Will the Real John Kerry Please Stand Up?
Watching Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign break down and then later surge has come as a big surprise. For over four years, Kerry has made it known that he desired the Oval Office and his place in history.
As someone who has watched Kerry over the years, seen him in other races, and observed him lose all spine when the tough votes came along, his surge is a big surprise. For 18 years, Kerry has done very little he can point to by way of accomplishment.
When he first came to the senate, Kerry was a champion of campaign finance reform, refusing political action committee [PAC] money and only accepting $250 donations. Then he changed his mind and started taking big money - even forming his own presidential slush fund PAC. Kerry paints himself as a champion of the environment but what has he actually done for the environment? Just voting against drilling in ANWR isn't enough.
For the most part, Kerry has had a safe seat in the Senate. Politicians who have safe seats are the ones who are supposed to be the visionaries. They can afford to take chances as big thinkers and float the new ideas. Despite the opportunity to forward meaningful legislation and really affect people's lives in a positive way, Kerry hasn't done the job.
As he ramped up his road to the White House, Kerry could have started building his legislative resume, laying the foundation for the ideas to come. But instead, he coasted or even hurt his own cause, by ignoring political opportunities to shine in the gentlemen's club. In fact, his actions on legislation may come back to haunt him on a massive scale in the final stages of this campaign.
Take organized labor.
Kerry has always had a bad relationship with the unions in Massachusetts. But lucky for him, most of these voters had nowhere else to turn. Anti-union zealots Jim Rappaport (1990), Bill Weld (1996) and Michael Cloud (2002), were Kerry's challengers. However, instead of making some inroads with the union folks, Kerry kicked the shins of the working class time and time again, by voting for NAFTA, GATT and the WTO, and PMFN trade status for China.
Kerry has taken advantage of the fact that many voters had nowhere else to go in Massachusetts. Instead of standing up for workers, Kerry helped pass bad corporate and workers' legislation. His reaction to working folks has been a blasé toss of the hand, while reciting nonsensical globalist gobbledygook: If Americans can't compete with 10 cent labor in China, too bad. At an event in Manchester, N.H. back in August 2003, Kerry said precisely that to a handful of unionized Verizon workers complaining about outsourcing. They were all pretty shocked but those who have watched Kerry weren’t.
All across middle-America, working families are struggling to put food on the table because the factory jobs are gone. People have lost millions of good manufacturing jobs and now have to work two or three service slave jobs at a fraction of the wages they once earned. Kerry helped these people lose their economic advantages as Americans. He has been part of the problem, not the solution.
In fact, on a myriad of issues Kerry has been part of the problem in Washington, D.C. and so closely resembles President George W. Bush it is a wonder what the Democrats of 2004 are thinking.
Kerry voted for Bush’s war resolution but now attacks it. Kerry fell for what looks like a lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the definite falsehood that Saddam Hussein - contained between the 33rd and 36th parallel - was an imminent threat to the United States. Kerry assisted in President Bush's - and President Bill Clinton's - assault on the Constitution by voting for the PATRIOT Act and voting for the anti-terrorism bill in 1996. Kerry also voted for Bush's unfunded federal education mandate "No Child Left Behind," which he also now attacks. Kerry has supported wasteful government programs like foreign aid, hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare every year, IMF/World Bank’s enslavement of the Third World, etc. This morning, the Associated Press is reporting that Kerry worked to protect a $150 million loophole for a major insurance company working on The Big Dig - a $15 billion dollar construction boondoggle in Boston - which has been rife with corruption and political scandal, coming in 500 percent over budget.
For almost two decades, Kerry hasn’t been fighting the special interests he has been enabling the special interests.
And as stated before, Kerry has voted for every free trade deal that has come down the pike and despite being prodded and questioned by the voters back home, he refuses to come out against CAFTA, the extensive of NAFTA to other nations of Latin America. Kerry’s “fighting for us”? Far from it.
In the end, voters may ignore Kerry’s real record and vote for him because the national press corps believes he is “electable.” But voters would be smart to take a second look and sharply analyze Kerry’s true record because when all is said and done, they may not like what they see.