debate notes

thank god. thank god that kerry was so good last night. and bush just gave us one. why did his handlers let him go on so poorly-prepared? is he really that bad?

annotations: my favorite moments in the bush-kerry sept 30 debate

  • bush going on about iraq being a place where people had their hands cut off … which leads you inevitably to think about them now having their heads cut off
  • bush saying he puts his daughters on a leash [Bush: “I’m trying to put a leash on them.”]. unbelievable. there was no decent response kerry could have made to that but he did his best, i guess. [Kerry: “Well, you know, I’ve learned not to do that.”] this demonstrates to me that bush just really doesn’t even care about the public disgrace that is abu ghraib. [blogs report that andrew sullivan picked this one up too.]
  • bush says our enemies attacked us; kerry points out that saddam hussein didn’t attack us, osama did, and osama is still roaming free; bush says, “i know osama bin laden attacked us, of course i know that.” could he have sounded any more fifth grade?
  • kerry’s several attacks on bush’s grasp of reality:

    This president just — I don’t know if he sees what’s really happened on there. But it’s getting worse by the day. More soldiers killed in June than before. More in July than June. More in August than July. More in September than in August. And now we see beheadings. And we got weapons of mass destruction crossing the border every single day, and they’re blowing people up. And we don’t have enough troops there.


    It’s one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong. It’s another to be certain and be right, or to be certain and be moving in the right direction, or be certain about a principle and then learn new facts and take those new facts and put them to use in order to change and get your policy right. What I worry about with the president is that he’s not acknowledging what’s on the ground, he’s not acknowledging the realities of North Korea, he’s not acknowledging the truth of the science of stem cell research or of global warming and other issues. And certainty sometimes can get you in trouble.

  • Bush’s really lame response to Kerry’s critique of domestic security issues: A sort of confused smirk, and then, “Well, let’s not talk about how he’s going to pay for all that.” Again he sounded … juvenile.
  • In a fourth dimensional, slow-motion favorite, Bush’s insistence on Poland as an important member of the “Coalition of the Willing” [We had Poland; you’re disrespecting Poland; you forgot Poland.], soundly mocked by Jon Stewart @ The Daily Show, has been coming apart ever since. Consider this: On [date], Pres. Kwasniewski of Poland said on March 18, 2004, that

    They deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that’s true. We were taken for a ride.

    Who deceived them? Iraq? No… The United Nations? No… Maybe the UN inspectors? No… Hmm, who could it be?

    And today, the AP reports that Polish officials hope to withdraw Polish troops by the end of 2005. An anonymous (of course) White House official apparently didn’t get the memo, though, saying that “Their position remains the same — that their troops would be there as long as it takes.”

selected webliography: debate coverage

  • brad delong on lies bush told
  • allah is in the house wraps up right-wing blogger commentary
  • and in the most self-deluded category: one commentator on a blog (god, i hope i can find it again) said he really truly believed that bush was deliberately underperforming so that kerry would get over-confident, and he (bush) could stick it to kerry in the next debate. wow. completely & utterly self-deluded. wow. i want to comment further but am rendered speechless.