Moderate Republicans Say Cheney’s Remarks Undermine Democracy

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Members of Republicans for Kerry are outraged by Dick CheneyÂ?s remark in Iowa two days ago, and they believe that it is an intentional attempt to create fear among Americans to undermine the democratic process of this national election.

Mesa Arizona, September 9, 2004Harry Wettig, a lifelong Republican and retired public servant of 34 years who served in the Army Air Corps as a twin engine pilot in WW II, is outraged by Vice President Cheney's remarks two days ago in Iowa. Wettig says, "Dick Cheney made the ultimate threat to the American people when he said, 'If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.'" In Wettig's view Cheney was really saying "If you don't vote for George and me, it is your fault when you get hit by the terrorists again."

Wettig asks "Mr. Vice President, how much more terror can you hope to inspire? Your remark is trying to undermine the democratic system of this country. It is clearly un-American." Wettig operates the web site "" that has been tracking Bush administration actions and policies on issues important to moderate Republicans, including security. He believes that there is nothing in the Department of Homeland Security's current plans, or in the words of Bush or Cheney to make the American people feel any safer. “All we hear from them is that the level of terror for today is ‘orange’. That is not protection”

Rich Fletcher, of Durango, CO, who calls himself “another Republican for common sense,” agrees with Wettig. “Imagine the temerity of two draft-dodgers calling their Vietnam veteran opponent a threat to national security!” Fletcher believes that the writings of White House insiders like Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neill show that in the period leading up to the 9-11 attacks, the administration’s attention was focused mainly on planning a Cold War-style strategic missile program, and as a result terrorists slipped past them. “Then when Mr. Bush used 9-11 as an excuse to launch America’s first unprovoked attack—against a nation that hadn’t had a hand in 9-11 and was under intense surveillance and inspections—he generated unprecedented hatred in the world toward the United States,” Fletcher suggests. “Did that decision make us safer?”

”Today I'm fighting to see that the Bush-Cheney ticket doesn't win on its second attempt,“ says Fletcher. “I'm deeply concerned about the current direction and lack of ethics represented by Bush-Cheney. As far as I can tell, they have no moral compass and absolutely no shame….True Republicans would never set out, as they have, to dismantle the very republic after which our party is named.”

Echoing the sentiments of many Republicans for Kerry, Wettig concludes in a recent essay, “We live in terror not because of any threat from the hard-working Muslim family down the block, but from the terror-mongering of the Bush-Cheney camp. Never before have the words of Franklin Roosevelt, a Democratic President but one who cared deeply about the average American, rung so true to the moderate Republicans of this country: ‘Our greatest fear is fear itself.’ I hope the nation shows Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush that they can’t threaten their way into another disastrous four years.”

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Bruce Mackinlay