Saturday, October 02, 2004

I finally watched the debate (Tivo). Not much to report. Kerry clearly won, but that's not saying much when your opponent is GW. There were moments when it appeared Kerry could have turned it on and hit a grand slam rather than just a solo homer, but either he simply missed those opportunities (which would be worrisome) or felt it best to restrain so as to not appear to be ganging up on an obviously inferior foe. It's the same quandary Gore had to grapple with in 2000.

Bush appeared to be pleading and whining at the same time. Pleading for more time, four more years, hoping the public would grant him the luxury, yet we all know that if shoe was on the other foot, Karl Rove would be drooling to go up against a guy like GW given his record the past four years. There are so many flaws and holes to attack it could make one's head spin. As when Lehrer asked Kerry for specific examples of Bush's miscalculations concerning Iraq and Kerry simply joked, "Well, where do you want me to begin?" The degree of failure and incompetence is just too much.

And Bush's whining was an annoyance that grew more annoying as the 90 minutes ticked away. It's amazing just how much this dim bulb comes off as if he actually deserves to be president, as if he won by a landslide in 2000! His demeanor was, "Why am I here? I shouldn't have to debate this guy! I should be on my ranch in Texas, for god sakes." The arrogance, the idiocy. But he gets this from his father, who also was noticeably perturbed to be on the stage vs. Clinton (recall Bush Sr. checking his wrist watch). And yet they falsely tag liberals as elitists; the Bush family epitomizes elitism, one that is ultimately not deserved. Through means of corrupt power, they've achieved elite status, but it's certainly not due to anything resembling higher intelligence. To the contrary, they represent brute force -- they're bullies.

Anyway, two other things came to mind when watching this spectacle. At least half the country thinks like George Costanza of "Seinfeld" fame. Recall when George was put in charge of interviewing candidates for Susan's foundation. The foundation expected him to decide on a stellar person, one with top grades from a top school. But no, George went with an average, Joe-Shmoe type candidate with a "C" average. He despised those "goody two-shoe" top candidates, turned off by them due to envy and outright ignorance. He went with someone who appeared to resemble someone more like himself.

It's this "George factor" that far and away is the big advantage helping GW. A large portion of the voting public are turned off when they see & hear a very bright and accomplished candidate. Instead, they turn to the one they can more easily imagine as themselves. Whereas it used to be we'd want our #1 leader to be as bright and accomplished as possible, it seems now we want one that is exactly NOT that, for to be that is to be an "elite" or an "out-of-touch intellectual."

The second image that came to mind is from the movie "Spinal Tap." I love the way the right-wing obsesses on Kerry's supposed flip-flopping concerning this war, and yet the entire debacle is the cause of their guy! In "Tap," when the band is on stage for "Stonehenge" and the tiny structure comes down from the ceiling, though it's Nigel's (GW) fault (he wrote inches instead of feet on a napkin), the band manager (Kerry) ultimately gets blamed and has to do the explaining.

Iraq is Bush's screw-up, period, and for that reason alone he should be voted out. Never mind the merits of Kerry's proposed solutions to this mess, the much larger point is the mess wouldn't have existed at all if not for the current leader. Given his "colossal misjudgments" of just the past four years, it's scary to imagine what the country would be like after four more years of this boob's rule.

As I've said, this country deserves the president they get.

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