Bush and Kerry are almost clones on the most important issues: the occupation of Iraq and Federal spending. See "Bush vs. Kerry". So, is there any reason to vote for one over the other? I am not going to vote. But there are four reasons why it might be better if Kerry won the election.
So even though I don't expect Kerry to be any better as President than Bush, there are still valid reasons for wanting Bush out of the White House.
- Regardless of who wins, the next President will make a mess of things. Both are committed to continuing the occupation of Iraq. Both are committed to increasing Federal spending. It would be better for a Democrat to make a mess of thing than a Republican.
- The system works better with divided government: i.e. one party controlling Congress, the other the White House. The latest polls show Republicans gaining 1 to 3 seats in the Senate (one each in North and South Carolina, and Louisiana, possibly Florida and South Dakota, offset by losses in Alaska and Colorado). I haven't seen district by district polls for the House, but incumbents usually win and redistricting in Colorado and Texas should help Republicans. So to get divided government, Kerry would have to win.
The reason this is important is that Congress is supposed to provide oversight to the Executive branch, and Congress has been letting Bush get away with murder. After 9/11, Congress wasn't eager to blame high members of the Administration. After the invasion of Iraq, when no weapons of mass destruction were found, there was hardly a peep out of Congress. When Bush was trying to get the prescription drug benefit added to Medicare, he promised that it wouldn't cost more than $400 billion over ten years. Robert Foster, the chief actuary for Mare, knew at the time that the true figure was $551 billion. Foster was told he would be fired if he released the information. If these thing had happened in a Democratic administration, the Republicans would be talking about impeachment. Maybe if Kerry wins the Republicans will take their testicles out of escrow.
- Even though Kerry wouldn't be an improvement over Bush, Bush did such a bad job that he should be punished by being defeated for reelection.
- In the debates, when they talked about outsourcing, Kerry said the problem was tax incentives for moving jobs overseas. He was mistaken. See "Outsourcing". Bush correctly identified the problem as education, but his proposed solution would only make things worse. He wants even more government involvement and greater concentration at the Federal level. The only thing a President can do to promote education is to lead by example. Unfortunately, Bush is almost the worst possible person to do that. See "Presidents by 100's". When he received his honorary degree from Yale, he said: "To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students - I say, you, too, can be President of the United States." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of academic excellence.