Saturday, October 09, 2004

Debating Bush & Kerry

I watched the debate last night from St. Louis, hoping that the major candidates would begin to share something substantive, something meaningful, something worth voting for. I wanted to hear them answer the questions they were asked. I wanted Charlie Gibson to ask the tough follow-up questions, and for each candidate to respond to the people gathered, to each other. Of all that - I liked Charlie Gibson. None of the rest occurred, in my humble opinion.

President Bush, I'd just like you to answer the question being asked. One lady asked a fairly simple question last night: Share three times over the course of your presidency where you felt like you'd made a mistake, and what did you feel like you needed to do to correct it? You almost answered it by saying there were some appointments you wouldn't have made, but you didn't want to name names and embarass people. Thank you for that. But then, you lollipopped it. "When people ask that, they mean the big things. I don't think we were wrong on Iraq, and I don't think we were wrong on Afganistan." Mr. President, that doesn't answer this particular question; rather, it trivializes it by generalizing it (Job 31:34-36) in the category of an attack. It was just a question - three times you made a mistake, and what did you do to fix it? It's haughty to say you haven't made any mistakes worth mentioning. At least you moved off of what I've seen as a short-sightedness on your part: "If historians find that we've been wrong, I'll own up to any mistakes." What you appear to be saying is, "I don't think I've done anything wrong, and if I have I wouldn't admit it to you, but years from now when I'm gone, they can knock themselves out."

Senator Kerry, I'd like to see what you really stand on, because while your opponents are accusing you of flip-flopping, changing your mind on issues according to the political expediency of the moment, I've got a different observation: double-mindedness (Psalm 119:113). You have the ability to not only change your stance, but to take two opposing stances at the same time - a talent, no doubt, inside the bletway, but I'm having a hard time finding a reason to vote for someone who's both for and against almost every issue. In particular, your answer to the question on federal funding for abortion was a non-answer. You said that you're against abortion, that you'd been raised catholic, that "religion has played an important role in my life", but that you did not think you could impose that morality on the rights of others. I'm sorry, but that didn't answer the question."I'm against abortion, but I don't want to make other people think like I do" is different from what you added: "but I will give you federal $$ to do this thing that I don't like but won't impose." On the Iraq/South Korea issues, it seems like your solution would be just opposite from the President's: build a coalition of nations to deal with Iraq, but then tear apart the coalition of nations that seem to be together against N. Korea, and go it alone in that circimstance with bilateral talks. It's the same with 9/11 critisms - you and opponents wish the President had done something pre-emptive, and now that he's done something pre-emptive (at least part of his reasoning for Iraq) he's blasted for not waiting and getting better intelligence.

If I had to vote for one of the two parties, for the lesser of two evils, I'd vote to re-elect President Bush. But I don't *have* to vote in that race - and "NONE OF THE ABOVE" is the only candidate who hasn't ticked me off yet.


Blogger jen said...

i'd disagree with you on who the lesser of two evils is...

9/10/04 11:15 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"lesser of two evils" - one of us picks dracula, one picks frankenstein :) - either way, i don't like the plot.

9/10/04 4:48 PM  

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