Debate Musings

Last night was the third and final presidential debate. I watched it in its entirety, and was glad to see Kerry continuing to pummel Bush with his record of failure. What I learned last night was:

  • The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program has something to do with raising minimum wage.
  • People lose jobs only because they’re not smart enough.
  • If Bush is laughing while denying something, he’s certainly lying (as opposed to when he’s not laughing, in which case he’s only probably lying.)
  • Despite his frustration with Kerry refusing to see things in term of black and white, yes or no, Bush can’t answer a direct, yes or no question.
  • We will have a black female gay Jewish quadraplegic president before we have an atheist one.
  • Kerry apparently doesn’t have any plans, just complaints. This is in direct contrast to Bush’s not at all vague promises, such as “spreading freedom around the globe”. (For fun, look at the transcript and replace the word “freedom” with “childlike wonder” or “ennui” or any other ethereal notion.)
  • Bush loosened up some, but it was still quite obvious that he’s accustomed to speaking only to hand-picked sycophants.
  • Kerry is just as good at flogging talking points to the point of absurdity as Bush is.
  • Not as much of Bush’s obnoxious “chicken bob” maneuver as there was in the Town Hall debate.
  • I counted at least three different things that Kerry’s gonna used the money gained from rolling back the tax cuts to pay for.
  • Medical lawsuit reform will somehow create flu shots, I think.
  • Factcheck.org brings many of the claims down to earth, as usual. I’m sorry to see Kerry catching up with Bush in this respect.

I doubt many minds were changed by the debates, and as the candidates more often than not spoke of vague plans they had (Kerry’s were slightly more defined, but not by much) instead of specific proposals, the question lingering in most viewers’ minds would be “How?” as in, “How do you plan to do that?” Still, you could certainly get a view of both major candidates’ positions: Bush’s view is that everything is peachy-keen and he’s got all kinds of exciting secret plans for increasing both peachiness AND keenness. Kerry, not so much. Of course, as The Onion has pointed out, just running BushCo out of town will help things a great deal.

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