Monday, October 18, 2004

With Friends Like These...

Newspaper endorsements are well under way and Kerry is winning 48 papers to 35 (8,935,195 total daily circulation vs. 4,776,231). But perhaps more significant is that 9 newspapers have switched from a Bush endorsement in 2000 to a Kerry endorsement in 2004 while only 1 newspaper has switched the other way. (And this doesn't even count the newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2000 and now refuse to endorse either of them.)

For a list of 2000 Bush and Gore endorsements, click HERE.

This trend among traditionally conservative or even moderate newspapers losing faith in Bush is mirrored among some prominent Republicans. Here are some excerpts from editorials by a sample of both:

The Columbia Tribune, Missouri (endorsed Bush in 2000)

For quite a few months I reluctantly believed uninterrupted leadership in the ongoing war on terror trumped all else in deciding who should be the next president of the United States.

It was a fragile conclusion. On most other grounds I could not support George W. Bush, and after a commendable initial showing of resolve, he certainly has not conducted the war in a thoroughly exemplary manner. In many ways he’s been one of our worst presidents. Even so, his opponent, John Kerry, was plodding along, not encouraging much support for his own candidacy.

However, day by day, the prospect of a Kerry presidency is more encouraging. It’s time to remove Bush from the White House, and Kerry emerges as a reasonable alternative. Earlier, I wrote I probably would hold my nose and vote for Bush. Today I breathe freely, quite at ease with removing this incumbent and installing another leader who deserves more confidence.

Tampa Tribune (endorsed Bush in 2000, only the second time it hasn't endorsed the Republican)

The Tampa Tribune will not be lending our voice to the chorus of conservative-leaning newspapers endorsing the president's re-election. ... But we are unable to endorse President Bush for re- election because of his mishandling of the war in Iraq, his record deficit spending, his assault on open government and his failed promise to be a 'uniter not a divider' within the United States and the world.

The Lone Star Iconoclast (Bush's hometown paper, endorsed him in 2000)

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq.

Former Republican Governor of Minnesota:

The present Republican president has led us into an unjustified war -- based on misguided and blatantly false misrepresentations of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The terror seat was Afghanistan. Iraq had no connection to these acts of terror and was not a serious threat to the United States, as this president claimed, and there was no relation, it's now obvious, to any serious weaponry. Although Saddam Hussein is a frightful tyrant, he posed no threat to the United States when we entered the war. George W. Bush's arrogant actions to jump into Iraq when he had no plan how to get out have alienated the United States from our most trusted allies and weakened us immeasurably around the world.

Former Republican Representative Bob Barr of Georgia:

When Bush became president Jan. 20, 2001, he inherited an enviable fiscal situation. Congress, then controlled by his own party, had -- through discipline and tough votes -- whittled down decades of deficit spending under presidents of both parties, so that annual deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars had been transformed to a series of real and projected surpluses. The heavy lifting had been done. All Bush had to do was resist the urge to spend, and he had to exert some pressure on Congress to resist its natural impulses to do the same. Had he done that, he might have gone down in history as the most fiscally conservative president in modern times.

Instead, what we got were record levels of new spending, including nearly double-digit increases in nondefense discretionary spending. We now have deficits exceeding those that the first Republican-controlled Congress in 40 years faced when it convened in January 1995.


Post a Comment

<< Home