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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Politics and the $87 Billion

By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:38 am

Largely in response to a set of comments in this post, I provide the following from Sunday’s MTP (Russert is addressig Senator Clinton, btw):

MR. RUSSERT: There’s a lot of discussion about John Kerry and flip-flops. Rudy Giuliani in August said this about Senator Kerry on Iraq: “I don’t know what [Kerry’s] position is on Iraq. Of course, it changes all the time. There hasn’t been a consistent position. He voted for the war. Then he voted against funding the war. Then he said that he voted both for the funding and against the funding. So there have been so many different positions. Honestly, again, I mean this in the most respectful way. I don’t know Senator Kerry’s current position on Iraq.”

And what he’s pointing to, Senator, is you both voted for authority for the president to go to war, but you voted for the $87 million to support the troops. Senator Kerry voted against it. Joe Biden, a fellow Democrat, said this: “The truth is, [Kerry] usually spends more time talking about the politics of a vote … and that was certainly the case on the $87 billion.” And then this: “As one of [Kerry’s] advisers put it … `Off the record, he [voted against the $87 billion] because of Howard Dean. On the record, he has an elaborate explanation.’”

And then Biden again: “Biden himself ultimately voted for the [$87 billion], and he confirmed that Kerry’s decision not to was `tactical,’ and attempt `to prove to Dean’s guys I’m not a warmonger.’”

In short: I am far from the only one who sees politics in Kerry’s vote on this issue. To pretend like the $87 billion vote and the whole voting for one version and then voting against the final version was some principled stance is to allow partisan filters to overcome the obvious.

Filed under: US Politics: 2004 Campaign

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  1. So if I go find one Republican that thinks we went to war for false reasons, Bush should be taken to task?

    Comment by Bill K — Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 9:44 am

  2. And Clinton’s response:

    “Well, we had lots of discussions during that time period. But, you know, this reminds me of what the Bush campaign did to John McCain. You know, John McCain has voted against defense appropriations bills in order to make a point, and the Bush campaign then went after him, pulling something out of that bill and saying that he wasn’t in favor of breast cancer research.

    You know, I think John, who understands war a heck of a lot better than I do, for example, and has understood completely what it would mean for us to be on a wrong path in Iraq, was making the point that, you know, by the time we had that vote, we needed to take a hard look at the policies of this administration. That was a perfectly legitimate position. And I think just like John McCain, nobody can say that John Kerry doesn’t support our troops, that he doesn’t know firsthand the dangers and perils of combat.”

    Comment by Bill K — Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 9:48 am

  3. Bill,

    The consensus view is clearly that Kerry’s vote on the $87 billion ws the result of pure political calculation. You think otherwise if you like.


    Comment by Steven Taylor — Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 11:20 am

  4. Okay, then consensus says George Bush lied to take us to war.

    Is that how the word consensus is used?

    One can believe that this was a political technique by Kerry, but the fact it is being presented without context and as a fact is what angers me. Just as people non-chalantly saying Bush lied angers you. Guess which one has better circumstantial evidence?

    Comment by Bill K — Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 1:37 pm

  5. Anywho…moving along. Look forward to your Toast reviewing tonights performances.

    Comment by Bill K — Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 1:38 pm

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