Dangerous Bush vs. 'Tedious' Kerry?

I don't care what the polls say, I'm convinced, as columnist George Will told me last week, that "there may be four undecided voters (left) in the entire country."

Well, I happen to be one of them. Readers of this column know that I'm no Bush supporter. But some readers mistake my Bush fears and concerns with love for Kerry. Let's just say I'm a third party kinda guy.

Another thing Will said: In the 2000 election, "Al Gore was a hysteric." In this election, he added, "Kerry is tedious, but not dangerous."

Well, in my not-always humble opinion, I think Bush is dangerous and Kerry is not tedious enough - tedious in the sense of pointing out the devil in the details.

Let's count the ways: The President has gotten a lot mileage out of the flip-flopper character attack on Kerry, though, in the first debate, Kerry did a reasonably good job of explaining that when he voted to give Bush authorization to go to war in Iraq, he did so under the assumption that the "straight-talking" President would actually follow what he said he would do, which is go to war as a last resort and seek to do so in a way that's in step with international law - "the global test."

Sadly, Kerry fell for Bush's diplomatic rhetoric. What I also heard Kerry say was he also assumed, as I imagine all senators do, that the intelligence being fed to him by the commander-in-chief was more than "just guessing," as the President recently characterized a CIA report detailing the on-the-ground reality in Iraq.

The fact that Kerry was hoodwinked by Bush's malarkey is just one reason why I'm not a Kerry lover. Again, Kerry is not tedious enough. The devil is in the details.

In the last debate the president defended his tax cuts that have disproportionately benefited those who least need it by regurgitating the hackneyed supply-side argument that these tax cuts are really intended for small businesses who, in turn, create most of the jobs in the American economy.

OK, so how come Kerry didn't mention that last week's round of corporate tax cuts included $28 million for cruise ship operators, $101 million for race track owners, and $44 million for importers of Chinese ceiling fans; not to mention the pittance of $27.9 billion for companies that earn profits abroad?

Do you know any small-business owners who moonlight as cruise ships operators? And when was the last time you've been to a mom-and-pop race track?

Lee Farris, senior organizer on tax policy at United for a Fair Economy, puts its in these stark terms. "This new round of corporate tax cuts comes at a time when our country has a record $415 billion deficit...(and) when big companies don't pay their fair share, it means that either the government has to cut vital services we all depend on, or the biggest deficit in history gets even bigger, and our kids get stuck with the bill."

Kerry has also not been tedious enough when it comes to pointing out the dangers of creeping fascism. In last week's debate, the president said: "Every action being taken against terrorists requires court order, requires scrutiny."

Not exactly. Nancy Chang, senior litigation attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, points out that "under the Patriot Act, the FBI can issue National Security Letters that allow it to obtain records on U.S. citizens without their consent or knowledge and without any oversight by the courts."

Last month, a federal judge ruled that this Patriot Act provision violates both the First and Fourth Amendments "precisely because it does not allow for scrutiny."

"Bush has also neglected to mention his administration's penchant for secret detentions and the lengths to which it has gone to evade court review of these detentions," Chang said. "The administration has designated at least three citizens as 'enemy combatants' and held them in indefinite incommunicado detention without due process of law."

Vote for who you wanna, but keep in mind what Malcolm X used to say: "You can't expect a chicken to produce a duck egg."

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