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Four More Years

September 8, 2004
By TICAP

Zell Miller has convinced me. It is wrong to challenge a sitting president during a war. We should all accept that George W Bush is our Commander-in-Chief and follow his example and trust him to lead us to victory.

Just as Wendell Wilkie dropped out of the 1940 election, and the Republicans didn't even run a candidate against FDR in 1944; just as the Republicans conceded to the Democrats in 1968 - they have set a precedent that we Democrats must follow.

But the modern model of bipartisanship during wartime was best set by Republicans during President Bill Clinton's second term. When troops, including my high school classmate, a 1995 graduate from West Point, were sent to Kosovo the Republicans supported Clinton whole-heartedly. [1]

When Clinton attacked Saddam Hussein, they didn't partake in any partisan sniping. When he launched missiles to try to kill a little-known terrorist named Osama, they rose as one to support him. I was dismayed when Kerry wouldn't support funding the troops in the field. Supporting a bill that would cease funding troops in the field is unthinkable. [2]

Griping that, "Our troops are stretched too thin and our defense capabilities are now grossly inadequate,'' [3] only serves to make our enemies bolder.

And calling for the president to "pull out the forces we now have in the region," [4] only compounds the problem.

And as a son and grandson of veterans, I was deeply hurt when Kerry called the United States the war's "villain." [5]

I was astonished. Kerry shouldn't be saying we are "meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations," [6] or asking, "Where does it stop?" [7]

But nothing made me angrier than when Kerry charged that we were "starting to resemble a power-hungry imperialist army" [8] and portrayed our mission as an "occupation by foreigners." [9]

Any man who would say such things is not fit to be the leader of this great nation.

No doubt about it. I'm supporting George W Bush for president now.

Except...

Kerry never said these things. These are quotes by Republicans. These are examples of "unpatriotic" and "un-American" behavior by Republicans. These are Republican Senators and Congressmen who had the audacity to challenge the Commander-in-Chief during a war.

They are the ones who broke faith with troops in the field. In the first week of March that year my friend sent a letter to the hockey team at our alma mater before the playoffs. In it he wrote about constantly being on high alert, worrying about snipers and land mines. Three weeks later, these Republicans voted to stop funding.

They broke faith with the troops, not Senator Kerry. They broke faith with my friend John and the other soldiers who were serving the country so far from home and in hostile territory. When President Clinton went after Saddam, Tom Delay and others decried his use of force. When he launched missiles at Osama bin Laden, he was accused of playing "wag the dog" to distract from the all-important blue dress that Republicans care about so much.

So I guess it's okay to challenge a sitting president during wartime after all. Just like the Republicans did in 1940 and 1944. They did it again in 1952 and 1968. And of course there was their behavior in 1999.

So stuff it, Zig Zag Zell. The Republicans may be making plans to cancel the election, but they haven't done it yet, and we Democrats intend to win.

+++

[1] Except members of the House of Representatives including Republicans Tom Campbell (California), Bob Barr (Georgia), Roscoe Bartlett (Maryland), Dan Burton (Indiana), John Cooksey (Louisiana), Philip Crane (Illinois), Walter Jones (North Carolina), Donald Manzullo (Illinois), Charles Norwood (Georgia), Ron Paul (Texas), Tom Petri (Wisconsin), Marshall Sanford (South Carolina), Joe Scarborough (Florida), Bob Schaffer (Colorado), and Thomas Tancredo (Colorado), who tried to file a lawsuit to end the war.

[2] 38 Republican US Senators: Allard (R-CO), Ashcroft (R-MO), Bennett (R-UT), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burns (R-MT), Campbell (R-CO), Collins (R-ME), Coverdell (R-GA), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID), Domenici (R-NM), Enzi (R-WY), Fitzgerald (R-IL), Frist (R-TN), Gorton (R-WA), Gramm (R-TX), Grams (R-MN), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), Helms (R-NC), Hutchinson (R-AR), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Kyl (R-AZ), Lott (R-MS), Murkowski (R-AK), Nickles (R-OK), Roberts (R-KS), Santorum (R-PA), Sessions (R-AL), Smith (R-NH), Stevens (R-AK), Thomas (R-WY), Thompson (R-TN), Thurmond (R-SC), Voinovich (R-OH), and 191 US House Members, all voted to withdraw all funding for troops on the ground in Kosovo and surrounding areas.

[3] Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert (when there were less than 10,000 troops deployed, not the 135,000 deployed now in Iraq)

[4] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

[5] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

[6] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

[7] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

[8] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

[9] Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay

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