(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) issued a list of what it calls President Bush's top ten flip flops.
"AFGE would like to highlight the hypocrisy of criticisms launched by the Bush campaign against John Kerry," said AFGE National President John Gage. "President Bush has even flip flopped on issues of war and peace; you can't get much bigger than that."
1. Bush has polarized America In the 2000 presidential race, Bush campaigned as a "uniter, not a divider." But since the record levels of national unity following the September 11th attacks, Bush has polarized Americans into two deeply entrenched camps vehemently opposed to or in support of him.
2. Justification for the war in Iraq Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Bush cited time and time again attempts by Saddam Hussein to develop weapons of mass destruction as justification for war. Since no such weapons have been found, Bush's rhetoric has switched focus to freeing the people of Iraq.
3. Opposed Creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) For months following the September 11 attacks, President Bush resisted calls to coordinate U.S. efforts to secure the homeland by centralizing responsibilities and authorities in a new Department of Homeland Security. By June of 2002 President Bush changed his position by calling for the creation of the new Department.
4. Opposed Creation of the 9/11 Panel For months, President Bush steadfastly opposed the creation of the 9/11 Panel, officially called the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Panel highlights several other Bush flip flops not on the top ten list including his opposition to allowing the Panel more time to complete its investigation and initially refusing to testify before the full panel. In both cases, Bush eventually relented.
5. Highlighted as Achievements Programs Slated for Funding Cuts President Bush plans to cut funding for the Department of Homeland Security, veterans' program, and his own education program, "No Child Left Behind." Yet Bush often cites these very programs and agencies as achievements while campaigning for re-election.
6. Opposed a Federal Airport Screener Force Despite irrefutable evidence that the pre-9/11 airport security system failed America, President Bush opposed federalizing U.S. airport screening functions. President Bush eventually dropped his objections to efforts by Members of Congress to revamp airport security.
7. Quashing Domestic Labor Unions While Advocating Them Abroad President Bush has been no friend to the labor community. His Administration has nullified or attempted to nullify union rights for federal employees at the Justice Department, the National Imaging and Mapping Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, DHS and DoD. He has appointed partisans with clear ideological leanings against union rights to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a labor dispute settlement body whose credibility hinges on impartiality. Despite these actions Bush has called for free labor unions in Iraq.
8. Subverting Science The Bush Administration uses the word "science" as a vague means of comforting the public about policy decisions ranging from mad cow disease to stem cell research to mercury emissions from power plants. But scientists who have worked within the Administration and those who have observed from the outside have expresses concerns that many policy decisions that should be guided by scientific knowledge are instead being made based on ideology.
9. Opposed "Nation-Building" Only to Launch a War That Would Require It On the 2000 presidential campaign trail, Bush repeatedly called for a significant reduction in number of U.S. troops serving abroad in a nation-building capacity. Now over 130,000 U.S. troops serve in Iraq and Afghanistan for the express purpose of stabilizing and rebuilding those nations.
10. Opposed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act President Bush stood by his opposition to this landmark legislation until it was passed by Congress in March of 2002. Bush quietly signed the bill into law without any pomp or public ceremony.
This portion of the AFGE website is paid for by AFGE PAC.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 750,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.