Bangor paper abandons Bush

By Tim Grieve
October 23, 2004 7:51PM (UTC)
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John Kerry picked up another crossover newspaper endorsement this morning, this time from Maine's Bangor Daily News.

"We endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 based on his humility, optimism, a professed compassionate brand of Republicanism and, after the divisive years between the White House and Congress in the 1990s, his pledge to be a uniter, not a divider. Those traits have arisen occasionally in the last four years, but not often.


"Domestically, President Bush can point to accomplishments such as No Child Left Behind and his decision to form Homeland Security. They were good and needed overhauls and they were passed with bipartisan support. But these accomplishments are outweighed by a fiscal policy that answers 'Tax cuts' to every question, contributing to record deficits and imperiling programs that serve all Americans: road building and education, economic development and health care.

"They are outweighed by decisions about the environment that ignore or suppress science as problems such as climate change become more pressing. They are overwhelmed by the sheer secrecy of an administration combined with an unusual interest in the habits of private citizens.

"Sen. Kerry likely would begin his term as president with a solidly Republican Congress; we do not doubt that the health care, deficit-reduction and after-school programs he has outlined during the campaign would be altered considerably as they encountered Congress, and some ideas would not survive at all. Mr. Kerry would have no option but to negotiate to get anything passed, which may be for the best. However, he would also serve as a forceful block on some of the worst impulses of the House, such as the assaults on civil liberties currently in its version of Intelligence reform. "Sen. Kerry would return the White House to a mainstream, outward-looking style of governance, more inclusive by necessity and inclination, more willing to confront the complex and changing conditions in the world and more willing to address domestic issues in an enlightened way. He will face perilous times abroad and at home, but by many measures he seems the more capable of meeting them successfully."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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