|October 9, 2004|
BuzzFlash Second Debate Analysis: Watch Out for Those Killer Drugs from Canada, Bush Warns
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
October 8, 2004, 11:30 EST
Well, the Bush handlers must have given the Texas Chihuahua a shot of something in his butt, because the guy couldn't sit down during the St. Louis debate. Clearly Charlie Gibson, the ABC moderator of the evening, left his leash at home, because he didn't stop Bush from jumping up and offering a rebuttal to Kerry whenever the Midland Cheerleader Chickenhawk felt like it.
Bush improved dramatically in theatrics over the first debate. The guy was so pumped up, he looked like a caveman on speed. The media will probably give him the debate because he was actually coherent in his lying. Given that the facts don't matter to the press in a debate, they will just say George was hot to trot.
As for the killer drugs from Canada, Bush claimed he wasn't stopping their import, he just wanted to ensure they were safe. Given that they are mostly American drugs exported to Canada and returned to the U.S. at lower prices, it's your usual Bush lie. In fact, Kerry pointed out that Bush promised he would look into lifting the ban on importation of Canadian drugs four years ago in a debate with Al Gore.
Kerry's game plan was to stay on message, continue to attack Bush for making the wrong decision to invade Iraq, outline clear domestic plans, and evidence ongoing empathy for the middle class. In this debate, which was divided with the half time on foreign policy and half the time on domestic affairs, Kerry was definitely tilting a bit more populist in repeatedly opposing a tax give away to the wealthy.
It was clear that Kerry also came across as more empathetic and understanding of the audience questioners than his media stereotype has portrayed. (This was a "town hall" audience setting debate.)
You got the feeling that Kerry was following the old public relations technique of going in with the message points you want to get across and sticking to them no matter what. He was a bit more cautious than in the first debate, clearly trying to avoid alienating swing voters on the abortion issue, for instance. But his style was competent, strong, clear and firm. He was in command and unflappable. Bush was so hot and lathered, you wanted to throw a bucket of water on him.
Amidst Bush's wild stalking around the center carpet, Kerry kept a cool head and stuck to his game plan. He has extremely limited vehicles to reach the entire nation -- and repetition works when the clock is ticking down.
Bush was clearly told to be as aggressive as possible by his handlers. It fits in with BuzzFlash's elect a "Son of a Bitch" in a time of terrorist threat theory. It's something we realized recently.
Maybe the explanation as to why half the country is still in Bush's camp has to do with the fact that they think a congenital liar and Son of a Bitch is exactly who you need to deal with crazed terrorists. For voters who fit this description, the more Bush lies and cares less about who is getting killed -- our soldiers or Iraqis -- the better he is to deal with the S.O.B.s who are out to do in America. Because, you know he will stop at nothing, even if he is wrong. Maybe some people think this keeps the elusive terrorists -- whoever they might be -- on their toes.
As with Cheney, Bush's biggest vulnerability is that just about every word out of his mouth is a lie. His interpretation of the CIA report just out that concluded there were no WMDs in Iraq was almost comical, if thousands of people hadn't died as a result of Bush's catastrophic decision to invade Iraq.
Bush kept bringing up WMDs. Kerry pointed out that Bush let Iran and North Korea develop nuclear potential while he was obsessed with Iraq. And then there's that little matter Kerry didn't bring up of Mr. Khan from Pakistan who sold nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea, while Pakistan was our ally in chasing Al Qaeda. What did Bush do about Mr. Khan? He allowed Pakistan to let him go free AND to keep his profits from selling the nuclear secrets to Iran and North Korea.
In case you wanted to know more about Bush's duplicity about Khan, here is an excerpt from the Washington Post this week:
And remember, the Bush administration allowed Khan to keep the money he "earned" from peddling nuclear secrets.
Of course, Bush's White House also exposed Valerie Plame, a CIA analyst who specialized in tracking the illicit trade of WMDs, thus sacrificing the security of America in order to send a message to dissenters such as her husband Joe Wilson. And Bush has never bothered to ask who did it. Maybe, because he can't implicate HIMSELF or Karl Rove.
Oh well, there we go again, digressing, but we couldn't resist, even if none of the Khan affair came up in this debate (although Bush took credit for allegedly bringing Khan to justice -- have you stopped laughing -- in the first debate.)
Suffice it to say, in debate two, Bush will be credited with making a comeback. He met his threshold of lying in a way that was not incoherent. And the "S.O.B." voters will admire that he pounced about the stage unleashed, spouting out all sorts of nonsense that sounded believable, but wasn't.
At the end of the debate, a woman asked Bush if he could name three mistakes he had made in decisions during his presidency.
As for Supreme Court nominees, he wouldn't name potential candidates because he said he wanted them to vote for him -- and then we think he snorted or something akin to that. It was real sweet and touching.
As for John Kerry, he won, but it wasn't as clear a victory as in the first debate, because Bush controlled his grimaces, although he always seemed to have the glimmer of a smirk as he listened to Kerry speak.
Kerry had meaningful and direct answers.
That might not account for a lot nowadays, but it probably connected well with the swing voters, who he was clearly trying to woo.
We'll give it three debates to zero for the Kerry/Edwards team, because Kerry was looking to get his message out to a targeted group of voters -- and Bush was just trying to look like the 800-pound guerrilla.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL