Thursday, May 06, 2004

Some crazy talk at the John F. Kerry in 2004? blog today.
I think it would be suicidal to vote against the $25b request for Iraq and Afghanistan. First of all, the money is badly needed for body armor, etc. Second, the war in Afghanistan is underfunded as it is. Third, there's still a Homeland Defense Credibility gap to cross with swing undecided voters, and voting against this money gives all too easy a soundbite to the opposition (Tom Delay already invoked the Support Our Troops meme).

What Kerry has to do is demand more money - about $40b. Make the discrepancy large enough that it becomes a wedge between Bush and the fiscal conservatives. Kerry needs to emphasise that this war has been fought on the cheap with poor planning, and that the troops still don't have the body armor they need. Given that the Senate will grill Rumsfeld on the failures of training and discipline, Kerry's message that the troops are not being supported by the Administration will resonate.
Yet again, more evidence on the direction of a future Kerry presidency that gives the General great pause. First, the power of the purse is the only power the Congress has over decisions of war and empire. If this power is taken off the table for fear that the Congress will appear unpatriotic, then what is the Congressional power to declare war worth anymore?

Second, this kind of strategy positions Kerry to attack Bush on the war and empire from the right. In fact, this is precisely what Kerry is doing, which accounts for Nader's 5-6% in the polls.

Is Bush going to be the peace candidate in 2004 -- or the closest thing to one with a chance to win?? Frightening.


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