Kerry started off red hot and Dubya was in trouble 'big time,' as his running mate would say. Kerry was scorching him on Iraq, the economy, you name it and Bush was starting to lose it, his face contorting and his speechifying sputtering.
So his golfing buddy, moderator Bob Schiefer (who looks like the Count from Sesame Street) tossed some softballs Dubya's way and changed the debate from substantive issues to so-called 'wedge issues' (abortion, prayer) and navel-gazing explorations of 'personality' (faith, 'women in my life').
As with the Veep debate the low quality of the questions really detracted from the latter stages of the debate. After all, what US politician in their right mind is going to get up and denounce 'faith'? Kerry still came out of the softball questions on top, however, as his answers did not sound like something a homeless man may try to pawn off on you in his desperate attempt to gather enough nickles for another bottle of cheep hootch ('prayer gives me a calmness').
Overall, Kerry kept up the offensive and got in a few killers like "Bush on fiscal responsibility is like Tony Soprano on law and order." Bush, back on his heals early on, was not helped by attacks that overreached: "Kennedy is the conservative Senator from Massachusetts."
Damn, if you thought Dubya's credibility was in trouble to begin with then it landed smack dab in the toilet with that whopper!
That about summed up Dubya's grand strategy -- dump flip-flop for LIBERAL (a flip-flop in itself). Two kinds of name calling masquerading as strategy, and both doomed to failure when the stakes are so real for so many Americans. If this is Dubya's idea of a grand strategy no wonder we're in a quagmire in Iraq!
Tonight's the situation required Dubya to break Kerry's gathering momentum, not stand pat and hope that the 'soft bigotry of low expectations' would (once again) float him to victory. Playing defense for most of the night was not what Dubya needed, but it is essentially what he did. After all, if he hasn't wrapped up the evangelical vote by now, he never will. And his pandering to the them only turns middle of the road folk off -- as is reflected in the post debate polls, where Kerry whomped on Dubya by double-digit margins.
This debate will seal the narrative of the out-of-touch emperor strutting around without any clothes.
Did you like Dubya's answer on jobs?
No Child Left Behind
...hello, it is not my child who needs a job, it is me, f*ckface!
How Dubya's answer regarding discrimination:
No Child Left Behind!
Or his answer for outsourcing?
No Child Left Behind...
...and his answer for education...
failing to fund No Child Left Behind.
So, to sum up Dubya's domestic agenda in a nutshell?
A big middle finger for the middle class.
And don't think his dodging and weaving will be lost on folks trying to make up their minds. Kerry was resolute, specific, articulate, and decisive... he didn't have to run out the clock with bumber sticker slogans and when times are tough people look for someone who has a clue...
You see it at work all the time, the smarty may be mocked when everyone is fat and happy, but if there is a deadline and heads are going to roll, all of a sudden office politics goes out the window. Barring any catastrophic events, this debate portends that we'll be seeing something else go out the window this November 2.
4 years ago