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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Liveblogging the Debate:

Kerry "has a better plan"for preventing 9/11. So far, I hear lots of platitudes, lots of "I can do betters", but I don't hear what anything that resembles a proposal. Bush is telling us what is GOOD about his administration's foreign policy. I happen to agree. I also think that 2 minutes is not much time for either candidate to give an answer.

Would a Kerry administration lead to another 9/11? No, because he's not going to win. Heh. So saith President Bush. Arrogance? Perhaps... but liberals always complain about Dubya's swagger, so he might as well show it on stage. Bush tells us what we should already know... that this is a tough task to defeat terrorists. Kerry assaults that policy (Iraq was the wrong choice, no WMDs, blah blah blah). Same Kerry as always. Kerry claims that OBL got away in Tora Bora.

Kerry is asked what did Bush do wrong? Kerry: "Where do you want me to begin?" Whoop! There was the first mention of Vietnam, albeit implicitly (at 9:12 pm). Bottom line, says Kerry, the money in Iraq should have gone to government domestic programs. Yep, that will attack the war on terror. Bush: Kerry declared that Saddam was a grave threat, which he did. A collosal waffle? Those on the right would say yes. Bush basically reiterates the fact that there were 16 UN resolutions outstanding against Saddam Hussein.

Bush ties Saddam Hussein to the war on terror, and emphasizes the scope of the war is not just in Iraq. al-Zarqawi in Iraq? You bet. Bush wants everyone to understand this. Kerry: "Iraq was not even close to being the center of the war on terror." Did JFK forget that he voted to authorize the use of force? "We don't send the kids into battle without proper funding." Then why the hell did he vote AGAINST the funding of the war? Sheesh. If anything shows how inept a leader Kerry will be, this is it.

Homeland Security: Kerry assails the tax cuts. I was waiting for that. "Invest". Read: raise taxes, fund programs. Russian nuclear material? Best way to secure the homeland is to stay on the offensive. I couldn't agree more. Kerry has to question things, as it only benefits him for things to be wrong. The issue will be, on foreign policy, if things are as bad as the Democrats say.

Bring home the troops: Bush - best way is if the Iraqi people are equipped to defend themselves. Bush will bring home troops once we have achieved our objectives (which presumably has nothing to do with an oil pipeline spanning Asia, Michael Moore!) Kerry - "help is on the way". This is odd, since he wouldn't fund the help!

Kerry accepted Iraqi intelligence, but he would have done it differently. Naturally. So Bush hasn't held enough summits. Halliburton meme has surfaced! (9:32 pm).

Line of the night: President Bush - That's totally absurd. Of course the UN was invited in. What's he say to Tony Blair? You can't expect to build an alliance when you denigrate the contributions of those who are serving side-by-side with us in Iraq. What's the message? Join us for a grand diversion? Join us for the wrong war at the wrong time? They're not gonna follow somebody whose core convictions keep changing because of politics in America.

If you denigrate the contributons of our allies, how can you think they will go along in the future? You can't. Bush has a very good point. Can Kerry bring people together by calling them the "coalition of the coerced and the bribed"? No.

(Kerry probably should have kept his mouth shut on this one. He really looked bad questioning the motives of our allies.)

NOTE: Just because Kerry tries to make a meme fly doesn't make it true.

Bush makes the point that this whole endeavor is a work in progress. I can only hope the voters agree.

How will Kerry get rid of nukes in North Korea? How the hell does he know? But he will change that... he will just do it. Who cares how?

Nuclear materials didn't exist... I believe this was BRITISH intelligence, and I believe that the Brits are still standing by their findings. Is Kerry accusing Bush of lying? He is, without actually saying so. Kerry has to know better than this. He also knows the only way he wins is to make Bush look as if he deliberately misled America. Most people, I think, know better.

Bush chose the wrong way to disarm Iraq... if so, then what was the right way? Specifically? Don't tell me that you will form better coalitions, and kowtow to the UN. HOW? Mr. Kerry... HOW would you have achieved this differently?

Was it worth 10,052... er, 1052 lives to go into Iraq? Bush acknowledges that one life is as precious as many, but that it was a worthy endeavor, because the stakes are just too high.

Someone tell Kerry that WE ALL KNOW HE WAS IN VIETNAM! Ugh.

I must say that I would like Bush to stop mentioning the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time" line. If we could remove that line, and all allusions to Vietnam, the world would be a happier place.

Timeline for ending US involvement in Iraq: Kerry - if we do the things I want to do, we can bring the troops back home in 6 months. Well, then. By all means, elect the man. How will this be achieved? Change the dynamic. Close the borders. (Without funding them being there? How is this going to work?)

Bush: "You can change the dynamic on the ground if you question the brave leader of Iraq." Very true.

On preemption: Bush - "I never dreamt I would have to do anything like this, but 9/11 made it necessary. A president always has to be willing to use troops."

Bush - "Maybe the 18th resolution would have affected Iraq." Heh.

Bush - "Look at Libya... The world is better for it." True.


Bush - "Saddam Hussein had the capabilities and the will to make weapons of mass destruction."

It is disingenuous of Kerry to insinuate that he would have been able to prevent Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, unless he is saying that he would have attacked THEM preemptively, which I highly doubt.

Kerry on preemption - "I don't know." Well, that's no surprise. Kyoto alert! (10:00 pm).

Bush - "I would not join the International Criminal Court." No doubt Kerry is on record saying that he would, AND he wouldn't.

Bush - "Trying to be popular in the global sense doesn't make sense if it isn't in the best interest of America." Only John Kerry could disagree with that.

Bush on North Korea - "multilateral negotiations" Kerry wants bilateral talks. At least we know how Kerry feels on this subject (today).

Kerry on Darfur - "we're overextended." "We cannot have another Rwanda." I agree with him on this.

Bush on Darfur - "I agree with my opponent that we should work with the African Union on this." Good. Let's kiss and make up, boys.

Bush on character issues - " I admire Senator Kerry's service to our country." Guess that closes the door on the SBVT issue. "I admire his service in the Senate, but not his record." "There must be certainty from a US President."

Kerry on character issues - "Respect, admiration, yada yada." Wow, what is this, a lovefest? "You can be certain, and be wrong." Global warming alert! (10:14 pm)

Kerry - "My policy has been consistent." LMAO Saying so doesn't make it so.

Singlemost threat to the US - Kerry "Nuclear proliferation." "I'm going to shut (the bunker buster) program down." Well then. Let's weaken our defenses.

Singlemost threat to the US - Bush "WMDs in the hands of terrorists". There should be a distinction here. Bush calls out terrorists, while Kerry wants to eliminate them altogether. The concept of "peace through strength" has eluded the senator.

From this exchange, I gather that Kerry thinks that Bush hasn't done enough to get rid of nukes. If this is true, why does Gadhafi say unequivocally that the invasion of Iraq is what led him to disband his country's nuclear arms programs? I wish the President had asked this.

Last question (thank God!)

Bush on Vladimir Putin - "What he is doing is not OK. There need to be checks and balances in a democratic government." Bush calls him a strong ally in the war on terror. Bush emphasizes his relationship with Putin... (Good ol' Vlad!)

Kerry on Vladimir Putin - "I would rather talk about North Korea." I'm guessing Kerry doesn't hold ol' Vlad in high regard.

Kerry - "(Iraq) was a threat. That isn't the issue." But you've been saying that it wasn't an issue, Senator? Make up your mind!!!

Here comes the closing thoughts... yawn!

Kerry - "I have a plan. I just don't want to tell you about them. Let's have summits, where I, being a better politician than my opponent, will convince them to lick my boots. Did I mention I served in Vietnam."

Bush - " I have a plan, and you know where I stand, unlike my opponent who shifts with the wind. We'll fight those bastards on the other side of the world so they don't try to blow themselves up here."

Summary: I don't think this debate changed anyone's mind.

Afterword: "This president doesn't need Botox to win a debate." Much laughter in the Opinari household ensued.

UPDATE: An undecided voter was interviewed on WTIC, asked how she felt about the candidates after the debate. Not surprising, she was disappointed that there were few specifics offered. She is leaning now though toward one candidate - President Bush. That's saying something for the People's Republic of Connecticut.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Quinnipiac poll today says that Bush trails in Connecticut by only SIX points. That's within the margin of error. If anything tonight has surprised me, this news does. When even Connecticut is in play for Bush, Kerry's campaign has some problems.


.: posted by Dave 8:05 PM

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