|By Phantom (Phantom) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit|
So, what'd you guys think?
Basing this on demeanor only, I thought Bush seemed a lot more nervous while Kerry was calm and composed. Bush repeatedly attacked Kerry on the flip-flopper charge, but I think that his argument ran out of steam after the first 3 times.
|By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:05 pm: Edit|
Well, I for one have super high standards. The debate was OK, Kerry didn't commit suicide on the podium and Bush wasn't backed into a corner he could not get out of. I was expecting more in terms of substance and concrete plans. Oh, well, there's another one in a week.
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit|
Kerry lost the debate, while it was his to win. Bush defenitally didnt win it though. What many people wanted to see from kerry was a more detailed idea on how he plans to solve the situation in Iraq other then his "4 points". Many people including me are left wondering what is kerry going to do.
also both canadates were both pretty nervous, but that may just seem since we expected immediate answers from both canadates. also neither canadate said anything radically different then what theyve been saying the whole time. i think that you could have watched the first 5 minuits of the debate and accuratly predicted what would happen for the rest. its the same stuff weve been hearing over and over again.
|By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit|
Kerry won, IMO. I think it was pretty decisive. Bush got angry and flustered several times toward the end of the debate while Kerry looked intelligent and well-informed (even with his weird-looking face).
This is bad news for Bush; the domestic policy debate is still upcoming, and Democrats ALWAYS do better among voters in domestic issues. If Bush lost the foreign policy debate, there's essentially no way he can win the town-hall meeting or domestic debates.
|By Netshark2005 (Netshark2005) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit|
Kerry won, hands down. He exuded presidential confidence, and Bush was left speaking platitudes, repeating himself over and over. Kerry effectively attacked Bush's record, while Bush didn't nearly focus enough on Kerry's voting record, which had previously been a focal point. Kerry was on the offensive the entire debate, forcing Bush to defend his own record (a task that is very difficult to do).
|By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit|
yeah, kerry won in the fact that he didn't completely humiliate himself.
bush is ....
he's not suave enough, nor slick or intellectual. he's just himself and he believes with his heart more than think with his mind when he speaks...he's just straightforward "I know it was the right thing to do, please trust me" and i can tell he was starting to half-lose his composure at times. almost desperate, and not being able to find the words to use to defend the difficult decision he had to make.
I kept saying "NO don't say that! SAY THIS! AHH!" haha
Bush also should have been mroe agressive on Kerry's flip flopping.
In the end: Democrats are still going to be supporting Kerry and Republicans Bush...but the swing vote is what's going to decide this election...and
it's just going to be really close.
I really hope Bush wins, but i know this election is definitely not in the bag. But I do think Kerry will have a lead after the debates. even a substantial one.
The only hesitation "swing voters" have about Kerry is his ability to be a commander in chief during this time of war---and i think at least for tonight, he presented himself well.
|By Elleneast (Elleneast) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit|
I agree that Kerry did a better job of presentation. Whether you agreed with him or not IMHO he was more composed and articulate. It will be interesting to see what the polls show tomorrow.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit|
Kerry definitely won this round, in my opinion. He successfully faught the common perception that he is a flip-flopper on the issues, and he repeated exploited Bush's greatest weakness: whether it was ever prudent to invade Iraq, and the widespread perception that we are now bogged down in that country as a result of Bush's ill advised decision. I wasn't as irritated by Kerry's manner tonight, somehow. He usually sounds incredibly pompous to me, while Bush just seems to lack sophistication and the ability to express his stance effectively.
But these debates didn't assuage my growing sense of dread: That being, which ever way this election swings, we're screwed---BIG TIME! Sure wish there was a Presidential candidate I could get excited about
|By Michuncle (Michuncle) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit|
The Republican party and President Bush made the war in Iraq the cornerstop of their campaign. The president's decision to go to war and his subsequent handling of the conflict has been, in their opinion, their greatest strength. Time and again, polls have shown that the President's handling of the war was his greatest asset against Sen. Kerry.
This first debate needed to be a "slamdunk" for the President. And it was not.
According to the ABC and CBS polls after the debate, Sen. Kerry had a double digit lead over the President as to who "won" the debate.
The President should have won this debate, but he did not...
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit|
I am a 100% undecided voter in this election. I did not vote for Bush in 2000 and, in fact, have never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, starting with my first vote against Richard Nixon.
My vote will be determined exclusively by my judgement about the two candidates and the war on terrorism. After watching 9/11, I believe that it is the overriding issue of the time and an issue that requires every resource our country can throw at it.
In my opinion, Bush has not shown particularly effective leadership since 9/11. I don't think he has been aggressive enough in many areas, such as homeland security and fixing the problems at the FBI, the CIA, the FAA, and the INS. Perhaps more importantly, I don't think he has been effective in selling a plan or instilling confidence. However, I think that his basic instinct of taking the fight to the terrorists around the globe is the right approach and I agree with him that the United States must be more willing to invest in middle eastern democracies and less willing to condone dictatorships. It is the lack of freedom (and economic hope) that creates the climate for teenagers to strap bombs to their waists.
My concern with John Kerry is that he has been as devoid of policy initiatives in this election as he has been for 18 years in the US Senate. I keep waiting for him to present a coherent strategy of fighting terrorism and he continues to disappoint.
I am very frustrated voter.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit|
|By Taffy (Taffy) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:29 am: Edit|
bush is such a horrible public speaker, he made a 5 second pause mid-sentence.
bush also couldnt name north korea's leader... "Kim Ging Ill" and "Kim Shun Ill" were 2 names i heard... whatafoo
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit|
well what do u expect when getting information from the CommunistNewsNetwork
|By Taffy (Taffy) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:33 am: Edit|
i looked for a poll on faux news but i guess theyre not a big fan of democracy
|By Paulhomework (Paulhomework) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:43 am: Edit|
^ dude i love faux they're awesome. They're so "fair and balanced" i'm speechless.
|By Reasonabledad (Reasonabledad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:08 am: Edit|
Before the debates, the dems put out a very well coordinated email campaign to request that democrats "vote" on the Internet blogs in favor of Kerry, call in to radio shows, and write letters to the editor of newspapers in order to convey that Kerry "won" the debate. So i would not look too much at these measures of success.
I thought Kerry did really well, in that he looked and sounded Presidential. But taking it all in stock, what did we learn tonight? Nothing new from either side excpet that Kerry thinks he could have done everything better, and that Bush thinks Kerry is condemned out of his own mouth...
Let's wait and see what impact, if any, the dabate has on the poll results in battelground states. I expect a slight tightening of the race, but not too much.
|By Taffy (Taffy) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:25 am: Edit|
the vice presidential debate is going to be great haha.. North Carolina's #1 trial lawyer against mr haliburton himself.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:28 am: Edit|
I think Senator Kerry would do well to(in order to win):
1. Focus more on telling America why they should vote for him, instead of telling America why they shouldn't vote for President Bush.
2. Instead of telling voters, 'I have a plan to...' and then going back to criticizing the president, tell voters what you plan actually is.
3. Get plastic surgery to fix that funky looking face.
|By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:53 am: Edit|
haha jl87d i agree with number 3 especially...
honestly, i dont think the whole national guard fiasco did any good for kerry or bush politically---all it did was show how much better looking Bush was "back in the day" ...kerry didn't look half as good in uniform
|By Thermodude (Thermodude) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:00 am: Edit|
Obviously we shouldn't elect a president based on looks :-D
...anyways...to interject my overall opinion, Kerry definately won this debate. Bush appeared nervous, and rather unconfident.
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit|
can we really even call this a debate, it was colser to a Q and A session. they wernt even allowed to ask direct questions. Id rather see them in a boxing match then answer questions we already know how their going to answer.
|By Thermodude (Thermodude) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:08 am: Edit|
From what I've heard, Kerry actually excels at the Q and A type debates. This debate was more formal, as it was in a similar format to the past few presidential debates. Of course, I too believe it would have been interesting to watch a Q and A like debate.
|By Welshie (Welshie) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:13 am: Edit|
I'm surprised no one mentioned Bush's candid comment, "Meh, I'm a pretty calm guy. I don't take it personally" in response to Kerry's attack on Bush's "truth" and honesty. That was awesome. Granted, I wouldn't vote for Bush, but I thought that was awesome.
Anywho, I think Kerry was more poised and confident but neither candidate really impressed me.
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:15 am: Edit|
i think you misunderstood what i ment by Q and A type debate. what i ment was the moderator basically asks the questions and the canididates answer the questions asked to them. they cant directly ask each other questions.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:36 am: Edit|
There were several moments during which Bush seemed to loose his train of thought, and fumbled to pick it up again. Also, he blinked hard, in rapid sucession, as if on the brink of panic. (Though, maybe I read too much into these bits of body language.) He did seem somewhat nervous to me. Kerry, on the other hand, seemed totally in control. I think his handlers did a much better job preparing him for this debate. I think they understood that he had to chip away at Bush's perceived strength, planting seeds of doubt in the minds of voters who'd previously assumed that Bush was more competent to handle the situation in Iraq. It'll be interesting to see how tonight's (last night's, really) debate is reflected in upcoming Gallup Polls.
|By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:44 am: Edit|
taking my political hat off, i think kerry clearly won. he was just much more poised while bush sounded like a broken record. he repeated the same phrase 9 times! an absolute waste of his precious time to sway voters. he'll need to work on that for the next debate. unfortunately, i think this one would have been his for the taking.
|By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 04:50 am: Edit|
when you believe that you have a mission, or feel a sense of purpose that strongly, it's hard to articulate that into words. but he really needed to today, he should have stepped up---he should have expanded more on how important the War on Terror is and how well he's leading/fighting it, and why going into Iraq was the right decision despite mistakes and complications. He SAID all that, but didn't go as in depth as he could have even in the short amount of time he had. He kept repeating himself, and I can imagine his heart pounding with frustration trying to get a point across but can't.
I don't think Bush is having a good night's rest i'll tell you that, he's probably running over all the things he could/should have said in his head.
Kerry has been behind in every race he's been in and then always steps up at the last minute and manages to win.
This should be a humbling experience for us Republicans and we need to step up and campaign even harder. There are less than 4 weeks left, and it's going to be SOOOOOOO close!
|By Simba (Simba) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:59 am: Edit|
Wow this is a extremely civilized discussion. Could it be due to the fact that partisn adults like me have stopped posting here for a while?
|By Originaloog (Originaloog) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:13 am: Edit|
I almost died laughing when Bush called mullahs....moolas. What an idiot!
|By Emswim (Emswim) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:15 am: Edit|
I don't think either candidate really won. I do think Kerry is a better speaker, but he didn't expand enough on his "plans" enough in my opinion. He is a great debater, but I am completely unimpressed with his voting record. Though Bush fumbled a few times, he appeared decisive. However, I think Bush could have given more details about how he plans to win in Iraq. Hopefully both candidates will better answer some of these questions in future debates.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:17 am: Edit|
If anyone has the time, I would suggest watching reruns of the debate on CSPAN. They provided a split screen the whole time.
Valpal, Kerry may have been coached but last night was the real Kerry. He was cool and confident under fire. I thought he was exceptional. Of course I am biased but I thought he was more concise than usual. No comment on Bush.
In the words of John Stewart: Bush may be a great guy to have a beer with but I want my President to be the designated driver.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:32 am: Edit|
"In the words of John Stewart: Bush may be a great guy to have a beer with but I want my President to be the designated driver."
Oh, I have no doubt that Kerry would "drive", Lizchup. Only thing is, I strongly suspect that everytime the car swirved off the road or ran into a tree, he would whine that the drunk guy(republican congress) in the seat next to him grabbed the wheel, and the last driver left him only "this old junker" to drive. And he would continue to drive wearing this teflon suit for a very long time.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:44 am: Edit|
LOL, Exactly how kerry would probably behave in office, "it's the Republicans fault not mine, they made me do it, they are destroying America, ect..." Nothing is ever your fault is it Mr. Kerry? You were probably even born without original sin, right Sen. Kerry?
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:56 am: Edit|
We have run off the road and hit a tree in case you haven't noticed. Bush doesn't blame congress, he just blames Osama Bin Laden for us being at war. So much for whining presidents.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit|
no one seems to realize what the full impact 9/11 was.
Think about it for one minute, What was that place called? O' Yeah, The World Trade Center. What was it filled with? O' Yeah, banks. Were was it located? O' Yeah, Wall Street.
Is it any wonder the economy took a dip? Quite frankly, I'm surprised the economy stayed in as good of shape as it did after blowing up The World Trade Center.
|By Matth (Matth) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:14 am: Edit|
Agreed, Lizschup. People seem to forget what a horrible mess Bush has gotten us into in Iraq. Yesterday, 35 children were killed. For each of the past four months, more U.S. soldiers were killed than the previous month. Things are far worse now than when we supposedly won the war and Bush stood on that aircraft carrier and announced "mission accomplished". I doubt that there are many people who are sad that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power but that isn't the point. Bush started this war with no idea whatsoever how to end it and get out of there. At the moment, it's chaotic and there's no clear picture of the chaos ending anytime soon. Kerry's idea of reaching out to other countries (our old allies) for assistance in rectifying the situation sounds like an excellent and reasonable beginning to me. For those of you who want to hear Kerry's plan on various issues, go to JohnKerry.com. Don't expect to be spoonfed the issues in a two minute format 'debate'. Inform yourselves. And someone, please for the love of all that's holy, tell Dubya how to pronounce the word nuclear. He makes himself look like such a fool every time he says nuc-u-lar.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:30 am: Edit|
I don't think Kerry helped himself much. People already know that GW is a halting speaker. We've been told that Kerry is a tremendous debater. I don't see it.
No one has mentioned Kerry's comments on stopping some of our weapons programs (sometimes a good idea...not a great one to bring up today). Or his plan to solve military problems by holding some meetings. Or how he would persuade reluctant "allies?" to step up to the plate with us. The actions in Iraq are believed to be logical by many voters. If we're still there in four more years, the "This was a big mistake" theme will certainly get someone elected. Currently, that is a losing election strategy and will not play in the heartland of the country. My bet is that more people want to take a stand on things, not try to appease our way out of them. Maybe he'll appoint Jane Fonda secretary of state if he's elected.
Kerry also apparantly made a factual error(which I though was a major mistake, especially for a genius debater ) about unilateral sanctions on Iran, which Bush noted were done before his administration.
KERRY: Well, I'll tell you exactly why not, but I first want to say something about those sanctions on Iran.
Only the United States put the sanctions on alone, and that's exactly what I'm talking about......
BUSH: Back to Iran, just for a second.
It was not my administration that put the sanctions on Iran. That happened long before I arrived in Washington, D.C.
It was also telling to me that he didn't have the courage to call GWB a liar to his face on national TV. He danced around it with euphemisms without having the courage to stand up for what he apparently wants others to believe. [I think it is accurate to say that he has said it many times in front of partisan audiences.] Even Lehrer attempted to provoke a response by the PResident
LEHRER: ... talking about the truth of the matter. He used the word "truth" again. Did that raise any hackles with you?
BUSH: Oh, I'm a pretty calm guy. I don't take it personally
Bush showed his savvy there. Lehrer was instigating saying "He's calling you a liar. Bushes response in effect said. "What else would you expect from him." It was an important point in the debate.
I think the change in "wording" is because the private polls may have indicated that many Americans think calling people that you disagree with liars is low-class. I'd make an issue our of that hypocrisy if I were the Bush campaign. (Of course, George didn't call him a flip-flopper either, so maybe its a wash there.)
In any case, he'll have more chance for progress when the debate is on other topics. Trying to differ on matters of national security in a time of conflict is a fools game.
|By Megofou (Megofou) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit|
There were definitely some points last night where animal cookies were much more interesting that hearing the same thing repeated over and over. I really don't think either candidate did well, but I agree with numerous posters before me that Kerry clearly won. Not even anything to do with what they were saying inparticular...it was presence. He chuckled, he took notes (best pyshce out trick ever), and he never looked like he was hearing something that could sink him (possibly because he wasn't).
I do feel bad for the people who are still trying to decide. If they're going for content, it's currently 0 vs 0. Buuuut the next debate is on its way.
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit|
The problem is with asking for help from our "allies" is is that no one wants to help. Even in afganastan countries sent very few troops, and i doubt they will send any if kerry wins. Everybody knew afganstan was a horrible place, but very few troops were sent from foreighn countries.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 09:44 am: Edit|
not true, the other Anglican countries sent quite a few troops. The UK in particular, other contributes: Australia, Canada, Poland, others ....
|By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit|
i fell asleep for the last 15 minutes watching it live so i caught a repeat of the end..
did anyone else notice that everyone was clapping and then bush and his family left the stage and kerry was still up there with teresa and EVERYONE started like shouting like WOOOOOOOOOOO YAYYYY!! haha
so obvious who got this one.. can't wait til the 8th!!
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit|
Well Dadx, the other half of the country does think this war and Bush's mismanagement of it is a mistake.
As far as I know, Kerry has not called Bush a liar. Kerry has said that Bush has misled the country. I've been to one of those so called "partisan" events and Kerry never used the word liar. He knows how to be diplomatic. Which is more than I can say for Mr. Bush. And by the way if you want to point a finger at partisan events you should start first with Bush, who doesn't allow citizens with opposing views into his campaign rallies. If they get in by mistake, they are shown the door.
For all you Bush supporters, have you ever wondered how you would feel if a Democratic president were responsible for Iraq, had made all the exact same decisions and moves? Or even better imagine Bush as the CEO of a company and translate his actions accordingly. Do you think the board of directors would be praising his work and offering a huge compensation package or would they be booting him out the door?
|By Xdad (Xdad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit|
Was there a revelation yesterday? Why would it be surprising that Kerry kept his poise and uttered the words that his supporters want to hear? After all, he has spent the best part of his adult life practicing the skill of speaking but saying very little. It works wonders in Congress, and to a lesser extent on the campaign trail. However, when decisions and positions do matter, the bar is raised substantially. A telling fact was that Kerry blundered away his best chance to establish a credible position by pointing out that his foccus-group generated "plan" was on his website. When you are on the one-yard line, you try to score a touchdown. With the ball in his hands, QB Kerry called for a timeout!
Bush was simply Bush. He speaks directly to the people in a way that is ridiculed by his opponents and appreciated by his supporters. Yes, appreciated is a favorite buzzword of President Bush, probably as much as misunderestimated. Anybody who has witnessed Bush's debates against political animals like the former Governor Ann Richards will tell you that underestimating Bush capacity to deliver his message to his constituency is a dangerous proposition. Bush knows that voters pick someone they like, not always someone they understand, and rarely someone who lectures them in a condescending way.
In the end, winning the debate by 54-46, or 52-48 has no relevance whatsoever. Experts predicted Bush to win this debate, and he didn't. Experts and questionable polls now declare Kerry won the debate, but did he really gain anything? Add the Nader factor, and we are back to square one, with the same conclusion that Kerry won't find enough swing voters to add to his unwavering supporters. And then there are two more debates and four weeks ... plenty of time to hear a few more contradictions from the esteemed Senator.
|By Xdad (Xdad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit|
Lizschup, your memory must be quite selective to ignore the Democrats who sent our troops in ill-advised wars. And there is a huge difference, history has established that the wars in question were ill-advised; the jury is still out on the long term impact of the current one.
What is comical about your argument is that President Kerry would have reached the same decision as Bush. Why? Because it was so darn popular at that precise time. The focus group numbers would have been all the intelligence Kerry needed. The argument that Kerry would have done better in Iraq is laughable, as laughable as the semantics about not calling Bush a liar.
|By Simba (Simba) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:56 am: Edit|
The american scorecard:
CNN - 527K respondents, B - 21%, K - 71%
NBC - 1,721K, B - 38%, K - 62%
Fox (the RNC mouth piece) - 46K, B - 41%, K - 38%
Funny Faces of Bush Frustration at democrates.org. It really is funny.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:08 pm: Edit|
"We have run off the road and hit a tree in case you haven't noticed."
I certainly HAVE noticed, Lizchup. And I believe that Osama IS partially responsible for having "grabbed the wheel", so to speak. However, the problem I see with George Bush is that, instead of correcting the course and going after the parties most directly responsible for 911, and those who posed the most imminent future threat to our national security (I believe Kerry exploited this mistake most effectively last night, btw), he continued to drive the car further off the road by invading Iraq. That is my biggest criticism of George Bush. I don't believe invading Iraq was essential for our national security at that time, though I do susupect that Sadan may have indeed possessed WMD. I believe it's plausible that he used the intervening number of months during which the option of invading Iraq was hotly debated in this country, to effectively move them out of the country, and to destroy any significant trace of ongoing weapons programs. I think Sadam knew that the likelihood of Bush ultimately sending troops over there was very high. And he literally had years, between the last U.N. inspections, and the current invasion, to put mechanisms in place for carrying out such a contingency on short notice.
But it is neither here, nor there at this point. We are there, and we need to get out as soon as possible. I don't think Wubya is doing a good job of planning our exit. But I don't think J. Kerry would do any better, to be frank. I think he talks a good game, if talking a good game involves sketchy ideas and vague generalities. I still don't see Kerry as having been effective in outlining what it is that he plans to do to extricate us from Iraq. And if he's President, it will not do to say it's not his responsiblity because, "he didn't get us in this mess in the first place".
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit|
Valpal, so I take it from your comments that you are supporting Bush.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit|
>> We are there, and we need to get out as soon as possible.
Why do we need to get out as soon as possible? I don't believe that getting out of Iraq anytime soon is our national policy.
a) While it is admittedly a difficult, perhaps impossible, challenge, assisting in the development of a Muslim country that is a part of the world economy and a somewhat democratic, run by neither fundamentalist extremists nor a depostic royal family, would have a HUGE stabilizing influence on the region. Building Irag ia worthwhile cause. It is the right thing to do, both morally and strategically. The fact that it is not easy doesn't change that equation. In the long run, the United States becomes stronger in the world by being a force against tryranny and willing to invest in building free, democratic countries. Unlike Vietnam, this region of the world is of great strategic importance to the United States.
b) Iraq is important militarily. We have two countries, Iran and Syria, who have been major exporters of terrorism. A strong argument can be made that Iran is the headquarters of fundamentalist terrorism and has been for 25 years. A permanent military presence in Iraq puts extreme pressure on Syria and Iran militarily, by giving us a base of operations for covert activity and military action should it be required. Bagdhad Airport is an important military asset.
As for "going it alone" without "the world community", I would point out that the big problem in the region is that our so-called "allies" have been behaving like our enemies. France didn't want to pressure Saddam Hussein because they did a LOT of business with him, thus ensuring that the UN-sanctions could never work. The Saudis, while nominally "helping" us, have been the biggest financier of the fundamentalist terrorists. And, don't even talk about the UN. The "Oil for Food" Program was unthinkably corrupt -- funnelling billions of dollars to Saddam and to those Saddam designated, including members of the French government, the Russian government, and major Al Quaeda money-launderers.
The experts on Islamic terrorism agree about very little; however, there are two things that are almost universally believed by the experts:
a) short-term, you have to take the fight to the terrorists and their enablers as aggressively as possible
b) long-term, you will never deal with the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism without providing the hope of economic prosperity and freedom. People who believe their lives are improving and who feel that they enfranchised politically do not strap bombs to their waists.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit|
If so Valpal, I have to say I have respect for your opinion. I've yet to meet a Bush supporter who admits that Bush has made a mistake. I disagree with you about Kerry but I appreciate your ability to look at Kerry and the debate with an open mind and respect. I once had an open mind about Bush. I didn't vote for him and I thought the election debacle was a shame, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt, until Iraq and the tax cut, and the Kyoto treaty and so on...
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:53 pm: Edit|
Interessteddad, You don't really sound very undecided.
"The fact that it is not easy doesn't change that equation."
It may not be a matter of it being difficult or a long haul.It may be impossible. Have you heard about the new report out that describes the possible scenarios for Iraq- the one Bush said they were "just guessing" about.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:12 pm: Edit|
I have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in all eight elections since I turned 18.
I strongly disagree with the Republican platform on almost every domestic issue.
I believe that George W. Bush has been a largely ineffective leader.
I have absolutely NO idea who I will vote for in November. I am very frustrated that Kerry has given me no reason to vote for him and that the Democratic Party is so rudderless, especially when it comes to addressing the critical middle-ground of the American electorate.
At the end of the day, I don't think my vote will matter. With the Democrats having thrown away their base in the South, I don't honestly believe that there is a set of electoral college mathmatics that can add up to a Democratic presidential win.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit|
Intereresteddad,Well then maybe you should vote against Bush rather than for Kerry.
|By Ml41588 (Ml41588) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit|
kerri won hands down. bush came off as a bumbling idiot (a surprise?) Besides being on top of his stuff, Kerry was very collected, listend carefully to bush and then spoke. on the other hand, bush was a hothead who keeped saying the same thing over and over again. He also is the worst public speaker i have ever witnessed. he pauses for literally 6-7 seconds, misspeaks (once he said we will free the iraqs when in fact he claims that he already did). i really think that the next 2 debates will go in kerry's favor even more than this one, because they'll be kerry's key issues. it's good news that kerry beat bush on the issue that he was supposed to dominate. the best is yet to come!
|By Benjamin (Benjamin) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:49 pm: Edit|
All and all, it really doesn't matter what anyone with partisan views thinks about the debate. I saw a current poll on undecided voters, and much like interesteddad, many are still unsure of who to vote for. So, concerning people like Ml41588, it is obvious that they already knew who they were going to vote for, so of course they are going to believe that their candidate did sooo much better. For those of you who have already made up your mind and love to paste what you think all over the message board, let me insist that your opinion on the debate is rather moot, as is mine.
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:00 pm: Edit|
the best is yet to come?
For you, that should include learning to use capital letters, trying not to butcher the five-letter name of your candidate, trying to use some third-grade punctuation, knowing that over and over again is a pleonasm, and knowing how to use the word literally. Before calling our President a bumbling idiot for the way he speaks in public, you should take a good look at the pathetic way you express yourself in a public forum.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:07 pm: Edit|
>> Intereresteddad,Well then maybe you should vote against Bush rather than for Kerry.
Ah, the old "Yellow-Dog Democrat" scenario, or as the saying goes, "I'd vote for a yella dog before I voted for a Republican". Amazing that the Democrats have thrown that sentiment away and handed the South to the Republicans on a silver platter.
Here's my problem. As I have said, I believe that the terrorism, radical Islamic threat is the over-riding issue of our time. I believe that Bush's swift invasion of Afghanistan was not only the correct policy, but an essential policy. I am not convinced that John Kerry would make the correct decision.
While I am not convinced that invading Iraq was essential, I do think it was a plausible, rational decision. I have no earthly idea whether or not Kerry agrees or what his position would be when faced with a similar decision.
By giving me absolutely nothing to sink my teeth into on the over-riding issue of the election, Kerry is making it very hard for me to vote for him.
As a bit of a political junkie, I think Kerry botched his whole strategy. In my opinion, his campaign message should have been:
a) Bush has not been tough enough in the war on terrorism. We can do more.
b) And, my domestic policies are better.
It's not surprising that Kerry has botched his campaign. The saavy Democratic strategists have been kicked to the curb. Instead, Kerry has surrounded himself with retreads from the Gore and Dukakis campaigns -- two of the most inept presidential campaigns in recent memory.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit|
Benjamin, it seems partisan is an overly used word as of late, used to dismiss honest opinion and even facts.
Here is a definition of "partisan" from Webster's: a firm adherent to a party, faction,cause,or person:esp:one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance.
Now I'm sure someone will take the first part and twist my words but I surmise from the second part that it is a somewhat derogatory term and shouldn't automatically be used for someone who calls themselves a Rep. or Dem. There ARE Dems and Republicans who are not partisan,but have made up their minds on whom to vote for.
|By Originaloog (Originaloog) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:36 pm: Edit|
Jl87d, and as the Twin Towers burned and Andy Card told him that the UsA was under attack, our President looked dumbfounded for 7 long minutes while children were being read "My Pet Goat". Seven long minutes when critically important decisions needed to be made, like ordering the other two hijacked planes shot down! The 9-11 Commission found documents that indicated that Veep Cheney ultimately gave that order.
Oh yeah, and what did our warrior President do? Did he immediately return to DC? Of course not. He high tailed it to Missouri, a real command and control center.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:37 pm: Edit|
Interesteddad, I don't subscribe to that philosophy either. I used to vote for the individual but the Bush administration has changed that for me. I agree that terrorism is "the over-riding issue of our time" but I think pre-emptive war is not necessarily the solution. It is important to have a president who can command respect outside of our borders and Bush has truly squandered that. Kerry is intelligent, calm, rational and knows how to analyze and solve a problem. Kerry is open-minded rather than dogmatic as Bush is. Yes Bush sticks to his guns no matter what the rest of the world thinks (except his base, Karl Rove does focus groups too) I call it stubborness,not strength.
In terms of Kerry's senate record,initiating legislation is not always the mark of a great leader. He was a behind the scenes senator - a team player.
Kerry has recently brought in many of the campaign strategists from Clintons campaign.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit|
>> It is important to have a president who can command respect outside of our borders and Bush has truly squandered that.
I'm inclined to think that is not the case. It seems to me that the United States is in a stronger position with key players in the Middle East -- Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, etc.
For example, we have both Saudia Arabia and Pakistan actively assisting in the fight against terrorism -- something that has not been the case in the past. I still don't trust 'em as far as I can throw 'em, but the leadership of both countries is now concerned about consequences of being viewed as "enablers".
As far as the Syrias, Iranians, and other terrorist sponsor states, their leaders certainly took due note of the elapsed time between tanks rolling from the Kuwait border and parking on the lawn of Saddam's Presidential Palace. When the President says that nuclear capability in Iran will not be tolerated, I'm quite certain that the leadership in Tehran understands the message.
IMO, having a firm resolve is essential in dealing with both "allies" and "enemies" in the region. It is not a subtle, Western European, diplomacy-oriented region of the world.
Do the French hate us? Sure. And, as their participation in the "UN Oil for Food" corruption comes to light, it is easy to see why. Actually, one of my biggest beefs with Bush's leadership right now is that he is trying to sweep the scandel under the rug in order to foster co-operation with Kofi Anan and the Western European community. I think that is a mistake. It is precisely the backstabbing of our "allies" that propped up Saddam Hussein and made military action in Iraq inevitable, sooner or later.
>> Kerry has recently brought in many of the campaign strategists from Clintons campaign.
A little late for that now. The Democrats made a fundamental miscalculation after the last election by kicking the DLC-style strategists to the curb and opting to play to the hard-core base rather than staking out a viable position in the center of the electorate.
Unfortunately, the rabid base (Democratic or Republican) is not enough to win national elections. It's the 20% of the voters in the center who determine the outcome of national elections. Both parties are too beholden to their respective constituent special interest groups and too accustomed to superficial "gotcha" politics to speak to the voters in the middle.
|By Valpal (Valpal) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 04:07 pm: Edit|
Well Liz, "support" is a mighty strong word. It's not so much that I "support Bush", as I can't find it in my gut to vote for Kerry. It will be a heavy-hearted day for me at the polls.
|By Perry (Perry) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit|
I think the critical issue in the next four years will not be Iraq, but Iran's program to develop nuclear weapons. Should they succeed, the world will be a far more dangerous place with the distinct possibility that Iran will work to provide its terrorist clientele with suitcase- sized nuclear weapons. To prevent this scenario, military action may be necessary to eliminate its nuclear weapons capacity before its too late. What a mess.
|By Simba (Simba) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 04:42 pm: Edit|
Valpal and interesteddad, please read this
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 04:54 pm: Edit|
Since when are Paul Krugman's opinions, or theories for that matter, worth reading? He is a pseudo-intellectual who appeals only to sensationalist morons and nitwits.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:03 pm: Edit|
Bakk, sounds like you actually believe Bill O'Reilly's spin. Paul Krugman IS an intellectual. He graduated from Yale and MIT and won a prestigeous economics award early in his career. He's a professor at Princeton. You may not like what he says or agree with his analysis but he is attempting to talk about the facts, something rare in the world of politics today.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit|
>> I think the critical issue in the next four years will not be Iraq, but Iran's program to develop nuclear weapons.
I absolutely agree. I was so angry last night that Lehrer failed to ask the obvious hard question.
I know Bush's answer because O'Reilley did ask it earlier this week:
Q: Mr. President, what about Iran's nuclear program?
A: I hope that diplomatic efforts will be successful in convincing Iran that continuing their program is not in their best interest.
Q: Would you use military force if diplomacy fails?
A: All options are on the table.
Q: But, would you use military force?
A: All options are on the table.
Q: Will you allow the Iranian nuclear program to continue if diplomacy fails?
I was dying to hear Lehrer ask the hard question last night because I believe that the answers would have been very informative about fundamental policy beliefs of the two candidates. That's really the kind of clarity that would help me make up my mind. Alas, nobody has asked Sen. Kerry.
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:16 pm: Edit|
>>Since when are Paul Krugman's opinions, or theories for that matter, worth reading? He is a pseudo-intellectual who appeals only to sensationalist morons and nitwits.>>
Quoting Paul Krugman's website:
>>Most people who have accessed this page probably know who I am, but for anyone else here is a summary. (To learn more click here ). I have recently moved from MIT to Princeton . I was born in 1953, got my Ph.D. from MIT in 1977, and have since taught at Yale and Stanford as well as MIT. I also spent an eye-opening year working at the White House (Council of Economic Advisers) in 1982-3. In 1991 I received my major professional gong, the John Bates Clark Medal, given by the American Economic Association every two years to an economist under 40.
I have written or edited 18 books (I think) and several hundred articles. Most of these are about international trade (I helped found the so-called "new trade theory", which is about the consequences of increasing returns and imperfect competition for international trade) and international finance, and are pretty well incomprehensible to laymen. However, since I wrote The Age of Diminished Expectations in 1989, I have increasingly tried to communicate with non-economists through op-eds, magazine articles, and so on. It turns out that people have a hard time tracking all of this stuff down; hence this page. It contains, among other things, links to my two former monthly columns: "No free lunch" in Fortune, and "The dismal science" in the cyberspace magazine Slate. (Slate is free - I highly recommend it). As mentioned above, you can read my New York Times column either on paper or online.
With any luck, you will find many of these pieces extremely annoying. My belief is that if an op-ed or column does not greatly upset a substantial number of people, the author has wasted the space. This is particularly true in economics, where many people have strong views and rather fewer have taken the trouble to think those views through - so that simply insisting on being clear-headed about an issue is usually enough to enrage many if not most of your readers.>>
Take your pick.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:24 pm: Edit|
>> You may not like what he says or agree with his analysis but he is attempting to talk about the facts, something rare in the world of politics today.
Actually, I see quite a few purported "statements of fact" in the NYTIMES op-ed piece that are hardly that.
To be perfectly honest, these kinds of opinion pieces, from spinmeisters in either party, make me LESS inclined to vote for their candidate. What appeals to me the most is political discussion that does NOT paint the opponent as the DEVIL, but that acknowleges the complexity of the issues and the lack of obvious "right" or "wrong" solutions.
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit|
Lizschup, I have never listened to O' Reilly, nor read anything he might have written. On the other hand, I have read plenty of the works of Paul Krugman to be able to form an opinion on both the person and his journalistic contributions.
I've called him a pseudo-intellectual because he has allowed his extreme political views and the huge chip he carries on his shoulder to cloud his judgement and integrity. Despite that Paul Krugman was recognized in his early career as one of our potential brightest stars, he has, since then, developed tendencies of blatant intellectual dishonesty to cover his own contradictions. One could wonder what prompted a brilliant mind to exhibit such an intellectual paranoia? Was it the snubbing by Clinton that caused him to start spewing so much hate, mostly directed towards Laura d'Andrea Tyson or Robert Reich, at least until he found his favorite target in Bush? Or was it the negative publicity surrounding his admission to have been a paid consultant/mercenary to the much-maligned Enron in 1999?
He is just a diminutive angry man who has found a perfect place for his op-ed pieces!
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit|
I don't think Paul Krugman is a spinmeister but believe what you want to believe. It's pretty difficult not to paint the opponent as the devil when there is so much secrecy and muddling of the facts and the truth. This is a presidency like no other. The country is polarized because of Bush and the winner take all, "the ends justifies the means" attitude of the Republicans. I don't like spin either but the Republicans beat the Dems 10 to 1 when it comes to spin. And don't bring up Michael Moore and Al Franken. They are pussycats compared to O"Reilly,Limbaugh, and Coulter,who are mean spirited and nasty. And besides you have to pay to see Farenheit 911 or to read Franken's book.(yes I know, the library)Limbaugh and O'Reilly are spewing their venom every day of the week 24/7. I'm sorry Interessteddad but I am growing impatient with being picked apart. You sound like you should vote for Bush.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit|
Bakk, apologies for accusing you of watching O'Reilly. I don't have a clue what your talking about in regards to Krugman's history but spare me the details.
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit|
Lizschup, no apologies needed. I hope you realize that the mere fact of not being a fan of Krugman should not make one a follower of another extremist. I do not get my information from Coulter, Limbaugh, or O'Reilly, actually I do not even know where to find them on the dial. I also happen to find someone like Al Franken to be pretty witty. On the other hand, I admit that I would never spend a dime to attend a movie by Moore.
As most people in this country, I am pretty centrist and moderate, and I've learned to despise the extremists, especially when they purport to represent our interests. I wish that this election would be different, and not simply a Bush versus anybody but Bush decision. The election will end up in one of two ways, reelecting Bush or rejecting him. Pretending that it is about electing Kerry makes no sense. I simply do not understand how an untrustworthy Washingtonian empty suit like Kerry could provide any answers to our plight. He may have been a team or role player but I sure do not want him to captain our team.
I'll either vote for Bush or abstain.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 06:56 pm: Edit|
Well Baak, just as you don't understand how someone can vote for an "untrustworthy Washingtonian empty suit", I don't know how anyone can call themselves a moderate and vote for Bush. His policies are not moderate.
And just what is so untrustworthy about Kerry?
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:26 pm: Edit|
Lizschup, I believe that the fact that our country was attacked has pushed the current administration a lot more to the right than it would have in normal circumstances. This does not mean that it has made me happy about it.
As far as your second question, that is pretty easy. Trust is something you earn with great difficulty and lose quite easily. A life in the public arena leaves a lengthy record. Kerry's record is saddled by the same inconsistencies and hypocrisy that have marred his campaign. Despite many years in Washington, his career has been entirely uneventful and lackluster. Do you remember how much Kerry focused on his accomplishments as an elected official during his acceptance speech? I know that I blinked and missed it. Kerry might be a fine person, but he has done nothing to warrant my trust or respect.
Feel free to start listing Kerry's accomplishment, it won't eat much bandwidth.
|By Simba (Simba) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit|
Other quicker way might be to list Bush's accomplishments' on social, environmental, economical, educational, religeous, and intellectual judicial issues (that will affect your whole life).
I guarantee that it would be a short list.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit|
good one Simba. I needed some humor.
And again I recommend watching the debate on split screen so you can see Bush as Kerry is speaking. Mark Shields and David Brooks on PBS News Hour confirmed my suspicions. Those that watched split screen came away thinking Kerry won the debate.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:02 pm: Edit|
Or I should say, "Knowing that Kerry won the debate"
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit|
Here's an interesting website. I'm in a barely Kerry state.
|By Hayden (Hayden) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit|
The strengths and weaknesses of the candidates at debates often say more about the real people than we imagine. Reagan did well in debates, because his humor and down-to-earth personality came through. Gore lost in the debates, not just because he sighed, but because his sighs struck a chord with people who had in their gut felt that Gore was condescending and pompous.
The risk Bush now runs is if the real people may have come through. In other words - regardless of all the opposition ads - did Kerry's demeanor in the debate make him look like the soldier who charged into the enemy and earned a silver star; and did Bush really look like the guy who sat for 7 minutes while America was under attack.
If those visions strike a chord, Bush is in trouble. If his supporters and, more importantly, any independents, don't think it rang true, then Bush is not in trouble.
As one of the Republican pundits put it, have we had a "man behind the curtain" moment? I guess we'll see over the course of the next few days.
|By 1212 (1212) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 11:55 pm: Edit|
is it me or are the candidates for this election very very weak, both of the sucked, i think raegan should run for pres (yea i know..)
|By Northwestlover (Northwestlover) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 12:25 am: Edit|
1212: I think both candidates are weak too.
Your choises are:
1. "Rightwing nutjob" (Quote from "This Land).
2. Flip-flopper who changes his mind often.
Who would you chose?
|By Taffy (Taffy) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 12:29 am: Edit|
id choose the flipflopper who changes his mind based on the latest information, instead of the right wing stuborn idiot who never admits anything he does is wrong, and sticks with the same wrong ideas.
|By Hayden (Hayden) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit|
I found this amusing:
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit|
Interesteddad, Here are a few links for light reading. None of them will answer your questions about Kerry but they do make the case against Bush. In fact The New Republic which I have quoted below has a series called "The case against Bush". It is not just punditry and opinion but culls from several books and actual facts. This should be an election which is a referendum on Bush, not Kerry and it appears to me that you are setting a much higher bar for Kerry than you are for Bush.
Washington Monthly also has a series called What if Bush is Re-elected. I'm sure within each of these two journals you could find out more about Kerry. And last night on Now with Bill Moyers there was an expert on the mideast who stated that the war in Iraq has made relations with other Arab countries more unstable. You can probably find the interview online. Here is the quote and the links:
Here we have a sample of the style of governance that has prevailed under Bush's presidency. It's not the sort of thing you would find in a civics textbook. Bush and his allies have been described as partisan or bare-knuckled, but the problem is more fundamental than that. They have routinely violated norms of political conduct, smothered information necessary for informed public debate, and illegitimately exploited government power to perpetuate their rule. These habits are not just mean and nasty. They're undemocratic.
What does it mean to call the president "undemocratic"? It does not mean Bush is an aspiring dictator. Despite descending from a former president and telling confidants that God chose him to lead the country, he does not claim divine right of rule. He is not going to cancel the election or rig it with faulty ballots. (Well, almost certainly not.) But democracy can be a matter of degree. Russia and the United States are both democracies, but the United States is more democratic than Russia. The proper indictment of the Bush administration is, therefore, not that he's abandoning American democracy, but that he's weakening it. This administration is, in fact, the least democratic in the modern history of the presidency.
Those links may not work because you may have to have a subscription. You can get a free 4 week trial. And unfortunately I couldn't get the Washington Monthly article.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit|
I don't think you understand my frustration with this election.
It's not a case of needing additional reading on "The case against Bush". I don't like George Bush as a leader. I don't like the "Chrishun Coalishun" goons that form the backbone of his party. I vowed, on Inauguration Day four years ago, to boycott every Bush speech for the duration of his Presidency - a vow I had to break when my country was attacked and forced to go to war. I am fully aware of Bush's obvious shortcomings.
Conversely, it's not a case of me "setting a much higher bar for Kerry". I have lived in Massachussett for 15 years, exposed to the state's only media market on a daily basis. John Kerry has been my Senator for that entire time. Neither my wife (a true yellow-dog Democrat) nor I can think of one single immpression that the man has made for that entire time. He is, quite literally, the Invisible Man of Massachusetts politics. He has done NOTHING.
Based on that, I refused to vote for him in the Democratic Primary, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and watched his campaign to see if there was something there. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Is he an intelligent guy? Yes, it seems so. Has he said anything of substance about his record or policy plans. No. Has he shown even a shred of conviction, or leadership, or vitality? No. We call him The Corpse.
So here I am, stuck with a choice between two very disappointing candidates. Two candidates who are not only devoid of discernable policy offerings, but devoid of discernable leadership skills. And, most certainly, two candidates with zero interest in addressing the policy preferences of centrist voters seeking a socially compassionate, fiscally responsible platform.
To be perfectly honest, my gut says that I should sit this election out and not reward either party for offering up such incredibly weak candidates. On the other hand, my civic duty compels me to hold my nose, walk into that voting booth, and pick one. I haven't decided which one that will be at this point.
Fortunately, I can do so knowing that neither one will have the opportunity to influence domestic issues -- Bush because he'll be a lame-duck and Kerry because he's never had any influence on anything in his political career and because he won't have the votes in the Congress. So, it comes down to a pretty simple calculation -- which candidate offers a better philosophy on the important issue of the day, the war on terrorism. Generally speaking, I believe that "more aggressive" is better than "less aggressive" in fighting an enemy who killed 3000 innocent Americans in downtown NYC.
The other issue that worries me a bit is the potential for Supreme Court nominations. But, I am quite certain that neither candidate would nominate the kind of centrist judges who would appeal to me.
As far as my long-run partisan political interests, it would be better for the Democratic Party to get clobbered in this election, do a complete house-cleaning, and try to fashion a new direction going forward.
|By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit|
Interesteddad and other undecideds, perhaps the best way for you is to make a list of main issues, and peripheral issues associated with them. Assign weights based on your personal value system carefully. For example, Foreign Policy may be the main theme. Other issues under that might be terrorism, war in Iraq, Afgahnistan, America's reputation etc. Other categories might be Social issues, Environment, Judicial, Religious,economy Education, Personal traits - intelligence, flexibility etc etc. You get the picture.
Then score each candidate against them. Total it up and that is your answer. Bingo
You just have to be careful, once you assign the weights and scores, you should not go back and adjust them if you don't like the out-come.
Just today NY times has an article about how bush ignored as early 2001 the famous aluminum tube claim.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit|
Well in terms of the war on terrorism I think it would be helpful to read those articles. It gives an unusual glimpse into the inner workings of the Bush admin. and I think it is a scary thing. Yes in some cases more aggressive is better than less aggressive but not always. Bush took his eye off the ball on that and he should be booted out of office for that alone. I would rather have a benign president, (although I don't think Kerry will be one) than a president who is a malignancy on democracy.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 03:06 pm: Edit|
>> It gives an unusual glimpse into the inner workings of the Bush admin. and I think it is a scary thing.
You have to understand that I have always been an avid reader of current affairs non-fiction. So, I have read accounts of the inner-workings of every administration during my life-time -- administrations I supported and those I didn't.
The three lessons I have learned are:
a) government is an imperfect endeavor. Leaders and their advisors make decisions based on the information at hand.
b) there are very few "evil" or "dumb" people at the presidential advisor level. To the contrary, I've had the wonderful opportunity to attend roundtable discussions by all of the living Secretaries of State. When you listen to these men talk or read their memoires, you can't help but be struck by how intelligent and considered these advisors are -- even the ones that the media would tell us we should "scorn". During my lifetime, I would say that the Nixon administration was the only one that even came close to being "a malignancy on democracy" and, despite that, Nixon deserves credit for some sound foreign policy initiatives.
c) When it comes to difficult policy decsions, especially in foreign affairs, there are no "right" or "wrong" answers -- only "different" answers. None of the issues that reach presidential staff or Department head levels are easy or clear-cut.
Specifically, I have read a fairly wide range of middle east experts on the terrorism issue. One of the best overviews comes from several days of testimony very early on in the 9/11 Commission hearings -- several days of testimony from a dozen experts with a wide range of differing opinions. However, taken as a whole, the testimony provides an excellent background in the challenges we face.
In addition, I have read the book published by the terrorism expert (he was head of the Congressional staff on terrorism) that forms the basis of the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz philosophy that has guided the current administration. The book is a comprehensive history of middle east terorism, going back to the Al Queda #2 man Zawahiri's role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat. By and large, I found the material laid out in the book to be compelling and the approach to be plausible. The number one conclusion presented in the book is that "terrorism" is a much larger, more organized enemy with more substantial state support than is commonly presented in the popular media. Specifically, the book details the support of terrorism (for various reasons) from Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, and others. In some cases, the state-sponsored support has philosophic underpinnings (Iran). In others (Saudia Arabia, Iraq), it was based on purely pragmatic considerations -- essentially paying "protection money" in much the same way that you might pay a Mafia-chieftan to leave your little racket alone. The clear message is the linkage that exists between terrorists groups (Al Queda, Hamas, Hezzbollah) and the widespread support/enabling in the region. Saddam Hussein had no philosophic ties to the radical Islamic movement. However, he bought himself allies in the region with substantial funding of terrorist groups and messengers of radical fundamentalism. For example, he was a major contributor to the Al Jazeerah propoganda operation. He was also a provider of logistical support -- passports, and the like.
Based on my reading, I believe that Rumsfeld's concept of fighting terrorism (and he's really the point man) has been an appropriate short-term strategy. Furthermore, the goal of investing in a major democratic state in Iraq, while very difficult (and perhaps ultimately impossible), is a key component of a necessary long-term strategy.
When I look at the failures of the federal government, both pre and post 9/11, the failure of the CIA stands out at the top of the list. Therefore, I paid particular attention to the appointment of the new CIA director. From years of reading about foreign affairs, it is obvious to me that an effective CIA reformer must have a background in intelligence operations AND must be a political animal. One without the other is destined to fail. Thus, I have to give credit where credit is due. I would say that appointing a Yale graduate with a long career in covert operations for the CIA and eight years as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee as the new CIA director is a very good appointment, whether or not I agree with Porter Goss' politics. It would be hard to imagine a better set of qualifications for a critical appointment in a department desperately in need of reform.
|By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit|
I would say that the Bush administration is a malignancy on democracy in the international arena. Cases in point:
1. The way the democratic constitution of the United Nations was unilaterally sidestepped and even belittled.
2. The way the administration placed pressure on nations not to listen to their people when it came to personnel in Iraq. For example, the Philippines. Aside for the Philippines, let me assure you that if referendums were to be held in countries that have personnel in Iraq, especially those who have had citizens being taken hostage, the purported coalition of the willing will be whittled down to very few, possibly only the USA.
|By Driver (Driver) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 04:20 pm: Edit|
Great college application essay question:
Sixsixty has stated that the United Nations has a "democratic constitution." Given that UN representatives are appointed by individual governments, and that many of those governments are not democracies, and that a permanent security council (including totalitarian governments) was appointed expediently at the end of WWII and given special veto status, is 660 accurate in making this assertion?
|By Driver (Driver) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit|
And I agree with ID about the appointment of Goss, and that many of our current difficulties come from a CIA that has been seriously off track for many years, both operationally and as an institution.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit|
Just a sidenote:
The reason why the CIA has been "seriously off track for many years" is due to the fact that it did not adapt to a new adversary during the 1990s. During the COld War, the CIA was the premier intelligence gathering organization and focused mainly on working against the Soviet Union.
During the 1990s, when global terrorism became the new world menace, the CIA and the rest of the US intelligence agencies could not adapt fast enough to counter it. Though the CIA repeatedly warned Clinton about the dangers of terrorism, Clinton approached it with a lackadaisical attitude and did not do much to improve America's counter-terrorism capabilities.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 05:17 pm: Edit|
Vancat, that's an unfair characterization of Clinton. From what I've read in Richard Clark's book, they understood the threat of Al Quaida and told the Bush admin. that it was a threat not to ignore. Clinton wanted to go after Osama in Afghanistan but they could not get info fast enough. They also never got a definitive answer from the CIA on the USS Cole Bombings while Clinton was in office.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 05:22 pm: Edit|
>> 1. The way the democratic constitution of the United Nations was unilaterally sidestepped and even belittled.
Corruption at the United Nations is a major reason that international sanctions failed to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
Specifically, the UN Oil-for-Food Program ($1 billion in administrative fees to the UN) served as a mechanism to fund Saddam and for Saddam to purchase influence around the world. Documents found after the fall of Iraq identify 270 corporations and individuals who may have benefitted by receiving vouchers to purchase Iraqi oil under the Oil-for-Food program at a discounted price.
Named on this list were prominent officials and businessment in many the countries including countries that dragged their heels on action against Saddam. Included on the list of people who may have profited from the UN Oil-For-Food Program are government officials or prominent businessmen from France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, several African countries, and the PLO. etc. Some of this discount vouchers were awarded to known terrorist organizations and/or their funding-organizations.
I am extremely skeptical that working with the United Nations is in our country's best national security interest. Be that as it may, when 3000 innocent Americans are killed in a direct military attack on your country or when a foreign leader plans an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, we must be prepared to "go it alone" if necessary to defend ourselves.
|By Vancat (Vancat) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 05:30 pm: Edit|
"Vancat, that's an unfair characterization of Clinton. From what I've read in Richard Clark's book, they understood the threat of Al Quaida and told the Bush admin. that it was a threat not to ignore. Clinton wanted to go after Osama in Afghanistan but they could not get info fast enough. They also never got a definitive answer from the CIA on the USS Cole Bombings while Clinton was in office."
If you read, that was a pretty minor statement that I made about Clinton. No, Clinton did not pursue terrorists such as Bin Laden with much vigor, but that's to be debated in another thread. The main jist of my post was to explain why the CIA wasn't able to adapt fast enough; mainly because of a brand new adversary in a very short span of time.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 05:39 pm: Edit|
Clinton administration? Bush administration? Who cares? The failures of the CIA and other government departments (INS, FAA, FBI, etc.) transcend partisan politics or which party is in power. Attempting to assign blame to "Democrats" or "Republicans" is pointless. Did Clinton drop the ball? Yes. Did Bush drop the ball? Yes. Guess what? Every administration in the history of the United States has dropped the ball. No matter who is President, the challenges remain difficult and the answers elusive. You will always have people dropping the ball.
I actually have little interest in assigning blame for 9/11. What I am interested in a plausible plan for a more effective war on terrorism. Not a perfect war or a mistake-free war, because that will never happen. But, a plan to incrementally improve the performance of relevant government agencies.
Given the over-riding importance of the war on terrorism, I have been hoping that John Kerry would outline a plan. I have been hoping that Bush would sell his administration's plan a little more effectively. I've been disappointed on both fronts.
|By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 06:57 am: Edit|
Driver, in the very same way I could tell you that the USA is not a democracy because Bush gives order and as currently being argued on this very thread without having to consult the people. Also, the position of President warrants the holder a veto, so are we about to say that the USA is not a democracy?
ID, the UN is obviously not perfect. In my opinion, however, the greater corruption in the UN exists when aid is offered as a way of baiting votes from UN member nations. This is tantamount to bribery, and despite being more ostensibly benign than the financing of terror, it is in the long run a graver problem as it threatens to undermine the foundations of the best international organisation we have ever had.
And since we're at this, I'd like to set out some parameters. The UN on its own does not exist. The UN is the result of the cooperation of a multitude of nations. If the UN was at fault in the execution of the Oil-for-Food program, the US, being the world's sole superpower obviously cannot escape any blame either. Besides, the US did have the veto to curb any such misdemeanours, which it did not exercise. Also, given the dodgy nature of recent intelligence... are you really willing to base your arguments on these documents?
On your final point, ID, the definition of terrorism depends on which side of the fence you're on. Being a foreigner, I can tell you that there is widespread opinion that the US is itself engaging in terror by invading Iraq. Arabs in the Middle East would obviously be looking at America from the other side of the fence, with the 3000 killed during 911 being compared to the thousands of Arabs killed by American military intervention. This would tie in with your point of terror organisations being sponsored by the Oil-for-Food program, as is the US not about to be sponsored by the oil money in Iraq?
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 11:51 am: Edit|
>> This would tie in with your point of terror organisations being sponsored by the Oil-for-Food program, as is the US not about to be sponsored by the oil money in Iraq?
Uh, no. Not any time soon.
To the contrary the US taxpayers are picking up the tab for giving the Iraqi people the opportunity to rejoin the world economy, live without the threat of a brutal despot and his brutal despot sons.
In my opinion, those are admirable goals. Removing brutal despots is a good thing. The world's community of nations should probably do a little more of it, rather than propping them up to line their own pockets...and I include the US in that, we've propped up more than our share, especially in the Middle East.
As for the Oil-For-Food program, I'm patient for the investigation to unfold. If Kofi Annan and Sevan have nothing to hide, they will cooperate fully with the investigations.
|By Usunkmyb_Ship (Usunkmyb_Ship) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 04:40 pm: Edit|
I thought Kerry was better speech giver unlike Bush. There were a few instances when I cracked up when Bush talked. Kerry sure is wishy washy though. Pratically most people here on base wants Bush to win. We all watched it on the big screen together. They admire his leadership and take charge attitute. I did not mind Kerry but now I don't trust him as my commander in chief. I'm not voting.
|By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit|
Admirable goals yes, but do the Iraqis really want them? A Gallup poll showed that 42% of Iraqis would vote Saddam if he stood for election. To bring it back to the original topic, it makes Bush a bigot for assuming that he knew the psyche of the Iraqis. Also, even though American taxpayers are currently picking up the tab, rising oil prices means that ultimately the oil income from Iraq would without a doubt offset these costs.
>>>As for the Oil-For-Food program, I'm patient for the investigation to unfold. If Kofi Annan and Sevan have nothing to hide, they will cooperate fully with the investigations.
Right just as how Bush would have cooperated fully during the entire Enron fiasco if he had nothing to hide.
|By Socalnick (Socalnick) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 11:42 pm: Edit|
i cant find anything about 42% of iraqis would vote sadam on gallup's website, but i did find on gallup's website that 4/5ths of them want him tried for crimes. http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=11737
|By Bakk (Bakk) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 12:11 pm: Edit|
>>> Right just as how Bush would have cooperated fully during the entire Enron fiasco if he had nothing to hide. <<<
And what is that supposed to mean? Cooperated with what? An investigation? A probe? A hearing? Was Bush questioned or investigated for a potential role in the Enron debacle?
I think that you must be quite confused about which administration allowed the fraud to develop for four years by ignoring all the early signs of fraud, ordered the supervisory boards to bury their findings, and finally which administration prosecuted the culprits.
You ought to check some facts before babbling hysterically.
|By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 12:24 pm: Edit|
I'm talking about they way the Bush Administration refuses to disclose what contact Cheney had with Enron executives and why they won’t make public the transcripts of any meetings of his energy task force, which included meetings with Enron executives.
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