Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 13, 2004

by V

Debate #3: Bush v. Kerry in Arizona, on C-SPAN

Hey, even Brit Hume is fact-checking bush on the bin Laden quote. Huzzah -- and I'm spent.

Bush had something to say to Kerry after it was all over; couldn't make it out. Fairly friendly handshake after he said it, though; maybe he was actually classy.

Closing: Kerry: Safer, stronger, no foreign vetoes, thank you, good night. Bush: Optimism, something incoherent about a painting, and the economy is growing. P.S. Education! And, as a parting gift, here are some more straw men.

S: We all have strong women in our lives. What's up with that? Bush: I broke one of my first promises to my wife, why should the country get any better from me? Kerry: Yup, we all married up...me moreso than others... Let me mention my Mom's admonition too: 'Integrity, integrity, integrity.' Plus, they don't let me take myself too seriously.

S: Where did our unity go? Kerry: Let me first compliment the President on his speeches just after 9/11... (didn't expect that, didja.) But we need better than what he's giving us today. Bush: It's not me, it's Washington. (yyyeah..) IT'S NEVER ME, DO YOU HEAR?! And McCain's mine, so I will (lightly) pound the podium.

S: Did you consult God on your Iraq policy? Bush: I pray a lot, and atheists are OK. Religion calms me. Armies of compassion. Thousand points of light. Kerry: I respect his faith, I can quote spiritual stuff too, and we're not living up to 'love your neighbor' very well here.

S: Affirmative action? Kerry: we've not moved far enough along [to stop], and this admin has even blocked progress toward that goal. Bush laughed when Kerry said he didn't meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. Bush says he did too meet with the Black Congressional Caucus, at the White House. Wonder which of them is right; this should be easy to pin down..

S: Guns? Both: Yes to guns. Kerry: I'm a hunter, but the assault weapons ban would have been nice to keep around...

From kos: "Interesting how Bush tries to lead every rebuttal with a joke. If he was funny, it might've been a good strategy." Yah.

S: Overstretched military = draft? Kerry: Yup, backdoor draft is where we are now. I want to add two active-duty divisions. The President broke faith with America on this war. Bush: (incredulous look, then:) the solution to all this is the training of Iraqis. (Ah, I see it now...) Global test! (blink, blink.) Straw man!

S: Roe v. Wade? Bush: No litmus test. Kerry: I won't appoint judges who will overturn constitutional rights. Now, let me get philosophical for a moment... poverty, unemployment, President didn't fund NCLB. Bush: MASSACHUSETTS! EDUCATION!

S: Minimum wage up? Kerry: yes, let's raise it. They won't even let us vote on it. (Bush has actually turned his body toward Kerry; I think he's finally getting mad.) Bush: You bitch. Grrr. Mitch McConnell had a bill that mentioned the minimum wage, what do you want? Also: Education Education Education! NCLB is actually a jobs bill, ha ha! Didn't see that one coming, did you?

S: Immigration? Bush: we're doing a much better job at border protection today than we did when I was governor of Texas. No wait, that didn't come out right...

I get it now. Bush is trying to be Bush-2000. Recycling his lines ("exaggerations!") and his expressions (dull grins and mini laughs). Because at least that performance sorta worked.. at least, better than this year's. Too bad he's got an actual record to look at this time...

Getting bored... oh, now Bush is saying Kerry is giving 'more of the same'. No wait, it gets better - he said most of the tax cuts went to the lower and middle classes. Whaaaaa?!

Is it me, or is BS giving more questions to Kerry?

BS: Social Security? Bush: Seniors, you'll get your checks, but the kids can put money in some accounts. Kerry: Invitation to Disaster!!! Time to stop scaring seniors and start scaring the workforce!

S: Health care plan? Kerry: Let me spend more time telling you what my plan is not. Oh, I guess i'll give some detail... Bush: stupid feint at a joke about CBS. Loomin(sp?) Report says it'll cost $1.2 trillion! And it's really hard to fake those reports!

S: Health care costs? Bush & Kerry: blah blah... I should note, Bush is looking more 'together' than he has in the prior debates. Must have had his nap. He's also grinning constantly, which I would speculate means he finally got the ceremonial pre-debate nookie. But what do I know? I'm a mere blogger...

S: Certain bishops are saying it's a sin to vote for you. How do you respond? Kerry: I won't legislate my views onto other people. JFK. Faith without works is dead; that's why I fight poverty, etc. Bush: Culture of life! I like good law. Let's ban partial birth abortion - "out of the mainstream", repetition 2. Adoption laws. Let me read my notes here...

S: Gay marriage - is homosexuality a choice? Bush: I dunno (cue howls from the Traditional Values Coalition...). Tolerance, respect, dignity. Consenting adults can live the way they want to live. (?!!?) Judges Baaaad, Constitutional Amendment good! Kerry: We're all god's children, including Dick Cheney's daughter. Visitation rights. Bush: smirk.

S: Jobs, now? Bush: Education, for sometime down the road! Kerry: See what he did there? BTW, being lectured by the President on fiscal responsibility is like getting a lecture from Tony Soprano on law and order. (Nice choice - Soprano's lovable, but evil.) Loophole, Boeing, fair trade. Bush - Whoo! Gosh, so many misstatements! Ted Kennedy!

S: Debt? Deficit? Kerry: I will restore 'pay as you go'. Bush: Bogus count of tax votes! Made-up numbers! "Tax gap!" Dumb pun on pay-as-you-go! "Pro-growth policies" (where are the jobs, then?), and the real howler, "fiscal sanity". Yee hah.

S: Flu vaccine shortage? Bush: Oops. Trial lawyers make production of vaccines hard! Kerry: I have a plan. Bush: I have a lame comeback and made-up numbers about his plan! Watch me giggle, ha ha.

Bush is very proud of his ability to say 'EX-AGG-ER-A-TIONS'. Too bad Kerry's quote of him being not very concerned about bin Laden was actually accurate... (hat tip to Kos)

S: Will we ever be safe again? For the children? Kerry: Yes, that's what we're working for. It's not 'are we safer', it's 'are we as safe as we oughtta be?' Port security, Police, homeland security, smarter, hunt down terrorists. FDR, Reagan, JFK. Vote Kerry! Bush: Let's spread freedom around the world. I have a comprehensive strategy, and 75% of al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice. Afghanistan had an election, 19-year old woman was the first voter. 'Nuisance!' We're doing everything we can to protect our ports...NOT.

Bush looks red; Kerry looks pale in comparison, but I'm pretty sure Bush is the anomaly here.

Two red ties, a wink from Rain Man, and we're off!

Schieffer's counting down the minutes. I wonder which Bush will show up: Stumbles With Backpack, or Whines While Shouting?

Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk, of the corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates, gave a little thank-you talk before the proceedings begin. They thanked their lawyers and corporate backers; joy reigned throughout the land.

I missed being blog-capable for debate #2, but I'm back now...
Posted by V at October 13, 2004 09:00 PM

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