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Bill Orton
(D-Long Beach)

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January 1, 2004

The Path to a National Political Revival...

The person who will defeat President Bush must convince voters that he or she will herald a national political revival that restores our prestige abroad, recovers this economy and recaptures a government that is shamelessly beholden to the very rich.

The Three Rs:
Restore, Recover & Recapture...


Restore our Prestige...

War is is not a photo opportunity. It is the most serious business a nation can pursue.
  • In the short space of two years, this President has squandered the goodwill that followed the tragedy of September 11th. The President polarized people within our own nation and pressed for war in a way that splinted the global community. Detentions and expulsions show that our welcome mat is only for certain people. Add it up, and we now see more violence and hatred aimed at Americans than at any time in recent memory.
  • Our brave men and women in uniform are being killed virtually every day, and for what? They toil in foreign lands with no clear mission and no end in sight. More troops have been killed since the President declared an end to "major military operations" then died in combat. And the endless exercise in nation-building is just beginning. Gen. Tommy Franks told Congress that he thinks we'll be in Iraq with a minimum of 150,000 troops for at least four years.
  • CIA Director George Tenet George Tenet testified to Congress that North Korea is believed to already possess "one or two" nuclear weapons. Equally alarming are reports that the North is developing a missile capable of striking anywhere within the US. Spent fuel rods are being converted into the raw material needed for nuclear bombs, giving the North the capability to produce "a bomb a month." The response from the Bush Administration about the possibility of nuclear-tipped long-range missiles being launched against us? Flip-floppy double-talk denying the nuclear threat, a refusal to negotiate and a pullback of American forces away from the DMZ.
  • The Middle East descends into chaos while the United States fidgets. We've surrendered our historic status as the single party who can serve as impartial arbiter. Meanwhile, as we diddle and dither, the forces of hate on all sides operate within a vaccuum that we have allowed to fester.

Is THIS foreign policy going to make America safer?

Recover this Economy...

  • Three million Americans who HAD jobs before the 2000 election are no longer employed. Leading economists are coining a new phrase: "job loss recovery."
  • Ordinary investors are watching as their pension and mutual fund investments are losing 25, 40, 50 percent and more of the investment value. Corporate raiders are pushing up stock prices by flat-out lying. Auditors destroy records to avoid legal sanction.
  • Despite the President's call for Americans to "sacrifice," hundreds of billions of dollars are being handed out like candy to the richest Americans.
  • Record deficits balloon to $525 billion next year, as lawmakers of both parties criticize the Administration for its failure to say how they'll bring the deficit under control.
Recapture our Government...

  • Karl Rove Karl Rove The VP and his minions use war for political gain. Included is a smear campaign against Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA), who lost 3 limbs fighting in Vietnam, but who is branded 'unpatriotic' for his vote against the War. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, fresh from his undisclosed location, appears on the morning chat shows to admit that he was wrong to claim that Saddam had nuclear weapons. (Oops.) And Donald Rumsfeld perfects America's new role, that of imperial power.
  • And George W. Bush spends $3 million a year of taxpayer money to keep a crew of lighting whizkids on staff, so he can skip straight to the photo ops.
This is no way to run a country.

  • Americans deserve better than a series of foreign engagements with no clear mission and endgame.
  • Americans deserve better than spending tens of billions of dollars on open-ended nation building abroad, while here at home, our power grid crumbles and kids go hungry.
  • Taxpayers deserve better than having to pay one-dollar-in-seven as raw interest on a national debt that is skyrocketing.
  • Seniors and aging baby-boomers deserve to know that the Social Security and Medicare systems will be solvent, but the record deficits being rung up by this President threaten the very solvency of those two cornerstone programs.
How do we turn things around?

First, we must shake off the fear that the President has a lock on the 2004 election.

For the first time in a direct head-to-head matchup, the President lost in polls (to General Wesley Clark) and his disapproval rating, says the Gallup Poll, stands at 47% of all Americans, the highest of his presidency.

Americans can see that the Administration's foreign agenda has failed to make us safer and tax-giveaways to the rich and a splintering of the Middle Class are weakening us here at home. And our President and his people are completely failing to unite all Americans around a common vision for making this nation a better place to live.

Voters understand that this Administration is not a uniter. It is a divider.

Pick your candidate. Work your tail off. Spread the word about a national political revival.

And let's take back this nation.

-B


Bill Orton is a writer and historian living in Long Beach, California.