September 5, 2004


As rivals focus, stances seem to blur: Rifts are few on big issues (Michael Kranish and Yvonne Abraham, September 5, 2004, Boston Globe)

The homestretch of the presidential campaign appears to be set: Democrats are casting their candidate, John F. Kerry, as a battle-tested veteran who can turn a fresh page for the United States around the world, and who can boost jobs and health care at home. Republicans are portraying President Bush as a resolute, war-tested leader who will promote an ''ownership society" based on permanent tax cuts.

But despite a blizzard of ads and speeches that will emphasize the virtues of one candidate and the failings of the other between now and Election Day, differences between Bush and Kerry on many key issues seem relatively narrow.

Mr. Bush proposes to force democratic reform on the entire Middle East--Mr. Kerry wants out of even Iraq.

Mr. Bush proposes to begun the privatization of Social Security--Mr. Kerry wants it left as is.

Mr. Bush proposes a major restructuring of the tax system to shift away from taxing income, savings and investments--Mr. Kerry wants it left as is, except to raise taxes on the wealthy.

You can argue about whether other issues and their differences on them are are major--tort reform, energy policy, etc.--but on just those three Americans are offered completely different visions of the future.


Bush Makes His Pitch for 'Ownership Society'
: The agenda includes Social Security, housing and healthcare, with people, not government, making more decisions -- and more payments. (Warren Vieth, September 5, 2004, LA Times)

In George W. Bush's America, there seem to be few societal problems a little ownership wouldn't help solve.

Social Security in trouble? Let workers set up private accounts to partially finance their own retirements. Healthcare system broken? Get Americans to self-insure and monitor their own medical expenses. Communities in distress? Help more low-income people buy homes.

Those concepts are at the core of the "ownership society" agenda that President Bush endorsed at last week's Republican National Convention, and which conservative activists characterize as a bold rebuttal to Democrats' reliance on government guarantees.

"Ownership brings security and dignity and independence," Bush told GOP convention-goers in New York. "In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path — a path to greater opportunity, more freedom and more control over your own life." [...]

Activists in both the conservative and liberal camps said Bush's advocacy of the ownership agenda in last week's acceptance speech set the stage for a protracted political struggle over pressing domestic policy issues such as Social Security and healthcare reform.

No, wait! It's about huge differences!

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 5, 2004 9:26 AM

So if the differences are small, "Why change horses in the middle of the stream."

In reality the Democrats would like us to believe the differences are small so their stealth candidate, selected for the Trojan horse mission, will get the Mooreish/Deaniacs over the drawbridge and into the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Genecis at September 5, 2004 11:02 AM