Unfit for the Oval Office

The reason Kerry has resorted to attacking Bush is because he has no record to stand on.

In case you weren’t aware, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry served in Vietnam. He also received three purple hearts and several other medals. I applaud him for his service. President George W. Bush also served in the military during Vietnam. Bush flew fighter jets for the Texas Air National Guard. I also applaud his service.

I don’t believe the conspiracy nuts who say Kerry’s wounds were self-inflicted. Just the same, I don’t believe the people who say Bush was absent without leave from the National Guard. But, to tell you the truth, I don’t care what they did 35 years ago. It has no bearing on my decision to vote for either one Nov. 2. I am going to vote based on their accomplishments in their respective positions: Kerry; a senator; and Bush; the president.

Let’s start with Bush. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Bush and 98 senators, including Kerry, signed the Patriot Act. In 2003, Bush launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, supported by Kerry, which ended the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein and subsequently freed millions of people. Also in 2003, he signed the Amber Alert bill to help find kidnapped children. Later that year, Bush signed one of the largest tax cuts in history. To close out the busy year, Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and the prescription drug benefit. Just last April, Bush signed “Laci’s Law” to protect the unborn victims’ rights .

Those are some pretty major pieces of legislation, some of which have not had improvements for quite a while. Now, some people will say the Patriot Act encroaches on our civil rights, or the tax cuts were for the rich. That is partisan rhetoric. The Patriot Act is vital in our fight against terrorism, and the tax cuts were instrumental in reviving the economy. The fact is that Bush has accomplished a lot in his first term.

Now let’s move on to Kerry, who has been in the U.S. Senate for 20 years. Kerry has been the lead sponsor on eight bills that have become laws. In 1991, he sponsored a bill to finance marine research. In 1994, his bill to protect marine mammals from being taken by commercial fisherman was passed. Former President Clinton signed a bill of Kerry’s that provided grants to small businesses owned by women.

The remaining laws of his that were passed were ceremonial: designating Vietnam Veterans Memorial 10th Anniversary Day, National POW-MIA Recognition Day, recognizing World Population Awareness Week and renaming a federal building. As a comparison, our own Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., has been lead or co-sponsor on several bills, including one to pay travel expenses for troops returning home and one to increase Pell Grants. Coleman has done this in only two years in the Senate, compared with Kerry’s 20 years.

Kerry has done other things in his 20-year Senate career. He was also on the Senate Intelligence Committee for eight years but missed 38 of the 49 public hearings. Kerry also missed 87 percent of the Senate roll-call votes in the second session of the 108th Congress. In addition to that, Kerry voted against most of the major weapons that we are now using in the war on terror.

Some of his votes included: a vote to cancel the B-2 bomber (H.R. 3072, CQ Vote #203), a vote against $87 billion in additional funding for our troops (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400) and a vote to cut $6 billion from defense (S.Con.Res.106 CQ vote #73).

Kerry did sponsor several bills, including one in 1995, after the first attack on the World Trade Center, to cut intelligence spending by $1.5 billion over five years (S. 1290), but it never made it to the floor for a vote. Does this sound like someone who should be the leader of our country and military during a war?

Not only is his list of accomplishments short, it also seems he is habitually absent from voting. Now, I know it is important that we recognize World Population Awareness Week and having dolphin-safe tuna is crucial to many people across the nation.

But, Kerry has had 20 years to make important legislation, and he has dropped the ball. Kerry had a chance to show himself as a leader, and he failed. On top of this, Kerry has been ranked the most liberal senator in all the Senate. Does that sound like someone who has the best interest of all Americans in mind?

The reason the Kerry campaign has resorted to attacking Bush is because he has no record to stand on. He must divert voters’ attention from his poor record to something else. And the polls indicate the public is not giving these attacks much of a reception. I encourage all voters to take a long look at Kerry’s Senate record. Once you do, you will see why he is not fit to be president.

Gregg Knorn is a guest columnist. Please send comments to [email protected]