- The Washington Times - Friday, September 3, 2004

Two questions for Kerry

Given that his image as a potential commander in chief who will be strong on defense has taken a beating, it is no wonder Sen. John Kerry is pounding the flawed “jobs lost under Bush” rhetoric to win some voters (“From poverty to prosperity … bullishly,” Commentary, Thursday). My question to Mr. Kerry is: How many jobs were lost when the two towers came down on September 11?

A follow-up question is: How many of those who lost their jobs at the Twin Towers considered their employment an uppermost concern in their lives?


Whitinsville, Mass.

The clear choice for American leadership

What have you done for me lately? Heck, what have you done for me in 19 years? Sen. John Kerry is asking the American public to make him the leader of the free world. Yet, by any standard, he has done nothing to distinguish himself as a leader in the Senate (“Kerry’s defense(less) posture,” Editorial, Aug. 26).

If you want to measure Mr. Kerry’s potential to lead this country, look at his record on the issues during his Senate career (the career that makes him so proud, he barely mentioned it at the Democratic National Convention).

During his various campaign speeches, Mr. Kerry always mentions that the number of Americans without health care supposedly has climbed to more than 40 million. Given the supposed health-care crisis, what important health care legislation has Mr. Kerry authored during his Senate career? None.

Mr. Kerry says he will strengthen U.S. intelligence services. However, since the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the only piece of legislation he has authored has been a proposal to cut the national intelligence budget by $6 billion in 1994.

Other than that, what major intelligence legislation has Mr. Kerry proposed? None.

Despite the fact that America has been under attack from Islamists since 1993, Mr. Kerry has shown no leadership on this issue. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn’t realize the dangers of militant Islam until the September 11 attacks. Even so, since September 11, what important anti-terrorism legislation has Mr. Kerry authored? None.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kerry stated that life begins at conception. Yet he voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion. At what point does Mr. Kerry feel a life is worth protecting? If he truly believes in protecting the unborn, what legislation has he brought to the Senate floor to protect the sanctity of life? None.

Mr. Kerry has publicly stated that 1 million black voters were disenfranchised in the 2000 election. However, no official or media investigations support that statement.

If Mr. Kerry has evidence to support those statements, why hasn’t he called for prosecutions and congressional investigations? What legislation has Mr. Kerry put forth to ensure the rights of minorities to vote? None.

True leaders in government are those who see a problem, develop a solution and then put forth legislation to solve the problem.

It seems that Mr. Kerry can look around the country and find plenty of problems, but he has shown almost no initiative in finding solutions to those problems. Is that the kind of “leadership” America wants at this critical point in the war on terror?

On the other hand, over the past 3½ years, George W. Bush has provided strong leadership. President Bush has taken the initiative to reduce marginal tax rates to stimulate the economy out of recession.

He recognized the gathering storm of terrorism and has struck back at two hotbeds of terror: Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Bush has shown true leadership in racial equality by appointing the most diverse Cabinet in presidential history.

Mr. Bush proposed and got passed major reforms to Medicare in an effort to modernize it and extend prescription drug coverage to seniors.

Mr. Bush was the driving force behind the Patriot Act, which has made our homeland safer and given the intelligence community a much-needed tool in the war on terror.

Face it, when it comes to providing leadership, there’s only one clear choice: President Bush.


Chambersburg, Pa.

‘Silence is consent’

It has been made painfully clear that Sen. John McCain is upset by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign (“Scorecard … and unhealed wounds,” Commentary, Monday). He has denounced it publicly and has called for the Bush campaign to do the same.

It’s not news that President Bush has not specifically condemned the veterans’ ad but has called for abolishing all 527 groups. That was easy for him, considering the relative success of 527 groups that support Democratic causes. Mr. McCain seems unable to persuade Mr. Bush to specifically condemn the anti-Kerry ad. His latest reason for taking it easy with Mr. Bush is that he wants to remain respectful to the president. I think most people would read that as wanting to remain on favorable terms with him.

Mr. McCain’s reticence should not detract from a vile and transparently Republican Party-affiliated campaign. It was compounded by delegates wearing Purple Heart bandages at the convention, courtesy of Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute. It’s up to Mr. Bush to publicly condemn these attacks because silence is consent.



Where’s the compassion?

I am appalled that the Republicans have resurrected and dusted off the “compassionate conservative” label they shredded after the election in 2000 (“An ‘ebbing claim,’ ” Inside Politics, Nation, Wednesday).

Statistics were released last week showing increases in the number of Americans who have fallen below the poverty level and have no health insurance. Less reported, but more significant, the largest increase was for those in “extreme poverty,” which is defined as those with half the income of the government benchmark of the poverty level.

The president’s response was to crow about a reduction of welfare rolls. In this economy, with so many of our children living in poverty with no health insurance, and those in extreme poverty the fastest-growing group, the president’s response is unconscionable. That is the kind of compassion we have received from this president since his election and what we can expect if he wins another term.

A word to swing voters: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”


Buena Vista, Pa.

Hypocrisy of the anti-hunters

Two points from Gene Mueller’s excellent column that ran Wednesday (“Dove, goose seasons are off to hot start,” Sports).

First, it is completely in character for the anti-human/anti-hunting crowd to be so nasty as to say that Mr. Mueller received his just rewards when he contracted Lye disease. They are always calling for others to be compassionate and caring, but are never willing to be so themselves. It is one reason I never accord them any credibility.

Second, my experience with the Maryland Natural Resources Police has always been positive, and I, too, hope that in their zeal to enforce safety zones around possible terrorist targets, they do not become an agency that makes life difficult for anglers. In our pursuit of security, we cannot let the enemy make us give up our liberty.


Bowie, Md.

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