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There's an interesting article a Alternet.org entitled Comparing Bush and Kerry on Civil Rights. (Just Kerry has a military record and Bush does not, Kerry has a federal government service record previous to the 2000 non-election and Bush does not.)
Now that the presidential debates are over and campaign surrogates have tried to interpret or misinterpret what we saw for ourselves, there is no better time to ignore the rhetoric and check out the candidates' records.
Because John Kerry and his Democratic vice presidential running mate, John Edwards, served in the Senate, their votes can be reviewed. And the same can be said for Vice President Dick Cheney, who served in the House. Like many groups, each year the NAACP issues a Civil Rights Report Card, grading members of Congress on issues important to African-Americans. Every year they were in office, both Kerry and Edwards received As. When Cheney served in Congress from 1977 to 1988, he received an F every session.
Of course, President Bush has never served in the House or Senate, making it more difficult to assign him a grade. But the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has examined Bush's White House years and last week issued a draft staff report titled, "Redefining Rights in America: The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004." The report is available online at www.usccr.gov/pubs/bush/bush04.pdf.
The 166-page study by the independent, bi-partisan agency concludes, "President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words."