by Duckman GR
I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous just before Senator Kerry gave his acceptence speech at he Democratic National Convention. But he came out cool, strong, in command of his faculties, his reasons, his arguments. He gave a great speech, not perfect, but real, honest and forthright.
Tonight, I had those same butterflies.
Man oh man, Senator Kerry took gwbush to the woodshed tonight.
I too took notes. First, Sen. Kerry was cool, forceful, unflinching, serious, yet loose enough. bush looked sick, with some kind of thin lipped grimace, one corner up, one down, an oral flip flop if you will.
Kerry was a little unsteady on the first question, understandably so, but not bad. bush spouted platitudes, cliches and empty rhetoric, from the get go, and he got more pointless as the night wore on.
First whopper? bush said it was his idea to go to the U.N. That has to be news to all the people who had to force him to do so, r's and D's and I's alike. Incredible. Then he said something about the plan he outlined for Iraq, but he had outlined nothing to that point, no "plan" no details, nothing, just meaningless lines like, "it's hard." Some cheese for ya there george?
As the debate wore on, and bush appeared more lost and frustrated, Kerry grew stronger. bush kept asking for extra response time, which Senator Kerry graciously allowed for, and then he said nothing, just stared at the camera, forgetful of what point he wanted to make, then fell back on to his bumper sticker lines.
This debate was beyond anything I've ever seen. Sure, I've watched bush try to speak before, watched his "its okay if I'm the dictator" moments, his John Wayne empty swagger, bring it on indeed.
And I've heard President Clinton and President Gore give speeches of substance and import, hell, I've heard Richard Nixon give speeches of substance and import, Reagan too. I watched the debates with Bush and Gore, Clinton and Bush and Perot, Ford and Carter.
I have never watched a political candidate hammer so many threads, so many long balls, so many knifes to the heart and head and body of an opponent as John F Kerry did tonight. Oh, yeah, he brought it on.
He trotted out Reagan and George "Baseball" Will, he slapped george with Poppy Bush, he nailed him on pulling the inspectors from North Korea, on the nuclear proliferation, he got bush to agree that nuclear proliferation was the greatest danger facing the U.S., he tweaked bush on nukular, he dragged the French and JFK in the deal, he hit bush with our standing in the world, his failure to fund Homeland Security, inspect the containers and airplane cargo holds, he pounded him on cutting cops and firemen here and funding them in Iraq, he mentioned his service without getting swifty, he had a great line about not confusing the War with the Warriors, he nailed him on global warming and stem cell research, oh it was just too beautiful for words.
Kerry got digs in at all levels, he's written a book for chrissakes, but he didn't brag about it. He exploited bush's certitude as a dangerous inflexibility, he got bush to announce to his freeper friends that, news flash, of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us! I know that.
Yes freepers, Osama, not Saddam. And the line about outsourcing even the job of capturing bin Laden, oh man, bush ain't sleeping tonight.
Big issues, small details, personal digs, handy catch phrases, bush looked like Mike Tyson out there.
So here's the spin.
John Kerry was presidential tonight. He forcefully presented his case, he relentlessly exposed gwb as a poorly equipped leader repeating his course of action and expecting different results. He forced bush to admit once and for all that Osama bin Laden attacked us, not Iraq, and he hammered the point that bush's actions, from stopping talks with North Korea, to defunding the clean up of nuclear weapons and materials in the former Soviet Union states, from alienating the rest of the world in his misguided war in Iraq, to not funding Homeland Security, from stretching our military resources to the breaking point, to lying about the threat of Iraq, has resulted in a world far less safe, less hospitable, and less free, for Americans.
He even outsourced the job of catching bin Laden, the guy that directed the attack on America that killed 3,000 people. I think even Bartcop would be satisfied with the Senator's performance tonight.