Tuesday, April 27, 2004

What Kerry did with his medals is the story that won't go away.

Here's one, and another, and another, and a final one from Australia

Kerry is trying to defend himself by questioning, once again, Bush's time in the Guard. Will it work? Probably not. This will be the third time Bush has been attacked about his time in the Guard.

The issue is really how it reflects on character. We already know Bush and how he reacts as a war president. Looking at his record from 30 years ago will not give us any new insights.

Kerry is an unknown. He has never been a leader, not in the way that a president or governor is, so we are still looking at his character.

The issue is not his service in Viet Nam, it is his later actions. Was he such a hypocrite in the 1970s that he would make a show of throwing away someone else's medals? Even if he did throw away someone else's medals, shouldn't he have kept his mouth shut about it later?

This dove-tails into the flip-flopping charges.

Clinton set the bar pretty low for Viet Nam service. He outright dodged the draft. If Clinton was qualified to be president then someone who was in the National Guard is. And Clinton beat two WWII heroes (Bush-41 and Dole).

Being a Viet Nam veteran does not give the political boost that a WWII vet gets. Kerry himself is partly responsible for this. I was 18 when Viet Nam ended (I had registered for the draft but did not have to worry about it until I was 19). My image of Viet Nam veterans is colored by people like Kerry saying that everyone there committed atrocities. The movies that came out in the 1980s didn't help any. After this media assault on Nam vets, it is surprising that Kerry *can* run on his service record.

Here's an anti_bush columnist who makes many of the same point that I do about Kerry's Iraq policy.

Here is an example of an anti-war columnist who is upset with Kerry

Some other time I will go into why Bush and Kerry are right about Iraq.

I asked if anyone had solid numbers on the Pro-Choice March. AlterNet is reporting over a million. ABC said 10s of thousands. Molly Ivins, also posting on AlterNet, was there and admits that no one really has any idea. I tend to go with the ABC figures.

I think that abortion should stay legal but it makes me uncomfortable. I am in good company, polls show that this puts me with the majority of Americans.

The pro-choice people make me uncomfortable, also. This is mainly because they are not really pro-choice, they are pro-abortion. To them there is no choice. If a woman has any doubts about carrying the child to full-term or is in certain socio-economic situations then she should have an abortion. Period.

Here is an example of what I mean. In the 1980s the Ohio State University put out a woman's calendar that included information about having an abortion. One of the groups listed was actually an anti-abortion group whose purpose was to talk women into having the child.

Women's groups were outraged. Editorials and letters to the editor flew. It quickly became obvious that, to these people, a pregnant college student should always have an abortion and anyone she called for advise should tell her this.

I accept that statistically a college-age, unwed mother will probably have to wait a decade or more to get her degree and might have to give up her career of choice. I also accept that some but not all women who made this sacrifice think that it was worth it.

The thing is, this is a personal choice. Our hypothetical woman should be able to hear more than one point of view. After all, a choice implies two or more options.

Both sides of the abortion debate tend to sentimentalize their point of view to the exclusion of all else. To the anti-abortion side, it is a baby no matter how microscopic. To the pro-abortion side, a fetus has no more meaning than a cyst until it is born when it magically turns into a child.

BTW, Kerry claimed that "Roe v. Wade is hanging by a one-vote majority." This is out-of-date since Justice Bryon White was replaced by Ruth Ginsburg. The court is currently 6-3 in favor of Roe.

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