This week, President Bush called John Kerry's health care plan "a massive, complicated blueprint to have our government take over the decision- making in health care"--a theme Bush's new TV advertisements hammer home. If the attack sounds a bit hackneyed, that's because it is. Bush has trotted out the same criticism every time the Democrats have proposed a health care initiative during his presidency, no matter its size, shape, or purpose. Here is Bush in 2001, during a speech critical of modest Democratic efforts to police HMOs: "Government-controlled health care ...
Boston, Massachusetts For two days here at the Democratic National Convention, Howard Dean has shuttled from one delegate meeting to another, acting like the disciplined party surrogate few believed he could ever be. Every time the cameras have turned to him, he's talked up former rival John Kerry, dismissing as irrelevant the very differences that defined their campaign battle.
For two days here at the Democratic National Convention, Howard Dean has shuttled from one delegate meeting to another, acting like the disciplined party surrogate few believed he could ever be. Every time the cameras have turned to him, he's talked up former rival John Kerry, dismissing as irrelevant the very differences that defined their campaign battle.
At first glance, the White House archives suggest nothing unusual about President Bush's activity on January 16, 2003. Appearing before a university audience in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Bush touted his proposal for curbing medical malpractice lawsuits by limiting jury awards. It was a familiar conservative cause he had championed many times before, and he hit the usual notes in his speech: that "there are too many lawsuits filed against doctors and hospitals without merit" and that the malpractice system is "one of the main reasons" for rising health care costs.
The footage is not easy to watch: In one clip, a prisoner screams as an attack dog mauls his leg; in another, a prisoner with a broken ankle gets zapped in the buttocks with a stun gun because he's not crawling along the floor quickly enough. These aren't the infamous video from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. They were taken in 1996, at the Brazoria County Detention Center outside of Houston. "Welcome to Texas," one guard announces as he literally drags a prisoner across the floor. "Enjoy the ride.
"Today is the day of celebration! Today is the day of victory! Today is a day of brightness in Iraq!" Just four months ago, Imam Husham Al Husainy stood outside the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Michigan, shouting these words upon hearing that coalition forces had captured Saddam Hussein.
Even before Super Tuesday delivered a fatal blow to Senator John Edwards's presidential campaign, everybody from Tim Russert to Jesse Jackson was buzzing about the possibility that Edwards might become Senator John Kerry's running mate, giving the Democrats a "dream ticket" for 2004. And, while a lot of this was the usual Washington chatter, the idea of a Kerry- Edwards pairing has clearly taken root beyond the Beltway. In the New Hampshire primary, scores of voters who backed Kerry reportedly wrote in Edwards as a vice-presidential choice.
Everybody knew Howard Dean's proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts would prove controversial in the general election. But during the Democratic nomination fight, too? Over the last few weeks, rivals have attacked Dean for saying that, as president, he would rescind even those parts of the Bush tax cut that are not directed at the very rich. "Some in my party want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class," John Kerry declared recently, in a typical broadside.
When I first interviewed Howard Dean in early 2002, the Iraq war was still a glint in Dick Cheney's eye, nobody had heard of Meetup.com, and Dean's campaign organization numbered all of one. Beyond Vermont, he was virtually unknown: As we walked through downtown Boston, not a soul recognized him. He was also a more simple character then--just another earnest public servant embarking on a long-shot bid for the White House. Dean had been charming: blunt, as always, but in a disarming, comical way. Eventually I wrote a piece touting his strong record and provocative critique of President Bush.
Perhaps the most hopeful sign about the Medicare reform law President Bush signed this week is the fact that it has so many Republicans in a tizzy. "I didn't come here to create the largest expansion of Medicare in history," protests Arizona Representative Jeff Flake. "If we veer off the path of thelimited government of Ronald Reagan, it will be at our peril," warns Indiana Representative Mike Pence. But conservative critics give Bush and his allies far too little credit.