mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I just can't stop master debating...

I haven't read any of the blog commentary on the debate - I wanted to post my thoughts before they became swayed by opinion (although since I hung out in the Command Post chat during the debate, that may have colored my opinions).

I thought Bush did a better job than the previous debate - not perfect, but better. I thought Kerry did a good job of avoiding certain points that got on my nervers the last time - I don't remember any mentions of Vietnam, compared to a half-dozen in the first debate. He didn't mention Halliburton until the end. He still talked about Tora Bora, but he didn't use the silly term "outsourcing" like he did in Debate 1.

I'm guessing that Bush saying he didn't own a timber company might get him in trouble. I don't think it's unreasonable for him not to know - I don't even do my own taxes (my Dad does them for me), and my finances aren't exactly complex. If you asked me off the top of my head what mutual fund my 401k is in, I couldn't tell you. Since Bush has more money and more important things to do than I do, his not knowing about the timber company doesn't strike me as a big deal - but it was a good talking point for Kerry.

I get a kick out of Kerry saying that "you know things are bad in Iraq because you see it on your TV." To me, and lots of other conservatives/moderates, that shows more about what gets on TV (if it bleeds, it leads) and to a lesser extent the bias in the main stream media, more than it shows that things are actually bad.

I wish Bush would grow some balls on the whole Canadian drug thing and point out how stupid it is. Canada has cheaper drugs because they have a socialized health care system and price controls, not because Viagra grows better during harsh Canadian winters. People in the US are basically subsidizing the R&D for those Canidian drugs, and it's unlikely that drug companies would allow for mass exportation. Megan McCardle has an excellent post on why price controls on drugs are a bad thing for people's health.

I was puzzled by Kerry on stem cell research - he almost sounded like he was accusing Bush of being immoral/wishy-washy for his compromise - which seems ironic for a guy whose position on abortion is exactly that.

Supposedly the questioners were people who were undecided voters. Some of them didn't sound very undecided to me (ie the lady who asked about the bad image of America overseas, the guy who asked about Bush's environmental record). I thought the last question addressed to Bush - name three mistakes you've made - was a horrible question. It was like asking "when did you stop beating your wife?". There is no answer Bush could give that wouldn't be taken as a sound bite by Dems saying that he made mistakes, has poor judgement, or flip-flops. Bush totally avoided the question, and that's probably the best thing he could have done.

Oh, and if I had taken a drink for every time Kerry said that "I have a plan". I would have died of alcohol poisioning. He didn't do a very good job of describing any of his plans (his Iraq plan seems to be "I will do what Bush is doing, but I';l fly the Iraqi police to another country to train them, and maybe suck up to France"). Kerry is a good speaker (except for the stumble where he was trying to descibe diseases treatable with stem cells), but there isn't a lot of substance to what he says much of the time.


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