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Commentary :: DNC
Kerry's Speech: Vacuous and Recipe for a Failed Administration
30 Jul 2004
Kerry's Gore-like acceptance speech offered few specifics and, if it's an indication of the type of campaign he'll be running, he will end up with no mandate to confront a Republican Congress even if he does defeat Bush
As speeches go, Kerry’s was pretty uninspiring, and deliberately so. His campaign strategy seems to be designed to offer little in the way of specifics, to toss a few bones to the hard-core Democrats and progressives, and to try and attract the undecided with code words like values, strength, and family.

The trouble is that, as with Clinton before him, and Gore, whose presidency we never got to see, such an approach leaves us, should he win in November, with a president who is a blank slate and who has no mandate to do anything.

There were a few specifics, to be sure. Kerry said he would never privatize Social Security. That’s good.

He said he’d give retirees a real prescription drug plan instead of the current gift to the pharmaceutical industry.

He said he’d revoke the tax breaks the Bush administration gave to the well-to-do while cutting taxes for the middle class, and he said he’d add 40,000 people to the military (not in Iraq) and end the back-door draft of the National Guard.

Some of those concrete promises are good and some are bad. What they have in common is that they are so few in number.

The rest of the acceptance speech was vague and noncommittal.

Kerry decried the people “huddled in blankets in the cold” in Lafayette Park outside the White House, probably hoping no one would remember that he himself voted for the outrageous Clinton “five years and out” gutting of welfare benefits, and for the NAFTA trade act that has created so many jobless in its wake.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .
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The Dems and GOP are FAILURES!
30 Jul 2004
How the hell is the Democrat Party going to claim to be the working people's party, when no one can voice their concerns? (I'm voting for Kerry to get Bush OUT!)
Kerry will be a one term wonder. Why? Starting with Iraq...He didn't say he'd withdraw troops. Instead, raise more troops!
The Patriot Act...No mention. He did mention that the "war on terror" will be won. (Sure...) Just like the war on drugs...
The sorry ass Republicrats HAVE TO GO!!!
Re: Kerry's Speech: Vacuous and Recipe for a Failed Administration
30 Jul 2004
Friday Jul 30, 2004
by Greg Palast

[Boston] The millionaires are dancing now. The balloons are falling on John Kerry, John Edwards and their nuclear families.

They're playing "Johnnie B. Goode" over the loudspeakers. Democrats are hopping up and down like JFK never went to Dallas; like Bill Clinton didn't blow it for us; like there's a chance to bring the boys home alive; like America can crawl out of Dick Cheney's bunker and look at the sun again.

But has Johnnie Kerry been good so far?

He told us tonight about some poor bastard in Ohio whose job evaporated when his company unbolted the equipment and sent it south. Hey, Johnnie, didn't you vote for NAFTA?

We applauded when he said the White House should stop treating teachers and school kids like fugitives from justice and help them out. But, Johnnie, didn't you vote for George Bush's "No Child's Behind Left" assault on public education?

Then there was that little story meant to show us all he is a Man for All Seasons, above party politics. "I broke with many in my own party," he said, "to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do." No, John, it wasn't. It was craven political cowardice, going with the anti-government hysteria that put a knife into the heart of the programs you cried over tonight.

He told us the sad story of the poor homeless guy huddled in front of the White House. Is this the same John Kerry that voted for Clinton's welfare "reform"? That put a five-year limit on food stamps, making child starvation the law of the USA. At least Ronald Reagan offered ketchup as a vegetable.

Kerry made good use of the cash he saved on feeding the poor. "I fought to put a 100,000 cops on the street." Hey, thanks, John.

But my absolute favorite of the night was when Kerry told us, "Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence."

But, as Senator, you didn't. No questions asked: you just closed your eyes and voted for the lie. I know it, and you sure as hell know it.

And you mentioned a time or two tonight that you served your country. Got yourself a medal for it, too. I'm sorry, but shooting a Vietnamese teenager in the back who was defending his country doesn't make you a hero.

Yesterday, my buddy Michael Moore and I held a press conference in Boston. Some joker of a reporter asked Mr. Fahrenheit about Kerry's gung-ho keep'm-in-Baghdad position. Michael fudged and fidgeted. I felt bad for him as he faked the answer, "President Kerry would not have sent us to war." But as Senator, Kerry did.

I've got an easier job than Michael: as a journalist I don't have to defend any candidate. Nevertheless, I know that my Democratic Party friends will want to ship me to Guantanamo for asking, "You believe in Kerry, but does he believe in you?"

Remember, comrades, I'm only asking questions, here. I'm sorry if the answers make you uncomfortable about your favorite rich guy.

I know what you're going to say. "Isn't Bush worse?"

By a long shot. But asking if Kerry is as bad as Bush is like asking if a slap in the face is as painful as a brick to the skull.

But don't you get tired of being slapped around by privileged politicos on hypocrisy hyper-drive -- then having to applaud? It can't be pleasant, no matter how many pretty balloons they drop on your head.
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
Re: Kerry's Speech: Vacuous and Recipe for a Failed Administration
30 Jul 2004
If anyone was lucky enough to catch Al Sharpton's speech, it was fabulous, magnificant! See if you can find it online if you didn't get to see it. It was definitely the highlight of the entire convention, a bright sparkle of hope, intensity, motivation and he had the whole damn house on it's feet!!!! GO AL THA MAN!! He should have been the nominee all along! I'm so proud that he canned the prepared speech the Dems gave him, cuz he's the only one who gave a spot of energy and inspiration to the event!
Re: Kerry's Speech: Vacuous and Recipe for a Failed Administration
30 Jul 2004
As has been said recently (and I apologize for the inaccurate paraphrase and failure to remember who first made this quip - perhaps it was Ralph Nader):

Both major parties are running campaigns that offer only FEAR:

The Republicans offer FEAR of TERRORISM.

The Democrats offer FEAR of BUSH.

This is not the way I will chose for whom to cast my vote.

Nader Accuses Militaristic Dems of Dirty Tricks?
30 Jul 2004
Ralph Nader to Terry McAuliffe: Stop Democratic Party dirty tricks trying to keep the Nader-Camejo Campaign off the ballot.
July 30, 2004

Terry McAuliffe, Chairman
Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Mr. McAuliffe:

I am writing to request that you stop Democratic Party officials, state Democratic partisans, corporate lobbyists, and law firms from inappropriately and maliciously taking steps to keep the Nader-Camejo ticket off the ballot. I was disturbed to read press reports from the Democratic Convention that indicated sessions were held at the convention to plan a national campaign to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot and limit the choices of voters.

As this coordinated conspiracy by the Democratic Party to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot unfolds, you should be aware that these efforts will all land at your door. Among the actions taken by the Democrats:

Harassment, threats, and abuse of Nader-Camejo petitioners
Attempting to spoil a ballot access convention in Oregon by sending Democrats in to fill the room and undermine the convention by swelling the numbers and then not signing the petitions
Using Howard Dean to keep us off the ballot - even though on July 9, in a debate with me, he said: “I refuse to participate in anything like that, because I don’t appreciate that. Some of my former staff members are doing that. I told them I wasn’t going to have anything to do with them.” Yet when the Nader-Camejo Campaign held ballot access conventions in Oregon, Dean, according to reporters, called reporters on both days in order to suppress turnout
Using state employees, contractors, and interns who work for the State of Illinois' Democratic Speaker of the House to review and challenge signatures on Nader-Camejo ballot access petitions
Hiring corporate law firms to harass our ballot efforts on frivolous and technical grounds
I am writing you to once again request that you disavow these dirty tricks and tell Democratic Party officials and their allies to stop their efforts to keep the Nader-Camejo Campaign off the ballot.

I look forward to your response.


Ralph Nader