Two men walk out into the street and face each other, hands out from their sides, eyes locked. As if by some unseen signal, the hands draw their weapons and blaze away.
Or would if - one man had remembered to bring a shootin' iron instead of a water pistol.
The first debate of 2004 is now history, and like pundits everywhere, I get to express my opinions on how it went. I'm a tough grader when it comes to these sorts of things, as I feel that the job is important enough to be picky. The fate of the world could hang on my decision - scary, ain't it?
I'll start with Jim Lehrer. He asked some tougher questions than I anticipated. I didn't hear any softballs lobbed up to the pRezdint, nor any for John Kerry. The only time I noted a hint of bias was toward the end, where it appeared that Lehrer was prompting Bu$h to some up with a response to a comment Kerry made using the word 'truth' - and Bu$h didn't pick up on it.
Note to John F. Kerry - take that section and turn it into an ad. Title it 'Clueless in Coral Gables'.
Next up, John F. Kerry. He started out a tad shaky, but gained composure once he got into his groove. He did well on the topics, and at long last handled some of the negativity thrown at him for months by Bu$hCo. He was poised, composed, and seemed quite at ease. But to play devil's advocate for a moment, he didn't win the debate as much as George 'Wake Me When It's Over' Bu$h lost it. This isn't to say that Kerry couldn't have won the debate on merit. I think he would if a real debate were held. But for that, one needs an opponent, not a sacrificial Pet Goat. When Bu$h returns for Round Two, he won't be so easy.
Speaking of the Unctuous U$urper, I'd be very embarrassed if I were him. When one is invited to a showdown, one must show up ready to do battle. One doesn't wear Poppy's Stetson - the one that falls down over the eyes because it's too big. One doesn't strap on Poppy's Colt, because then it takes both hands to keep one's britches from falling down. One also doesn't wear Poppy's boots, because you can't bend your knees easily and the gun barrel is just as likely to end up inside the boot as it not.
So once Georgie stepped out into Main Street USA to face Lt. John F. Kerry, USN, and the time to draw came, Georgie ended up with his hat over his eyes, his Levi's around his ankles, his gun trapped in his boot, and nothing but his limp Water Weasel to reply to a pair of Browning .50 calibers.
If the situation were reversed, Georgie would have shot first and laughed after.