Thursday, September 16, 2004

Kerry Should Tell the Truth About Bush, Over and Over

by Margaret Krome

Out of the fury of this year's presidential campaign, I will certainly remember the "Fahrenheit 9/11" footage of President Bush addressing very wealthy fund-raising dinner guests. Commenting that some people would characterize the attendees as the elite, he joked that, instead, "I call you my base!"

I remember it every time I ponder what prompts Bush's campaign to raise issues on which his own record is weak.

Why did Republicans go after Sen. John Kerry's legitimate war record, knowing that Bush's record could only embarrass him? Didn't they assume that information about the Bush record would become public discussion again?

Why did Bush make an issue out of terrorism, when so many anti-terrorism strategists, several former generals and military leaders have stated that his Iraq war has diverted attention and resources from our nation's security and made us more vulnerable to terrorism? Did he think his critics would stop saying it out loud?

Why does he promote his vision for education, when he has frozen Pell Grant funding amounts for students, when this year his budget requested $9.4 billion less for the No Child Left Behind Act than that law requires?Why did he talk about his tax plan when his tax plan has blatantly served the wealthiest citizens at the expense of the very middle class he's courting?

Why would he have fought funding for conservation programs, depleted the Superfund program that cleans up the worst toxic sites, fought air and water pollution regulations of every kind, cut funding for national parks, and then claim to protect the environment?

Overall, why would Bush raise issues that are sure to backfire if people look at the facts?

The cynical answer is that facts don't govern the outcome of the debate. The Bush campaign is deploying the marketing principle that if you repeat any message enough, people begin to perceive it as true. It doesn't have to be true, just be said persuasively and said over and over.

(click on the title for the whole article)


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