T Nation

Explaining Their Votes

I’ve gathered some interesting articles and posts by people explaining why they will likely vote for either Kerry or Bush – I think they make for interesting reading, so I will provide the links below.

However, I wanted to open a thread for people to say who they support and the main reason for why they support either Kerry or Bush.

I’ll post my likely (p=.999) vote and why after I post the links:

Liberals voting for Bush:

Small government conservatives/Social liberals for Kerry:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2004_10_14.shtml#1098030845

http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/001682.html

Small government conservatives/ Social liberals for Bush:

http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/archives/001564.html

An article on various former swing voters, and why they’ve swung:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/10/18/swing_swang_swung/

I’m going to vote for Bush based on two controlling issues:

  1. I don’t trust Kerry on the War on Terror, because I both don’t believe the strong-on-national-defense stance he has adopted as a candidate and I think he would treat the War on Terror as a police exercise rather than a War against terrorists and those who succor them;

  2. I think Kerry is a classic tax-and-spend liberal, and even though I dislike Bush’s spending, I think Kerry would spend more, tax more, and that there’s a far lesser chance of his addressing the looming twin crises of social security and medicare (and if he did his solution would be to raise taxes).

I have opinions on many other issues, but those two are controlling for me.

BB,

I’m voting for Bush for being offensive.

Offensive in the War on Terror and offensive to the French.

His accent is offensive to liberal elitests.

He offends Hillary Clinton.

The spittle on the corner of his mouth in debate three offended RSU.

Plain-speakers are offensive to people who wallow in nuance.

This is more than enough reason for me to throw my wholehearted support behind W.

JeffR

I’m voting for Bush because he is an evil, evil man.

Or is it that he’s a stupid, stupid man?

Seriously, I am voting for him because he stands for what I stand for. He ain’t affraid to tell you where he stands, and he don’t waffle once the decision is made.

That is far more than can be said of Kerry-Edwards. If I want a whore I’ll pay for one - I don’t think we should be putting one in the oval office.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I’m going to vote for Bush based on two controlling issues:

  1. I don’t trust Kerry on the War on Terror, because I both don’t believe the strong-on-national-defense stance he has adopted as a candidate and I think he would treat the War on Terror as a police exercise rather than a War against terrorists and those who succor them;

  2. I think Kerry is a classic tax-and-spend liberal, and even though I dislike Bush’s spending, I think Kerry would spend more, tax more, and that there’s a far lesser chance of his addressing the looming twin crises of social security and medicare (and if he did his solution would be to raise taxes).

I have opinions on many other issues, but those two are controlling for me.[/quote]

  1. Can you provide some tangible actions that Bush will take that Kerry will not take? What exactly do you envision Kerry doing that will sabotage the war on terror?

  2. I don’t get this logic (which isn’t to say it’s illogical, I just don’t get it). You don’t like Bush’s spending, but you’re sure that a Democratic president presiding over a Republican controlled congress will spend more than a president that has not vetoed a single spending bill with a congressional majority? What do you base that on? I would ask why you prefer, assuming that both of these guys are going to spends, that we run up debt instead of raising the money internally to pay for it, but I don’t want to simplify the issue to a “deficit spending = bad” fallacy.

Also, would you mind pointing me towards some literature that describes how social security is in a state of “crisis”?

I know this all sound sarcastic, but I’m seriously curious.

Moriarty:

On SS and Medicare:

http://money.cnn.com/2003/05/29/news/economy/social_security_pain/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-10-03-debt-cover_x.htm

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.18965/pub_detail.asp

http://www.sebastianholsclaw.com/archives/2004_10.html#000358

As to Kerry w/r/t the War on Terror, I will take advantage of this lengthy post, which I basically agree with:

http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/archives/001564.html
[Addendum:

Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online had a post that also captures what I think about Kerry: He doesn’t view the War on Terror as a war.

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/04_10_17_corner-archive.asp#042917

Excerpt:

First of all, ignoring Kerry’s pre-9/11 record only makes sense in this analysis if there’s overwhelming evidence that Kerry’s changed his worldview since 9/11. I’ve seen no such evidence. He ran on his Vietnam record before 9/11, he runs on it now. He’s offered no apologies nor revealing introspection for his anti-war efforts and his opposition to the Reagan administration. He surrounds himself with Clintonian foreign policy advisors and others to their left. He touts his decidedly pre-9/11 book on global crime as a training manual for post 9/11 world in which hunting terrorists is a “law enforcement issue” and terrorism is something he hopes to get to the nuisance level. His pre-9/11 views on diplomacy, defense and intelligence don’t really seem to have gone away – or gone away for long. He invokes the same idiotic story about De Galle trusting the United States, he worships the UN, he voted against the $87 billion for ever-changing reasons, but none of them seem to be the result of an epiphany about the dangers of the 9/11 world. To this day the only use of force he’s said wouldn’t be subject to a global test and that he could be counted upon to administer would be a response to an attack. Woop-dee-frickin’ doo.

During the primaries, when asked if he’d call himself a war president the way Bush does, he responded: “I’d see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president.”

This is a man who’s changed because of 9/11? In fact, I thought Kerry’s appeal to folks like Sullivan and Mickey Kaus was that he’d offer a “resting period” after all of Bush’s big changes. [End excerpt]

Also, there’s this Kerry statement, from the Matt Bai piece in The New York Times Magazine:

“When I asked Kerry how Sept. 11 had changed him, either personally or politically, he seemed to freeze for a moment. ''It accelerated – ‘’ He paused. ‘‘I mean, it didn’t change me much at all. It just sort of accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing. I mean, to me, it wasn’t as transformational as it was a kind of anger, a frustration and an urgency that we weren’t doing the kinds of things necessary to prevent it and to deal with it.’’”

Finally, I will point out a little fact that has seemingly been overlooked as Kerry has defended his “global test” comment. He keeps saying something to the effect that he would never cede decisions on U.S. security to ANOTHER COUNTRY.

Guess what? The U.N. isn’t a country. And I have no doubt he said it exactly as he meant it.]

As for spending, borrowing, and the deficit, I will get back to you when I have some more time to write.

I’m voting for Bush b/c I want more conservative judges appointed to the federal judiciary, and in particular the U.S. Supreme Court. Since it’s expected that Justices Stevens, Rehnquist, and O’Connor will retire, both Stevens and O’Connor were planning to retire in 2000 but did not b/c bush won, I’d like all three to be replaced with 3 solidly conservative justices thereby assuring a conservative Court for at least the next 15-20 years.

Moriarty:

You asked:

Firstly, I do not have confidence in the spine of the Republican congress against Democratic demagoguery from President Kerry. They couldn’t even manage a spine when it came to Campaign Finance or the Prescription Drug Benefit, so I don’t see them getting in the way of such things a minimum-wage hikes or expanded prescription drug benefits.

Secondly, I don’t want a president who thinks handing out the goodies to every consituency is a good idea, irrespective of whether Congress would go along with him. Kerry’s economic plan reminds me of Steve Martin’s plan to becomre a millionaire: “Step 1: Get a million dollars!” Every single thing he talks about is a spending program, save his promise to raise taxes only on those making more than $200K per year and cutting the deficit in half. His spending plans are mutually exclusive with his other two promises.

Thirdly, while I’m not happy with all Bush’s spending, I do know that some of the deficit was necessary as stimulus spending in time of recession – this is especially true of the tax cuts that were not stimulative (such as the child-tax credit). Overall, the size of the deficit is not troubling at its current size – just look at it as a percentage of GDP compared to historical deficits w/r/t GDP. The problem would be if, once the economy picks up steam again, we didn’t cut the spending and get the fiscal house back in order. I think Bush is more likely to do that than Kerry.

Fourthly, I think a Bush II regime would have a much different relationship with Congress than did the Bush I regime – mostly because there still isn’t a designated successor, so to speak, among the Republicans, and there is a large part of the national Republican base that is uncomfortable with a continued spending spree. Therefore, I think there would be a conservative faction in Congress that would push for fiscal responsibility w/r/t spending programs – nothing would get rolled back, but hopefully they would not shrink from reforming a lot of the entitlements and pork-barrel programs we have.

As far as the debt versus “paying for it” idea, as I said, the level of debt currently isn’t troubling, and we can grow our way out of it provided we rein in future spending. The problem with trying to tax our way out of it is that it retards growth and shrinks the pie – as well as the fact it increases unemployment and decreases productivity (excessive tax rates do that, that is).

I am voting for Bush because:

  1. He will not appease the terrorists
    and the rest of the World. He will
    kill the terrorists and lead the
    fight for democracy.

  2. He is a leader and he makes the
    tough choices.

  3. He takes a world view on the economy
    but believes we should lead it.

  4. I trust the guy and find him dependable. I like his family and I like his values.

I would never vote for Kerry because:

  1. His record is that of a liberal.
    He is fiscally irresponsible.

  2. He supports and believes in BIG
    government. Despite what he says
    now look at his record.

  3. As a veteran I find his post Vietnam
    Testimony a disgrace to the uniform
    and to his country. That is difficult to say about a guy who earned a Silver Star. He is the only one I have ever said that about. Take it for what it is worth.

As it is no surprise to anyone, I’ll be voting for John Kerry on 11.2. My reasons for this are plenty, and most surround Bush’s incompetence. Not only do I believe that nearly anyone can do better, but I also believe – strongly enough – that Kerry will do better.

In the interest of brevity, however, I’ll summarize the primary, most fundamental reason for voting Kerry:

I don’t TRUST George W. Bush and (most of) his administration.

There are so many reasons to vote for President Bush and not vote for John Kerry. Where do I begin?

In the interest of space and time, I will simply say that I think President Bush is on the right track relative to taxes (he mentioned a flat tax at one point). Those of us who have actually made a few dollars understand that higher taxes means that government takes more of your money and redistributes it. I really hate that concept.

Bush is also on the right track with the war on terror. He is taking a far more realistic view of the terrorist threat than John Kerry. To think that Bin Laden is the only terrorist threat facing us is simply foolish. For Kerry to say that he wants to get terrorism back to a point where it’s just a “nuisance” is quite dangerous!

Also, I don’t trust Kerry. He trys to hold every side of every issue. Yes…he is a flip flopper. On top of that he is the liberals perfect liberal! He has a disgraceful record as a Senator of voting 95 times to increase taxes. Voted as the most liberal Senator in the US!

I don’t want him, and I am willing to bet anyone (wink) that America does not want him!

Came across this today – very well written argument to non-loony Democrats to vote for Bush:

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/10/beldar_asks_his.html

Let’s say you’re a yellow dog Democrat, a patriot, a thoughtful person for whom the world changed on 9/11. Zell Miller’s impassioned rant at the RNC didn’t strike any responsive chords for you. You supported the war in Afghanistan and you’re cautiously optimistic at having seen the successful elections that just took place there. You don’t like the Republican positions on social issues, but you do recognize that this election is, and ought to be, first and foremost about foreign policy and domestic security issues. You aren’t an appeaser; you know and appreciate quite a bit of history; you’re not reflexively against any and all use of America’s military power.

You’re deeply troubled, though, about Iraq; you think it is a big deal that we didn’t find stockpiles of WMDs there; and something about George W. Bush just flat rubs you the wrong way. You think all the SwiftVets’ stuff is irrelevant ancient history; you think there’s not much difference between Kerry misspeaking about the “global test” and Bush misspeaking about the war on terror not being winnable; and besides, you take it as an article of faith that all politicians lie during campaigns.

John Kerry, you’re thinking, couldn’t do much worse in prosecuting the Global War on Terror (or maybe you reject that characterization, in which case, let’s just call it “fighting the terrorists.”) You’re inclined to take him at face value when he says he’ll hunt down and kill the terrorists, and that he’ll fight a smarter, more effective war fight. You’re giving him the benefit of the doubt on the “character” issue.

My question to you, my thoughtful, principled friend of the center-left, is this: How is John Kerry going to be able to resolve his fundamental dilemma if he’s elected?


“What fundamental dilemma?” you ask. Well, look at your fellow Kerry voters. Look at the Democratic Party; look at its congressmen and senators; look at its policy wonks and think-tankers and fundraisers and likely appointees to key posts, on both domestic and foreign/military policy positions. We’ve established already that you’re not a barking moonbat yourself. Surely, though, you can see them around you in the Kerry queue, can’t you?

Then in your best-case scenario, my friend, you’ll be electing another man who’ll be immediately thrust into the position Lyndon Johnson was in as of January 1968 ? a man who from the first day of his presidency will be faced by incredible pressures from within his own party, from many of his own advisers and fundraisers and legislators, to do exactly the opposite of what you are counting on Kerry to do.

If John Kerry keeps his promises to “fight for this country” ? if he keeps his promise not to cut and run in Iraq, for instance ? then he’s going to seriously piss off, indeed to completely alienate, somewhere between a quarter and half of the people who’ve voted for him, and probably a much larger percentage of his intelligensia, fundraisers, and activists. If we’re not out of Iraq come next July, there’s going to be a boom market in “Dean '08” bumper stickers. Because just like you’re working on the assumption that when elected, Kerry will indeed take the fight to the enemy, they’re working on the assumption that when elected, Kerry’s going to get us out of the “wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time.” You and the moonbats can’t both be right about what Kerry will do. Can we agree on that much, surely? Can we agree that the straddle that might succeed in getting Kerry into the White House can’t last once he’s there?

Johnson’s dilemma, of course, ended up never being efffectively resolved. Instead, it crippled his presidency and destroyed him as a leader ? as a world leader, a national leader, even as a leader in his own party. It led him to withdraw from the 1968 presidential race three years after winning a historic landslide. It put Richard Nixon in the White House (a memory that still makes you shudder convulsively). That was before Bill Clinton perfected the idea of the “perpetual campaign,” when newly elected leaders actually hoped to govern and lead based on their mandate from the last election for a while before beginning the compromises necessary for the next one.

And LBJ had a solidly Democratic Congress, and demonstrated, unparalleled skills in manipulating it, which a President Kerry certainly won’t have. For John Kerry to fulfill your vision for his presidency ? for him to run a “smarter, more effective” fight against the terrorists ? he’s not only going to have to fade the heat from the Howard Dean wing of the Democratic Party, he’s going to have to line up and make effective use of Republican allies. He’s going to have to be slicker than Bill Clinton ever dreamed of being, and he’s going to have to dance not with them what brung him, but with them what his former dance partners (who’ll be screaming “backstabber!”) believe to be devils incarnate. He’ll need more votes than just John McCain’s ? you know that, don’t you?

I know plenty of smart people who, on domestic matters, would be delighted to see our country return to the days of divided government. Arguably that creates a tension that keeps all but the middle-of-the-road legislation from getting through; stuff either has to be genuinely bipartisan, or else have veto-proof support to get passed. Arguably, divided government leads to Clintonesque triangulation, which some folks near the political center, from only slightly to one side or the other, think is an okay thing.

But stalemate is not an okay thing in foreign policy matters and security matters. You know this in your heart, don’t you? You know that a conflicted warrior, a half-hearted warrior, a timid warrior, is really no warrior at all.


I respect your position, my friend. I wish there were more of you in your party, and that if Sen. Kerry is elected, that he could count on you and those like you, plus sympathetic (non-wingnut) Republicans, to give him an effective working coalition to continue prosecuting the fight against the terrorists. But I ask you ? before you pull the lever (or touch the button, whatever) that will be your part to play in deciding how America fights the terrorists for the next four years ? do you think John Kerry is up to the task that Lyndon Johnson failed at so miserably? Are you being realistic when you think that President Kerry is going to defeat the terrorists and the peace-at-any-price wing of the Democratic Party? And are you willing to accept the consequences for our country if your hopes, and Kerry’s presidency, are frustrated?

I know you’re profoundly ill at ease with the way things have been going. As a Democrat, you would have to hold your nose and grit your teeth to pull the lever for Bush, and you don’t want to do it. You want to feel like you’re voting for someone. You want to feel like your vote is an expression of hope, and for whatever reasons, Dubya doesn’t make you feel hopeful. But let’s not kid each other. You are clear-eyed enough to know that if Dubya’s re-elected, he is going to do his damnedest ? perhaps without the finesse you’d like to see, perhaps with what you think are some huge blunders along the way ? to win the fight against the terrorists. Dubya is a known quantity. Are you willing to gamble that you’re right, and the moonbats are wrong, about Kerry’s core convictions, and that he’ll be a more effective leader than LBJ when he disappoints those moonbats?

You, my friend, understand the stakes. I’ll respect your decision if you take the gamble; I won’t question your patriotism if it doesn’t pay off. In fact, if your gamble doesn’t pay off, your harshest critic in hindsight won’t be me ? it’ll be yourself.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Came across this today – very well written argument to non-loony Democrats to vote for Bush:

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/10/beldar_asks_his.html

you think there’s not much difference between Kerry misspeaking about the “global test” and Bush misspeaking about the war on terror not being winnable; [/quote]

Kerry didn’t misspeak. Bush and friends misunderstood. Wanna talk about it? Anyone with a head on their shoulders knew what Kerry was referring to.

[quote]
If John Kerry keeps his promises to “fight for this country” ? if he keeps his promise not to cut and run in Iraq, for instance ? then he’s going to seriously piss off, indeed to completely alienate, somewhere between a quarter and half of the people who’ve voted for him, and probably a much larger percentage of his intelligensia, fundraisers, and activists. [/quote]

Not so – not so at all, I’d think. While we disapprove of the war, we understand that Kerry is inheriting a war that he doesn’t much like or approve of, but nonetheless needs to handle in the best possible way – which probably means trying to speed up the exit process while leaving Iraq in the best possible shape. Bottom line, as Kerry’s been saying all along, is that we can’t be spread as thin as we are and we need the help of other countries.

Remember, Kerry must first enter his presidency as a janitor, cleaning up Bush’s horrible mess.


BB, I’m surprised you like this article since it seems entirely fallacious – building an apparent connundrum in which Kerry must necessarily contradict himself…it’s just not so. The author speaks of A and B as if there exists no C or AB.

“speeding up the exit process”, just how is he going to do that without compromising the goals in Iraq? do the terrorists suddenly becomes less angered at our occupation as kerry is elected, do military operations become more possible, quicker, and effective? I dont think so. The article has a valid point, that half you guys want us to leave iraq regardless of what shape it is in, and this is NOT what Kerry is saying on the campaign trail.

[quote]RepubCarrier wrote:
“speeding up the exit process”, just how is he going to do that without compromising the goals in Iraq? do the terrorists suddenly becomes less angered at our occupation as kerry is elected, do military operations become more possible, quicker, and effective? I dont think so. The article has a valid point, that half you guys want us to leave iraq regardless of what shape it is in, and this is NOT what Kerry is saying on the campaign trail.[/quote]

Let me first ask this: What’s Bush’s plan – he’s the incumbant, remember? And as of yet, he’s got no exit strategy.

BB,

As usual, excellent article.

The idea that Kerry who says that the Iraq War was “A Grand Diversion/The Wrong War at the Wrong Time” can win is in a word, IDIOTIC!!!

Worse, Somalia should have shown what happens when a President inherits a war that he doesn’t believe in.

RSU, I have already linked W’s speech to the War College where he clearly laid out his exit strategy. You chose not to respond to it at that time. Stop with the endless repeating comments aka…“Halliburton, Bush Lied, No Exit Strategy”

It is absolutely FOOLISH to declare when we will pull out of Iraq. If the terrorists knew that, they would lie low until the day after. Then they, and other power hungry groups would launch a full out assault for control of the country.

I’m becoming increasingly puzzled at people who assert that Kerry is the “smart one.”

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:

The idea that Kerry who says that the Iraq War was “A Grand Diversion/The Wrong War at the Wrong Time” can win is in a word, IDIOTIC!!![/quote]

Can you offer up a good explanation as to why it’s idiotic? Ya’ll continue to say that but no one offers any reason why.

JeffR: In the words of the great Flava Flave…“Ya blind man, blind to the facts.”

RSU,

This should do it for you:

Name a single American War/Major engagement that was won/draw when the President didn’t believe in it.

You can’t.

Somalia is a pretty recent example of what happens when an incoming President doesn’t believe in what the nation is doing on the ground.

Was that clear enough?

The idea of Kerry winning in Iraq, is an IDIOTIC notion.

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:
RSU,

This should do it for you:

Name a single American War/Major engagement that was won/draw when the President didn’t believe in it.

You can’t.

Somalia is a pretty recent example of what happens when an incoming President doesn’t believe in what the nation is doing on the ground.

Was that clear enough?

The idea of Kerry winning in Iraq, is an IDIOTIC notion.

JeffR[/quote]

So, essentially, Kerry is wrong for questioning Bush’s actions at all?

What if, hypothetically, Bush invaded…say, Switzerland? By your logic, Kerry would have no choice but to support?

Bump this thread for Terumo’s question on his thread.