Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Debunking The Mythical Kerry Flip-Flops Part I

NOTE: Due to blogger.com's downtime, this wasn't posted last night as it should have been. Sorry for the delay.

For months now we've been hearing about John Kerry's alleged flip-flops. Listening to the Bush/Cheney campaign, you'd think Kerry changed his mind twice an hour every day. This simply is not true. So over the next few days, I'm going to examine some of these alleged flip-flops and do my best to set the record straight.


According to the Bush/Cheney campaign, John Kerry has flip-flopped positions concerning the war in Iraq. First he supported it, but now he's against it. This is not true. Here's why:

On October 11, 2002 John Kerry did indeed vote in support of the Joint Resolution (H.J.Res. 114) that authorized the use of force in Iraq. He, along with seventy-six other Senators voted to give the President of the United States the authority to use force in Iraq if all other diplomatic efforts failed. By supporting this resolution, John Kerry and the other Senators gave the inspectors the mandate they needed. Without the threat of military force, what incentive was there for Saddam Hussein to comply? Allowing this resolution to fail would have given Saddam the freedom to defy the U.N. at will. So, in essence, the vote was a threat to Saddam that military force would be forthcoming if he did not allow our diplomatic efforts a chance to succeed. Remember though, the vote was for the authorization to use force only if diplomacy failed. Section 3 of H.J.Res 114 clearly states this objective.

This being the case, one could assume that diplomatic efforts would be taken to accomplish our goals of disarming Saddam Hussein and forcing him into compliance with the U.N. Resolutions. However, this was not what happened.

According to the lead inspectors, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, diplomacy was working.

The President didn't give them the six months they would need. On March 19, 2003, the United States abandoned its diplomatic efforts and invaded Iraq.

This is why John Kerry is now seen as opposing the war in Iraq. You see the fallacy comes from the syntax. John Kerry's vote was to authorize force if diplomacy failed, however the Bush administration would have you believe that the vote was in support of the war itself. You only need to read the resolution to know that this is not the case. Kerry's opposition to the war is not rooted in his opposition to forcing Saddam to disarm as the Bush administration would have you believe, but he is opposed to the way the authority was mishandled. One of the soundbites the Republicans like to play comes from an episode of Hardball on MSNBC in which they claim that Kerry calls himself an anti-war candidate. The exchange with host Chris Matthews went like this:

Clearly John Kerry is saying that he does not approve of the way the president handled the authority. That is his anti-war stance.

To further prove John Kerry's status as a flip-flopper, the Bush Cheney campaign points to his vote against an $87 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill to aid in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again, John Kerry did indeed vote against this bill. His stance was based in the fact that he opposed the way the money would be obtained. Instead of voting for a version that would require the United States to borrow the necessary funds, John Kerry co-sponsored and supported a bill that would have provided the same $87 billion by making a portion of the money a loan and would call for a roll-back of part of the Bush tax cut to finance the rest. The President threatened to veto this bill if it was passed. So the only bill available to be passed was the version that John Kerry was in opposition to. The Bush/Cheney campaign would have you believe that John Kerry was choosing not to support the troops when he voted against this bill, however, he was actually voting to support the troops in a more financially sound way. The troops were going to get the support either way, John Kerry just happened to support the method that President Bush did not.

Despite all of this, President Bush and Vice President Cheney still insist on calling John Kerry a flip-flopper. So on August 9, 2004, John Kerry once again restated his position and stood by his votes:

I, myself, do not view this as a flip-flop. What I see here is a distortion of the facts by the Bush administration. Altering the syntax of the resolutions makes it look as if John Kerry has indeed flip-flopped, but upon closer examination, John Kerry has stuck to his position throughout this entire campaign.

Yes, John Kerry voted to authorize force, but the President didn't give diplomacy a chance like the resolution called for. Yes, he voted against the $87 billion appropriations bill, but he supported a more fiscally sound version that the President opposed. No flip-flop here, just a false claim by Bush/Cheney.

Tomorrow: No Child Left Behind

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com