Cal  Thomas

Democrats in recent years have been trying to emulate Republicans by quoting Scripture. Kerry equated the Fifth Commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother." (he left out the rest -- "so that your days may be long upon the Earth"), with his opposition to privatizing Social Security. That commandment means adult children, not government, should honor their parents by looking after them. But to liberal Democrats like Kerry, government is a "god," so perhaps the leap is not surprising. If Kerry cares about protecting Social Security benefits, perhaps he might explain why he voted three times against repealing the 1993 Clinton tax increase on Social Security benefits.

Speaking of those middle-class tax cuts Kerry promises to implement if he's elected, would he explain why, when given an opportunity in 1995 to prove he was for such cuts, he voted against a sense of the Senate resolution, saying "reducing the deficit should be one of the nation's highest priorities, and a middle-class tax cut would undermine and be inconsistent with the goal of achieving a balanced budget." The deficit was less then than it is now, so why was Kerry opposed to a middle-class tax cut nine years ago, but in favor of one today if cutting deficits is paramount?

Kerry says he'll "roll back" the tax cuts for those making more than $200,000 per year. Even President Clinton told a group of Houston business leaders he agreed that he had raised such taxes "too much." Kerry says he wants to "invest" new revenue in education. America already spends record amounts for education. If Kerry believes there is a link between the amount of money spent and educational achievement (there isn't), he has an obligation to explain why so much spending has not produced better grades, especially among the poor, many of whom are imprisoned in failing schools.

Kerry repeatedly brings up his four-month service in Vietnam. He paraded some of his Swift Boat colleagues on the convention stage. But most other members of that team have publicly said they believe that Kerry is "unfit" to be president because he slandered his comrades as mass murderers during his anti-Vietnam period, and they question how he earned his Purple Hearts.

Kerry suffers from a truth gap. Look for Republicans to spend a lot of time questioning whether, in a time of war, John Kerry can be trusted.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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