Post Debate Maunder

I totally have to go to sleep soon because it’s a school night for me, but over at MATH I was posting this whole long thing about tonight’s debate, some of which I’ll crib from here. I’m still sort of amped up from the whole thing, and also from my trip to Target to get some excellent paper plates for Book Club tomorrow.

Anyway, I thought it was weird. I was a little bored at first and J and both went “Hey! Enough with the terrists! TALK DOMESTIC, DANG IT!” I can’t decide what I thought about the moderator’s questions; I’ll have to watch again or read the transcripts or something to form an opinion. I think Bush definitely came off as the most in-control he’s been in the debates…I fancied I saw him remembering to nod and smile instead of grimace and freak out. I thought Kerry did a little too much “Now, let me respond to the earlier question…” and Bush seemed to have had a difficult time understanding what the questions were…um, No Child Left Behind is a jobs program? And that’s connected to the minimum wage how? Huh? And Kerry should havve slammed him on the flu vaccine thing, when he said that we were getting vaccine from Canada…you mean the same Canada that is, somehow, a Third World country, from the pharmaceuticals of which we need to be protected? I spent a lot of time going “Nuh uh! Not true! Our health care system the envy of the world? BWA HA HA!”

One thing that stood out for me was Kerry’s assertion of his faith, especially when he not only talked about faith without works being dead, and the fact that just because he believes a certain way doesn’t mean he can legislate other peoples’ lives. I think that’s the reality of living in a pluralistic, heterogeneous society; the President’s faith is a matter of public interest, just as every other aspect of his private life is, and I thought he handled it well. He did a good job of embodying the fundamental value of the separation between church and state…and Bush was all, “Yeah, I pray all the time. I even feel people praying for me.” Which is, you know, great, but didn’t really answer the question.

There were a lot of other weird things: “group maternity homes,” Bush’s assertion that he never said that he was unconcerned about Osama bin Laden, the candidates talking about how totally great their wives and daughters are. I’ve been very interested in the is-he-wired and noticed that while there were several back-shots of Kerry there were none of Bush…coincidence? And there was something strange about his delivery…more than usual, even…he did this thing a couple of times where he would stare and pause for a minute and then spit the rest of his answer out.

The bottom line, for me, is that the debates haven’t changed the way I’m voting in three weeks (THREE WEEKS!)because I am firmly in the ABB cataegory, no indecision over here, but they have allowed me to get a better understanding of Kerry. He does talk a little too much, but what he says seems to be pretty thoughtful and nuanced…what I keep thinking, as I’ve been watching the debates, is that he is aware that the world is not just black and white. I’m appreciating that more and more…certainly as I see Bush on TV more.

Okay, whatever, I’m rambling, I’m going to bed. Everyone vote!

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