"Town Hall" Debate
OK, this is going to be a long one. These are things I noted during the second presidential debate between George W. Bush
and John Kerry
-OK! First question of this democratic "town hall" debate! Alright, so everything is predetermined and controled, so it may put a limit on how tough these questions are can be. Even so, here is it, the people's chance to finally look these two candidates square in the eye and ask the things that people really want to know about the war in Iraq, the questions of homeland security, sky rocketing health care costs and unemployment rate. First question: "Senator Kerry, why do my friends think you're wishy-washy?" And that ladies and gentlemen was the point when our political discourse plummeted down to a question of wishy-washyness. Fuck, this is going to be a long debate...
-We now move on to candidate confidence building questions, because obviously they both need a break after spending the last few minutes trying to look dignified while using the word "wishy-washy" over and over again. Instead they got questions these questions. To Bush: "Was and the War in Iraq justified?" To Kerry: "Would you do anything different in Iraq?" They could have made this a lot easier by just asking them both to paraphrase the same things they've said since the beginning of the Democrat primaries. Apparently, these questions were intended for people who have been living alone in the woods, Thoreau-like, for the past three years.
-So Bush was forced to admit that Iraq is now officially reported to have no weapons of mass destruction. His response, that the intelligence community and even John Kerry himself also thought they had those weapons. So, our intelligence community and both major candidates for president were catastrophicly wrong, leading us into a war for no reason and distracted us from the real people who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon, as well as increasing the potential for further attacks on America. I feel safer already! This could be a good approach for Bush, suggesting that Kerry will make all the same mistakes. So, as they say, why change horsemen mid-apocalypse?
-Well the questions are improving anyway. Bush is asked about his plans to work with other nations. He points to his unpopularity in Europe and says that he can't change his mind because of political pressure, although I imagine his inner monologue at this point sounding like a broken record of his old "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists" speeches. He hasn't used that one in a while. I guess that's not great for the campaign trial.
-Kerry's plan to remove all the enriched uranium from the former Soviet Union in 4 years instead of 13. Mr. Bush, your response? "That answer makes me want to scowl." Moving right along...
-The inevidable question about another draft. Bush hears "there's rumors on the internets." Yup, he said "internets." Plural. Of course this really isn't the issue. You know, Kerry should really use this oppurtunity to point out that there is an active draft for enlisted men and women who think they've finished their service and then get sent back for second and third tours. Wait, did he just say it? I think he did! Points for Kerry!
-Bush says the best way to secure America is to stay on the offensive. I see two flaws with this logic. First, it makes it seem like you're simply using our men and women in uniform as a human shield to protect the homeland. Why go attack America when Americans can come to you? America is a lot safer until you count our military loses. Second, does this mean that we're potentially fighting wars forever?
-Bush asks how we can build a coalition is we say that the war was a mistake? Well I'm no politician, but I would think that Kerry might want to say something like, "Listen, you didn't support our last president's decisions and neither did I. However, I think that we can agree that there is a humanitarian crisis going on in Iraq which is much more important than a question of what corporations are helping to rebuild the war-torn country. We know that we can no longer go at this alone and we'd like to get your support and input on how we can stabilize Iraq and truly give them a nation they can be proud to call their own instead of one that the West created for them." I don't know, maybe that's too long winded. Something more sound bitey might be better, like "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists" (who was I kidding, it's a still a classic line).
-Bush just said "Missoura," didn't he? Oh what the hell, I'll give him a point for that one. Everyone should get at least one in these things, right?
-OK, Kerry and Edwards with their poor Senate records. I'm wondering, Senators who have run for office in the past, what have their Senate records looked like, considering that they all have to tour the country campaigning? Especially in an election year like this one. And what about all that time Bush spend on vacation in August 2001? Just a thought.
-The environment! This is a good one. Bush says that the air is cleaner and that less people have complained about the quality of water. I seem to remember very early on in the Bush presidency when Bush signed a bill allowing a higher level of arsenic in the nation's drinking water. This was relatively big news at the time and many people were against it. Then shortly after 9/11 (when people had more important things to worry about), there was a tiny article in the paper saying that Bush had repealed it and set the standards back the way they were. Remember the way the game goes now, everytime Bush refers to Kerry as a flip flopper, everyone takes a drink.
-For anyone interested, the comment about Bush owning a timber company refers to his owning a large amount of stock in a timber company. I think that Bush's hesitation there was so that he wouldn't accidently end up making about wood that could be considered sexually suggestive.
-How many people in the audience do you think lied about being undecided in order to get into the debates?
-Bush doesn't think that the Patriot Act waters down the rights of Americans and doesn't seem to understand why some Americans think it does. Yet it's "the most liberal senator" John Kerry that's out of touch with the people of this country.
-Stem cell research. This is a tough one, but Kerry can do it. Talk about the advances that doctors are expecting to find by using these frozen (not living) embryos to cure all kinds of diseases. Go, John Kerry, Go!! NO, DON'T JUST STARE BLANKLY AT THE AUDIENCE!! Oh, I know. What about how first lady, Laura Bush, spoke against their use on the grounds that they were giving false hope to patients who think that the results would be immediate. She basically told the American people that any scientific discovery that wasn't immediate wasn't worth pursuing. Come on, John Kerry! Attack! Crap, let's move on...
-Ok, appointing judges on the Supreme Court, Kerry's doing better. I want to go up to him and whisper in his ear that he should mention how Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been suffering with cancer but doesn't want to step down because she's afraid of who Bush would replace her with. I tried shouting at the TV. It didn't help.
-I really wish Bush would stop talking about the new jobs he created. Didn't he lose more than he created? Anyone have an accurate figure on this?
-"Mr. Bush, can you give three instances where you made mistakes and admit what went wrong?" Bush made it clear that that was for the historians to worry about and then went on to defend his invasion of Iraq, yet again. In other words, he admitted that he probably has made mistakes, but that he doesn't want to admit that he's learned from them, least he appear to be flip-flopping. Perhaps it's just me and my liberal bias, but I would think that part of learning from the mistakes of history is admitting what you did wrong yesterday.
-So that was the debate. My prediction of what the polls will look like: the Republicans will say Bush won, the Democrats will say Kerry won and the undecideds will still be undecided.
-One more debate next week. And I swear I'll get back to posting music and everything else very soon.