This time, Bush Should Have Looked at His Watch

I’m growing weary of these debates, and I wish the candidates had agreed to only two, rather than three events. I cannot bear to hear Kerry say “I have a plan” in that creepy patrician drone one more time, and I’m even getting tired of Bush saying, “Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.”

These two need fresh material. Tonight, I could only watch them for a few minutes before it would begin to feel like my entire life-force was stagnating and drooping. For respite I found myself clicking over to the Yankees/Twins playoffs, which would get my blood moving again. (Yankees 8-4, Hooah!)

Anyway, I thought it was a bit elitist of Kerry to remark that “looking around” the room he suspected that the only people there who could possibly be worth more than $200,000 were Bush, Charlie Gibson and himself. For the rest of the evening, I imagined a little voice inside his head, finishing each of his sentences with “you twinkie-eating Wal-Mart Shopping hicks!”

I also wanted to gag when he carried on about being Catholic and having been an altar boy (my Presbyterian neighbor groaned, too) and I was repulsed by his lie that he couldn’t support the Partial Birth Abortion ban (meant to curb a truly savage practice) because it had no provisions for “the life of the mother”. Earth to Kerry: Even the AMA has said that in the 21st century, there is never an instance in which the health of the mother calls for the partial delivery of a baby, the crushing of its skull or the sucking out of its brains. To suggest otherwise is just disingenuous, and it insults the intellects of most Americans. And I still don’t understand why he can say that he “holds deep respect” for pro-lifers on one hand, but insist that under his presidency they’ll have to have their taxes used to pay for abortions not only here, but in other countries as well. There is something decidedly dark and nefarious about this gleeful hunger for the blood of those who are most innocent, and therefore closest to God. I frankly don’t want my tax dollars to fund it.

As to President Bush, I was glad to see him on his game, and he did settle down after a rather loud and scrappy start. There was one moment, though, that I would have loved to have seen. Okay, I would have loved to have seen him remind everyone that Kerry had voted against the Kyoto Treaty in 1997, and that President Clinton had been smart enough to “let it die”, but that’s a small thing. This is what I wanted to see: remember in 1992, when President Bush-the-Elder looked at his watch at one of the debates, and it was counted as a huge gaffe?

I wish Bush-the-Younger had looked at his watch, right after one of Kerry’s drones, and then lifted his head with a smile and said, “Do you know what’s happening right now? Right now, as we gather here, ten million Afghanis are beginning to vote in their first free election, and almost half of them are women…” Then he could have answered whatever question was in play. THAT would have been a moment.

If we must declare “winners” of debates (I personally despise the practice as it encourages both extreme hype and the sort of dishonest “instant poll manipulations” we’re seeing the Democrats put their energy into, cheered on by the Eddie Haskell of politics, Terry McAuliffe) then I suppose I would call President Bush the winner…but really, I think too, too much importance is placed on these events, to the detriment of our own abilities to analyze and think issues through on our own, as individuals. Debates are over-hyped, over written-about and overplayed and in these very polarized days, it’s frankly painful to have to watch pundits sigh and lie to create a spin and a hype for their guy. Some people thrive on this, I know, but more and more when a political event ends, I just turn the television off. I don’t need the gasbags to tell me what I just saw, or what to think. I bet you don’t either..

About Elizabeth Scalia