Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate Diary

It’s 1:55 AM GMT and I’m ready for the 1st Presidential debate. BBC has been kind enough from switching from a truly riveting discussion of Tony Blair’s heart surgery to show the entire debate. I’m equipped with a banana, an apple, half an orange, a bottle of water, and my trusty laptop. Let’s get debatin.

2 AM

Ok, I’m officially bored. I ate the apple and orange while the talking heads said really meaningless stuff about format. Let’s get this damn thing going.

David Frum just said that Bush has a “real temper”. I guess that explains that whole Iraq thing.

2:03

Bush and Kerry are on stage. Bush blinks a lot. Must be bright out there.

[Insert debate]

My comments – 3:50 AM (GMT)

I thought Kerry hit Bush squaw in the jaw on North Korea and Afghanistan. He came across strong with lines like, “I will hunt down and kill terrorists wherever they are,” and that Bush “outsourced the pursuit of Bin Laden” to Afghan warlords.

Bush came back with flip-flop and talking points. Not a whole lot of depth to Bush’s arguments. His one liners:

He says we can’t tell the world it’s “wrong war, wrong way, wrong time” which is what Kerry stands for.

Kerry has a “pre-September 10th mentality”.

“Hard Work”

“Iraq will be a powerful example to the world”

I was VERY disappointed that Kerry did not ask (rhetorically of course), “If inspections in Iraq failed, then where are the WMDs?” He had one clear opportunity to do so at 2:55 AM (GMT).

But I thought Kerry did a very good job of answering the flip flop charge. Not only did he explain that when he learns new information that changes circumstances that he does change his position because it’s the right thing to do – it’s the mark of a good leader. But, not only that, he had great offense by saying that the problem with being “certain” is that when you’re “certainly wrong” about something, you keep going on the wrong path.

But, I was COMPLETELY disappointed that Kerry didn’t hit Bush on the National Missile Defense (NMD) issue. Bush stated that as something that was key to lowering the risks of Nuke prolif, RIGHT AFTER he had said that nukes in the hands of TERRORISTS was the GREATEST threat to national security. Kerry had a golden opportunity to take Bush to the mat on that one because terrorists don’t get missiles – they carry their nukes in trucks and drive ‘em into stadiums and blow shit up.

Overall, I’d have to say that Kerry just housed Bush. There were two things that Kerry did that Bush had no answer to. First, Kerry had “plans”. He offered specific, concrete proposals of actions he would take to lower prolif, resolve Iraq, and prosecute the war on terror. Bush had nothing. No plan, no offense to the Kerry plan (excluding the bilateral talks with North Korea issue) and basically just said, “America must have resolve and be strong.”

Second, Kerry was much more specific with his criticism of Bush’s policies. He had great offense to the way Bush prosecuted the war in Afghanistan and about how shifting focus to Iraq led the President to “take his eyes off the ball” in Iran and North Korea. Bush has nothing to come back from on North Korea. He’s the one that said WMDs is the greatest threat to National Security and North Korea got them on his watch. That’s policy failure and Kerry made sure that everyone knew it.

Kerry pretty much shredded W. tonight.

1-0 Kerry

      3 Comments:

      Anonymous Anonymous said...

      "North Korea got them on his watch."... Have you so quickly forgotten the Clinton Administration's piss poor food & heating oil deal with North Korea that really allowed them to build Nukes? Blaming Bush for that is like blaming him for Sept 11th!

      11:46 PM  
      Blogger steve said...

      Ok, lets blame him for Sept. 11th. I ahve no problem with that. :)

      7:57 AM  
      Blogger SJH said...

      The question of whether or not the oil/food deal that Clinton worked out with North Korea is not relevant to whether Bush allowed North Korea to get the bomb on his watch. He had plenty of time to focus on an emerging, tangible security threat (and correct the sunshine policy if it wasn't working) and he chose not too because he's was committed to taking out Saddam not matter what. A president shouldn't have ideological blinders.

      9:40 AM  

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