Debate #1

I know everyone is eager to hear my thoughts on the debate (sarcasm), so here they come. The debate has just ended, so I don’t know what everyone else is going to say, but generally I’ve been re-assured that neither candidate is right for me. When I hear them both argue about how much money they are spending or want to spend, it makes me violently ill.

My thoughts on Kerry:
– The “outsourcing” comment about capturing Bin Laden was a fairly cheap shot, and not witty enough that even Sharpton would consider saying it.
– He spent a lot of time trying to explain how his viewpoint on the war was consistent – I think with moderate success. He did spend so much time explaining himself that it almost came off sounding negative, though.
– After being beaten up by fellow veterans about Vietnam, for some reason he still insists on bringing it up frequently.
– He is clearly a better speaker than Bush.
– He made a great point in attacking Bush for saying that, knowing what he knows now, he would have done things exactly the same. I would think that even if Bush was trying to keep the troops’ spirits up, he’d at least concede that something really should have been done differently.
– Not sure if it’s totally accurate, but the argument about Iraq being more of a terrorist haven now than it was before is pretty damaging. Bush did little to disprove that.

Thoughts on Bush:
– A local political radio host said earlier in the week that the expectations of Bush doing well in this debate were so low, that the only way he would fail to meet them is if he “picked his nose and ate it.” Since that didn’t happen, I guess it’s safe to say he at least lived up to expectations.
– By pretending to take notes when Kerry spoke (I watched the NBC feed which showed the split screen and reaction shots) I think that was more appealing than some of Kerry’s reactions. Definitely better than watching Kerry’s phony, exaggerated smile.
– He overemphasized the “Wrong war, wrong time” line to the point where I believe he used it to rebut an unrelated argument.
– I thought he gave an excellent answer to the question of whether or not the war was “worth it” with regard to lost lives. It was poorly delivered (as is most of what Bush says) but it had good substance and in the end he gave a clear answer – “yes.” Kerry’s rebuttal pretty much allowed him to skirt that question and he did not provide a yes/no answer.
– His arguments about America making their own decisions about defense and treaties (like the international court thing) appealed to me, and I think were somehwat damaging to Kerry.

In general, I think they spent too much time bickering over details. Bush got 75% of Al Qaeda, but not UBL. Kerry wants bi-lateral talks with Korea and Bush doesn’t. Both felt it was America’s duty to disarm Saddam. Both love spending money. Both are pro-troops (as is mostly everyone). Whoop-dee-do.

I don’t think the debate had a pure winner, only because of the topic. If the next debate is about social issues I think that will be more interesting. I think Bush will have a tough time with that.

10 thoughts on “Debate #1

  1. I thought the debate was awful (and agree with most of what you said). They both seemed to repeat the same things, even if it wasn’t appropriate to the questions being asked. I thought Kerry’s opening remark (when asked his first question on something..I was really paying attention) was totally fake and annoying. I thought Bush saying early on in the debate that he doesn’t think he’s going to lose (the election) was cocky and arrogant. I did leave with a pretty good feeling on what Bush thinks about things, but I’m totally lost as far as Kerry (except he likes/dislikes the exact opposite of Bush).

  2. They both pissed me off too, but unsurprisingly Bush pissed me off more. Transcripts aren’t out yet, but I remember at one point Bush tried to rag on Kerry asking how he would fund something right before he went and talked about paying money for something else.

    Kerry did better than I expected, which isn’t surprising since I didn’t expect much. I think he beat Bush on Iraq since he managed to explain his exit strategy while Bush just said he wouldn’t change his mind.

  3. I forgot to ask this in my post, but can someone explain to me how Kerry justified complaining that the troops don’t have enough armor (his comment about people sending armored jackets as Christmas presents) and a few questions later how he defended voting AGAINST sending more money to Iraq?

    If those two statements aren’t contradictory, then how do you put them together?

  4. The only problem with Kerry’s exit strategy is that it was conceived in the land of make-believe with gumdrop houses on lollipop lane. (paraphrased Simpson’s reference)

  5. I believe that the basic gist of Kerry voting against sending more money to IRAQ was that he didn’t believe in the whole bill. In an obvious exageration to make a point, assume that there is a bill that goes up for vote that will give everyone a puppy, and that will also castrate boys ages 3-17 who’s last name starts with an M or a T. If you vote against it, I can ask you why you hate puppies. Would you vote for it, or are you a puppy hater?

    Now suppose that I only told you about the pupply clause and not the castration clause before the bill was actually drafted. You may be inclined to vote for it originally but then retract your vote once you saw the actual contents of the bill in their final form. At this point, I call you a flip-flopping puppy hater. Rot in hell with all of your puppy hating friends.

  6. Bill (whoever that is) explains as well as I could.

    FYI, the transcript is out:

    “BUSH: I don‘t think we want to get to how he‘s going to pay for all these promises. It‘s like a huge tax gap. Anyway, that‘s for another debate.

    My administration has tripled the amount of money we‘re spending on homeland security to $30 billion a year.”


  7. I think Bush proved he was a true moron. He kept repeating phrases even when they weren’t relevant. Kerry was far more articulate; Bush looked often like a deer stuck in the headlights.

    However, make no mistake: they’re both going to increase spending a helluva lot. Except Bush is going to run us into an even bigger deficit while Kerry will raise our taxes.

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