Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Michigan is Signed, Sealed and Delivered

No, folks, not all Republicans are drinking the Koolaid. And I am proud to see that Bill Milliken, former Governor of the State of Michigan, has made his preference known. He is not just picking from the lesser of two evils here. He is supporting John Kerry.

From the Detroit Free Press comes the following:

My Republican Party has always been a party that stood for fiscal responsibility. Today, under President George W. Bush, we have the largest deficit in the history of our country -- a deficit that jeopardizes economic growth that is so desperately needed in a nation that has lost 2.6 million jobs since he took office.

To make matters even worse, this president inherited a surplus but squandered it with huge tax cuts structured primarily to benefit the wealthy and powerful.

My Republican Party is the party of Michigan Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg, who helped forge a bipartisan foreign policy that served this nation well and produced strong alliances across the globe. This president has, in a highly partisan, unilateral way, rushed us into a tragic and unnecessary war that has cost the lives of more than 1,000 of our young men and women. In this arrogant rush to war, he has alienated this nation from much of the world.

What's worse, the basic premises upon which we were taken to war proved to be false. Now we find ourselves in the midst of an occupation that was largely unplanned and has become a disaster from which we cannot easily extricate ourselves.

My Republican Party is the party of Theodore Roosevelt, who fought to preserve our natural resources and environment. This president has pursued policies that will cause irreparable damage to our environmental laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the public lands we share with future generations.

My Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, who freed an enslaved people. This president fought in the courts to strike down policies designed to provide opportunity and access to our own University of Michigan for minority students.

My Republican Party is the party of Eisenhower, who warned us to beware of the dangers of a military-industrial complex. This president has pursued policies skewed to favor large corporations in the defense and oil industry and has gone so far as to let those industries help write government policies.

My Republican Party is a party that respects and works with the men and women of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line for us every day. This president ignored the pleas of law enforcement agencies across America and failed to lift a finger to renew the assault weapons ban that they strongly supported.

My Republican Party is a party that values the pursuit of knowledge. But this president stands in the way of meaningful embryonic stem-cell research that holds so much promise for those who suffer from diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and other conditions.

My Republican Party is the party of Gerald Ford, Michigan's only president, who reached across partisan lines to become a unifying force during a time of great turmoil in our nation's history. This president has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing across a wide variety of issues and has exacerbated the polarization and the strident, uncivil tone of much of what passes for political discourse in this country today.

Women's rights, civil liberties, the separation of church and state, the funding of family planning efforts worldwide -- all have suffered grievously under this president and his administration.

The truth is that Bush does not speak for me or for many other moderate Republicans on a very broad cross-section of issues.

Sorry for the very long excerpt, but I am thrilled. I lived in Michigan and voted for Mr. Milliken in the 70's. He was the right man at the time. But I promised to show you that he is not just disatisfied by Bush, but positively for Kerry, didn't I? Of that there is no doubt:

Sen. John Kerry, on the other hand, has put forth a coherent, responsible platform of progressive initiatives that I believe would serve this country well. He wants to balance the budget, step up environmental protection efforts, rebuild our international relationships, support stem-cell research, protect choice and pursue a number of other progressive initiatives that moderates from both parties can support.

Bill Milliken, you do all of your supporters from the past proud.