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Musings and Meanderings
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
First of all, let me say that my best hope for this Debate was that Mr. Edwards would not say something stupid to affect the good progress that the Kerry / Edwards ticket has made after the first Presidential Debate. I might have hoped that Mr. Cheney would say something unusually heinous (above and beyond his normally vindictive manner) that would show the American people the kind of person he really is. It was interesting to note also that Mr. Cheney is only 12 yrs older than Mr. Edwards.
It will come as no surprise to you that I do not like Dick Cheney. He is probably the finest example of the usage of Goebels’ “Big Lie” philosophy I have seen in American Politics in years. He states with same absolute conviction both the truth and the lies that this Administration has been repeating for the last year. And of course the American people believe him. He is the President’s attack dog and flack catcher. It is a role that other Vice Presidents’ have taken on, but never to this extent.
This Debate was a slag fest. I don’t think either man actually answered one question in the first 45 min without insulting the other. Not one question was answered without going back to argue the last statement from the other. Both were guilty of this through out this Debate.
I did enjoy however watching Senator Edwards actually bring up the voting record of one time “Representative” Cheney. I’ll admit that the Kerry and Edwards Senatorial records have been ones of Liberal voting policies. In fact I wish they would stand up and shout to the skies that they are Liberals. But that is not the point.
It was nice to see someone finally bringing up Mr. Cheney’s record of votes and positions from his past. This only fair since his job on the campaign trail is to slag off the Kerry record. One of my favorite “jokes” of this campaign has been how Cheney likes to use Kerry’s military procurement voting record in the 80’s and 90’s as an illustration of how unfit he is to be Commander in Chief when the record shows that Cheney supported cuts in the exact same weapons programs. It was nice to see these points brought up in a public forum.
The sad fact is that the “tour stops” for the Republican Campaign are mostly a sham. By now you should know that all the participants at a Republican Campaign rally are vetted, required to sign a piece of paper saying they support the President, and some are, willingly I will admit, cajoled into making phone calls before and after the rallies so that they can get “closer” to the President or VP. This was evidenced by the performance of President Bush in the first Debate. The President seemed lost when faced with needing to fill 90 min with thoughts and ideas, and when faced with not being surrounded by “yes” men.
Tonight we saw the effect on this debate in what I would call a positive manner, in that Mr. Cheney was much more tame than he is usually on the Campaign trail. Unable to make the egregious statements he likes to make when surrounded by his faithful, he definitely toned down his rhetoric tonight.
Despite the personal sniping that went on this evening I felt that this Debate was a positive contribution to the fact pile for this Presidential campaign. As opposed to the bullshit pile that is much bigger created from the Campaign stops by both parties during this election season.
On a purely partisan comment from an unabashed Liberal, I wished that Mr. Edwards had hammered more upon the facts, and spent less time accusing Mr. Cheney of various nefarious deeds while in Haliburton, etc etc. Mr. Edwards missed the opportunity to call Mr. Cheney to the carpet over the Medicare Bill and this Administration’s lies about the costs and affects of that bill.
So in the end, by 10:30 pm EST, (before the talking heads start spinning this one) I felt that this debate was a draw at best. At the worst (in my view) I would give a slight nod to Dick Cheney, and again only because his delivery style is uniquely qualified to make one believe what he is saying. Even when his facts are a crock of horse hockey. He doesn’t sound like a slick Politician, and alas Mr. Edwards can sound like that.
However Cheney’s statement of “disappointment” over the divided state of this Union was beyond belief. His party holds the Senate, the House, the Presidency, a majority of the Governorships, and is philosophically similar to the Supreme Court. If the country is divided I’m guessing that it’s on the shoulders of the Party in power.
In a week this Debate will be forgotten. I look forward to the second Presidential debate with bated breath, where both Candidates have to answer questions from the crowd.