October 14, 2004

Debatable Truths

Once again, if you expected me to miss the Sox-Yanks game last night to give my undivided attention to Bush and Kerry, well then you don't know me very well. That said, I did flip back and forth, and caught a lot of the debate. I guess it's good that neither New York nor the Red Sox Nation states are swing states, but Missouri is and St. Louis had a playoff game too.

Looking back, I am really surprised at the way these debates transpired. Even though Bush was pretty good in what I saw last night, the composite picture of the president from all three tilts is not good. Kos called it as "from pouter to shouter to doubter." John Kerry was very consistent throughout, and really just outdid Bush in the "presidential" category.

I didn't see the part where Bush, responding to Kerry's assertion that the president said he was not concerned with Osama bin Laden, said "Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations." I did read about it after the debate, and thought, hahah, I'm pretty sure they have you on video dismissing bin Laden. Then, this morning, I saw the video of Bush saying that in the debate, and the way he said "exaggeration." My first thought was "wow. Our president is a dick." And I think that was the lesson I took away from the debate.

If you watch Bush on the campaign trail, he makes a lot of snide jokes about John Kerry, being a flip flopper, being for the $87 billion before being against it, etc. The crowds, all Bush partisans, eat it up, cheering wildly. If you've seen this, Debate Bush makes more sense, in a sad way. He makes a lot of the same jokes, but to people who don't spend their days thinking about how much they hate Democrats, the lines fall flat. For instance, last night, Bush made an aside about "leading news organizations," a dig at CBS and "that liberal media," that I'm sure made most people scratch their heads. The partisan joke lines don't work when the audience isn't already on your side, and worse, they make you look like a dick (there's that categorization again).

I did see Kerry bring up Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter in the question about gays. I thought it was a little weird, but then afterwards on MSNBC the panel was apoplectic. Despite MSNBC being absolutely awful (and just plain wrong) on the post-debate analysis, I still like them better than Larry King, and of course, Fox News is Fox News. I also saw Lynne Cheney, Dick's wife, get huffy and declare that John Kerry is "a bad man." I think it says a lot about Lynne, as if pointing out that the completely open Mary Cheney is gay is an affront to her as a mother.

So I guess Senator Kerry won all three debates. That's pretty incredible, I think. Now, if only his fellow Massachusetts-dwelling ballplayers could go on a similar winning streak.

Oh yeah, here's the video of Bush saying he doesn't think about Osama too much. Boy that Kerry is sure an exaggerator.

Speaking of exaggeration, wasn't that the 2000 election's Democrat smear? I'm surprised at how many flat out lies came out of these debates. "I never met John Edwards before today." "Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden," the tax cut going mostly to middle- and low-income Americans stuff. In 2000 Al Gore got hammered on minor untruths (like going to that disaster area with FEMA) and the still-repeated-despite-never-happening thing about inventing the internet (seriously, Gore never said that.) Every day you had pundits saying things like "this really speaks to a fundamental character flaw in the Vice President." In a fair and balanced world, the press would be killing the president on his gross distortions.

And speaking of Al Gore, this is my new favorite song. I especially love the guest vocals at the end.

Posted by Bil at October 14, 2004 12:52 PM | TrackBack

yeah, but don't forget:
1) the debates, for the most part aren't for people like you & me who are first, already decided and second, motivated enough to do our research. They are for the "undecided majority" who aren't partial to either party and are too fucking lazy to do any real work to fufill their voting duties. That's why the questions are so stupid.
2) It's ALL about partisian politics. Everything they say and do on the campaign trail is. The speeches even have little pauses (presumably for dramatic effect...) so they're easier for the 6 o'clock news soundbites.
3) Neither candidate is really credible.... it's a choice between ugh & eeeewww. They both have HUGE inconsistancies in what they say and what they've done...

Posted by: Jim S at October 14, 2004 04:53 PM : Link this comment

Bush came off as really unlikeable. That blinking thing is just ridiculous. He's such an idiot.

I love the song. Catchy.

Posted by: KissyO at October 16, 2004 10:52 AM : Link this comment

I love the song too. We're trading mix discs on a forum I frequent, and I slapped that baby on my mix.

Posted by: Cotuit at October 18, 2004 10:52 AM : Link this comment
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