Saturday, June 14, 2003

As you may (or may not) remember, Sen. Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party two years ago to become the Senate's only true Independant. He recently gave a speach commemorating his departure from the GOP.

The promises of candidate Bush, who pledged to bring a new tone to Washington and packaged himself as a compassionate conservative, are unmet. On issue after issue the Bush Administration is not what it claims to be. Since coming into office, the President has dragged the Republican Party into short-sighted positions that maximize short-term gain while neglecting the long-term needs of families and the nation.

Pundits asked after last November's election: will the President over-reach with his Republican majorities in the House and Senate? Well, President Bush hasn't just over-reached, he has set a new standard for extreme partisan politics that on many occasions has been supported by the Republican-controlled Congress.

In place of thoughtful policy we now have superficial and cynical sound-bites. Instead of confronting pressing national problems, our President lands airplanes while Rome burns.


As he prepared to invade Iraq and win the support of other nations, the President promised the world that the US had a plan in place to rebuild that nation. But it quickly became apparent that there was no plan. While our military guarded the oilfields, we showed no compassion for the Iraqi people as we allowed their national treasures to be looted. All we see now is growing unrest with the US presence in Iraq. Every day we see more lawlessness, more upheaval and more US soldiers being killed. Is it any surprise that a recent Pell Research Center survey of 16,000 people from 20 nations shows a dramatic rise in distrust and skepticism toward the United States?

Does he think we don't notice?


I was proud to work with the first President Bush on the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, when I was a Republican. I was proud to be chosen by the first President Bush as one of the lead Senate negotiators on that bill. He called our work, "a new chapter in our environmental history, and a new era for clean air." That was an example of what we could do - together - when we made a shared commitment to our environmental future. Now this President Bush insists on moving us backward, undoing his father's legacy and weakening our nation's environmental laws.

This Bush Administration has put forward a plan mislabeled "Clear Skies." This bill weakens or eliminates current clean air programs, accelerates global warming, and saves only one-third of the lives that could be saved by the Clean Power Act. Worse, the Administration bill takes 20 years before its reduction targets are achieved.

Does he think we don't notice?

Yes, Sen. Jeffords. We've noticed........