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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, October 13, 2003


Hey look, John Kerry lives in a glass house too!

posted by annatopia at Monday, October 13, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Guess who voted to authorise a $130 BILLION dollar reduction in Medicare over a five year period in 1997? Guess who's "yes" vote increased medicare copays by about $60 per month over five years? Guess who voted to authorise a $13 billion dollar decrease in Medicaid spending?
Now before all you Kerry supporters get your panties twisted in a knot, this is not an attack. This is a Defense of Dean. Since John Kerry has decided to team up with the other guy who lives in a glass house, it is only fair that we point out that Kerry's hypocrisy in defense of our candidate. Once you know the truth, the attack just doesn't hold water.
In 1997, Kerry voted yes on HR2015 - the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. This bill increased medicare copays, reduced government funding of Medicare over a five year period, and also decreased medicaid spending.
Oh, but I haven't gotten to the good part yet. The bill also gave $24 billion to the states for health insurance for low income uninsured children (I guess to make up for cutting them from the national rolls), partially financed by a gradual 15-cent increase in the tobacco tax!! BWAHAHAHA! And Kerry's going to attack Dean for expanding health benefits in Vermont via increasing the cigarette tax! He's attacking Dean and accusing him of doing exactly what Kerry's yes vote did. That's just rich!
Senator Kerry, this is exactly why I can't support you in the primaries. I'm sure you had good intentions when you voted for this bill, but for you to turn around and attack Howard Dean without double-checking your own record, well that's just silly.
*serious freakin' hat tip to Dean National Tod Nichols for the link

update: Okay, I'm breathing now. My point in posting this is to point out that John Kerry can't have it both ways. You can't vote to authorise a bill that is deficit-hawkish, and then turn around a few years later and attack someone (Dean) for being equally fiscally responsible. This was a Clinton-era bill, and we all know that prosperity during those years required people to make tough decisions like the ones outlined in this bill. Tough decisions like the one Dean made when he called the Vermont legislature's bluff and got them to pass the cigarette tax in order to save Medicare/Medicaid in Vermont. John, you either stand by your vote or you don't. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. Do you regret your vote? If so, that's fine, but you need to acknowledge that at one point you took a position similar to Dean. Now if you've had some sort of epiphany and you no longer stand by that tough decision, then say so and move on. But unless you disavow this vote, don't go attacking my guy for doing exactly what you did.

update2: A flip, a flop, a flippity flop... Kerry voted both yes and no on this bill. On a vote on 6/25/97, John Kerry voted against S947, which never became law. On 7/31/97, HR2015 passed instead. That was taken in conference and Kerry voted YES. HR2015 became law (and was a companion to S947), and that's the bill I originally posted about. If you look at Kerry's health care voting record you can see there was a pretty big fight in Congress at the time. Kerry's public votes (read: non-conference) are fairly consistent (no on the cig tax, no on using revenue from medicare reductions to pay for a tax cut [of course that is the middle class tax cut Kerry's been trumpeting lately]), however once you get him off the Senate floor and away from the public eye his votes change dramatically. His yes vote in conference betrayed his public votes on the Senate floor, and show him flippity-flopping his way through those votes. So again, this comes back to integrity and hypocrisy. Kerry's accused Dean of flip-flopping when Kerry flip-flopped several times during the fight over the balanced budget. In fact, the charge of flip-flopping is just stupid because all the candidates have done it at one time or another. I just wish he'd stop accusing Dean of doing things that Kerry's done, hence the hypocrisy charge I've levelled today. You can't have your cake and eat it, too, John. Dean never shies away from his record, and I just can't say the same thing for the good Senator from Massachusetts.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.