October 01, 2004


That was certainly the high point. Kerry got asked what the biggest security threat was, and BAM he answered. He got Bush to agree that nuclear proliferation was the biggest threat, and totally laid out the ways in which Bush has failed to deal with it.

Overall, I think the debate went fairly well on both sides, actually, but to the extent that anyone "wins" these things, it had to go to Kerry. Bush's tone from start to finish kept making me thinking he was about to add, "c'mon guys! you gotta believe me!" He got increasingly panicky through the evening. There were several times he delivered lines that clearly seemed designed to make the audience laugh, except of course they'd been carefully instructed not to make any sound in response to the debate, so these lines fell completely flat.

My only cringe moment for Kerry was when he totally misused the word "cohort". Then a little while later he used the word "severalfold", and that was cool enough that I mostly forgave him.

The item of the evening that Bush kept trying to push was that Kerry was inconsistent in his stance on the war (though he avoided the word "flip-flop"). Regardless of whether it was true (and it's not), Kerry really won this battle, because he outlined a short, concise statement of his position, and each time it came up he reiterated this and gave a different supporting point. Bush's only response was, "but he was inconsistent!" No support. Hey, if you say it often enough, maybe it'll become true!

Another point Bush was hammering, and rightly so, was Libya. Considering it might be the one and only true success in his whole little war, Bush has taken long enough to realise that he needs to dwell on it. On the other hand, he was certainly beating that drum enough tonight.

Now, back to writing my exam....

"I would say that participants in this discussion would be well-served to read "Ideology and Utopia" by Karl Mannheim, but no one here ever takes book recommendations seriously, preferring instead to argue from existing bases of knowledge and assumptions that don't overlap, so I won't." --Michael Feltes

Posted by blahedo at 3:39am on 1 Oct 2004
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