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October 8, 2004

Three Points on the Debate

Well, the President was obviously much better today than he was in the last debate. What difference it'll make, I'm not inclined to guess. The folks on Fox News seemed to lean toward calling another tie. For my part, I continue to believe picking a winner on some sort of scoring scale misses the point. The question that I wish the pro pundits would begin to ask and answer is how much of the nonsense and maneuvering, obligatory and not, citizens are apt to see through.

Right at the beginning of the debate, I told my wife to look for a single question having to do with Senator Kerry's record. The President brought it up, to be sure, and there were a couple of questions that put Kerry on the (somewhat) defensive, but his record in government was apparently not an issue of concern.

The most egregious decision by the moderator — ABC's Charlie Gibson — was that final question: "Name three mistakes that you have made." It meant that John Kerry had the last word of the questioning phase specifically to talk about "three things" that the President had done wrong. What an opportunity! (I wonder if realizing how that looked inspired Gibson to ask Senator Kerry to offer his closing statement first.)

Depending on viewers' take on the whole debate, however, perhaps the question wasn't such a gift to Kerry. Even making every effort to correct for my partisanship, I have to say that Kerry's negativity seemed relentless throughout. Surely, some commentators will say that the dynamic that I'm noticing is that Kerry kept Bush on the defensive. But there were times when the questions were explicitly tailored for a positive answer — a "what will you do" — and rather than offer his position and then contrast it with the President's, he went on the attack and tagged some talk about "a plan" (again with the "plans") at the end of his response. We'll just have to wait and see how well that plays with the American people.

By the way, just so's I can confirm what I thought my ears picked up: did John Kerry say that Americans have a right to have other Americans fund the murder of their preborn children?

Just a thought: if 2005 finds Republicans controlling the government again, Senator Chuck Hagel ought to suffer hugely. (Yes, I mean politically.)

Posted by Justin Katz at October 8, 2004 11:09 PM

"By the way, just so's I can confirm what I thought my ears picked up: did John Kerry say that Americans have a right to have other Americans fund the murder of their preborn children?" In a word, yes.

Posted by: ELC at October 9, 2004 8:04 AM

Scrappleface has found Kerry's "plans":

"I have to caution you, however, that it may take several months or more to translate these documents and discover whether they are, in fact, plans. It's still up in the air because the file folders in which we found them had no labels. Apparently, Mr. Kerry doesn't like to label anything."

Posted by: Mike S. at October 9, 2004 6:07 PM

I was just amazed that Effing would come right out and say that people have a right to federally funded abortion. Of course, if you accept that abortion is a constitutional right, then federal funding follows. Just one more thing wrong with abortion jurisprudence.

Yours is the first site I've seen that mentions this. Of course, no MSM outlets noted it, that I've seen.

Posted by: jb at October 11, 2004 12:12 AM