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Blogging the Presidential Debate – Join In!

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I am always very happy to have the considered opinions of our crack staff after the debate (or speech, or other major event) is over, but I would also very much like to see real-time thoughts as the debate occurs – some live blogging as it were.

And since we value the contributions of our readers to the highest degree, we’d love to have your input also. As the final debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry unfolds tonight, please jot whatever random thoughts you may have in the comments section below, which will become the real body of this post.

Be spontaneous, don’t worry about fully formed thoughts or even necessarily complete sentences, just let us know your reactions to what could be the pivotal event of the campaign (they’re basically tied at the moment). Thanks!

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About Eric Olsen

  • Eric Olsen

    I will start by saying that Kerry is supposed to have the edge in debating and in domestic policy, so if Bush does better than expected, does he win?

  • Eric Olsen

    Bush improved dramatically from debate 1 to 2 – can he improve as much again? If so, he wins.

  • Steve Rhodes

    One suggestion for debate watching is to see it with a lot of people.

    I watched Friday’s debate in a packed room and although I couldn’t hear every word over the crowd response, it was a lot of fun.

    Tonight, I’ll be at City Lights where Stephen Elliot will be reading from his book on the Democratic primaries afterwards (details on the event are a bit down the page).

    So unless there is an open wi-fi hotspot nearby I won’t be able to liveblog, but I’ll read this with interest when I get home.

    Oh, the funniest debate blogging is at wonkette.

  • Eric Olsen

    very good advice, Steve, thanks, have fun!

  • visualsimplicity

    Yeah but if you do watch it with a lot of people, it’s hard to take stuff into consideration when those “lots of people” you watch it with are extremely biased towards one end. That’s not good, cause all they’ll do is make fun of one side. Balance please.

  • Hal Pawluk

    So far (27 minutes into it), Bush is sounding and looking like a loser, not as good as he was in the last debate, has spit in the right corner of his mouth.

    Kerry is strong, makes his points clearly (about time) and isn’t rattled by Bush quoted numbers from his Senate record.

    I also don’t see the receiver that might or might not have bee strapped to W’s back for the last debate – he either doesn’t have one, or I have an explanation for his wide-legged walk.

  • Hal Pawluk

    36 minutes: Surprisingly, I like how Schieffer is handling the questions.

    On his own show, he was clearly a right-wing sympathizer; here, he’s simply asking reasonably pointed question.

    Good work.

  • Hal Pawluk

    45 minutes: Just noticed that the Bush camera man/woman is a Bush fan – s/he has increased the zoom so Bush looks bigger (you can barely see the lights, and none of the podium).

  • Hal Pawluk

    56 minutes: Kerry segues nicely to turn the answer on minimum wage into a pitch to women (which he definitely needs to do).

  • Hal Pawluk

    1:15 – the tighter zoom is working against Bush, makes it easier to see his nervousness and insecurity, flustered manner and the incipient return of the “funny faces.”

  • Hal Pawluk

    Kerry 52, Bush 39, any way you care to measure it.

    The end.

  • bob2112

    My president needs to master the English language better than me, period. I don’t want evasive good ol’ boy double-speak. If you’re male & white, maybe Bush is OK. If you evade a question about jobs then turn it into your redundant shitty record on education, you are hiding from something. When you don’t directly answer the question about appointing judges who will attempt to reverse Roe v. Wade, you are saying you want women & girls to have no choice but to resolve pregnancy issues on their own (unsanitary, coat hanger, trash can fetus society)

    I don’t hate Bush. I hate the system he represents. These free pass debates & lowered expectations purposefully make all of us look stupid. What is more dangerous: Neo-con’s in power, or The Kenneth Starr/ Karl Rove Resistance Brigade? As long as these guys are free & Americans, we can just forget it.

  • Big Time Patriot

    Well, I think it was pretty much a draw, they both had some good and bad moments. But, I’m a little worried about our future relations with Mexico.

    George Bush says people of Mexico not worth their salt…
    ”If you can make 50 cents in the heart of Mexico, for example, or make $5 here in America, $5.15, you’re going to come here if you’re worth your salt.” ‘The third presidential debate’ -

    I may be missing something here, but didn’t George Bush just say if any Mexican was worth anything they would be in America? I just hope all those saps back in Mexico don’t take this insult too badly.

  • Mac Diva

    I watched the debate on big movie screens after John Edwards spoke in Portland this evening. (I’ll have more to say about Edwards in a blog entry tomorrow.) Being in a crowd, instead of watching on television, was definitely a different experience. I was able to watch faces and hear comments as the candidates answered (in Bush’s case, didn’t answer) the questions. Most interesting were the impromptu reactions. For Kerry, those were mainly nods of approval, ‘uh huhs’ and ‘yeahs.’ For Bush, there were bewildered expressions as he meandered meaninglessly or repeated trite claims about the ‘success’ of his education plan. When he implied he was inept in regard to illegal immigration as Gov. of Texas, people snickered. His mispronunciations also resulted in giggles. More serious persons raised eyebrows or shuck their heads.

    In my opinion, Kerry’s best moments were when he corrected Bush’s claims about No Child Left Behind, tax cuts and health care. His worst moment was his closing speech. He chose to just be personable. I think he should have summarized his stances on the issues, instead. Bush’s best moment was probably his closing statement, since Kerry did not get a chance to refute his claims. His worst moment, was. . .well, most of his moments. He came across as someone naturally defensive who misrepresents failure as success. Throwing out numbers, with no context, did not help. It made him look silly.

    Steve, ditto about watching in a crowd. Having at least 5,000 fellow viewers was interesting.

    Hal, seeing Bush on a really big screen makes his tics even more obvious. Having a crooked mouth doesn’t help him, either.

    Casper, the crowd was never openly hostile to Bush. People seemed more disappointed than angry.

    Bob, true. Bush did not actually answer the questions about how he will defund and fund Social Security at the same time, whether he opposes affirmative action, if he will appoint judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, if the back door draft is fair, etc.

    Oops! I meant to save some of this for my blog entry.

  • Bob A. Booey

    I disagree with you on one thing, Mac.

    Kerry’s personal statement wasn’t historic, but it was necessary. Kerry’s big problem is that he’s lacked any big vision or rhetorical flourishes that connect with people. Domestic policy’s where you do that and where Clinton made a living. It also segued better from the last question, which was the softball about women and wives. Going back to hardball attacks might make good lawyering, but it would have looked completely out of place and reinforced people’s doubts about Kerry’s careerism and lack of concern for their problems in that moment.

    I thought Kerry did pass up some good moments for attack lines during most of the debate that I would have loved hearing: “Out of the mainstream, Mr President? The American people recognize desperation in these attacks and realize this administration is out of touch with their problems: the lost jobs, the lack of health care, the failing schools, an insecure Homeland, and a failing war in Iraq that costs more lives every day. That’s the American mainstream I’m fighting for. My values and my budget priorities aren’t for sale to special interests and the wealthiest 1%, whose values ARE outside the values of the American middle class.”

    Kerry spent more than enough time prosecuting Bush’s record and laying out the critique of his domestic agenda. What Kerry has lacked is a vision of his own agenda — I think that’s still somewhat lacking, even though I think his closing statement pointed at a promising beginning (if too late) for “that vision thing.” In fact, there were a few lines that were almost identical to the vision speech I wanted him to make in these debates that I wrote about in a previous topic I’m too lazy to find the link to. He said SOME of the things people need to hear to be motivated to turn out and vote for him, rather than just wanting to vote against Bush.

    Kerry won the debates as a whole and has made this an even race as a result, reviving his campaign off of life support from a month ago. Undecideds lean toward him over Bush, which is why Karl Rove and the Bush team are focusing most of their energy on turning out the conservative base. Kerry’s base is much less motivated and principled than the Bush base (for many of whom voting is literally religious duty) and later-registering: the data now shows that of early-registering voters, most favor Bush. Of newer registering voters, Kerry has the edge. This means it’s CRITICAL that Kerry’s volunteers on the ground get as many voters registered as possible in key swing states. Kerry and Edwards need to inspire as many people as possible to turn out and vote — attacks don’t do that as much as vision does. All those hardcore liberals (the former Deaniacs) who are convinced enough by the hard facts to vote for Kerry are already with him and have been for a while. What he needs to pick up are the fairly non-political, blue-collar families who face economic insecurity and want someone to show they care. They already have doubts about Bush being out of touch (as they felt about his father in the early 1990s) — Kerry certainly could have driven this point home more — and they need Kerry to show that he’s not too blueblood and wonkish to show a little heart and view their problems as something more than mere managerial issues for Senatorial debate.

    Every ad in swing states is now basically a negative issue attack ad and has been for weeks — the criticisms are already in people’s minds. Now, Kerry needs to show vision on the stump in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and bring it home by connecting with voters. If he can, he’ll be President. If he can’t relate to them and articulate jobs and health care in a way that resonates with their hopes and fears, he doesn’t deserve to be President and won’t be.

    That is all.

  • Steve Rhodes

    Visual, I can make up my own mind even when watching something with a crowd. Just because everyone clapped at the end of Titanic didn’t make me like it.

    Besides, it was more interesting watching it with people like Joshua Bearman and Zephyr Teachout (who are both in Stephen Elliott’s book), and Lawrence Ferlinghetti who has more integrity than Kerry and Bush combined.

  • Bob A. Booey

    This was, however, Bush’s best peformance of the two debates I watched. I missed Debate Two because, well, it was a Friday night, and you know how that is. The ladies know what I’m talkin about.

    That is all.

  • Eric Olsen

    on NBC after the debate they had a focus group with 6 voters from Pennsylvania, it was Bush 3, Kerry 2, one still undecided – the Kerry killer: his economic numbers just don’t add up, nice words that we can’t afford. If Bush doesn’t ram this down everyone’s throat for the next 3 weeks, he’s an idiot.

  • bhw

    And Kerry is an idiot if he doesn’t turn that right back around on Bush and ask who’s more apt to be able to pay for his programs, a guy who keeps signing spending bills while cutting taxes, or a guy who will undo some of the tax cuts to pay for his programs.

    Kerry didn’t really do it last night in the debate — can he do it for the next few weeks?

    Oh, great. Two idiots to choose from!

  • Shark

    Loved the spitball on the side of George W’s lip. Finally! –A Right-Wing Nut Bar who is literally foaming at the mouth.

    Loved the camera zoom that removed the podium from the Bush medium shot. Equality of size on camera! Another great thing about Democracy!

    Bush is full of abstract jingoisms. That’s all he can say, since the reality of his four years is a disaster no matter how you slice it.

    Good gawd, what’s up with Bush’s “education” shit!? Is that some sort of rhetorical SOMA meant to shut down synapse connections in the listener? Is this the new equivalent to the “9/11. 9/11. We’re safer. Got Saddam. 9/11. 9/11. We’re safer. Got Saddam…” hypnotic mantra?

    SHUT THE FUCK UP. Ask any teacher how the schools have done with the “No Child Left Behind” and they’ll tell you it’s a disaster.

    I’m amazed that Kerry never brings up the ol’ “You’ve had four years; why didn’t you push that ___ [fill in the abstract jingoism] program during your first term?”

    Bush apparently has ideas for the future and well-being of the average American only during election time.


    I loved Bush telling an imaginary unemployed man that as President, he’ll make it possible for him to take some classes at his local JUNIOR COLLEGE and get some new training for a new job?!

    Good gawd. I know about two dozen friends/associates who are in their 50s, have at least one college degree and thirty or so years in their field that ARE OUT OF WORK. And like yours truly, it ain’t because I need an accounting 101 course at my local Junior College.

    I wanted to scream.


    900 lb. Gorillas missing from all debates:

    1) America’s OIL addiction + OIL as a finite resource.
    2) Environmental rape by Bush administration
    3) Palestinians – vs – Israel
    4) split-screen showing MLB playoffs

  • bhw

    Shark, I agree with you 100% about Bush’s comment that he’d tell a worker whose job went overseas to go to community college and get an education.

    The problem is that Kerry did NOT do a THING with the softball Bush lobbed. The easiest response in the world would have been, “Are you saying that you’ll ask someone with a Master’s degree in computer science to go back to community college and get trained for a job with a much lower education requirement and lower salary than the one he lost to outsourcing? Is that really what you’d say?”

    It just goes to show you that the debates are about tossing out a series of sound bites and not about actually debating each other. Kerry went with some script instead of responding to what Bush actually said. Viewers at home shouldn’t be the only ones who picked up on the idiocy of Bush’s comment.

    But maybe that’s because both Kerry and Bush are Yalies who think that anyone who loses a job must be misundereducated.

  • bob2112

    I was disappointed in Kerry striking out on the flu vaccines from Canada. It was the perfect T-ball setup! Don’t forget, Canada may be a source of Third World prescription poisons!

    In hindsight though, Bush just dared Kerry. I believe that the rebuttals are meticulously chosen to avoid each other’s true evil. These fraternal ‘brothers’ must be very careful not to go too far on each other. They both have every shred of dirt on the other, & they’re both afraid what the other has could be worse for their lives beyond Election Day. They don’t hate each other that much, if at all. I think we are really watching a dreaded Venus vs. Serena Williams Wimbledon final. Think about it, Kerry needs the Pharmaceutical lobby just as much as Bush does. If he went there on the Canada ‘penalty kick’, it would be like a quarterback talking shit about the mothers of his pro-bowl offensive linemen. Count the sacks on him at the end of the game if he doesn’t leave on a stretcher before it’s over.

    If no one believes me, ask yourselves why isn’t ‘Chappaquiddick’ the ultimate Republican weapon. Why wasn’t this pathetic cover-up, Ted Kennedy’s kiss of death to the Democratic Party a long time ago? I believe it morphed into political suicide to whomever wishes to go there. Ted Kennedy got a free pass. (The likes of Bush’s in yesterday’s debate) The man lost two BIG brothers to violent deaths in public. Cowardly leaving the scene of a ‘whore’ drowned in your car shouldn’t be the end of a guy. Unless of course, you want your dirty laundry on the front pages. Keep on talkin’ about Sandra Levy & see who gets dug up next?

  • Hal Pawluk

    I don’t know why CNN wasted their time taking a poll – I gave them the figures yesterday (comment 11 above):

    CNN said a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken immediately after the debate found that respondents felt Mr. Kerry prevailed over Mr. Bush, 52% to 39%. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points. The respondents were 511 registered voters who watched the debate. Their political affiliations broke down as 36% Republican, 36% Democratic and 28% independent, CNN said.WSJ 10/14/04 subscription

  • bob2112

    See, nobody talks to me. Am I too crazy to respond to? I’m beginning to believe everyon is afraid to really say what they think!

  • Mac Diva

    Bhw, I agree Kerry missed opportunities. The summation. (Though Bob’s reasoning about that is what he most likely thinks.) Failing to point out that a class at a junior college will not pay the rent or mortgage or do most of the things a job does. He totally missed responding to the question about stem cells. Christopher Reeve’s death would have been the perfect opportunity to restate Kerry supports research on embryonic stem cells. He should have mentioned the U. of Michigan case, in which the Bush administration emphatically opposed affirmation action, during that question. And, hammered home that, to the extent education is available, it is available to everyone, and is not affirmative action. Unemployment? Both the games played with unemployment stats and the higher unemployment among minorities could have been hammered.

    But, I can’t agree with what Eric said about the tiny focus group he watched. I saw a similar report in which a seemingly simple-minded woman said she was changing her mind because Bush mentioned education. She seemed not to grasp that for all his talk about education, Bush’s policies — on Pell grants, No Child Left Behind, dropout rates — have failed miserably. I believe we insult much of the electorate if we believe it to be that stupid. Hopefully, handing them a mindless mantra is not sufficient.

  • Hal Pawluk

    I didn’t see the NBC focus group, Eric (I switched to Fox), but was it run by Frank Luntz?

    If so, it’s highly partisan Republican propaganda.

    Frank Luntz may be the most dangerous unknown man in America, politically speaking, and I’ll be blogging something on him, probably before the election.

  • Bob A. Booey

    6 voters does not a sample size make.

    If Bush’s main strategy the next few weeks is to point out that Kerry can’t pay for his economic promises, he’s in trouble and will lose.

    First, it continues to place him on the defensive, where Kerry’s the agent for change. The best he can then muster is “Hey, he can’t come through on these promises for change. Stick with me, cuz, well you know … it’s not SO bad.” Clinton won in 1996 as an incumbent because he had new ideas and made Dole seem like the defender of the status quo — Bush has yet to take advantage of Kerry’s late start and sluggish campaign and has fallen behind on message. Kerry’s winning the message debate as of right now.

    Second, Bush has no credibility on deficits or fiscal responsibility. I don’t honestly believe Kerry will do much better, but he’s at least stated a willingness to cut back on expenditures and reinstate PAYGO. There’s no political or personal restraint in sight on Bush’s spending and tax cuts.

    Third, even if you believe that Kerry can’t pay for his policies, they’re at LEAST policies to deal with things like job loss and health care. Bush has become the more passive party on these questions, where he looked to be the aggressor after the Republican Convention on issues like Social Security. Kerry’s campaign would be smart to not even mention the word “economy” but focus entirely on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. You know Bush is in trouble when he mentions education within 15 seconds of every question about how he’ll create jobs — that long-term view just won’t cut it with most blue-collar Americans who are crunched now and will be voting for their interests in November. Nice catch for all of you who pointed out that Bush’s community college suggestion came off empty and patronizing — it struck me as a huge missed opportunity for Kerry as well to tell the story of educated middle-aged people who have to compete with their own kids for minimum-wage jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Fourth, the polls show Americans are willing to roll back the tax cut for the top 1%. In fact, they like the idea if it means it’s reinvested. That’s a source of $89 billion revenue that the Bush plan doesn’t have. Even if Kerry can’t balance the budget and pay for his programs at the same time, he has a lot better chance of doing it without top-bracket tax cuts and corporate loopholes.

    I think Kerry framed the health care “choice” policy well (I’d never heard that explanation before) and it’s his election to lose if he can consistently make the point that he has new ideas and vision for changing health care and growing jobs. Bush’s only defense against this claim is “Senator’s gonna raise yer taxes,” but Kerry needs to consistently repeat his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class and to INCREASE middle and lower-class tax cuts.

    In terms of the debate, Kerry did mention at one point that Bush was incapable of funding No Child Left Behind — he could have used that as an example of Bush’s failed budget priorities and broken promises. Kerry was weakest on education and talked very little about it. He DEFINITELY should have mentioned the environment more, with more passion, since it’s a winning issue with independents and women. Bush didn’t do a great job talking about education either, but Kerry missed an opportunity to show vision and articulate his own plans, especially since the data shows No Child Left Behind has been a failure so far in raising achievement.

    The polls show Kerry is winning back women and that the debates gave him Presidential stature (finally allowing him to pass the character/personal credibility test in many minds). I think the last debate will help him with women, particularly. But he still has a lot more to do if he wants to win. He can’t count on undecideds going to the challenger, as in the case in most elections, since 9/11 has put the onus on Kerry to prove the case for change.

    That is all.

  • Walt Thomas

    Something I found interesting about the after debate polls. I visited the network polls as soon as the debate was about to end… within seconds of the debate I found that one of the network polls had over 70,000 votes for Kerry… 2,000 votes for Bush. Do you suppose the Democrates have their computer gurus running the number up on the polls? I no longer will put any faith in any on-line polls, just for that reason.

  • bob2112

    Why is everyone talking about polls? Polls are 100% garbage. How many people were asked, “During the debate, were you on your way home from shoveling shit for LaborReady? Did you drive yourself to the temporary assignment, or were you ‘carpooled’ on the back of a truck? Are you working for ‘LR’ beacuse you were laid off, can’t find a real job, lost your car, & about to lose your house?” Did the pollsters get data from the majority of real people out there. The answer is absolutely not!

    I’m voting for Kerry even if he flipped the bird right in the camera & said, “To hell with you, Mr. Bush! You were not even elected, bitch! I gave you the ‘authority’ to go to war, as a last resort in case I would need the same courtesy after I kick your ass! Why don’t you tell your boyfriend, Karl to take his Limbaugh-lookin’-ass back to Texas & fight some Grand-Dragon for his job. Mr. Rove, you better start lookin’ now. January is ‘turning a corner’ & you’re not invited back! Just vote for me, because Bush sucks! The war is over the minute I get in! No more American deaths for this mistake. Let those guys kill each other until there’s 3 guys left, & buy the oil off of them. We’re not funding Israel any longer if we can’t afford afterschool programs, provide access to health insurance, or feed our own hungry children. Maybe the Islamic world will stop seeing Americans as an extention of people who are doing to Palestinans exactly what was done to them in the Holocaust! Maybe Israel will come to the table & negotiate a peace to preserve what they’ve got, because the arms they have can last only so long without our support. Then terrorism will be reduced to a lunatic fringe of people who ‘actually’ dispise our freedom. It’s not worth it. God Bless America, for those of you who need to hear me acknowledge God. Believe whatever you want, people!”

    Dream on!

  • Mac Diva

    The best news I was exposed to yesterday was the leader of the Swift Nuts Veterans for Smurfs self-immolation in the presence of Ted Koppel. The people in the village where the firefight they claimed didn’t occur say it did. Furthermore, their account of the episode is close to his and official records. John O’Neill spit and spluttered and behaved like the arrogant arse he is, but didn’t say a thing that made a dime’s worth of sense. It is unfortunate that it was necessary to focus on the Swift Nuts nonsense at all. But, I am glad to see it shot down in a way anyone but an idiot will have to acknowledge.

  • bob2112

    I read about the creeps earlier today & you’re right, why waste time proving what we know is true. I think it’s just too bad Kerry or anyone was there in the first place.

    As for John O’Hell, he should just take the money & run. The lies accomplished what they needed to do, now bail! The more he shows his face in public, the smarter the hoodwinked get.

    Remember what I said about ‘Crawford Wives’ & their voting practices? The same goes for old Vets. I met some WWII vets who wore battle flair on their hats & sleeves, but display no political affiliation. They don’t buy a word of ‘Swift Nut’ Bushit. All they know is they saved the world 60 years ago for this? They want their kids & grandchildren, who have been brainwashed into this war to come home alive & well. They watch the news with the same fear the folks waiting for them had. Osama BinLaden should have been the focus 9/12/2001 & to hell with anyone within our own government, if they had anything to do with it! These gentlemen are wise old survivors who read between the lines, constantly. They would storm the Capital & bayonet the criminal lot, if they could get out of the chair by themselves. The perveyors of our current fiasco, having any belief in life after death, should fear these men & women of the G.I. Generation. For they have crossed them to no end & descrated the values they lost an arm/s, leg/s, best-friend, or sweetheart for. It looks like it was all for nothing. The curse on neo-con ‘soul’ is a hell beyond Hell! They cannot talk about these feelings to their families beacuse some of them believe the hype. But they will be heard Nov.2 as long as their votes aren’t shamelessly fucked with.

  • andy marsh

    It was never about what he did while he was there…it’s about what he did when he got back…the pres has said over and over again that he respects Kerry’s service in the navy…the swiftee’s have a different feeling…Bush never claimed to be there and he’s no more tied to them than rather is tied to kerry…although…I personally believe that rather is tied to kerry…yeah proof…I said I believe, as I have before…
    No..I don’t beleive in aliens or the grassy knoll. But somehow I feel it…when it all comes out, I’ll still be here..and if I’m wrong??? I’ll apologize!

  • bob2112

    Andy, Andy, Andy. When Kerry got back, he denounced a shitty war. He’ was also accused of opportunism for his stance at the time. Opportunism, to advance where? With who? To go in front of a Congressional Hearing & read what others told him about was not popular. As far as I’m concerned Andy, testifying against the war was probably as dangerous as the same battle Kerry “didn’t fight” with the other ‘Swift Nut’ who was also awarded the Bronze Star. With C.R.E.E.P. running rampant, it’s a wonder we’ve even heard of John Kerry.

    When Kerry returned, attempting to bring his brethren home, he was vilified by a president so corrupt he had to quit. His little cronies went to prison, & in a few days, the ‘Neo-Plumbers’ will be one step closer to The Hague!

    P..S. Purple Heart Band-Aids? Way to go Karl! Careful not to belittle everyone, stupid!

  • Shark

    Bob: “…Andy, Andy, Andy. When Kerry got back, he denounced a shitty war…”

    …and at the time, about half of America agreed with him.

    PS: Iraq = Vietnam on Steroids.

    Thanks, George!

  • andy marsh

    Hey diva…do you think it would have been as much fun watching the debate in a crowd that weren’t like minded??? Just a thought

  • bob2112

    I guess to most of suburbia the legacy of J.Edgar Hoover resembles a man of great achievement. G.Gordon Liddy & Oliver North are great American heroes. The loyalty & bravery they possess could only be rivaled by the likes of John Wayne or Charles Lindberg!

    Does anyone in Blogcritics have any accurate knowledge of history that is not one-dimensional? Can anyone out there prove to me that they are over 30 years old & read anything beyond pathetically vacant College level history curriculum?

    I must be the only one in America who was watching the debates & saw nothing!
    It wouldn’t matter who was available to vote for, we(Americans) would be saying, “I hate both the candidates, man. It’s the lesser of two evils. They both suck!”

    There are wars out there, people! Avoidable wars at best. Americans dying everyday in them. Your people dying inside here at home. It does matter who the candidate is! If the people I listed earlier are your ‘guys’, I feel sorry for you.

  • andy marsh

    Bob…I’m over 30…and really the only john wayne I ever really liked was “The Quiet Man”
    I’ve never been really impressed with G. Gordon Liddy, I guess he’d be good if I needed to bug a hotel, although I did like him when he guest starred on Miami Vice.
    I respect Oliver North for his service to my country and believe he was following orders in the Iran-Contra deal.
    oh yeah…I get my history from the history channel..not college text books!

  • bob2112

    Then, Andy I am sorry for the world you believe in. It’s not very compassionate is it? Kill, kill, kill! Me, me, me! them, them, them! Die, die, die!

  • andy marsh

    did I say all that??? or are you just reading way to much into my comments???

  • bob2112

    Andy, I am only exaggerating my point. No offense to you personally, but my country right or wrong is wrong in my view.

    The Hague is waiting for the types who would kill thousands after lying to the world. To be against an international tribunal that prosecutes war criminals means you fear that you might be accused of being one, if things go wrong.

    I keep hearing about modern warfare where precision, less man power, & minimal collateral damage are the keys of success. Cutting off the heads of leaders without harming the general public. Conventional war is obsolete & we are working to establish the future, now! All I hear is don’t stop our momentum, vote for Bush!

    Not many of these cheerleaders has been in an acutal war to know its hell. Vietnam University is not credentials I can accept. We can do better.

  • andy marsh

    You really believe that this country, in particular, this president, lied to the world? Every legitimate foreign govt said the same thing, that Iraq had WMD’s. The previous administration said the same thing. We know he had them at one point in his history. The latest reports state that he was just waiting to start them back up again.

    Was it a worldwide conspiracy? All in the name of oil? I have trouble buying that because I’m having trouble buying oil right now!

    I agree with the statement, my country right or wrong is wrong, but I don’t agree that this is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hussein defied the world for 14 years, he basically spit in the face of the UN while he was passing money to the french and the germans under the table.

    I keep hearing that there was no connection to al qaeda, well, they’re not the only terrorist group out there bent on the destruction of the western world! I remember hearing how Saddam was paying $25k to the families of homicide bombers in Isreal. I would call that a tie to terrorism! I guess all the terrorists that are there now just came for the cuisine!

    It seems to me that right now the majority of those terrorists are in Iraq trying to make sure that elections aren’t held and that they kill as many people as they can. They don’t give a damn who they kill. They blow up bombs in busy market areas and kill innocents! And if they’re all busy over there, that means they ain’t here!

    Or they’re killing children in schools in Russia.

    I think that the warfare being waged today is a lot different than the warfare that was waged when my father-in-law landed at Anzio Beach. And I know that there are innocent casualties of war. There were 3000 of them here 3 years ago.

    I think that the thing that bothers me more about that issue is this. Back when Baghdad first fell the Iraqi people were screaming at America because their state treasures were being looted. There was no one in control. Was that America’s fault? Why weren’t they stopping that themselves. The reason that the 4th plane never hit it’s target was because the American citizens on that plane found out what was going to happen and STOPPED IT! I promise you that will never happen in this country again, because we won’t let it happen. I honestly believe that!

    Just like now, There are a few cities that are still terroist strongholds. Why aren’t the Iraqi people helping themselves? Flushing these people out? I will say that I heard that Allawi told the people of Fallujah to help or pay the price. Maybe that’s a start?

    You bring up the world court and that makes me think that you believe this to be an illegal war and our troups war criminals. I disagree.

    I’ll probably get tore up for these opinions also…but hey..I have big shoulders…bring it on!!!

  • Hal Pawluk

    Yes, I do “really believe that this country, in particular, this president, lied to the world?”


  • andy marsh

    about what???

  • Hal Pawluk

    When were his lips moving?

  • andy marsh

    Oh…that narrows it down…I’m just asking you to be specific about what lies dealing with this war you believe GWB told. And if he told them, then this must be the biggest alliance that ever was, because he got the rest of the globe to spew the same BS!

  • bob2112

    Andy, I am not an ‘I watched F/9-11 loser’ as you might think. However, I know in my heart that Iraq was on the minds of these people before that day, & was the focus of which a bogus appointment to the presidency would be more or less forgotten if Saddam was toppled.

    Every Islamic nation had individuals who offered money to the families of suicide bombers. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, l but is the #1 or #2, after Saudi Arabia, with the bloodiest hands in financing Palestinian retaliation. You are buying too much into this Saddam thing. WE provided the majority of WMD’s he had! You’ve never seen footage of Rumsfeld giving an enthusiastic handshake to Saddam? He is practically running to greet the guy.

    Wow, Andy! They found mass graves, the other day, with Kurdish women & children still clutching stuffed animals & toys! I guess we should get mad about them now, since they were gassed in 1987 with our Sarin gas. We can’t violate the Geneva Convention laws, but we gotta make our money back on the stuff! Oh, who cares if a Middle-eastern wacko uses it. Maybe he’ll kill those damn Iranians for stabbing us in the back, & taking us hostage. When he gassed those Kurds, I was a senior in high school 1987. We made a bigger deal about the Space Shuttle O-ring thing. Andy we cared more about Cliff Burton of Metallica’s death! To call any place in Iraq ‘terrorist strongholds’ is completely ignorant. Saddam provided the most peace that area saw for thousands of years. He may have been a dictator but he had an operational infrastructure. He had Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Christians, & Jews calling themselves Iraqis. Everyone lived in fear constantly, but they did not have this shit they have today & we were not dying in it. What do you need to be convinced that there are people in Iraq that wouldn’t be there if the United States of America (‘The Great Satan’ of these folks’ childhood brainwashing lessons) wasn’t available for instant gratification? It is not cool, Bush lied, & we’re all gonna die if we don’t kick Karl Rove out of the White House! What a fucking CREEP! Rush Limbaugh, Kenneth Starr, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter. These are your people? Andy, Andy, Andy! Pull your head out of your ass! I know you have got to be human. You are not a programmable machine. Don’t hate whatever it is so much to have no feelings. You don’t wear that uniform smirk the right wing robots use when they know they have the juicy ‘spin’ that works on lemmings that might be wandering from the stale rhetoric. Don’t be too proud to come into the fold of reasonable thought. You may have voted already, but I don’t care. Kerry’s gonna win, & it’s not like we’re going to shave your head for being a sympathizer. Most people (not me) fell for the fast one 9/12/2001. Sorry, Clinton was not the President on 9/11/2001. No one was.

    P.S. They did not just find those meaningless mass graves! We all have no idea what is going on over there. My gut opinion tells me that we just need a reminder before Election Day of what a great catch Saddam is. Wait a minute, where is Saddam? He must be doped up somewhere with Noriega, not naming names. The Hague is calling…

  • andy marsh

    meaningless mass graves…I like that one…and I guess it’s OK that he gassed his own people because, as you say, we (the US) supplied him with the material to do it… and you seem to be pretty happy with law and order…no matter how many heads need to be chopped off to get it, at least that’s what I get from your saddam provided the most peace comment…

    Personally, I was never THAT big a Metallica fan…I was on active duty in 87 and I think I remember a few other “issues” other than Cliff Burton. Maybe HS kids did care more about Metallica than I did.,,,who knows.

    The US has been the great satan FOR EVER… and it won’t matter who’s in the white house..until this country becomes a fundamentalist muslim strong hold, we’ll always be the great satan.

    Maybe your right…Saddam really was a nice guy..we should just leave well enough alone…Lets just build a BIG FUCKING FENCE around the country and forget about the rest of the world!!!

    Yeah yeah..that’s the ticket!

  • bob2112

    Andy, this is a thread about the presidential debate. We got off track a bit & I apologize to those of you who have lost interest. I do feel that Andy & I are relevant in our debate, because these are the most hotly polarizing stands between the two camps.

    Saddam is not a good enough reason to be in Iraq. Just because he was caught does not justify, glorify, or legitimize this war! ‘Potential’ to restart a weapons program doesn’t make a truth out of Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address. You can make excuses over & over again to avoid feeling swindled ’til your face turns blue, nothing remotely sounds or is good.

    Kerry helped to give Bush the authority to go to war as a last resort, not approval for the war waged. In my book, that is not backing away from your beliefs. A vote against the method our money is spent, is not voting against the troops! Mentioning Mary Cheney is dirty, but it is not ‘outing’ her. No one, but an incarcerated mental patient, walks around this insipid, as Republicans believe their base must be.

    My reference to the mass graves is that these are our mass graves! We probably were aware of them a year ago. Spin-doctors operate that way! If anyone has any doubt, throw ’em a bone. October isn’t over yet. There’s still room for a couple more surprises.

  • andy marsh

    I think the potential and the desire to restart that program ARE justification enough…guess it’s a matter of opinion.

  • bob2112

    The only problem is that that opinion was not what reason why we went to war. It was to disarm Saddam of his posession of WMD’s. Disarming, opinions aside, means removing weapons someone has.

    Saddam had no weapons worth mentioning prior to 9/11 according to Colin Powell, & Condoleeza Rice, two people who should know!

    You’re trying to provoke me aren’t you, Andy?

  • andy marsh

    who…me??? naaahhh…

    So, I guess, NOW that we know he has no weapons, even though the entire world believed he did, we should put Saddam back in power, pack our shit up and go home.

  • bob2112

    Pack our shit up & go home? Yes. Put Saddam back in power, after the lobotomy, dope, & names of American conspiritors that he still could mention? Not likely. As shameless as it may seem to you, pulling out to let these people haggle it out by themselves, then letting time allow them to be thankful for Saddam’s removal, is the best way we can avoid the ‘Vietnam on steriods’ label to this mess. That is title we are going to have, admittedly, no matter who wins/takes our election.

    I also think it’s ironic to work towards elections in Afganistan & Iraq, when we can’t get it together here. If we fuck this election up by Republicans not conceding defeat, whatever respect America has left will disappear. The world is expecting us to be responsible for our own mistakes before deciding the dircetion other countries need to take.

    Bush’s bad advice from Karl Rove, & the Halliburton-Cheney machine behind it all, is leading this country to a dark age of unknown chaotic purportions. It is the responsiblity of upstanding citzens to take the controls from these madmen or unanimously be considered madmen & women who deserve to go down with the ship!

  • andy marsh

    I’m a registered Independant…

    however…it seems to me that it’s not the repubicans that have trouble admitting defeat…the stuff I’ve been reading says that the DNC is already gearing up to contest the election in certain areas of the country.

    After the fiasco in florida in 2000, every major media outlet went down there and recounted the hanging chads and no matter how many times they tried the numbers came up the same.

    The thing that all the democrats miss is that if Gore had only won his home state he would have had the numbers from the electoral college to be president right now. HIS HOME STATE!!! Come on, I mean even Bill won Arkansas! Bush won Texas…Gore couldn’t win Tennessee? Oh wait, his home state isn’t even a state…He’s actually from D.C.

    And lastly, maybe that’s not such a bad idea…packing it up…but I say we go to Iran…not home…not just yet…and when we’re doen there…I think maybe Syria…hmmm…yeah yeah…that’s the ticket!!!

  • bob2112

    I almost thought you were losing it when you went, “HIS HOME STATE” Smooth pick up clarifying D.C. ’cause the guy really never lived in TN. Gore’s dad was one of those “has to die to be replaced” kind of guys.

    I guess when second-class citizens’ votes are trashed, altered, or not cast, who cares? Florida State Patrol can set up roadblocks to check the drivers of busloads of voters for proper charter permits or chauffer licences, then turn them away on any technicality at a whim. It’s easier to live with the word of Florida’s Secretary of State, employed by the Bush Campaign, in the state his brother is Governor. Nothing smells bad to you? Oh yeah, Oliver North was following orders. Himmler, Georing, Eichmann, & Hans Frank were following orders too.

  • andy marsh

    lol..and you tell me not to be a dick!!!

    busloads of voters…that smells kinda fishy…what were they doing? Driving from polling site to polling site…doing the Daly routine of vote early, vote often???

  • andy marsh

    and comparing North to Himmler??? That’s a bit of a stretch isn’t it???

  • bob2112

    To the victor of war goes the spoils. History is told by the winners, not the losers.

    Cocaine may as well be a slower, more potent version of Xyclon-B. I’m not stretching on that one either. Transporting a drug to finance a rebel army in a country that, at best, is a banana farm? Lying to Congress & being called a hero for covering for the ‘President’ who really was a spokesperson? These are the deeds of a man who probably isn’t answering for more because no one lived to tell the tale. Which is nothing to be admired.

  • andy marsh

    I don’t think we’re locking people in rooms and requiring them to inhale it though…or smoke it or shoot it or what ever else they do with it these days…

  • bob2112

    A lab rat will do cocaine until it dies.
    It’s as bad as the Bush campaign supplying the ‘Kool Aid’ for you guys to keep up the spin on completely bad advice. Is it your fault Fox News is where you get your information on current events?

    I don’t blame you, Andy for not questioning authority. What would the neighbors think? There’s a lot of pressure on anyone stepping outside the box. I met some vets who don’t talk about it, but are really mad their grandkids are fighting in an unnecessary war. They feel like they saved the world 60 years ago, for this? However it’s not cool to talk about it amongst their family because they are all on the ‘Kool Aid’! The only way they can express themselves is with their vote.

    Man, I just blew my cover with the ‘Huntersville’ thing!

  • bob2112

    Good one. I’m not kidding. Great response!

  • andy marsh

    somehow it got deleted bob…so sad!!!