Sun Tzu teaches us that success comes
from what we do and
what we don't do. I notice that several Kerry supporters (for example
) are saying that the Republican attacks on Kerry for his votes in Congress are unjustified because Kerry had
good reasons for his votes that are not being explained. However, by this analysis, we canâ€™t tell anything about any legislatorâ€™s voting record because ALL bills have bad components.
No perfect bills pass through Congress. All legislators have parts of bills that they agree with and other parts that they disagree with. In the end, every bill is (and must be) a compromise. A vote for says, â€œThis isnâ€™t perfect but it is better than nothing.â€ A vote against says, â€œThis is so bad that we are better doing nothing.â€ Some of the most objectionable parts of bills, such as the pork, are added to make passage possible. Without the pork, there wouldnâ€™t be enough votes for the general good alone to pass it. Where as, with the pork, the general good of the bill plus the additional private good (in pleasing the constituents of a given elected official) of the pork, creates a passable bill. This is why the word â€œpassableâ€ isnâ€™t high praise.
This brings me back to the first the issue of action and inaction.
If, as his proponents say, Kerry was all for giving the money for the troops,
but against the reconstruction money that was part of the bill. Okay, but,
since he couldnâ€™t vote for the bill he wanted, he had to choose. He chose to
vote against the money for the troops because it included money for
reconstruction of Iraq. In other words, he said, â€I want to go on record
voting that doing nothing for the troops is better agreeing to spend this
money to Iraq for reconstruction.â€ Similarly, when he voted against every
defense bill, his supporters can claim that, like McCainâ€™s votes, this was
because of the pork. Okay, so he was saying, â€œI want to go on record as voting
that not spending any money on defense is better than voting for this pork to
get a bill passed.â€ Does this make Kerry's voting record more acceptable?
Sun Tzu teaches us extensively that cannot judge people by what they say
(deception is the basis of war). We must judge people by their actions not
their words. Congress people always have great sounding explanations for their
actions, but it is their actions that tell us what their priorities really
are. By his actions, Kerry has clearly told us his priorities with no
explanation required. In his priorities, money for the troops in Iraq and
money for the defense budget came in second, which in politics, is always last