Man, I love TiVo. The ability to pause and rewind all your favorite parts of any televised program while it happens: Priceless.
The first Great Debate last night proved–or verified–a couple of things for me. First, Kerry can be President. He was cool, collected, had his shit together and put Bush on the defensive. And the Prez showed his usual arrogant, bad-natured, bad-tempered, short-fused self in return.
Second, George W. Bush can’t think on his feet. On lying down. Or while taking a bubble bath. What was with all the pregnant pauses, George? I especially loved it when he was talking about when he had met with “all the loved ones, to talk about their.. … …” What? Their what? Their loved ones? The loved ones’ loved ones? “…sons and daughters.” Oh!
But that’s just semantics, and the debate was about plans, opinions and worldviews, not simply words.
Still, I thought I’d provide a list for Bush the next time he’s lost for word. Or idea. Or organized thought pattern.
Suggested words to fill in your blanks:
- Mixed messages
- I talk to these people all the time
- Weapons of mass destruction
- Mixed signals
To be fair, Mr. Bush certainly knows how to hammer a point home. Staying on topic is not one of his shortcomings, and it is clear the man is resolved and determined to stay in the White House and continue to do exactly what he’s done so far. If you want more of the same and you think you’re “better off today than you were four years ago,” to quote a presidential challenger from 1980, he’s your man.
I’m sure the Republican spin doctors will manage to pick apart the words and phrases used and piece them together to maintain their campaign of avoiding the issues and concentrating on Kerry’s supposed character flaws. What else have they got? It’s clear they can’t campaign on what they’ve done for jobs, the economy, foreign policy or the environment. All they have left is “flip-flop” and Swift boats.
Watching the debate, and imagining myself as a Bush supporter (yes, I took a very long, very hot shower afterwards), I can see why he continues to garner support. He’s engagingly dopey and uses some key words himself that seem to mean something, but say virtually nothing. He repeats simplistic, warm-hearted and/or frightening phrases about staying the course and being strong and relentless, and reminds us over and over that we’re about to be attacked, but above all he eliminates any shades of gray and makes every issue black or white. The man does not believe in nuance, that much is clear.
So what we have is a Nationalist and a Globalist. Bush believes it is up to the United States to proactively take charge of the situation whether or not anyone else agrees with our position. As a Superpower, who’s going to stop us? He believes that what he’s doing is right and, if you follow some of the propaganda the left is launching, that he believes he has a God-given duty to do it.
Kerry wants more buy-in from the rest of the world and, it seems, believes that the issue of Muslim terrorism isn’t simply about blind hatred, but that there are underlying issues that have to be faced.
The second Presidential debate is a week from today, and the Vice Presidential candidates face off on Tuesday.