The fact that Zell Miller is not even voting for a Dem this year is quite telling. I wonder how many other Democrats will be jumping ship this election cycle. ---------------------------------- George Bush vs. the Naive Nine BY ZELL MILLER , Former Georgia Governor, retiring US Senator If I live and breathe, and if--as Hank Williams used to say--the creek don't rise, in 2004 this Democrat will do something I didn't do in 2000, I will vote for George W. Bush for president. I have come to believe George Bush is the right man, in the right place, at the right time. And that's a pretty big mouthful coming from a lifelong Democrat, who first voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1952, and has voted for every Democratic presidential candidate the 12 cycles since then. My political history to the contrary, this was the easiest decision I think I've ever made in deciding who to support. I believe the next five years will determine the kind of world my four grandchildren and four great grandchildren will live in. I simply cannot entrust that crucial decision to any one of the current group of Democratic presidential candidates. Why George Bush? First, the personal,then, the political. I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together, and I just plain like the man, a man who feeds his dogs first thing every morning, has Larry Gatlin sing in the White House, and knows what is meant by the term "hitting behind the runner." I am moved by the reverence and tenderness he shows the first lady, and, the unabashed love he has for his parents and his daughters. I admire this man of faith who has lived that line in that old hymn, "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see." I like the fact he's the same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning. I like a man who shows respect for others by starting meetings on time. That's the personal. Now, the political. This is a president who understands the price of freedom. He understands leaders, throughout history, often had to choose between good and evil, tyranny and freedom. and, the choice they make may reverberate for generations to come. This is a president who has some Churchill in him and who does not flinch when the going gets tough. This is a president who can make a decision and does not suffer from "paralysis analysis." This is a president who can look America in the eye and say on Iraq, "We're not leaving." And you know he means it. This is also a president who understands tax cuts are not just something all taxpayers deserve, but, also, the best way to curb government spending. It is the best kind of tax reform. If the money never reaches the table, Congress can't gobble it up. I have just described George W. Bush. Believe me, I looked hard at the other choices. And what I saw was the Democratic candidates who want to be president, in the worst way, are running for office, in the worst way. Look closely, there's not much difference among them. I can't say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" because there's actually billions of dollars' worth of difference among them. Some want to raise our taxes a trillion, while the others want to raise our taxes by several hundred billion. But, make no mistake, they all want to raise our taxes. They also, to varying degrees, want us to quit and get out of Iraq. They don't want us to stay the course in this fight between tyranny and freedom. This is our best chance to change the course of history in the Middle East. So I cannot vote for a candidate who wants us to cut and run, with our shirttails at half mast. I find it hard to believe, but these naive nine have managed to combine the worst feature of the McGovern campaign--the president is a liar and we must have peace at any cost--with the worst feature of the Mondale campaign--watch your wallet, we're going to raise your taxes. George McGovern carried one state in 1972. Walter Mondale carried one state in 1984. They are not exactly role models, when it comes to how to get elected, or, for that matter, how to run a country. So, as I have said, my choice for president was an easy decision. And, my own party's candidates made it even easier.