The PBA's Post Debate Reaction
However, there was no shortage of good writing tonight. As always, the brutally honest Mick Arran nailed it:
Eric at Total Information Awareness expressed disbelief at Bush's dishonesty through out the debate:
Kerry won, if anybody cares any more. He was forceful, direct, and reasonably plain-spoken except for the two or three times he got lost in his own rhetoric. He even got off a couple of really good lines. But this debate wasn't about winning or losing--it's been clear since the first one that Junior is completely outclassed and in way over his head. No, this debate was about 'Will Bush finally self-destruct? Or can he pull it together enough to convince the base he needs so desperately that he isn't the arrogant, neurotic, ignorant goofball he proved he was in the first debate or the spoiled-rotten adolescent who showed up for the second?
Bush's lies were bold and daring. Not only did he lie in a grandiose fashion, but when he was called on it, he just repeated the fabrications with a sense of righteous indignation.
There was the moment after Bush erroneously claimed, once again, that Kerry had voted to raise taxes 98 times. When Kerry correctly noted that the Bush campaign's tally of his votes was a misleading manipulation and massive distortion (the actual number of votes was about one fifth that according to Dick Cheney's favorite watchdogs FactCheck.org), Bush just flat out lied to the American people. He said that there was no playing around with the numbers, Kerry just voted 98 times against tax cuts. It was a shameful display.
Comments from Left Field expressed a similar distaste for the way Bush slithered around most of the questions:
David Scott Anderson got 14 out of 25 of his pre-debate predictions correct. (Some of which were jokes) . In addition, I've taken note of TAS's prediction during his live blogging of the debate:
But seriously folks, there were several points I think are worth looking at. First, I liked Kerry's comment, "being lectured by this president on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano telling me about law and order." It seemed to hammer home the fact that while Bush continues to try and paint Kerry as a "Massachusettes liberal" it is Bush who has spent this country into a massive hole.
10:30 - Kerry just stuck something in his pocket as he walked away from the lectern! The right wing blogs will claim he cheated and talk about it for two months, you heard it here first!In a related post, Stained Glass Soul asks:
I was so blown away by the debate, I fell asleep about 15 minutes into it. Did I miss much?No... No you didn't. But Dr. James' post might sum it up for you:
Bush just looked lost, clueless, out of touch. The poor joke attempts, the rambling semi-coherent responses to questions, the evasiveness in answering the most basic questions (e.g., regarding Supreme Court appointments) failed to impress me. Aside from some empty slogans and platitudes, Bush has nothing to offer. Four years at the helm to answer for, and he fails to face up to his record. If he were CEO and I were a stockholder, I'd be wanting him fired pronto - else I'd be calling up my stockbroker and making some investment changes. The other thing I noticed, Bush just looks unhealthy. While I didn't quite notice the obvious facial ticks and lip smacks that apparently characterized Bush's first debate, I did notice that the left side of his face (especially the mouth) seemed to droop. That coupled with the noticeable decline in his verbal ability over the years and I'm left to conclude that there's something physiologically wrong with the man. So why is he skipping this year's physical? Gotta wonder.I have no thoughts on the debate myself. Instead, I'll excerpt a paragraph that was written 60 years ago:
When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.