David Broder asks what questions should we be getting answers to before the election. He picks the right questions, but being David Broder, he holds John Kerry as responsible for the mess as Bush (or at least demands that John Kerry provide solutions to Bush's failures). Maybe Broder would do better actually looking at what Kerry talks about rather than just listening to the nattering press that only thinks the gotcha game and horse race is news.
What would you do about Iraq?
They both had checkered histories on Iraq. Bush had taken the country to war on what turned out to be false premises and appeared oblivious for far too long to the challenges of a lengthy aftermath. Kerry's history was too incoherent for ready explanation -- an on-again, off-again endorsement and criticism of Bush policy that gave almost no clue to his convictions.
[Ed: isn't nice that Kerry is just as responsible for Iraq as Bush? If only he was clearer on how he would fix the problems. Nevermind that by the time Kerry gets a chance to "fix" the problems, things could be drastically different than they are today. The pressure needs to be on Bush now, because he is the one in the driver's seat.]
How does the US rebuild its relationships with the rest of the world, and what happened with Putin?
We should have asked Bush more about why he thought so many of them had gone sour, and we should have asked both Bush and Kerry how they planned to set them right.
[Ed: John Kerry does not have the reputation of being a liar and so can be trusted to keep his word better than Bush. When building relations, trust is one of the irreplaceable coins, easily squandered and hard to come by once it has been lost.]
What is your solution to the Medicare premium increases and the growing problem with the deficit?
And the jump in Medicare premiums is important -- not only in its immediate impact on seniors' budgets, but as a reminder of our head-in-the-sand attitude toward the oncoming fiscal collision between the health care and retirement costs of the baby boomers, on one side, and our staggering budget deficits on the other.
We let both Kerry and Bush dangle a string of new domestic goodies before our eyes, plus tax cuts for everybody (Bush) or almost everybody (Kerry), and never got a straight answer from either one on how to pay for the boomers' massively expensive retirement years. That would have been a good subject for a second debate.
[Ed: I agree that this premium increase question is very important. It has been reported that sometime in the near future the Medicare premium could take 37% of a senior's social security income. With the increase in housing costs, food, drugs, and the expense of the medicare premiums, we might be well on our way to having a bunch more homeless seniors. Now, Broder might do his homework for once and at least read Kerry's plan for healthcare. Certainly it will cost more than Bush's plan, but at least it might have a chance of stemming some of the worst effects of a health-care system in crisis.]
Wouldn't it be nice if our national pundits did just a little bit in finding out the answers to these questions and then do their part in helping inform the public? Broder should be talking to his fellow journalists about doing a better job and setting a good example by explaining what the campaigns are saying (and talking about the viability of the policies) rather than blaming Kerry for the incoherence of this campaign. After all, it's not Kerry's fault that the reporters following the campaign don't care about reporting about his policy prescriptions.Posted by Mary at September 19, 2004 11:53 AM | Elections | Technorati links |