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Monday, October 04, 2004

Republicans for Kerry

As my regular readers know, I have blogged often about former (or current) Republican public officials who have either blasted the Bush administration or embraced John Kerry's political campaign.

Let me add 3 other names to the list.

As Senator Kerry himself mentioned in the first debate, John Eisenhower, the son of the former president, has strongly endorsed the 2004 Democratic challenger. Eisenhower had been a registered Republican for 50 years, but he wrote a powerful op-ed in the Manchester (NH) Union-Leader"
With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.
Eisenhower expressed dismay about the loss of privacy and individual liberties, the budget deficit, and the distributive effects of the President's tax cuts.

It's a thorough indictment and complete repudiation of today's Republicans.

Next, consider Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. He's anti-Bush, but will not vote Kerry either:
[Chafee] has opposed Mr. Bush on everything from tax cuts to gay marriage and the war in Iraq. Now, this life-long Republican has concluded that he cannot cast his ballot for the leader of his party.

"I'll vote Republican," he said, explaining that he would choose a write-in candidate, perhaps George Bush the elder, as a symbolic act of protest.
This is perhap the equivalent of the British "no confidence" vote. Still, the lack of confidence says a great deal and I would not be surprised to see Chafee join Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords and become an Independent in 2005, depending upon how the 2004 election goes for the Democrats in the Senate. Jeffords is apparently talking to Chafee.

The third name to note is Rita Hauser, who served in the Bush adminstration as a political appointee in the area of national security! This is from the Washington Post, October 3, 2004:
Kerry does have some surprising names among his GOP endorsements. They include Rita E. Hauser. She is not exactly a household name, but is certainly known in foreign policy circles. She serves as vice chairman of the prestigious President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, appointed by none other than George W. Bush in December 2001.
Via google, I learned that there are multiple websites authored by Republicans for Kerry. The Kerry campaign has its own page too. Clyde Prestowitz worked for the Dean campaign. Owsley Brown (of Brown-Forman) is an influential member of my community.

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