"Don't get cocky, kid. We're not out of the woods yet!"
Han Solo is wise, as truer words have never been spoken. Time's post-convention poll had George W. Bush up 52% to John Kerry's 41%. The numbers for Newsweek are similar, and the Gallup organization has a seven-point lead for the President. Even with this bump in the polls, a bump that is apparently unprecedented in its size for an incumbent, Republicans cannot rest on their laurels. President Bush must continue his issue-based charge against Kerry.
Here's what I'd like to see in terms of attacks on Kerry's positions:
Post-Vietnam anti-war activities. This one is the most personal one of mine, as John Kerry's "Winter Soldier" testimony maligned the military contributions of both my father (Air Force) and uncle (Marine Corps), each one having served in Vietnam. As a "peacekeeping" veteran having served after the Gulf War (I was still in high school when it started, but joined the Air Force in 1992), it galls me to see someone equate my family members with war criminals. I've never heard of John Kerry repudiating his 1971 testimony, and it's too late now. John Kerry sold out his brothers-in-arms, and I certainly don't wish to reward him for that act.
Defense votes. The B-1 and B-2 are vital aircraft in the Air Force arsenal, designed to replace the venerable B-52. (All three aircraft are still currently flying, which is a testament to the good engineering of the B-52.) John Kerry voted against these bombers. I guess laying waste to enemy airfields, armored units and supply lines is a bad thing according to John Kerry. Then again, if enemy supply lines were disrupted, he'd never have gotten injured in battle except for self-inflicted shrapnel wounds. Maybe he wants more American soldiers to get killed due to lack of air support? There's also his vote against the MX (now known as Peacekeeper) missile. This nuclear weapons system is a necessary leg in the "nuclear triad" deterrence concept (air-launched nuclear cruise missiles, sub-launched missiles, and ground-based missiles all have advantages and disadvantages to making a first strike, thus preventing an enemy from getting away with a nuclear strike without massive retaliation) and yet Johnny-boy wanted to cut it from the arsenal. Why? The Soviets had a massive advantage in missiles, and this would bring us up even with them. John Kerry wants us to negotiate from a position of weakness, apparently. How humble!
Foreign affairs. Seeing that Mr. Kerry wants the United States to negotiate from a position of weakness, I'm pretty sure he'd also like to give the nations of the world who are offended by our very existence a great big fuzzy hug and then debase himself by groveling for forgiveness. So very humble! Even John Edwards thinks that giving nuclear fuel to oil-rich Iran will keep the mullahs from developing a nuclear weapons system. That worked GREAT in 1994 with North Korea, didn't it?
Economic issues. You know that 5.4% unemployment rate that is being touted as a killer to Bush's economic credibility? It's that same as it was in 1996. It's come back down to that percentage after rounds of layoffs for the past eight years. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been added in the past few months, recovering from the damage of the Sept. 11 attacks. The President wants to stay the course with further tax cuts and making some tax cuts permanent. He also has floated a plan to help current workers invest for their retirement as well as create personal accounts for health care. These ideas are more than what Mr. Kerry has offered, as Mr. Kerry is taking a cue from Ross Perot's "I'll let you know once I'm elected" strategy. It might be good to note that John Kerry has voted 98 times for tax increases. Perhaps this is his strategy for covering government expenses? President Bush has also attempted to restructure education spending with his No Child Left Behind Act. What has Mr. Kerry done in his Senate career to further public education? Voted to raise taxes?
I know that ripping on opponents isn't Dubya's style. It takes too much time from actually doing business. The President has a good message and these are some key points to use to refute John Kerry's claim on the Presidency. I hope he'll keep these in mind.