Kerry's record

Listening to the various speakers at the RNC, a theme has emerged (to say the least). That theme is that Kerry’s record as a Senator has been inconsistent…not occasionally but over and over again. That he has ‘flip-flopped’ repeatedly on key issues and votes, and that his record is basically been confusing.

My own thoughts are that Kerry, by not addressing his own record much at the DNC, by not talking about his various decisions while he’s been a Senator, has allowed the Republicans to define his record for the past 30 years.

Has Kerry been inconsistent? Has he been more or less as consistent or inconsistent as other Senators? What does his record say to you (the individual poster)? Is it important to you? Was it a mistake for Kerry not to have addressed his record as a Senator more at the DNC…or since? What about Kerry’s record most bothers you? What do you like most about it? What would you most like to know about his record, or what would you ask him about if you could ask him a specific question dealing with his record?

What I’d like is a good debate about this. I think it IS important, as myself I have a lot of questions about Kerry’s record. This debate isn’t about Bush. Please try and stick to this…there have been myriad threads about Bush. Let’s talk about Kerry and ONLY Kerry in this thread. I’d like thoughtful and insightful posts…no stupid knee jerk attacks about Kerry. Keep it real…please. This thread is NOT about Kerry’s record in Vietnam, or anything he’s said about his service record in Vietnam…this is about his record as a US Senator.


Back in the 80’s I was pretty active in political movements supporting various weapons systems such as the cruise missile - it was a Canadian issue as well, because our militaries were quite integrated back then. The cruise missile test corridor was just north of where I live.

That’s when I really grew to dislike John Kerry. He wasn’t inconsistent - he was consistently wrong. He was a constant thorn in Reagan’s side, giving speeches in opposition to most weapons systems and military interventions. He wasn’t that long out of the hard-core peace movement at that time, and it showed. Miller’s characterization of his votes tonight was dead on. And unlike what Chris Matthews is trying to spin, it wasn’t just ‘back room dealing’ from someone who really was strong on defense. Not only did Kerry vote against most major weapons systems, but back then he was a hell of lot more visible on these issues than he was in the 1990’s when all he wanted to do was cash the ‘peace dividend’ cheque. Kerry attended peace rallies, went on interview shows to oppose military appropriations, etc.

Whether you agreed with that or not, that’s what he was. He has been a consistent dove on military matters when Republicans were in power. When Clinton came to power he did a bit of flip-flop on Iraq, and for a while he was one of the biggest Iraq hawks in the Senate. Back then, he argued for military force to remove Hussein from power. Then as soon as Republican took power, he became a dove again.

Perhaps that says something about Kerry - it’s not that he’s a dove, it’s that he wants Democrats to fire the weapons.

From the Miller thread, this description of Kerry’s Senate record:

(emphasis added)

Anybody with any tenure in congress has to vote against bills for reasons other than opposition to some of the content. Bills may contain too much money or not enough money or they contain unacceptable riders.

This kind of thing can be done to anyone in congress. It was done to John McCain by the Bushies in 2000 when they tried to claim that he had voted against abortion restrictions.

It’s a cheap and meretricious tactic. Votes on bills are not a barometer of philosophical convictions.

And it pleases me to know that Kerry was a thorn in Reagan’s side and that he at least tried to stifle Reagan’s out of control defense spending.

Perfect example of why we need line-item veto.

OK, I think maybe I’ve got it now. Kerry is invariably liberal, always votes on the liberal side of an issue. Conservative votes for more weapons, Kerry votes to base Black Helicopters in every major urban center. Conservative votes for Jesus, Kerry votes for Our Dark Lord. Conservatives vote to protect marriage and decency, Kerry votes to force my son to register in the National Gay Marriage Lottery. (I haven’t told him yet…waiting for the right moment…)

But Kerry flip-flops. On every issue, flip-flop, flip-flop. First he votes liberal, then he votes liberal, then he turns around and votes liberal…

No, wait, maybe I better start over. Theres the conservative side, and the liberal side, and Kerry is always liberal BUT…

Shhhh - the Dem’s don’t want you to use that L word…

There you go again.

Oh, no you don’t! First Kerry is for the Trident missile, can’t wait to appropriate the funds, then they add just one tiny little amendment to count any citizen who doesn’t register to vote as voting Republican, and all of a sudden he’s got some big hairy ass problem with it!

And what kind of sniveling backstabbing traitor would vote against the Patriot missile? OK, so it couldn’t hit the moon if it were a hundred yards away and stationary, but Raytheon needs that money, they’ve got lobbyists to pay, lobbyists got kids and dogs, too, you know!

I’m glad that XT openned this thread. Would one of the Kerry supporters around here speak to his record instead of just posting snide remarks to Sam, who at least gave his impression of that record?

I’m an undecided, but I’m not going to vote for Kerry simply because “he’s not Bush”. What does Kerry’s record in the Senate tell us about his principles and beliefs? If, as some seem to imply, that record is too complex to reduce to my simple question, then how should I decide if he deserves my vote other than “he’s not Bush”?

Kerry Exaggerates Role in Some Key Legislative Battles

Eight laws in 20 years? Five of which are ceremonial? He missed 76% of the public hearings on the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the most powerful and important committees in Congress.

No wonder he’s good at so many sports. He has lots of time to practice.

As I understand it, the Intelligence Committee had relatively few public meetings. Eight? Ten? It had many, many more private meetings.

And simply because he didn’t author a bill doesn’t mean that he didn’t work the system to get things done. Doesn’t mean he did, either, but there are other things you can do in Congress besides writing words on paper. You can act to get things passed, you can oversee things in committee…

As soon as Kerry won the primaries I saw several articles on his Senate voting record… and at first sight I was totally aghast that he did seem like a flip flopper. I still think he flip flops in some issues still. Some months later after some reading I can venture that the whole flip flop thing is very out of proportion.

The 87 billion thingy for example… he voted against as a protest. Simple no ?

Besides protest votes there are always like someone mentioned disagreements with the quantaty of money or some specific details of bills.

I then recently read “Boyd - The fighter pilot that won the war”. I was amazed how much pork barrel and “big=better mentality” runs through the Pentagon. Much more than we imagine. Also a lot of these so called high tech jets were utter rubbish and severly overpriced and under performing. The B-1 is a total fiasco. Kerry voted against it as did Cheney. Cheney at the time talked with John Boyd and knew the B-1 and the F-111 were trash.

If some of the weapon systems Kerry had voted against had never been produced not only wouldn't US security have been compromised (anyone miss the B-1?)... but better spending of the defense budget might have become more common. Defense would have become better not worse. (I haven't seen which programs Kerry voted for or against... I know only some.) 

Its the role of senators to control presidents. If the president wants to spend, the senators must in a sense take the other side and check if the spending is in the interest of the nation ?

 Now if Kerry ALWAYS voted against weapon systems then we might have a case of hard headed stupidity. Not flip flop... but bad for defense for sure. Otherwise he was just voting against some of the most wasteful use of public money ever seen on this planet.

 Other instances of "flip flop" are that intelligent people can see both sides of an issue and change their stance. Bush is stubborn and proud of it... but then he won't change course when things go wrong. Kerry just seems a bit to predisposed to this... and Senators can have this luxury up to a point. Once he becomes president he won't have this luxury and probably it won't be a hindrance at all.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a US Senator he was voting on something that affected ALL 50 states, right? Right?!? So until you show us where the 50 states require party registration, you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass. :dubious:

Damn, I just figured out where you were going with that. But it still stands that being registered doesn’t count as a vote.

He led the investigation of BCCI, and that should count for something, on a number of scores:

  1. It was the bank of choice of drug cartels, and helped to conceal their dealings.
  2. BCCI was the bank that funded terrorists, back before it was on anybody’s radar.
  3. Kerry had to overcome serious political opposition in both parties to investigate it.
  4. The investigation led to the shutdown of BCCI.

Go read the rest.

Not that it would ever cross my mind to doubt the impeccable credibility and innate sense of fairness that you’ve so laboriously earned on this board, but I was just wondering why that little factoid didn’t pop into your mind when discussing the Democratic candidates in this thread?

In order to jog your memory a bit, here’s what you what you said about each one of them, and when pressed a bit further, this was your opinion of Kerry in particular:

Funny how the little anectdote you relate in this thread didn’t figure into your appraisal of Kerry at the time. A case of Convenient Recall? Inquiring minds want to know.

As for ‘not ridiculing’ Mr Kerry’s service record…no need to further hijack this thread. I think your record as an Honorable Seeker of Truth on said issue stands on its own.

‘Anecdote’ even.

An impression that was based on nothing but…well…his impression. I’ve learned from experience that Sam is no Rich Little when it comes to impressions. They bear little resemblance to reality. Most of the specific claims that the RNC attack dogs have made against Kerry’s votes have been debunked.

Could anyone imagine President Bush doing anything like what Kerry did in taking on the BCCI thing when it involved a Democratic stalwart like Clark Clifford. Just imagining Bush having that sort of true moral courage evokes fits of laughter.

Oh, dear me! I seem to have misunderestimated.

I was attempting to illustrate, by wild exaggeration. It is not at all unusual for a Senator or a Reprehensible to face such a dilemma: a bill that he would ordinarily vote for in a heartbeat is rendered poisonous by an “amendment” tacked on for frivolous or “pork barrel” reasons. Happens all the time, which I assumed you knew, being so well informed, and all.

I tried to make something up so blatantly, smack-you-in-the-face-with-a-frozen-fish obvious, that nobody could miss the ironic intent. Please check your Irony Detection System. Is the power button in the “on” position?

For instance, the charge that Sen Kerry voted against body armor for our troops is both ridiculous and vile. Even were Sen Kerry the lowlife scumbag his opponents would have us believe, no politician in his right mind will actually vote against such a proposal, it would be a political suicide note. Sen Kerry voted against the bill in its presented form, he wanted to amend it.

The Bushiviks charge that Sen Kerry sought to render our troops vulnerable is political calumny of the lowest sort. It is an absurdity, like my suggestion of buggering the electoral system to count unregistered voters as Republican votes. In your eagerness to defend Truth and Virtue from scoundrels like myself, you seem to have missed this.