What happens when people stop being polite, and start being real.
Or something like that.
I don't expect even a modicum of "reality" in this. Hopefully, there's a decent line or two, some spirited debate that makes an impression on some swing voters (in the right direction, of course) and then...hopefully, I'll pass out in a puddle of my own political bile.
It should go without saying that I'm a Kerry partisan already, so I'm not really convinced that this debate will change my mind about anything involved in this election.
Anyway...away we go! If you're coming into the party halfway through, please go here for the rules I established ahead of time.
So the first question starts off with a foreign policy question. Isn't this supposed to be about domestic policy? Oh well. I think Kerry stole my tie. Actually, Bush and Kerry are both wearing the same tie! Boy, someone's going to get fired for that. Or maybe they're trading back and forth between answers. And the first drink of my night goes to Kerry for "We can do better!" I guess that means this guy has my vote.
But Bush counters strongly in a speech designed to get me too drunk to finish the night. His response keeps repeating "terrorists, and terrorists regimes." Of course, most of his responses mention that. But when you're drinking everytime the word "terrorism" comes up, then you've got a serious problem here. There's a disagreement amongst my own personal audience whether I should drink on just "terrorism," or every form of the word. We decide to go with the latter. Oh Christ.
I thought I was safe because this was about domestic policy, but fuck man, in that first exchange, I lost count of the number of times that "terrorism" and "Osama bin Laden." I'm halfway through my first bottle of beer already, and it's already getting hazy.
But they get it back under control, switching away from a foreign policy question to talk about flu vaccines. Whew! I'm safe.
Nooooooo! Bush blames the problem on...well, let's let him tell us: "Our problem is that we relied on a country like Britain" I think someone needs to let Bush know that the UK is still our ally, and he shouldn't put the disdain into "the British" that he'd use to say "The French." On the plus side, they've obviously told Bush that it would be a good idea if he didn't scowl so much. In fact, he seems to be grinning like an idiot. Did they give him some of the painkillers his dad spent most of his presidency abusing?
Actually, no, I've figured it out. It's that radio in his ear, playing only smooth jazz while Kerry is speaking.
And there's proof, because immediately after a long and detailed talk from Kerry--which, if you're keeping track, varations on "I have a plan" force me to drink my beer down to a third full--Bush comes back with "A plan is not a litany of complaints." Such an obviously scripted line from Bush has to come from outside promting. Still, Bush is much more articulate this time. Kerry has started out this stuttering a lot more than usual, and going into non sequiturs. I'm kind of disappointed in him so far...hopefully, as I drink more and as he loosens up, we'll meet in a nice middleground and fall in love all over again.
I understand a lot of the attacks on Bush, but one I just don't get is...wel, why is Kerry harping on Bush for being the first president in 100 years to not use the veto power at all. We're all kind of curious here as to why we should think that this is significant. Yeah, it's interesting, but Bush has control of the entire government. He doesn't HAVE to veto anything. Is this really obtuse code to wake all the partisan democrats in the house up so we say, "No, we can't let him have a Congress he doesn't have to veto ever! I'm going to give money to my local Congressional candidate." If so, good job Democrats. It seems you've learned your ability to communicate with the hoi polloi from Derrida.
But that's okay. Because Bush's response on how we should handle outsourcing is that we need to "grow our economy." Luckily, I have MircleEconomyGrow coming out of my ass. THis isn't a fucking garden!
Apparently, the beer has started to kick in. Anyway, what the fuck? Bush's answer to "grow our economy" and combat the job loss of outsourcing is to make sure our public school system improves. I guess I missed the asterix on "No Child* Left Behind" act. Oh, there it is. *=or outsourced worker.
Bush is really proud of "No Child Left Behind." And why not? It's an impressively titled program that no one will truly know is failed until 20 years down the line, long after Bush moves on to a lucrative oil contract that he'll somehow fuck up as well.
Anyway, Bush dodged the question. Luckily, Kerry picks up on it and hits Bush on it, and runs with it for all it's worth. "The president just walks on by this problem." And then hits Bush for actually cutting money to schools. Bush just snarls through it. I think that's Cheney's influence working through it. I'm reminded of that Simpsons episode where Bart gets adopted by Mr. Burns as his heir: Mr. Burns gives Bart a suit that helps him develop "a healthy hunched back." Cheney seems to be doing that to Bush as well. Seriously, I think that the left half of his face is pinned down. How do you do this? Is this some variation on the old greek legend that you'll become a better speaker if you practice speaking with a mouth full of marbles?
Anyway, more power to it. I think the snarling gives Kerry his power.
Bush said "litany" for the second or third time tonight! That's so cute! Bush learned a new word, and he's really proud of it. I remember when I did that. It worked until I found a teacher who knew what I was talking about when I called her class a "kakistocracy," and mocked me in front of the entire class for being a cocky little prick who thought he was smarter than everyone else (not her exact words). I think Bush needs a teacher who will call him on his bullshit.
Anyway, fuck you Bush for repeating the "98 times raising taxes" over and over again. Do you know what I'm drinking? Budweiser. You're forcing me to drink Budweiser over and over again. Fuck! He did it again! And he interrupted the moderator to do it! Christ almighty.
Okay, a small break for another obviously pre-written phrase from a stump speech. Saying of Kerry, that there's a "mainstream in American American politics, and you stand on the left bank." Good line, as long as you don't think what it means. Oooh, liberals are evil. And then he refers to Kennedy as being compared to Kerry, "the conservative senator from Massachusetts." Which is a great line for the base, but most people really aren't going to care. Wingnuts care about Teddy Kennedy.
However, you have to wonder if there are levels upon levels of the insults here. Something involving "streams" coming into the same paragraph as Teddy Kennedy. Poor Mary Jo Kopechne. Sadly killed, and then turned into a punchline for conservative assholes for 35 years now.
"Defining the definition of marriage." -Bush
I'm just going to let that one sit there.
Anyway, "The Daily Show" first pointed out how Kerry-Edwards answers any question about gay rights by mentioning that Cheney's daughter is a LESBIAN! Did you hear that America, Cheney's daughter is a LESBIAN! Kerry doesn't do anything to combat that here, but he does answer the question of gay and lesbian rights in a good way. He deals with it in a positive way: we need to make sure that all American citizens can form families and see each other in the hospital and leave our possessions to each other when we die, regardless of sex or orienation. Bush's compassion the whole GLBT,etc. community is that we should make sure they're not persecuted too much.
Anyway, Bush, along with litany, likes bringing up "the mainstream." I think that's probably up there on his word calendar. Or maybe Karl Rove leaves little things on the Oval Office desk to try to expand his vocabulary. Sure, "mainstream" is less hardcore than antediluvian or "hyperpolysyllabicsesquipedalianism," but Bush is a less hardcore type of guy.
Gah! He also has the creepiest laugh I've ever heard.
Crap, after that punishing first five minutes, I've been forced to take a number of drinks on my own. we need to talk more about death and violence. This is getting boring. Most of my drinks are coming from references to prior debates and the occasional interruption.
Bush is blinking a lot. Is he trying to blink out SOS? I wish I knew Morse Code here. It seems like he's trying to tell us something. No, wait, he's looking at Kerry. He's trying to communicate with Kerry. Let's see, Internets, don't fails me now! "F-U-C-K-Y-O..." nevermind, you can do your own research..
I really wish Kerry would just come out and say, "The president is lying," rather than "the president is being misleading." Just come out and say that the fucker is lying through his smirking face. He used euphemsisms or quotes "two major news organizations," but doesn't give them any free advertising. Probably because one of them is the Jew York Times, and you know you can't trust anything they say. 'One called it "fiction," the other called it "untrue."' Just say that he's lying.
But it gives us what's the high point of the evening for me thus far: The president tries to call him on it, "I wouldn't...um...the mainstream media...ummm...nevermind. Anyway." Presumably, the "Jew York Times" line popped into his head as well and he got halfway through it before he remembered Florida was still in play.
Though that exchange helped me finish my first beer.
There's a brief bit about fixing Social Security, which is one of the most important things in the election I don't care about (there are other important things I do care about, and I know I really should care about Social Security, but I don't. I also don't care about the estate tax, but I really should. Grow up. I will. And then I'll care about it. Until then...). Bush's big idea is private savings accounts...which is a horribly bad idea. Bush talks about having a "different strategy," to save Social Security. Which, as far as I can tell, means that we won't have SS anymore. But anyway, personal savings account are just a bad idea. Think about it. How well do you manage your own money? I don't have anything in my savings account, because I'm...well, a fucking drunk, and I spend all my money on booze. But if I had a network of people to catch me when I stumble down the stairs...well, that would be a utopia.
QED, private savings accounts for Social Security are bad.
And at the same time I was starting in on my second beer and rambling about private savings accounts., my fellow debate watchers decided that they had better things to do...like watch their plants grow, or sit in a darkened room in silence.
it doesn't help with the drinking game that everytime Bush speaks, I feel like drinking. A lot. Whether the "rules" say I should or not.
And with the talk about the assault weapons ban, I've lost interest. I've got through 48 ounces of beer, and that's just enough to make me no longer care about this entire debate. I'm declaring this one a draw. Kerry remained presidential, Bush didn't fuck up badly...in fact, the only people who have really lost out are...well, all of us who had to watch it.