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Kerry's Record

Just the facts on John Kerry. Why distinguishes him from Bush, I can't tell.
A close examination of Kerryıs record reveals that he:

- announced that his first campaign promises to cancel weapons systems and reduce defense spending were ill-advised

-voted for the Gramm-Rudman Act of 1985 resulting in dramatic cuts in domestic social programs

- voted against Gulf War I only to soon reverse himself saying he was ill advised

- voted for the 1996 Telecommunications Act facilitating media monopolies

- supported Clinton's welfare reform

- supported Clintonıs draconian Counter-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, a precursor to Bush II's Patriot Act which Kerry also supported

- supported the genocidal sanctions against and continued bombings of Iraq under Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II

- voted for the Homeland Security Act

- voted for the No Child Left Behind Act

- questioned the correctness of affirmative action

- boldly declared that 'the cause of Israel is the cause of America'

- supports NAFTA, the WTO, GATT

- continues to support massive increases in defense spending

- supported Bush II's tax cuts for the wealthy.
Reminds me of this excerpt by Barry Crimmins 27.Mar.2004 09:52

.

"A lot of people say the Democrats didn't have a message this fall, but they did, and here it is: we support the same things as the Republicans, it just takes us longer. We are bought by the same concerns as Republicans, just for less money. We are as silent about issues that matter to working families as Republicans, it's just that our silence represents betrayal of our purported core values whereas Republicans are merely being consistent."
-Barry Crimmins on the 2002 elections, "Mock the Vote"


Shouldn't Kerry's Loyalty Be To the U.S. Before Israel? 27.Mar.2004 09:56

John Kerry

John Kerry wrote this for a Students for Israel publication "Perspectives: An Israel Review" It has just been picked up by 'CounterPunch'. ------ CounterPunch Editors' Note: We offer this unfettered pledge of fealty to Israel by John Kerry as yet more evidence that there's scarcely a dime's worth of difference between the major political candidates of both parties on the life-and-death issues of our time.
_________

My first trip to Israel made real for me all I'd believed about Israel.

I was allowed to fly an air force jet from the Ovda Airbase. It was then that Israeli insecurity about narrow borders became very real to me. In a matter of minutes, I came close to violating the airspace of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. From that moment on, I felt as Israelis do: The promise of peace must be secure before the Promised Land is secure on a thin margin of land.

Back on the ground on that first trip, I toured the country from Kibbutz Mizgav Am to Masada to the Golan. I stood in the very shelter in a kibbutz in the north where children were attacked and I looked at launching sites and impact zones for Katousha rockets. I was enthralled by Tel Aviv, moved by Jerusalem and inspired by by standing above Capernaum, looking out over the Sea of Galilee, where I read aloud the Sermon on The Mount. I met people of stunning commitment, who honestly and vigorously debated the issues as I watched and listened intently. I went as a friend by conviction; I returned a friend at the deepest personal level.

As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel has both the burden and the glory of a vigorous public square. We as Americans must be the truest and best kind of ally--forthright enough to say what we think--and steadfast enough to stay the course in hard passages as well as easy days.

Herzl's famous words--"If you will it, it is no dream"--signify the promise and the greatest power of Israel--and the hope that a fair and secure peace can be achieved. We must be committed to support Israel in the exacting, essential search for that dream.

I will never forget a moment on top of Masada, when I stood on that great plateau where the oath of new soldiers used to be sworn against the desert backdrop and the test of history. I had spent several hours with Yadin Roman debating whether or not Josephus Flavius was correct in his account of the siege--whether these really were the last Jews fighting for survival--whether they had escaped since no remains were ever found. After our journey through history--which we resolved with a vote in favor of history as recorded--we stood as a group at the end of the cliff and altogether we shouted across the chasm--across the desert--Am Yisrael Chai. And across the silence we listened as voices came back--faintly we heard the echo of the souls of those who perished--Am Yisrael Chai. The State of Israel lives. The people of Israel live.

In this difficult time we must again reaffirm we are enlisted for the duration--and reaffirm our belief that the cause of Israel must be the cause of America--and the cause of people of conscience everywhere.
_________

John Kerry is a Massachusetts Senator and a Democratic Candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Article is originally appeared in the Brown Students for Israel publication "Perspectives: An Israel Review"


Shouldn't Kerry's loyalty be to....... 27.Mar.2004 10:56

Mike sterpbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

In case you hadn't noticed, Kerry is a Senator from MASSACHUSETTS.

Know anything about the demographics of Massachusetts? Any politician expecting to win statewide office here is going to be strongly pro-Israel. Not to do so would cost votes, enough votes to guarantee losing the election. REGARDLESS of the competing candidate's stand on just about all other issues. Kerry isn't being "loyal to Israel Before the US" but loyal to those voters of Massachusetts, AMERICANS, who for their own peculiar reasons feel very strongly about Israel.

See, it doesn't matter that the majority might favor neutrality or even a pro-Palestinian position; if the question could be considered in isolation, if we were a "government by poll" and not having to vote on a "basket" of positions. But THAT is the reality, we only get to pick "which basket do you want" and just about nobody in the majority cares enough about this issue. The minority interest DOES care enough about this one issue to make it the deciding factor whether they will vote for or against a "package". You don't want them voting against you, then you better have a "pro-Israel" position in that "basket" -- UNLESS you can get all your potential opponents to leave it out also.

This is NOT "anti-democratic". The disproportionate say this minority interest has on THIS issue is "purchased" by their in effect being willing to surrender their say on other issues. It's sort of like you have a vote on each issue EXCEPT you can choose to cast them all on one issue and ignore the outcomes elsewhere. The majority is spreading out their votes on a whole range of concerns that they think are important to them and the minority throwing their political clout behind this one thing that they think more important.

Here's a few ways Kerry can save the Earth from Bush 27.Mar.2004 11:11

jest thinkin' (not Jest Thinking, who stole my screen name)

Okay... I had promised myself to stay out of this debate, obviously fueled more by Bush supporters than by Nader supporters. I did my best in 2000 to warn progressives that Bush was a new kind of danger to the things we believe in, not just a part of the obnoxious system we've been fighting for the last 30 years, but a Hitler-like danger to democracy, world peace, and the global environment. The past 3 and a half years have more than proven me right.

But since it seems that many of you are not only too young to have a real historical perspective, but also too young to even remember the discussion from 4 years ago, here goes....

First, and most important, Kerry and the Democrats in general, unlike Bush particularly and the Republicans in general, understand that human-caused, global climate change is both real (Bush has denied it) and a serious threat to the well-being of all people and many other residents of this planet. It was the much vilified on this website Al Gore who signed us on to the Kyoto Accord, a weak but important first step toward reducing the damage of global warming. Bush, for those of you who can't remember yesterday, withdrew the US from that treaty, and has since weakened or outright abolished the minimal environmental regulations we had managed to fight into place since the early 70s. In 4 more years of Bush, there is no telling what more irreversible environmental damage will be done. If there is one over-riding reason to get rid of Bush, even with the less-than-attractive Kerry, the environment is it. At least we can engage the Democrats in this discussion. Yes, I've heard all the responses to this, how awful Clinton was to the environment, etc. None of these arguments even addresses what seems to me irrefutable: Kerry and the Democrats will be enormously better for the environment than Bush and his gang of oil-sucking armageddonists. Not perfect, of course, not even close to what we want, but better. And since some things lost cannot be restored (it takes 500 years to grow a 500 year old tree) even slowing the destruction of the environment is a crucial victory.

Secondly, a woman's right to control her own body. This is a clear and important difference between the two parties and the two platforms. Bush has already undermined this fundamental right, and will do whatever he can to weaken it further.

Third, and perhaps a little more abstract to those of you without economics training, the federal deficit. Bush has taken us in three years from the Clinton era of budget surpluses to the largest federal debts in history. I won't go into the theory of why this matters to all of us, but read some Krugman if you are interested.

I can name a number of other issues where significant and important differences between Kerry's platform and Bush's make our choice in the presidential election crucial. Minimum wage and jobs; our international relationships; civil rights; education; taxes; the courts: on all these issues the Democrats are several steps closer to progressive goals than the Republicans. And Bush has proven himself to be worse than most of the Republicans on all these issues.

Bush is a danger to our lives, our land, and our world. It's past time to dump him, even for a marginally better candidate. All of these "no difference" arguments are just plain wrong, ignoring important differences that really do make a difference.

Just for a little background, my current intention is to vote for Kucinich in the Oregon primary (yep, I registered as a Democrat for that purpose) and to vote the most likely candidate to defeat Bush in the fall. In a much younger time, I was somehow convinced to vote for the environmental candidate Barry Commoner in the 1980 election. Carter had not followed through on his campaign promise to get rid of nuclear power plants (anti-nuke was my main area of activism at that time), and I let that one issue push me away from him. Carter's defeat in 80, of course, ushered in the Reagan/Bush nightmare from which we have still never recovered. In 96, I voted Nader in his first run, as a message vote to Clinton and the Democrats, whom I rightly figured would still win handily. I vote green in any election where I think they can win, or where my "message vote" won't put in place a truly dangerous candidate. But this is not the time for a message to the Democrats. The very real increase in suffering, death, and environmental destruction that four more years of Bush will create is important to anyone who really cares about progressive issues.

I've said enough.

get real 27.Mar.2004 11:30

bored

Kerry is no saint.
Vote for the fool anyway and then continue with kickass grassroots organizing.

i second the above notion 27.Mar.2004 11:36

dennis

the previous author hit it right on the mark about a "more progressive" candidate.
Some people are trying to make Kerry look like Stalin. Fact is , the above author mentioned that Bush is Hilter-like. HE is very close to a truth: on the polical compass,
Bush cores points which land him next to Thatcher, in the vicinity of Hitler. That's acary, but true. Check out the site and see for yourself : politicalcompass.org, from the UK. You can measure yourself and see how liberal you really are. Kerry may even be more liberal than you. He measures somewhere in the middle of the left vs right, north vs south axis. (theoretics contend that the left to right axis is just not comprehensive enough for modern day politics- http://www.yesmagazine.org/22art/ray.htm)

Keep an open mind and check it out. If you like Canada's multi-party, people oriented democracy, or Germany's 5 party system, them you may like Kerry's more progressive stance as opposed to Bush. Kerry is closely aligned, in theory, with Canadas Prime Minister Paul Martin and Germany's Minister Gerhard Schroeder. Again, he's in the middle of both axis.
George Bush is way out in the upper-right quadrant--a modern Hitler.

I scored close to the Dalai Lama, Ghandi and Mandela, much to my surprise.

Now, I think the previous authors notion of voting for something more realistically
obtainable and progessive is a moral obligation. It is also part of a long term
strategy which could get the green party more recognition--another Bush admin would never do that.

to 'jest thinkin': 27.Mar.2004 12:03

you're pathetic

"It's past time to dump him, even for a marginally better candidate"

--save your breath, and our bandwidth.

your entire screed can be summarized to: "vote for the lesser of two evils."

Kerry's votes. 27.Mar.2004 12:43

researcher

Bush's tax cuts
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00170
Kerry - Absent

Bush's tax cuts
Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00044
Kerry - Yea
(This one did extend unemployment and gave tax cuts to businesses, though only temporarily, supposedly)

Patriot Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00302
Kerry - Yea

Homeland Security Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00249
Kerry - Yea

Help America Vote Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00238
Kerry - Yea

Terrorism Risk Protection Act
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00252
Kerry - Yea

Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237
Kerry - Yea

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:SN01050:@@@L&summ2=m&
Kerry - Yea

Amendment SA 715 - To strike the repeal of the prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons.
 http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=108&session=1&vote=00186
Kerry - Absent

So what exactly is this progressive record of Kerry's...

you're pathetic 27.Mar.2004 12:45

it' not

your fucking bandwidth. Fuck you.

'jest thinkin' 27.Mar.2004 12:54

Was That You?

"you're pathetic 27.Mar.2004 12:45 --------it' not your fucking bandwidth. Fuck you."

--mmm, you're sounding a little spluttery of late. careful not to rupture your spleen. mind explaining to us - or translating - the above spew?

if you're pathetically attempting to insinuate that I somehow claimed it was "my" bandwidth - no, no, no. My exact quote, seen quite clearly above: "save your breath, and _______our_______ bandwidth."

also - can you please check with your Democratic Underground website and bring back some real *differences* between the agendas of Multimillionaire Skull & Bones Blood Brothers Bush & Kerry?

otherwise, save your energy and passion for this:


actually, Kerry is WORSE than Bush in many ways 27.Mar.2004 13:37

GRINGO STARS

Kerry promises to add 40,000 troops to the Army and to spend more on defense than the Republicans, and more on homeland security.
 http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040303/COSIMP03/TPNational/Columnists
[Jeffrey Simpson, "On foreign policy, Kerry is not far from Bush," The Globe and Mail, March 3, 2004]

Yeah, Kerry sure sounds different from Bush, though not in any better way.

Kerry is prepared to use military force unilaterally, ("People will know I'm tough and I'm prepared to do what is necessary to defend the United States of America, and that includes the unilateral deployment of troops if necessary.")
 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/07/politics/ campaign/07KERR.html
[David E. Sanger and David M. Halbfinger, "Kerry Condemns Bush for Failing to Back Aristide," The New York Times, March 7, 2004]

Kerry is prepared "to target and capture terrorists even before they act" and says he "will not hesitate to order direct military action when needed to capture and destroy terrorist groups and their leaders" -- his own doctrine of preventive war. Plus he says he will spend more on the National Endowment for Democracy, an organization that does openly what the CIA used to do covertly -- meddle in the affairs of countries like Haiti, Venezuela, Serbia and Cuba, that put the interests of the domestic population ahead of those of corporate America and investors who can boast net worths of hundreds of millions of dollars, like, let's see...well, like Kerry.
 http://www.counterpunch.com/blum03022004.html
[Willian Blum, "If Kerry's the answer, what's the question?" March 2, 2004]

My favorite Kerry quote is, "I could never agree with those in the antiwar movement who dismissed our troops [in Vietnam] as war criminals or our country as the villain in the drama."
 http://www.counterpunch.com/hand02182004.html
[Mark Hand, "It's Time to Get Over It: Kerry Tells Anti-War Movement to Move On," February 18, 2004]

As for Iraq, if Kerry has a problem with Bush, it's that he didn't drag France, Germany and Russia into the war, preferring to strike a grabby, it's all mine, pose, rather than the "let's divide up the loot" approach the Democrats favor. Apparently, a gang rape is better than a rape carried out by a lone assailant, which, I gather, would make a gang rapist a rapist-lite, and therefore more worthy of our backing than a rapist who goes it alone.

But, for the record, Washington hasn't gone it alone in Iraq, managing to cobble together a coalition, though one lacking France, Germany and Russia, whose backing, in some perverted twist of reasoning, is supposed to have invested the rape of Iraq with legitimacy. Apparently, if you can lure other renowned rapists into a gang rape, it gives the whole sordid affair moral weight.
 http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/kerry.html
[Stephen Gowans, "Kerry vs. Kerry-lite," March 23, 2004]

can't let this slide 27.Mar.2004 13:38

pro-choice activist

"Secondly, a woman's right to control her own body. This is a clear and important difference between the two parties and the two platforms. Bush has already undermined this fundamental right, and will do whatever he can to weaken it further."

In case you aren't paying attention the democrats are allowing Bush's anti-choice legislation to pass. They're voting for his undermining of rights to give you this reason to vote for Kerry. They could stop the bill and run on that, but no, they vote for it and then wait for their supporters to talk about the evil Bush regime.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/284144.shtml

Nader nominating convention 27.Mar.2004 14:15

George Bender

The next task is to get Nader on the Oregon ballot. To do that we need to get 1,000 registered voters together in one place at the same time. Join us on April 5, 6 p.m., Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. It's free. If you're not already registered to vote you can register there.

 http://naderoregon.org/

Hey You're Pathetic. 27.Mar.2004 16:25

jest thinkin'

Re: your comment quoted below.

Of course that wasn't me. Did it sound like my earlier posting? I don't typically say, "fuck you" in responses. As far as your summary of my thoughts into "vote the lesser of two evils", let me actually respond, presuming that you might actually take the time to think it through. Let's say you are a doctor, and you know you need to amputate a limb to save a person's life. Do you do it? Of course you do, even though it is, as you so thoughtfully repeat the cliche for us, "the lesser of two evils".

What I'm saying above is that the very real differences between Kerry and Bush, and the deadly danger that Bush presents to world, are enough to persuade me to vote for Kerry above Nader or any other "message" candidate. Am I pissed at the Democrats? Of course I am. Do I think that the American political system is sick, perhaps to the death? I sure do. But the gangrene limb (Bush) has to come off, if we're going to save the patient, and a lot of other people besides.

Sorry if you think that opinion is a waste of "our" bandwidth. I definitely think the "fuck you" comment you were referring to was a waste of bandwidth. I try not to just name-call in these discussions, though I've been known to slip up sometimes.

I do have another cliche you, and anyone else who hates Bush but is planning to vote for Nader, might want to memorize. It's an oldie my grandma used to tell me. It goes, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Think about it.


>>>>"you're pathetic 27.Mar.2004 12:45 --------it' not your fucking bandwidth. Fuck you."

>>>>--mmm, you're sounding a little spluttery of late. careful not to rupture your spleen. mind explaining to us - or translating - the above spew?

'jest thinkin' 27.Mar.2004 19:18

LOOK IN THE MIRROR, pal.

"I do have another cliche you, and anyone else who hates Bush but is planning to vote for Nader, might want to memorize. It's an oldie my grandma used to tell me. It goes, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Think about it."

--yeah,

an oldie but goodie which obviously didn't rub off from grandma to you.

RE: your entire screed, YET AGAIN save your breath, and our bandwidth: "vote for the lesser of two evils." (when will you ever learn?)

a couple other points -

1. I don't "hate" Bush. I hate injustice and threats to democracy. GWB is a puppet, unwittingly and pathetically installed to the White House (and into his own entire adult life) by elite and family forces quite literally beyond his control. I honestly, sincerely feel sorry for and pity him as a human being. His regime and corporate sponsors cause you and me a lot of grief, but unlike you and your Bush-Hating Democratic Buddies I haven't got time for that garbage. either work systematically to defeat the machine, or give up. but don't utterly waste your time demonizing the Cults of Personality (as you and your Bush-Hating Democratic Buddies do equally to Nader).

2. I may vote for Nader. I may write-in a pResidential candidate's name. I'm not sure. as far as my other votes this year, I'll be voting only for the most progressive Democrats and a few Greens/Independents. but it's safe to say that the pResidential election vote is pretty insignificant (as if the last one wasn't) until we start getting some verifiable voting standards in this country.


Kerry on the Patriot Act 30.Mar.2004 17:41

little brother

Kerry's letter to Moveon:

Kerry voted for the sunset provision, and he's going to 'fight to ensure' that any future bills won't violate civil liberties.

Wow, how great. Just like he 'fought to ensure' NAFTA and the WTO had human rights clauses.

Kucinich will REPEAL the patriot act- YES!
Kerry will let some provisions expire- woo hoo


"I strongly supported including a sunset provision in the Patriot Act, which will cause the Act to expire unless Congress reauthorizes it. The Bush Administration reportedly plans to introduce a second Patriot Act we have learned from the first Patriot Act that the last thing we need is John Ashcroft rewriting the Bill of Rights. I am alarmed by what has been reported to be part of Patriot Act II and I will very carefully review any new proposal and fight to ensure that it does not violate civil liberties. As President I would fight hard to win the War on Terrorism. But in the process, I would never forget the liberties and freedoms that we are fighting for in the first place.

 http://www.moveon.org/pac/cands/kerry.html