Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kerry Won

On the issues and on style Kerry won last night's debate. Bush's only benefit was that he was actually appearing to be participating in this one, as compared to last week's debacle. He was angry and showed his naked aggression quite overtly in the first part of the debate. It smelled of desperation. The kind of desperation that I fear will trickle down to his storm troopers and cause some problems with the violence issue I keep bringing up.

Kerry performance was even with his performance last week on style. I think he had better points and gave a great answer on Abortion to use with someone radically opposed to it.

Bush was overcompensated for his numb performance last week. He did was Gore did for years or rather what the press said he did, over-react to the spin.

Bush made several gaffs that have not been reported by pundits after the debate. The biggest one was when he flashed back to this youth and though he was Richard Nixon in 1960 when he called Kerry Senator Kennedy:
BUSH: Let me see where to start here.

First, the National Journal named Senator Kennedy the most liberal senator of all. And that's saying something in that bunch. You might say that took a lot of hard work.

The political reasons for Kerry winning are that he seemed Presidential. He was consistent with his prior performance. He showed that he could be trusted as the President and people would be comfortable with him as the commander-in-chief. Bush's only plus was to re-energize his base, which is where conservatives think he won. Bush hurt himself with moderates. He pushed on right wing social issues, was very angry and at several times lost his composure, especially in how he pushed around Charlie Gibson. Bush just took his extra time to speak with out asking for it. That was a sign of complete arrogance. It make have been a minor violation of the 32-page agreement, but it was to me a sign of Bush thinking he was above the rules. He is think he is more important in the discourse of American politics.

Bush gave me the creeps at the end of the debate with his allusion to what I fear is the goal of social conservatives:
These are reasonable ways to help promote a culture of life in America. I think it is a worthy goal in America to have every child protected by law and welcomed in life.

I also think we ought to continue to have good adoption law as an alternative to abortion.

And we need to promote maternity group homes, which my administration has done.

Culture of life is really important for a country to have if it's going to be a hospitable society.
"Culture of Life?" Is that the new phrase being used for the culture wars? What is a maternity group home? That sounds like something out of the 19th century where unwed mothers are forced, forced to go off to homes to have their kids. I guess this a government program some conservatives will want if they are able to stack SCOTUS and remove the rights of women, further giving an excuse to criminalize women who are not married and get pregnant.

The spin game and overall impact of the debate will be greatly diminished by having the debate on a Friday night. I believe fewer people watched it last night and if they did, they are not going to be watching TV about it today or tomorrow.

Overall I think the race remains even, but Kerry is getting back his electoral vote edge. The national polls will stay within the margin of error the rest of the way to Nov 2nd, which will raise the level of tension and I fear still cause some isolated incidents of significant violence.

The real test of Nov 2nd will be the ease with which people can actually vote. If we have widespread screw-ups on Election Day, then there will be long-term repercussions on the country that will cripple our Democracy.

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