who consciously and continually ignore their oath of office to uphold the United States Constitution will be summarily impeached. Period.

"The proliferation of books in the Candidate's office-and their weighty subjects-suggests a predisposition for personal and professional reading which clearly outstrips that of the incumbent 43d President of the United States. Any recent reading which has informed and enlightened the political and theological world view of the Constitution Party's new standard-bearer? Michael Anthony Peroutka looks thoughtful before answering.

"I read a lot of material, but Thomas Di Lorenzo's The Real Lincoln comes to mind. He makes a convincing case for the fact that slavery, however immoral, should have come to an end in the United States as it did in the rest of the Western, industrialized world-without a war. That Lincoln destroyed Jeffersonianism in favor of an all-powerful Central Government is self evident. He set the stage for the oppressive Federal Leviathan we know today, and the presently sick state of an American Empire which has destroyed the Old Constitutional Republic. The statism and globalist orientation of Woodrow Wilson and FDR-to name two-was presupposed by what Lincoln did in the War Between the States. Di Lorenzo and Charles Adams, the author of In the Course of Human Events, both recognized and affirmed the truism that Constitutional America lost the War Between the States. Pastor Steve Wilkens of Auburn Presbyterian Church in Monroe, Louisiana, states it succinctly when he says that Lincoln didn't end slavery, he simply expanded the scope of the plantation-that we are all now slaves of the Central State and the globalist New World Order in partnership with it. [yawn. next metaphor veiled as an argument, please.]"

"As Di Lorenzo puts it, Lincoln was the Great Centralizer and Consolidator of Federal power. [For those curious to what Lincoln was up against, you should read Epperson's book _The Unseen Hand_. ] Now we see the wholesale transfer of Federally usurped powers to the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the Import-Export Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, NATO, and the like. We have become the classic expression of the Welfare-Warfare State.

"I would withdraw us from the entire mess. And I think Di Lorenzo and Adams would agree with me that Article I, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment explicitly spell out what the Federal Government of the United States is authorized to do. And outside of that, every single thing it involves itself in is specifically un-Constitutional. If we understood that, these budgetary and deficit-spending quandaries would resolve themselves. And getting the Central State out of areas that are the prerogative of the individual, the family, the Church, the Synagogue, and other voluntary associations, is the prescription for returning sanity to American government and the people whose God-given rights it should be securing."

How does an American conservative oppose George Bush's war on Iraq? Peroutka settles comfortably back in his chair with a cup of coffee before continuing the conversational tone and atmosphere of his exposition.

"Opposing this thing is a no-brainer. When anybody asks me about this war, aside from the clearly un-Constitutional way in which the Chief Executive started this thing-and with faulty intelligence and Congressional acquiescence-I simply tell them to check out the web site of the Project for the New American Century. One can clearly see in the documents posted there that the invasion of Iraq was part of a pre-911 agenda that is constantly obfuscated by the stated-and constantly shifting reasons--offered by Bush for the war's prosecution. Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld-that entire crowd-are signatories to these policy affirmations from years ago. One day it's 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'; the next day it's 'the freedom of the Iraqi people'; the day after that it's 'nation-building' and 'democracy in the Middle East'; and the day after that it's 'Israel and pipelines.'

"The bottom line is that none of it meets the criteria for war laid down in Article 1, Section 8 of the American Constitution. The immortal words of John Adams come to mind here-'We are the friends of liberty everywhere; the guardians of our own liberty.' Washington's Farewell Address foreign policy is similarly instructive-'Friendship with all; entangling alliances with none.' Simply put, it is clear that Mr. Bush's preemptive, offensive war with Iraq is a war in search of a rationale. And the possible expansion of this madness will cost more American lives, money, and international goodwill than we can afford to spend."

The wall-clock warns us that we have only five minutes to go before departure to one of the most significant events in the half-century life of Michael Anthony Peroutka. Searching for a quick concluding query, I finally ask, "What are the bright lights for you as you look at this country? Anything to be optimistic about?"

The Candidate pauses, then smiles.

"My faith and family, of course. And when it comes to America, I guess I'd have to say that the homeschooling movement is a particular source of hope for me where this great country is concerned. The writings of John Dewey, Horace Mann, and Robert Dale Owen remind us that the Government School Movement of the mid-1850s was a breeding ground for the secularism, humanism, atheism, and statism that State-owned institutions inculcate kids in today. The homeschooling movement understands that the primary purpose of education is to train up a child in faith and respect for God as the foundation of all subsequent learning. The home and the family are the proper and only jurisdiction for this-not the State and George W. Bush's Federal Department of Education."

The conclusion of the interview is followed by Peroutka's two-hour public event designed to formally announce his candidacy.

I am incredulous at the large size of the gathered crowd at Michael's 8th Avenue ballroom. There is a small chamber orchestra comprised of a woman on electric keyboard, a man well-versed in wind instruments, another woman with brass, and a fine vocalist who would later begin the official portion of the program by a stirring, operatic version of The Star Spangled Banner. Prior to the beginning of the stage-podium portion of the event, individual diners were treated to a hauntingly beautiful series of melodies, ranging from a poignant tribute to the Old South excerpted from the movie Gods and Generals, traditional Christian hymns, and several extractions from Bach's Brandenberg Concertos.

During the meal, I am seated next to a young man and wife in their 20s, obviously new to political gatherings and the rubber-chicken circuit. They voted for Bush in 2000, their first year of voting eligibility.

Distressed at their own economic plight and the Iraqi War, it had crossed their minds to ". . . vote for Nader. But then friends of ours told us about this man, Peroutka. We decided to drive down here from West Virginia to find out for ourselves." Their story is repeated throughout the day by large minions outside Maryland, from every section of the United States. The Candidate's speech of formal declaration of Presidential candidacy does not disappoint either the faithful or the curious who have gathered-including a handful of print and electronic media reporters carrying note pads and portable TV cameras and lights. This is my first exposure to Michael Peroutka as a stump speaker in front of crowds and cameras. He does not disappoint. His poise and speaking ability betray years of toil as an attorney, lecturer, and political activist on the Right. The crowd is with him and he knows it.

After the speech, Peroutka, like all political candidates and aspirants to the highest office in the land, must answer the media while pressing the flesh of the gathered. The same aura and presence I encountered in the privacy of his law office endures here as well. I cannot decide whether his obvious passion for--and commitment to--his ideas is more admirable than the presence of a quiet compassion for people and spiritual faith which seems to be sensed in the hearts and minds of the well-wishers and searchers found every four years in halls and hotel ballrooms all over America when another Presidential election cycle commences.

The Peroutka brand of charisma is not the enchanting power of a John Kennedy, but a unique combination of cerebral gifts and quiet, contemplative spirituality which serves to calm and reassure the troubled and the fearful.

After answering every press-media question posed, including some from a representative of PBS, the Candidate spends the remainder of his time listening to the concerns and travails of people unknown prior to the afternoon's event. This is followed by individual encounters with old friends and former students from his Institute on the Constitution. I suspect his parents, wife, and children feel the scene and scenario are surreal. Youngsters with Peroutka for President barrels are wading through the crowd looking for initial financial donations. Everything from literal nickels and dimes, $5 and $10 dollar bills, and Federal Election Commission-approved envelopes containing checks and pledges go into the containers from an amazingly diverse group of donors. One suspects that the evangelical doctrine of tithing may be assisting Michael Anthony Peroutka and his vision in this appointed hour.

My final memory of the day is the setting of the sun in the west, accompanied by a beautiful hue of reds, purples, and blues in what remains of an earlier aqua blue dome with billowy white clouds interspersed throughout its wide confines. As dusk approaches, the Candidate encounters one more young questioner before calling Campaign 2004's first day to a halt-- a young boy. "Mr. Peroutka!," the blond-haired, starry-blue eyed junior-high schooler calls out. "My parents love you. They want to vote for you, but they say you haven't got a chance. Tell them they're wrong."

The blond-haired Christian scholar and attorney's eyes become slightly misted, even as his smile betrays good humor, a fatherly instinct for the young, and a keen sense of the historically ironic. "I don't believe in chance, young man. I believe in a purposeful Lord who sent His Son and orders every phase and event in our lives. And George Washington told us to raise up the standard-leaving the outcome in the hands of a good and great Creator God." [Personally, I believe the main issue is the "Bush/Diebold '04" ticket, instead of a supernatural deity.]


Peroutka for President
Suite 303
8028 Ritchie Highway
Pasadena, MD 21122
 http://www.Peroutka2004.com
 http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php

e-mail:  kramfoknad@hotmail.com
Homepage:  http://www.MarkDankof.com

[There are others who can split the Republicans. In addition to Peroutka, there is the Republican "9-11 Truth" candidate, who is a bit more, how shall we say, grounded:
the REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE for 2004 who wants the 9-11 truth: J. Buchanan, speech transcript

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/01/278787.shtml

 http://johnbuchanan.org/news/newsitem.php?section=INF&id=1154&showcat=4 ]

it's so sad 24.Feb.2004 19:33

defender of the constitution

To be free of the trappings of the state only to be snared by those of organized religion. Once hopes their eyes will open a bit furter as time moves on.

And yes any system that rules from the laws of one notion of a creator god is indeed a theocracy. I wonder if putting an end to the abominations of eating pork, shellfish, and wearing mixed fibers will be a core part of the Constitution Party's platform.

maybe someone should tell them 24.Feb.2004 19:40

they should know

That many of the founding fathers weren't even christian.

Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over 24.Feb.2004 21:50

nyt

Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL

Published: February 22, 2004


EACHWOOD, Ohio In the 2000 presidential election, Bill Flanagan a semiretired newspaper worker, happily voted for George W. Bush. But now, shaking his head, he vows, "Never again."

"The combination of lies and boys coming home in body bags is just too awful," Mr. Flanagan said, drinking coffee and reading newspapers at the local mall. "I could vote for Kerry. I could vote for any Democrat unless he's a real dummy."

Mr. Flanagan is hardly alone, even though polls show that the overwhelming majority of Republicans who supported Mr. Bush in 2000 will do so again in November. In dozens of random interviews around the country, independents and Republicans who said they voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 say they intend to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate this year. Some polls are beginning to bolster the idea of those kind of stirrings among Republicans and independents.

That could change, of course, once the Bush campaign begins pumping millions of dollars into advertising and making the case for his re-election.

But even as Democratic and Republican strategists and pollsters warned that a shift could be transitory, they also said it could prove to be extraordinarily consequential in a year when each side is focused on turning out its most loyal voters.

"The strong Republicans are with him," a senior aide to Senator John Kerry said of Mr. Bush. "But there are independent-minded Republicans among whom he is having serious problems."

"With the nation so polarized," he added, "the defections of a few can make a big difference."

In the interviews, many of those potential "crossover" voters said they supported the invasion of Iraq but had come to see the continuing involvement there as too costly and without clear objectives.

Many also said they believed that the Bush administration had not been honest about its reasons for invading Iraq and were concerned about the failure to find unconventional weapons. Some of these people described themselves as fiscal conservatives who were alarmed by deficit spending, combined with job losses at home. Many are shocked to find themselves switching sides.

While sharing a sandwich at the stylish Beachwood Mall in this Cleveland suburb, one older couple a judge and a teacher reluctantly divulged their secret: though they are stalwarts in the local Republican Party, they are planning to vote Democratic this year.

"I feel like a complete traitor, and if you'd asked me four months ago, the answer would have been different," said the judge, after assurances of anonymity. "But we are really disgusted. It's the lies, the war, the economy. We have very good friends who are staunch Republicans, who don't even want to hear the name George Bush anymore."

In 2000, Mr. Bush won here in Ohio with 50 percent of the popular vote, as against 46.5 percent for Al Gore.

George Meagher, a Republican who founded and now runs the American Military Museum in Charleston, S.C., said he threw his "heart and soul" into the Bush campaign four years ago. He organized veterans to attend campaign events, including the campaign's kickoff speech at the Citadel. He even has photographs of himself and his wife with Mr. Bush.

"Given the outcome and how dissatisfied I am with the administration, it's hard to think about now," he said. "People like me, we're all choking a bit at not supporting the president. But when I think about 500 people killed and what we've done to Iraq. And what we've done to our country. I mean, we're already $2 trillion in debt again."

A nationwide CBS News poll released Feb. 16 found that 11 percent of people who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 now say they will vote for the Democratic candidate this fall. But there was some falloff among those who voted against him as well. Five percent of people who said they voted for Mr. Gore in 2000 say this time they will back Mr. Bush.

On individual issues, the poll found some discontent among Republicans but substantial discontent among independents. For instance, on handling the nation's economy, 19 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents said they disapproved of the job Mr. Bush was doing.

"As the president's job rating has fallen, his Democratic supporters have pulled away first, then the independents and now we're starting to see a bit of erosion among the Republicans, who used to support him pretty unanimously," said Evans Witt, the chief executive of Princeton Survey Research Associates. "If 10 to 15 percent of Republicans do not support him anymore, that is not trivial for Bush's re-election."

But Matthew Dowd, the Bush campaign's chief strategist, suggested that no one in the White House was worried about Mr. Bush's losing much of his base. He said polls continued to show that the president was enjoying the support of 90 percent of Republicans.

Many of those interviewed said that they had experienced a growing disenchantment with the conflict in Iraq over many months, but that only recently had they decided to change their votes.

A number said they had been deeply disturbed by recent statements of David A. Kay, the former United Nations weapons inspector, who said he was skeptical about administration claims that Iraq possessed unconventional weapons.

"The lack of evidence on Iraq has really hurt him, and the economy here is bad there's a lot of unemployment in the mills," said Phyllis Pierce, who is in the steel business in Cleveland and recently decided not to vote for Mr. Bush again.

John Scarnado, a sales manager from Austin, Tex., who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, said he would vote for Mr. Kerry if the senator won the Democratic nomination.

"I'm upset about Iraq and the vice president and his affiliation with Halliburton," said Mr. Scarnado, a registered Republican who said that he had not always voted along party lines. "I think the Bush administration is coming out to look like old boy politics, and I don't have a good feel about that."

Many of those wavering in their loyalty to Mr. Bush were middle-class voters who said that his tax relief programs had disproportionately helped the wealthy.

"I voted for him, but it seems like he's just taking care of his rich buddies now," said Mike Cross, a farmer from Londonderry, N.H., adding, "I'm not a great fan of John Kerry, but I've had enough of President Bush."

 link to www.nytimes.com