Monday, August 23, 2004

'If you have half a brain, it shouldn’t be too hard to make up your mind'

Eric Alterman cuts to the chase:

If you vote for John Kerry you are going to get one kind of presidency, and if you vote for George W. Bush, you are going to get another kind.  They are quite different, and really, if you have half a brain, it shouldn’t be too hard to make up your mind.

That's exactly what bugs the hell out of me when I hear some idiot say, "I still haven't decided how I'm going to vote." These are the same numbskulls who didn't see any difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

Heads-up, folks: President Gore would have taken care of business in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden probably would be in US custody by now, because President Gore would not have pulled US forces out of Afghanistan and sent them on a wild-goose chase for non-existent WMDs in Iraq. (For that same reason, nearly 1,000 Americans would still be alive; several thousand more would not be maimed for life; and our National Guard would not be so overtaxed as to be incapable of handling an emergency here at home.)

I'll even go so far as to say that a Gore administration might -- just might -- have headed the 9/11 attacks off at the pass, because when the intelligence system was blinking red in the summer of 2001, Gore would have been "shaking the trees" in the manner Richard Clarke advocated. Had Gore received a PDB headed "Bin Laden determined to strike in US," he wouldn't have thrown up his hands and said, "But it doesn't specify the place and time!" Gore would have moved heaven and earth to get those answers. (This is, after all, a man who as vice president read all his daily briefings and jotted down questions for which he wanted answers.)

Moreover, President Gore would not have appointed lobbyists from polluting industries to "oversee" the environment. He would not have given an immense tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, thereby shifting the tax burden to the middle class. He would not have given the pharmaceutical companies a license to rob consumers blind and called it a "Medicare prescription drug benefit."

And the differences between John Kerry and George W. Bush are just as dramatic. Everything I said above applies to John Kerry as well. And Kerry will get serious about homeland security: instead of issuing vague color-coded "warnings," he'll focus on protecting ports, nuclear plants, chemical facilities, and the water supply. Kerry has practical, innovative ideas to reduce our dependence on Saudi oil and provide more people with health insurance (and you can read about his plans at Having served in combat himself, Kerry will only go to war when necessary -- and never without a plan for the aftermath.

Kerry and Bush could not be more different. If you have a hard time choosing between these two candidates, I respectfully suggest you refrain from voting in this election. For a well-informed voter, the choice is easy.


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