Skip to comments.John Kerry answers the need for change (CC Caller-Times BARF ALERT!)
Posted on 10/24/2004 1:21:15 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
October 24, 2004
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush faced a challenge unlike that any other president had ever faced before him. With the taking of 2,984 American lives in a coordinated terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the nation stood ready and united to follow its president. Members of Congress gathered on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God Bless America." There were no party labels that morning.
Three years later, the nation stands bitterly divided. This division is based on no mere difference of opinion. It is a deep and troubling division that is poisoning the ability to govern, to reason together.
Bush is not solely to blame for this discord. But the president and his policies have done much to feed this anger and bitterness. The president is responsible for setting the tone of his administration. The tone in Bush's presidency has been fractious, politically divisive, and aggressively partisan.
For Texans familiar with Gov. George W. Bush's bipartisan successes in Austin, this failure by the president to reach across party lines, this failure to capitalize on a national yearning for unity in the wake of 9/11, has been a huge disappointment.
As governor, Bush worked with Democrats. He worked with moderate Republicans in the Legislature. He shunned the extremists in his party and worked as closely as possible to the center right. He was embraced by the late Bob Bullock, lion of the Texas Democratic Party. As possibly no other Texas Republican before him, Bush worked to gain the confidence and respect of the historically Democratic Hispanic vote. By his reforms to the state educational system and the juvenile justice system, he was the compassionate conservative before the term was coined.
It has been a very different story in Washington. Bush as president squandered the great opportunity handed him to forge a national consensus on the conduct of the war on terrorism. The big failures of the Bush administration come down to the conduct of the war in Iraq, and the inability to rein in the federal deficit.
We are fighting a war in Iraq whose success will be measured by how we get out, not by defeat of the enemy. The president, however, offers no strategy to deal with the insurgency, only to "stay the course," as if resoluteness was the answer to all issues.
Deficit is out of control
Back at home, the deficit has continued to grow, creating a great mountain of debt for the next generation, just at the critical time before the baby boomers begin to retire. Both John Kerry and Bush are vague about how they would cut this deficit. But Bush for four years has had the ability to veto profligate spending bills sent over from Congress, yet he never once used that veto power.
It is no easy thing to endorse Sen. Kerry. Endorsing Kerry requires a leap of faith. It means believing that he will do all in his executive power to keep the country safe. That means believing that Kerry has the stature and the ability to command to lead this country in dangerous times.
We do know that Kerry stands closer to the mainstream thinking that has framed American foreign policy throughout history. Seeking, but not requiring, international cooperation to deal with world threats is an American tradition that extends back over many Republican and Democratic presidents. That international cooperation in a crisis makes American power in a crisis that much stronger. But America's position as a world leader stands weakened today precisely because of the Bush administration's arrogance in dealing with other nations.
Kerry has a long record of supporting fiscal discipline. He wants to return the nation to a pay-as-you-go policy that helped end decades of deficit-spending. But the pay-as-you-go policy was discarded by the administration and the Republicans in Congress.
Like Bush, Kerry is a free trader by natural inclination and by his record of votes. He voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been a boon for South Texas.
But in the final reckoning, this endorsement is more about George W. Bush than it is about John F. Kerry. We feel far better about Kerry after seeing him perform capably in the presidential debates. He is not the weak-kneed flip-flopper portrayed in the Bush campaign ads. Yet the decision is a close and anguished one.
No change of course in Iraq
Endorsing Bush, however, would be tantamount to an endorsement of the administration's past and continued mistakes, not only at home, but in Iraq. We don't expect Bush to say, "I was wrong." But the abuses at Abu Ghraib signaled that things did go terribly off track in Iraq. Abu Ghraib was simply the exclamation point to the looting, to the over-extended troop numbers, to the failure to plan for a post-war Iraq, to the misplaced triumphalism that marked the first days after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Bush has indicated there would be no change, and that he has no reservations about the nation's course in Iraq.
Many find this resoluteness comforting. But a president who has his mind set, a president closed to change as situations change, may be a president locked into failure, if not folly. Just because tax cuts made sense when the nation had a surplus doesn't mean they make sense when we're wallowing in red ink. But Bush is wedded to more tax cuts as resolutely as he is wedded to no change of course in Iraq.
But the country needs a change of course. Sen. Kerry offers a change and a lifetime of service to the nation. We believe the voters ought to elect him president.
Endorsing Kerry was a tough call
One of the hardest decisions I've made in 15 months as editor is the lead editorial that appears on the Editorial Page today.
For reasons spelled out there, the Caller-Times Editorial Board decided to endorse Sen. John Kerry for president. It's a recommendation that I know will upset more than a few people, while others will wholeheartedly agree.
The presidential endorsement process was a new one for us this year. Previously, all Scripps newspapers endorsed as a group, which meant that the same presidential endorsement appeared in all Scripps newspapers. The Caller-Times joined the Scripps family in 1997, and we ran the corporate-wide endorsement of Bush in 2000.
That long-standing tradition ended this year when the Scripps Board of Directors asked the editors their thoughts on the process. The majority of the editors wanted local control over the presidential endorsement, pointing out that what makes sense in one community might not in another. So the responsibility was handed to the editorial boards of the individual Scripps papers.
The Caller-Times Editorial Board is made up of myself, President and Publisher Patrick J. Birmingham, Editorial Page Editor Nick Jimenez, Viewpoints Editor Murphy Givens and Senior Editorial Writer Brooks Peterson.
We've all followed the race closely, researched the candidates and watched the debates. We met as a group several times to discuss the issues - health care, education, homeland security, the economy and the war in Iraq.
The uncomfortable consensus is for Kerry.
I say "uncomfortable" because this was a difficult decision. We've known and liked George Bush for years. As governor, he visited and impressed our Editorial Board several times. As a reporter, I covered some of his local visits and always found him to be likable, easy-going and informed.
Bush was a strong and effective leader of our state. We supported him as governor, and I'm sure we would have endorsed him independently in 2000 even if Scripps hadn't had the corporate-wide policy at the time. But as outlined in our editorial today, we've not seen those traits in his performance as president, and are increasingly alarmed at the direction he is taking the country.
I'm aware that Bush carried Nueces County in 2000 with 51 percent of the vote, and may well carry it again this year. This is Texas, after all, and he's still one of us.
I understand that a Kerry endorsement may not reflect the beliefs of many in this community who support Bush. But I believe the duty of an editorial board is not to necessarily do what's popular, but to offer a well-thought-out opinion that residents can either accept or disregard.
My greatest concern about this election is the fierce polarization that has split our country, and I pray that an endorsement from us does not feed that division locally. I believe in our political system and our right to choose candidates whom best reflect what we want for this country.
But I also believe in a system where there is room for disagreement and that such dissent is vital to the success of our democracy. That difference of opinion should be respected - not cause for mean-spirited attacks on those who hold views opposite to our own.
Some papers choose not to endorse. That's the safest path, and one that ensures that no one gets angry at the newspaper. But I believe we have a responsibility to share our beliefs with our readers and give them our best possible recommendation on the candidates. Readers also should understand that our editorial is simply that - our belief about this race, as subjective as that may be. It doesn't make us right; it doesn't make us wrong. Our endorsement is our best possible assessment of who we believe is the right person for the job.
I hope that's how each of you will go into this election, through a process of evaluating the candidates, making the choice that feels right in your heart and then respecting the opinions of those who may disagree.
When it comes right down to it, we all have to do what we think is right and then be gracious enough to allow others to do the same.
The Ca Ca Times might just lose me as a subscriber for this nonsense.
I didn't read any of it. "Need" for change? Why do lib yearnings always become a "need" of America? America "needs" to pledge allegiance to the UN mafia rather than the US Constitution?
Corpus Christi Caller-Times endorses Kerry.
This is really kind of funny. You see, liberals don't understand that in a free market (ok, we are more like a mixed market) people choose the service or product that is best for them at a good price. So, liberals dont believe in that idea, so they go ahead and put forth their naive opinions in newspapers and newsprograms, thinking that people will just accept them. But, most people just go ahead and buy another product, which, in this case is a newspaper, or they read websites. Liberals just think they have a monopoly on the thought of Americans, but boy oh boy are they wrong.
My thanks to BulletBobCo for the concept of this
pic and to Conspiracy Guy for the captions!
"Believe your lies" haha! Man, I'd hate to have to REMEMBER all of his lies!
Just more proof that some of the people reading this stuff know more than all of the people who write it.
I don't believe this Corpus Christi editor. Endorsing Kerry was her only alternative for her own peace of mind. Corpus is a very liberal city and has been since there have been two-party elections.
Not even the Laredo Morning Times in a more liberal city than Corpus Christi has endorsed Kerry YET. The LMT made no statement on endorsements in the Sunday edition, but Halloween is the next Sunday. LMT endorsed Bush as the Texas candidate in 2000.
No it isn't. We are infested with trial lawyers, but Republicans have one of three state House districts, and are leading in pre election polls of District 34 which is an open seat due to the retirement of Jaime Capelo.
Has there ever been a Republican congressman from Corpus Christi?
George W. Bush /Dick Cheney REP 49,906 51.27%
Al Gore /Joe Lieberman DEM 45,349 46.59%
Bill Clinton/ Al Gore DEM 46,317 45.95%
George Bush/ Dan Quayle REP 36,781 36.49%
Andre Marrou/ Nancy Lord LIB 297 0.29%
Ross Perot/ James Stockdale IND 17,374 17.23%
Corpus Christi went for Clinton by 10,000 votes over Bush I.
No. Corpus Christi is not big enough to have its own congressman. It gets lots of DemocRATS from surrounding counties added to prevent ensure a DemocRAT is elected.
Mostly because of the Hispanic vote. The Anlgo vote is very strongly Republican.
It's odd that for the opposite reason, Laredo has had a Republican congressman since 1993. Laredo was put into a suburban San Antonio district to dilute its liberal impact on other adjacent districts. But in 2005, Laredo will have both a Republican AND Democrat congressman, quite a lot of representation for a middle-sized city.
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