Well, that was interesting. Not in an intellectual way mind you. It’s late and I’m tired so this will be pretty concise for now. Here are my thoughts on the debate…
- Well moderated. The PBS guy was great and the rules were clear and followed very well unlike our disaster of a debate during the federal election in Canada. The only problem was that the 30 second extensions were almost always prompted by Bush speaking out rather than the moderator choosing to extend the discussion.
- Bush was out of his league… again. He never lost his tight-lipped, hunched posture or his “everyone is gonna kill us” composure, but he did become speechless on a regular basis. Endless rhetoric on “mixed messages”, “hard work”, and “our duty” has no place in building arguments. These empty statements are signs of a lack of clear coherent thought and would be torn apart in even the most elementary political science essay when looked at by any Professor. No one cares that you “meet every morning with the head of the FBI.” You could be having a coffee and shooting the breeze for all we know. This kind of diversionary tactic is telling of how little thought has gone into Bush’s plan for dealing with Homeland Security.
- Kerry was well spoken and, unlike Bush, paced himself out almost flawlessly and even weaved in a few uppercuts into his rebuttals and statements. Classic gold was given when Kerry stated how Bush “outsourced the task of getting Osama” to Afgahn rebels. Priceless.
- My total disdain for Bush reached a new high when he discussed unprovoked his decision to not support the international criminal court. This institution is responsible for dealing with leaders who commit criminal acts and attempt to administer justice on them for what they did. Previous defendants in this court include such dictators as Pinnoche (Chile, 73-89?) and Milosovich. Bush’s reasoning was simply that he would not support any effort to prosecute American troops and leaders. I find it unbelievable that Bush is holding Saddam for trial in a way he says no American should be, even if they did what he did. Saddam’s soldiers, who were fighting for their country as brave soldiers following their leader (rather than flip-flop over whether they should or not) were told by Bush in the beginning of the war that “just following orders” is not an excuse and that they would be brought to justice for their “crimes.” Puzzling, the inconsistencies of Bush’s argument from this single segment are more telling about his own lack of cohesion over his own policies than anything Kerry has apparently done.
- With regards to Kerry’s “flip-flops” and “mixed messages” I can only say this. If someone came to you and said, “I have evidence that tomorrow it will rain” that if the evidence looked solid that you would agree. But if the next day it was sunny, you would question that intelligence and wonder if you should rethink your decision and how you made it. This is not flip-flopping. This is called learning from your mistakes. The mistake was trusting this administration that has done nothing but show contempt for any inquiries into finding out how the intelligence was faulty or how 9-11 occurred in the first place. The mistake on November 2nd (not the 11th, thanks Anonymous) will be to trust it again for four more years.