Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Attack, attack, attack

A letter to the editor in the Chicago Tribune last week pointed out a basic flaw in two Republican lines of attack against John Kerry:

Republicans charge that Kerry is the most ardent liberal member of the the Senate. They also charge him with being an indecisive flip-flopper on every issue. How can he be both?

Obviously he can’t be both and in fact neither allegation is true. The flip-flop canard is ridiculous on its face. Any politician can be accused of flip-flopping and there are far more examples of Bush flip-flops than Kerry.
But it is not surprising that a Party that values conformity and adherence to a strict ideology would find fault in someone who is willing to reflect on past decisions and perhaps change their mind.

Another more recent line of attack against Kerry is the charge that he has few legislative accomplishments during his 20 years in the Senate. But this is a highly hypocritical charge coming from Republicans who claim to be in favor of smaller and more limited government. Would they like Kerry better if he had a long list of pork-barrell projects that he sponsored during his legislative career?
It is also galling coming from Bush and Cheney as noted by Atrios:

In 11 years in the House, Cheney sponsored just 2 pieces of legislation that became law.

Here is Congressman John Spratt (D-SC) quoted in a Kerry press release:

“Dick Cheney served in the Congress for 11 years. I served with him for most of these years. In that time, he only passed two bills. One was to build a flood plain on the Colorado River and the other was a bill to help a constituent. What’s even more telling about Dick Cheney’s record in the House is not what he supported but what he opposed – things like Headstart and funding for seniors. It seems pretty dishonest for Bush and Cheney to be attacking John Kerry - who passed 57 bills in the Senate – for his legislative accomplishments.”

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