The Jewish Press Endorses President Bush – for the Second Time

Folks, I address this post to the Jews who read this blog: The Jewish Press has endorsed George Bush, not once, but twice. Here is their latest must-read Editorial:


The Bush Reelection Imperative

Posted 10/27/2004


Last week we endorsed George W. Bush for reelection. It is impossible to overstate just how important it is that readers who agree that President Bush deserves our support — particularly readers in such swing states as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio — go to the polls next Tuesday.

As we noted last week, the central task of the winner of this election will be to lead our country at a time when most Third World nations — individually and, in the United Nations, collectively — view the U.S. as the fount of evil, and when most of our World War II allies are part of a growing effort to challenge the hegemony the U.S. has enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It will be a time when well-financed fanatic fundamentalists from across the Muslim world, harbored and facilitated by Arab states, will continue their hit-and-run terrrorist attacks against the U.S., taking full advantage of the advances of technology and capitalizing on the unavoidably porous defenses of a democracy.

All in all, we said, Mr. Bush seems eminently better suited than Mr. Kerry for the job ahead. Although we believe the case for Mr. Bush is compelling from a comparative point of view, the very special negatives of Mr. Kerry make it imperative that our community come out and vote for the incumbent.

It was not too long ago when even the hint of personal failing was the kiss of death for a presidential candidate. Immediately coming to mind are the failed candidacies of George Romney, who noted in passing that he’d been “brainwashed” by governmental briefings about Vietnam; Edmund Muskie, who appeared to shed tears when a newpaper editorial criticized his wife; Gary Hart, who was caught in a dalliance with a young woman not his wife after he’d invited reporters to keep an eye on him; and Joe Biden, who all but invented a family history for himself by plagiarizing a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.

Yet here we have in John Kerry a candidate for president who, upon returning from Vietnam, joined with virulently anti-war elements bent on forcing the U.S. out of Vietnam — Jane Fonda was perhaps the most prominent — and testified before Congress as their point man that American forces systematically committed horrible war crimes as a matter of official U.S. policy.

In fact, the efforts of Kerry and his colleagues resulted in the broad deligitimization of the war effort and led to a Congressional cut-off of funds and the collapse of our military position in Vietnam — all this while our troops and diplomatic personnel were in harm`s way.

If momentary lapses were once viewed — probably with good reason — as windows on the character and capacity of candidates, how then should one take the enormous perfidy of Mr. Kerry? Indeed, Mr. Kerry remains as perfidious today as he was thirty years ago. How else to explain his labeling of Operation Iraqi Freedom “the wrong war at the wrong time” based on the alleged lack of sufficient evidence against Saddam Hussein and the failure of President Bush to fashion an ample coalition in prosecuting the war — when, in 1991, Mr. Kerry voted against the use of military force after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the first President Bush had almost the entire world as allies in Operation Desert Storm?

While presidential campaigns have always been marked by hyperbole and promises soon forgotten, outright misstatements have not been tolerated. President Ford`s bizarre comment in a debate with Jimmy Carter in the 1976 campaign that Eastern European countries were not under Soviet domination caused his credibility to crumble and surely led to his defeat that November.

Yet, as has been widely reported, Mr. Kerry has notoriously “flip-flopped” on several major issues during this campaign. In recent weeks Mr. Kerry has also shamlessly exploited the stem cell research, social security and flu shot issues by palpable distortion and has created an impending draft issue out of whole cloth.

(It is truly incredible to behold Mr. Kerry as he attempts to raise fears that a Bush victory would result in a renewal of the military draft when a Republican-led Congress just voted down the only current draft bill — one that was introduced by a Democratic congressman.)

Can anyone recall a previous presidential campaign even remotely resembling Mr. Kerry’s, with its constantly shifting policy terrain and painfully transparent pandering? Perhaps the most striking example of Mr. Kerry`s transparency was the recent photo-op that had him dressed in fatigues and toting a rifle, with accompanying aides carrying four geese supposedly shot by the Massachusetts senator.

And then there are the vacuous summary declarations of the sort favored by Mr. Kerry: “Help is on the way,” “I have a plan,” “we will do a better job,” “I will be able to persuade world leaders,” etc.

Yes, one is tempted to shout in frustration, but what, at long last, is it that you specifically have in mind, sir?

Mr. Kerry began his campaign by touting his Vietnam War experience, and he typically began his speeches with a salute and the words “reporting for duty.” Putting aside the questions that have been raised about his war record — and bear in mind that he has yet to release his complete military file — does anyone really think that success at making split-second unilateral decisions commends one for a job requiring complex decision making based upon arduous consultation and policy choices drawn from often conflicting expert advice?

Mr. Kerry has assumed for himself the campaign persona of an unflinching warrior, and as such he rarely misses an opportunity to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan. This is the stuff of make-believe. In real life, he fought Mr. Reagan at almost every turn, championing a nuclear freeze that would have left Europe vulnerable to a Soviet attack and voting against the very weapons systems proposed by the late president that for years now have served as the backbone of our defenses.

Surely it is not happenstance that Mr. Kerry runs on empty proclamations and rarely invokes his twenty-year Congressional record — a record that led the non-partisan National Journal to label him the most liberal member of the United States Senate.

When it comes to Israel, Mr. Kerry`s negatives are of even greater concern. As we have noted in past edtorials, he has spoken of wanting to be an “honest broker” in the Middle East — as if President Bush`s insistence on an end to terror and Israel`s right to defend itself is somehow too one-sided. Mr. Kerry’s incredible comment that he would appoint Jimmy Carter and James Baker as his representatives in the Middle East still rankles. Indeed, Mr. Kerry`s principal advisers on the Middle East are senior Clinton administration retreads of the “moral equivalency,” “cycle of violence” variety.

To be sure, Mr. Kerry now seems to parrot the Bush approach to the Middle East. But there is strong reason to believe that this is merely expedient — and temporary — political catch-up. Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer is far from alone in fearing that Kerry will, in fact, reverse the Bush Middle East policy.

In sum, there is a strong case to be made for coming out to vote as a show of appreciation to George W. Bush. But there is also much on the record to convince us of the importance of voting strictly to ensure that John Kerry does not become our next president.

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