Thursday, September 22, 2005

Kerry's roads not taken

Kerry's roads not taken
By Thomas Oliphant
Boston Globe
September 22, 2005

SUPPOSE WE had a president, with barely seven months in office, pushing Congress to confront the energy crisis and stop the insane importing of oil from the Middle East.

That was the road not taken before Katrina, remember?

Suppose we had a president who had challenged the lobbyist-run Congress long before Katrina produced gargantuan costs that cannot be paid honestly: His veto would block the extension of those juicy tax cuts for wealthy investors that expire in a few years in order to force a reestablishment of the best Social Security reform of all -- fiscal sanity.

That was another road not taken, remember?

And imagine a restoration of Bill Clinton's simple proposition that recovery from disasters, natural or terrorist, is too important to be left to incompetent political cronies, and is led by a guy who is delightfully ignorant of patronage politics.
Still another road not taken.

As John Kerry had the temerity to say this week in Rhode Island: ''Today more than ever, when the path taken last year and four years earlier takes us into a wilderness of missed opportunities, we need to keep defining the critical choices over and over, offering a direction not taken but still open in the future."

Or, as he also said, ''Katrina reminds us that too often the political contests of our time have been described like football games with color commentary: One team of consultants against another, red states against blue states, Democratic money against Republican money; a contest of height versus hair -- sometimes. But the truth is democracy is not a game; we are losing precious time each day in a different America than the one we can inhabit if we make different choices....."