< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050827">

Catastrophic Success

As if there weren't enough political opinionating out there, I, too, now sing the body bloglectric. Let me FEED you![XML]

Location: United States

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate Round III

7:58 p.m. I think Bush is going to deliver as well on substance as he has in the last two debates. However, being a podium debate, I think Kerry is probably going to appear to tie again entirely on style.
I am shamelessly stealing this format from Peter David and his blog at PeterDavid.net.

8:00 p.m., bare stage, the Fox pundits are predicting either for Bush or identical to my guess. Charlie Old-Guy from CBS is rattling on with Jim Lehrer's speech. He isn't quite as threatening about it. Graciously allows the audience to applaud to welcome them out.

8:03 p.m. Both men are wearing red ties. Someone should have gotten the memo that Bush ALWAYS wears a red tie for these things.

8:04 p.m. Poor Kerry always loses his first 30 seconds on the obligatory welcome speech. Bush better watch that smirk. And he really should reply to this uninspected 95% of imported crates business. Time till first appeal to authority by Kerry - 1:15.

8:06 Bush: The path to safety for the United States is the spread of liberty around the world. There's the "nuisance" quote. Kerry had to know that was gonna be brought up tonight. I wonder if he has a response. ... hmmm... not really.

8:08 Is the war on terrorism a law enforcement operation or military operation? W rightly points out that it is more than law enforcement. "It requires a comprehensive plan." Bush is looking more vibrant and fired up than I expected.

8:12 Bush: "A plan is not a litany of complaints." Well said. Kerry: "We're going to help Americans buy into [the Congressional Health Care program]" Every time this man opens his mouth, I hear, "Hi, I'm from the government, I'm here to help."

8:15 Cheney pointed this out and Bush did in Debate II. A large percentage of the people who earn over $200,000 per year are small business owners, who file as individuals and would therefore be hardest hit. This discourages hiring in those businesses that have provided the vast majority of the 1.6 million jobs created since last August.

8:16 Bush only mentioned it briefly.

8:17 Damn. Bush "We want to help." Can't trust any of these guys. I have yet to see a job retraining program from the Federal Government to help those whose jobs have been outsourced.

8:20 Kerry references the Sopranos, this man should cease trying to be hip. Period. Kerry changes the subject of the question to point out that Bush talking about fiscal spending is the pot calling the kettle black. Right after he digs on him for changing the subject of the question. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

8:22 Kerry refuses to promise to stop outsourcing. Good thing to. That's not a promise he could hope to keep. But he is going to "level the playing field."

8:23 Bush: "Whooo" after a long Kerry answer. It falls quite flat when the audience can't refuses to respond. Bush correctly says the Child Tax Credit was raised TO $1000 not BY $1000 like he did in Debate II. "My opponent says he will spend the government's money. I say that is YOUR money." Hear HEAR!!!

8:25 Bush jumps in after Kerry's answer. It is unclear if he even had the right of response and his joke again falls flat.

8:26 Bush dodges the question of whether homosexuality is a choice. Bush clarifies that the reason for the FMA is to prevent the judges from interfering and to engage the citizenry (and he actually said "citizenry") since the state legislatures have to get involved.

8:28 Kerry invokes God and Dick Cheney's daughter in ten seconds of each other. Not Bush. Interesting. Kerry blurs past saying that he supports partnership rights, but that he supports marriage's traditional definition.

8:30 WOW! A question on abortion and stem-cell research in one?? Kerry quotes the Bible, "Faith without works is dead." Then says he can't allow his faith to enter into his legislative duties.

8:31 Bush "promote[s] a culture of life." He is playing as the moderate in this case. I'm waiting for him to say rare and safe. I think Bush scores points with this in the middle. He says he wants to provide as many alternatives to abortion as possible. He doesn't respond with Kerry's veiled challenge to state whether he would work to revoke Roe v. Wade.

8:35 Bush says "Errah" instead of "Error," just like Terrah instead of Terror.

8:36 Kerry draws the class card. Claims Bush gave the healthcare companies a windfall of $136 billion. Yes, let's all be afraid of the scary rich man... oh wait, which one is that?

8:37 Bush paints a picture of himself taking action to get Medicare reform while Kerry couldn't act.

8:39 Kerry appeals to authority again about his healthcare plan, but this time to two network news divisions. Not the best choice I think. Now Kerry is talking about a new Federal Healthcare. "You don't have to buy into our plan, but you'd be stupid not to." Government entrance into any field stifles competition. It does not increase it. He is leaning to the left.

8:42 Bush is making a strong case against state health care. He states that the best decisions about your health are made by you and your doctor. "Once healthcare becomes a line item in a government budget, government control sets in."

8:44 Bush gets to talk about his Ownership Society. Kerry tells America that it is disastrous for young people to keep their own money. They HAVE to pay into the government so that we can continue our programs. The valid question he asks is "Where does the transitional money come from to fund current and imminent social security checks."

8:47 Kerry is asked "Alan Greenspan says Social Security MUST be fixed to remain solvent. You say you won't change a thing. So you're gonna leave it broke?" Kerry plays the class card again. He also again shows that he doesn't understand that a surplus of money in the government budget means that you have taken too much from the people.

8:49 I hadn't heard him say it before now, but I'm sure he did. In case you don't know, Kerry "has a plan."

8:50 Bush rightly points out that the top 20% percent of taxpayers pay 80% of the taxes. I wish he'd said that the highest 1% pays 50% of the taxes. He also points out that anyone who paid taxes last year got tax relief.

8:53 Bush makes an intriguing case for a "Worker's Card." "As long as there is not an American willing to do the job ..." Interesting in theory, but as Bill Whittle says "Does the map match the coastline." He does state that he doesn't support amnesty, which is encouraging, and he gives the right reason, "We don't want to reward illegal behavior."

8:56 Kerry just lost the small business vote if he ever had it. He promised to raise the minimum wage to $7.00. He claims that 9.2 million women would make $3000 more a year. The problem is that if you raise the minimum wage plan, businesses can't keep 3 people on the payroll anymore because its too expensive; someone's gotta get fired. You will actually cause an increase in unemployment. But he gets those 9.2 million women's votes when he says "President Bush is preventing you from getting that money."

9:00 OOoh. Bush is confronted on Roe v. Wade, and he turns it into a question about appointing judges. Kerry says he will not appoint a judge that will take away constitutional rights. Which amendment guarantees the right to abort an unborn child? Bush says Kerry has a litmus test for appointing judges. Still doesn't answer the question. Somehow this became a question about education and jobs... ???

9:04 He again claims that he is going to increase the size of the active military by two divisions and in the same breath complains about how the military is understaffed already. Paper divisions don't hunt terrorists. Kerry really is looking into the camera a lot more tonight. Bush bounces between the camera and the moderator. Kerry again claims that Bush ceased to make Osama bin Laden the ultimate priority in this campaign and therefore threw away the war on terror. It just illustrates how little he understands about the scope of the war, and what is needed to win it.

9:08 Kerry responds to the Global Test by saying that there isn't a global test, but there is a truth test. Bush brings up Kerry's no vote to the first Gulf War (which should have been brought up in the last debate) when we had a UN mandate and clear causus belli. Well done, but it felt a little out of place, but more appropriate than anywhere else.

9:09 Bush answers about gun control. He places the blame for gun crimes on the criminals. That bastard! ;) Bush says he has increased the prosecutions for gun crimes. Kerry implies the you can buy an AK-47 now that the assault weapon ban is lifted. A) That's not true. B) He implies that if we have a ban on a weapon, that is gonna prevent a CRIMINAL from having that gun. BULLSHIT. When you ban weapons, you only ban law-abiding citizens from owning weapons. The criminals will have them whether they are legal or no. Many of them are repeat criminals who are banned from owning guns anyway!

9:12 Kerry says that Affirmative Action is necessary. Makes an OK case for it too. He opposes quotas. He prefers to mend it, not end it. Cute. Bush's response starts off "me-too" and doesn't really discuss the philosophy of AA. He discusses business and education again. Although, he points out that minority owned businesses are up and that more minorities own a home than ever before and so progress is being made. Still avoids AA, really...

9:15 Bush is asked about his faith and admits that his faith impacts his policy a lot. "Armies of compassion?" Bush almost slams the podium, but made every effort to do so?? Weird. Kerry: "I'm more pious than thou." "We have a lot more loving of our neighbor to do." Well... she is kinda cute...

9:20 He managed to claim to be bipartisan without engaging in his habitual namedropping (with the exception of John McCain (twice)).

9:23 Final question is a good one. What have you learned from your two daughters (and by extension the strong women around them). Bush actually gets the audience to laugh often. Its clear that he loves his wife VERY much. Really, they are kinda cute together. Kerry's joke doesn't start off well, but he gets some good laughs at the end. He mentions his mom who recently died (and my strong condolences go to him). He is also a good man who greatly appreciates the women around him. I both agree with him, and commend him

9:26 Closing statements: Senator, there is no R at the end of idea. His closing argument comes to: We can be better than we are (commendable), we can all have (government-sponsored) health care (bad plan), and really, I'm not a wimp. Bush tells a story about optimism that happens to mention that he is the one in the White House. We've been through hell, but Americans have come out better for it. Oh yeah, I have some government programs too. And some Armies of Compassion. And we'll kick the ass of the enemy and leave liberty in our wake (will the Armies of Compassion being the one kicking ass?). He ends with an actual ask for your votes.

I think that since everyone came in thinking Bush was gonna tank the Domestic Issues debate, he only had to not have a turrets outbreak to tie. In fact, he was in control. He knew what he was talking about. He looked relaxed and energetic. He was able to give a lot of data without tripping over most of it. Kerry came out looking like a liberal and like the IRS man knocking on your door. I will call this one a Bush victory on both style and substance. I don't think he put the race away, but I think he at least stopped Kerry's advance. Kerry was on the defensive almost the whole night.

Anyway, its time to get some work done and listen to the pundits (one of whom is pissed at Kerry's outing of Dick Cheney's daughter - he thinks its dirty pool aimed at weaking Bush/Cheney among the ultra-right-wing). The Fox pundits are calling it easily for Bush... we'll see how this plays out in the polls.

I'll be checking the Electoral Vote Predictor first thing tomorrow.