Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Tuesday, March 02, 2004  

I was doing a little non-blog research, and I came across some interesting comments by the Governor Bush from the 2000 debates. The most surprising was this one, which shows that the neocons were really spoiling for a war with Iraq. Whether the conspiracy folk feel this is proof that Bush ignored 9/11 warnings--well, I'll leave that to the conspiracy folk.

And that's going to be particularly important in dealing not only with situations such as now occurring in Israel, but with Saddam Hussein. The coalition against Saddam has fallen apart or it's unraveling, let's put it that way. The sanctions are being violated. We don't know whether he's developing weapons of mass destruction. He better not be or there's going to be a consequence should I be the president. But it's important to have credibility and credibility is formed by being strong with your friends and resoluting your determination. One of the reasons why I think it's important for this nation to develop an anti-ballistic missile system that we can share with our allies in the Middle East if need be to keep the peace is to be able to say to the Saddam Husseins of the world or the Iranians, don't dare threaten our friends. It's also important to keep strong ties in the Middle East, credible ties, because of the energy crisis we're now in. After all, a lot of the energy is produced from the Middle East, and so I appreciate what the administration is doing.

There were a number of things that have a strange relevance now--even more so than 6 months ago.

You mentioned Haiti. I wouldn't have sent troops to Haiti. I didn't think it was a mission worthwhile. It was a nation building mission, and it was not very successful. It cost us billions, a couple billions of dollars, and I'm not so sure democracy is any better off in Haiti than it was before.

Gay Marriage
I'm not sure what kind of view [Vice President Gore] is describing to me. I can just tell you, I'm a person who respects other people. I respect their -- I respect -- on the one hand he says he agrees with me and then he says he doesn't. I'm not sure where he's coming from. But I will be a tolerant person. I've been a tolerant person all my life. I just happen to believe strongly that marriage is between a man and a woman.

MODERATOR: Do you believe in general terms that gays and lesbians should have the same rights as other Americans?

BUSH: Yes. I don't think they ought to have special rights, but I think they ought to have the same rights.

[Some back and forth with Jim Lehrer.]

Well, I have no idea. I mean, he can throw out all kinds -- I don't know the particulars of this law. I will tell you I'm the kind of person, I don't hire or fire somebody based upon their sexual orientation. As a matter of fact, I would like to take the issue a little further. I don't really think it's any of my -- you know, any of my concerns what -- how you conduct your sex life. And I think that's a private matter. And I think that's the way it ought to be. But I'm going to be respectful for people, I'll tolerate people, and I support equal rights but not special rights for people.

Then there are the contradictory, which are always the most amusing. Relish these moments...

Nation Building
I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation building core from America? Absolutely not. Our military is meant to fight and win war. That's what it's meant to do. And when it gets overextended, morale drops. I strongly believe we need to have a military presence in the peninsula, not only to keep the peace in the peninsula, but to keep regional stability. And I strongly believe we need to keep a presence in NATO, but I'm going to be judicious as to how to use the military. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the extra strategy obvious.

Tax Cuts
The top -- let's talk about my tax plan. The top 1% will pay one-third of all the federal income taxes. And in return, get one-fifth of the benefits, because most of the tax reductions go to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder. That stands in stark contrast, by the way, to a man who is going to leave 50 million -- 50 million Americans out of tax relief. We just have a different point of view. It's a totally different point of view. He believes only the right people ought to get tax relief. I believe everybody who pays taxes ought to get tax relief.

Global Warming
Yeah, I agree. I just -- I think there has been -- some of the scientists, I believe, Mr. Vice President, haven't they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming? But science, there's a lot -- there's differing opinions. And before we react, I think it's best to have the full accounting, full understanding of what's taking place. And I think to answer your question, I think both of us care a lot about the environment. We may have different approaches.

"Exaggerations"
I think credibility is important. It is going to be important for the president to be credible with Congress, important for the president to be credible with foreign nations. And yes, I think it's something that people need to consider. This isn't something new. I read a report, or a memo, from somebody in his 1988 campaign -- I forgot the fellow's name -- warning then Senator Gore to be careful about exaggerating claims. I thought during his debate with Senator Bradley saying he authored the EITC when it didn't happen.... I found it to be an issue in trying to defend my tax relief package. I thought there was some exaggerations about the numbers. But the people are going to have to make up their mind on this issue. And I am going to continue to defend my record and defend my propositions against what I think are exaggerations.

(All the quotes are from October 11, 2000, in a debate with Al Gore in Winston-Salem, NC.)

posted by Jeff | 12:07 PM |
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