Monday, July 26, 2004

"Priorities"? LOL!

The George W. Bush re-election campaign has bombarded the airwaves with a new attack ad, titled “Priorities”, that has been airing for three weeks. The main point of this advertisement is to insinuate that Kerry does not share the values of mainstream Americans. The funny thing is that no reference is made to the values of Mr. Bush. The only judgments made are about those of Sen. Kerry.

At this point in the campaign, it is vitally important to challenge all the false and/or misleading assertions leveled against our Democratic nominee. Whether or not you are pleased with the primary results, it is time to forcefully support Kerry. Despite certain problems that I have with Kerry’s platform, I agree with him more than I would any Republican running. This post is part of a larger effort to set the record straight about Sen. Kerry and his record. On the streets and in your community, you will hear people utter untruths and mischaracterize the positions of our nominee. This morning, I focus on this ad of national prominence, disgracefully labeled “Priorities”.

In case you haven’t seen the ad, or are unclear of the specifics, I have included the text from the television spot.

I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

Leadership means choosing priorities. While campaigning, John Kerry has missed over two thirds of all votes.

Missed a vote to lower health-care costs by reducing frivolous lawsuits against doctors.

Missed a vote to fund our troops in combat.

Yet, Kerry found time to vote against the Laci Peterson law that protects pregnant women from violence.

Kerry has priorities. Are they yours?

The Bush campaign is telling the truth about his absences from the United States Senate. It is true that Kerry, along with Edwards, has missed a number of votes. Some have suggested that Kerry should resign his Senate seat while seeking the Presidency. In an ideal world, that might be a practical suggestion. However, the Governor of Massachusetts is Republican Mitt Romney. Were Kerry to resign today, a Republican of Romney’s choosing would fill that seat. With the Senate so evenly divided, there is no way that the Democrats could allow the seat to go GOP.

Bush/Cheney 2004 has taken claimed that Kerry missed a vote to “fund our troops in combat”. First, his vote has absolutely zero impact on the troops well being. The bills he missed were passed by votes of 95-0 and 97-0. Were Kerry’s vote necessary for passage or failure of the bill, he would have assuredly attended to cast his tally. There are more boring specifics on the bill and its amendments, but it’s really not worth the time to discuss. The fact of the matter is that his missed vote proves nothing about his priorities. All it shows is that Kerry has been very busy over the past few months campaigning for President of the United States. He is assuredly not sitting at home eating popcorn and watching the Red Sox.

Another claim is that he missed a vote “to lower health-care costs”. Like I discussed in the last paragraph, his vote did not matter. The bill fell far short of passage. The only argument Republicans have is that he likely would have opposed the measure, as most Democrats did. However, there was no proof that this proposed bill would have even lowered costs. Most of these votes were procedural. The Bush/Cheney team is exploiting the American people’s lack of knowledge when it comes to Congressional business.

Finally, we have the insidious exploitation on the Laci Peterson name. This was purely an attempt by the Republicans to attach Bush’s name to a sympathetic victim of crime. The ad is true in that Kerry did vote against the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act”. This bill was more about advancing the pro-life agenda than it was protecting unborn children. The objective was to give the fetus the same rights as a living human being. Essentially, Kerry and the Democrats were unwilling to go along with that terminology. Kerry voted in favor of a similar bill, the “Motherhood Pregnancy Act”, which used a different wording. Finally, the law would only be in effect on federal grounds, such as a military base or government building. This would not benefit the average Jane Q. Public.

In conclusion, this ad is laughably easy to refute. Sen. Kerry has nothing to be ashamed of. If the public listens for even a minute, they would likely understand his rational for voting the way he did.

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