Viewpoint: Kerry/Bush…clones?

Is it Bush wearing a Kerry mask or Kerry with a Bush mask? Finding much difference between the two is a tough job.

Many voters and potential voters hold the belief that if George W. Bush is ousted in November and John Kerry becomes president, then things will be much better and this mess will be straightened out.

Dream on. Did you know that Kerry and Bush are cousins? Yep, sixteenth cousins, according to Counterpunch, the political newsletter.

There’s another commonality as well. Both men attended Yale and both are members of Skull and Bones, a very secret society at that university.

Reportedly, Skull and Bones is dedicated to one-world government and the destruction of the sovereignty of the U.S. and all other nations.

Some pundits already have anointed Kerry as the Democratic nominee even though the big states have yet to vote. In Illinois, the primary is about two weeks away.

Yet, recent polls have Kerry only a few points ahead of Bush, and still others indicate Kerry may have peaked about Feb. 15 and is beginning to slide behind Bush.

States that backed Bush in 2000 are mostly staying in the Republican column while states that went for Gore are less solid for Kerry at this point, and Karl Rove, Bush’s campaign strategist, has yet to open his first heavy salvo of the contest.

Republicans surely will hammer the fact that Kerry supported much of Bush’s agenda. He supported the president’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Forbes magazine says if Kerry wins the White House, he will be the third richest president in the nation’s history.

Kerry voted for the Patriot Act and the invasion of Iraq. In that regard, he peddled the fictions that led this country into war.

Last year he declared: “These weapons represent an unacceptable threat” in reference to Iraq and Saddam’s alleged arsenal.

He didn’t sound much like a future presidential contender when he said: “The president laid out a strong, comprehensive, and compelling argument why Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs are a threat to the United States and the international community.”

Kerry also agrees with Bush on the issue of trade. He has made a few ineffective attacks on special interests, but he’s never advanced any legislation to curb their avarice.

Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity said: “Kerry has not been averse to taking campaign cash from the companies and firms with a direct interest in his work.

“Since ’95, he has raised more than $30 million for his various campaigns, most of it from industries such as finance and telecommunication companies (which are overseen by the Senate committees he served) and the law and lobby firms that represent them.”

One of the big donors is Viacom, owner of CBS, the folks who brought us Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.” Kerry has said nothing critical of such programming.

In the mid-1990s, Johnny Chung, a Taiwanese-American businessman, illegally gave Kerry $8,000. Last month, arms contractor Bob Majumder entered a guilty plea to illegally slipping Kerry between $13,000 and $25,000. Kerry, in response, wrote several letters on Majumder’s behalf, which resulted in Majumder’s company getting $150 million in federal bucks for a proposed missile system.

The Washington Post this week reported Kerry’s presidential campaign has received more than $540,000 from companies that either have shifted operations overseas to avoid taxes or from fund-raisers run by executives that help companies move to such places as the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.

That, while the candidate is out in the hustings blasting “Benedict Arnold” companies that evade taxes and move jobs overseas.

Kerry also is advocating that Taiwan adopt the “two systems” approach in its dealings with mainland China.

The senator has been a long-time member of the Foreign Relations Committee and knows the phrase “one-country, two systems” is a bit of pet rhetoric from the Communist Chinese government.

At the time it was broached, it was taken to mean that Hong Kong would become part of China but would be allowed to keep its traditional freedoms and, after 2007, would be allowed to elect its own governor and legislature.

China has since backed away from those promises. No one in Taiwan is interested in the “two systems” plan.

On April 25, 2001, Kerry stood on the Senate floor and rapped President Bush for declaring that our policy is to defend Taiwan against Chinese attack.

Kerry’s criticism of Bush revealed a glaring retreat from support of Taiwan, more than any president or policy-maker in recent history.

His willingness to accept money from China-connected firms, whether domestic or foreign, creates concerns. Lots of cash is floating around for political campaigns, and it is aimed at persuading those on both sides of the aisle to favor Chinese business interests how Clintonesque.

One way to keep the Chinese leadership happy is to tighten restrictions on Taiwan.

Remember back in the ’60s when Goldwater ran against LBJ? His slogan was: “A Choice, Not an Echo.”

Echo? We don’t even have a faint hum.

Sources: Common Dreams, Counterpunch, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe

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