Last night at Digital Dissent my colleague and I ran a constantly updated opinion thread throughout the debate. Here are some of the gems:
Early debate antics:
Bush: “Of course we’re after Sadam Hussein, uh, I mean Osama bin Laden.”
Sounds about right.
Bush also just claimed he has increased the Homeland Security budget to $30 billion. However, the Bush administration is planning major cuts to the Department if re-elected — cuts to the tune of $800 million.
Kerry’s pushing his Middle Eastern/ally summit and the possiblity of a fresh start, something that is vital in order to contrast himself with Bush.
Kerry brought up General Shinseki; not a good subject since the factual basis is a bit off. But it’ll most likely be glossed over by Bush, although it’s going to get pounded later by the pundits as it should.
“He forgot Poland.” Well, yeah. There are a little over 2,000 Polish boots on the ground opposed to around 125,000 American. As Kerry said, “we can do better.”
“Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?”
Kerry – “No, they’re not [...]”
A wonderful way to make it look like you’re vacillating again, Mr. Kerry.
Bush made a brilliant save on the “Miscalculations of Conditions in Post-War Iraq” – He managed to turn something bad into an example of something good – Essentially, We did so well that we’re doing more poorly than we planned. It’s logically incomprehensible, but it’s rhetorically genius.
Again, Bush dodges the reality of increased terrorist recruiting due to the Iraqi war. He’s making it clear that he believes there are absolutely no ramifications due to the war. Well, if terrorists attacked the US partially because American troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, then why wouldn’t an invasion of a non-threatening Arab state not increase terrorist recruitment?
Even into the debates, the concept of a Congressional authorization for the use of force continues to be distorted. Simply because Kerry voted for it does not mean he voted to go to war. That vote is the equivalent of a dog baring its fangs or a rattler shaking its tail; it reveals the deadly intent of the man approaching the negotiating table. The authorization was granted on the premise of using the threat of force to bully Saddam, not using force to slaughter him.
Kerry’s pounding his plan for military disengagement, citing the need to not back off of violent areas such as Fallujah and closing the borders. Allawi himself has complained of pourous borders, although that’s exactly what Perle, Wolfowitz et all want — the flypaper way of fighting terror. The side effect: Iraq is being torn asunder and a failed state is nearly guranteed.
Bush claims there are 100,000 trained Iraqi soldiers/police — that seems inflated. Even if there is 100,000, there’s new reports that a number of trained Iraqis are corrupt and are working for the insurgency out of desperation.
A metaphor for the preemptive strike on Iraq:
I’m standing on the street. Rocks are on the ground, so I have the “capability” of arming myself. But until I pick them up, I’m not armed. So you’re essentially coming after me because I’m around rocks.
Bush doesn’t think being popular in the world is important, which makes sense from his point of view — Who needs allies when you carry the biggest stick? Well, the United States when the world finally gets fed up and refuses to help in the global war on terror.
“You cannot lead if you send maxed messages.” Keep pounding away with that, Dubya, especially while making up unintelligible phrases. You’re just handing Kerry the win.
Bush: “Transshipment”. Wow. Just. Wow.
Bi-lateral talks are bad for the North Korea issue? Well, six party talks have done absolutely nothing besides lead Japan to fear a nuclear attack by way of a ballistic missle that, if adjusted, could possibly hit Alaska.
“We’ll continue to spread freedom.” Yeah, because it’s just that easy, right? Afghanistan’s pushed its elections back three times and Iraq is in shambles.
Jon and I will be doing the same for the next two debates, so be sure to check that out.