Tuesday, October 05, 2004

VP DEBATE THOUGHTS

Random thoughts and observations:

VP debates don’t really matter much in the bigger scheme of things.

Foreign policy issues matter far more to me than domestic issues

Biggest questions in my mind were completely ignored or avoided by Edwards:

“Global test”: Edwards doesn’t explain what this really means; notes that Kerry said “no veto”; but if “no veto,” what, exactly is the global test?

Ifill asked Edwards a zinger about their plan to bring in French and German troops being dead in the water because both Germany and France have already said “no.” “Isn’t your plan naïve?” she asked. Again, Edwards completely avoided the issue, answering lamely that success breeds contribution.

Cheney also took Edwards to task for failing to acknowledge contribution of Iraqi allies, especially troops on the ground.

Can’t someone at least raise the possibility that Osama bin Laden might be dead? How does Edwards know OBL is alive? There has been no video of OBL since Tora Bora. How do we know he isn’t pulverized in some bunker-busted cave in Afghanistan?

Cheney brings up “Senator gone” highlighting Edwards’ absence from the Senate. Cheney has served as president of the Senate but “the first time I ever met you was when you walked onto the podium tonight.” This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Senators should do their job (even when they are campaigning). So should presidents for that matter.

Ifill noted that Edwards had the least amount of experience of any candidate since 1976. Edwards simply replied that Americans want to feel safe.

Edwards twice mentioned Paul Bremer’s criticism of not enough troops in Iraq. I scratch my head. Hasn’t Kerry repeatedly said that he won’t send more U.S. troops to Iraq (“not for Iraq” said both in the DNC and the first presidential debate).

Haliburton!
Meals on Wheels!
Kerry voted for or co-sponsored more than 600 tax cuts!
“If they can’t stand up to the pressure of Howard Dean, how can they expect to stand up to our enemies?”

Cheney won, but doesn’t matter much.

UPDATE: Of course none of this matters, because I've lost my mind.

UPDATE II: Scrappleface hits the nail on the head:
2004-10-05) --The only vice presidential debate of 2004 is now history, and Americans who watched or listened to it are eager to learn which candidate won.

A flash poll conducted moments after the debate showed that most Americans believe they will soon have opinions about how well Vice President Dick Cheney did compared with Sen. John Edwards.

The formation of those opinions could require days of intensive listening to commentators from the major news networks and CBS, and countless hours of reading weblogs or even newspapers.

One typical poll respondent said, "I watched last week's presidential debate and I thought President Bush won. But I later found out that I was wrong. How embarrassing. Tonight, I thought Dick Cheney did well, but this time I'm going to wait until I find out what I should think before I go shooting my mouth off."



UPDATE III: Cheney lied! All politicians should exercise extreme caution before saying anything in this day and age. Daily Kos has the photos to prove a Cheney-Edwards encounter if not meeting here and here. So scratch out "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."

On the other hand, whether Cheney had actually met Edwards is, to me, less important than the other charges Cheney made in the same section of the debate:
"Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that‘s not very distinguished. You‘ve missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee, almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee.

You‘ve missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform.

Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you “Senator Gone.”

You‘ve got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate.
Haven't heard any real response to those charges, charges which make Dennis Kucinich look quite good by comparison.




Comments:
For the most part, I have found your blog to be fair in its criticism of candidates, politics, and current events in general. Your thoughts on the debate are not only out of character, but also baseless. You did visit DailyKos and observe that Cheney's claim to have "never met the senator" until that evening was a lie, but you did not amend your other critiques. I will outline my response to your "random thoughts and observations" in the same manner.

CHENEY: "Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you Senator Gone." Hmm DailKos notes that an archive search finds no such reference in The News & Observer. (his actualy hometown paper) and that the weekly paper that Cheney mentioned is actualy published 20 miles away from Edwards hometown.

The Global Test criticism leveled by the Bush administration was taken completely out of context. What Kerry was trying to emphasize when he invoked that phrase was the need for US Military action to be percieved as legitimate around the world. Is that such a bad test? If our actions are not percieved as legitimate, doesn't that undermine our ability to commence future military action, if not diplomatic relations??

"Cheney also took Edwards to task for failing to acknowledge contribution of Iraqi allies, especially troops on the ground. " - What Allies?? We make up about 90% of all ground troops. I think it was Edwards who took Cheney to task on that one.

"Can’t someone at least raise the possibility that Osama bin Laden might be dead? How does Edwards know OBL is alive? There has been no video of OBL since Tora Bora. How do we know he isn’t pulverized in some bunker-busted cave in Afghanistan? " - Good point, but could you not also phrase the question 'How does Cheney know OBL is alive?' Obviously he didn't contest the claim.

"Cheney brings up “Senator gone” highlighting Edwards’ absence from the Senate. Cheney has served as president of the Senate but “the first time I ever met you was when you walked onto the podium tonight.” This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Senators should do their job (even when they are campaigning). So should presidents for that matter." - Cheney lied. Not once, no twice, but on at least three occasions the two have met. Secondly, I surmise that you know slightly more about American politics than you have given yourself credit for. On most votes, an actual vote isn't needed because you know which side has the most votes. Only if the vote is going to be very close is the senator actually needed to "vote."

"fill noted that Edwards had the least amount of experience of any candidate since 1976. Edwards simply replied that Americans want to feel safe." - Experience running multinational corporations?? Alright, you were talking about governmental experience. George W. Bush served as Governor of Texas for 6 years. So that claim is debunked. Your statement should read "He has the least amount of experience of any candidate since 2000." When phrased that way, it loses much of its luster.

"Edwards twice mentioned Paul Bremer’s criticism of not enough troops in Iraq. I scratch my head. Hasn’t Kerry repeatedly said that he won’t send more U.S. troops to Iraq (“not for Iraq” said both in the DNC and the first presidential debate)." - You're right, Kerry has repeatedly said he won't send(commit) more troops to Iraq. He has also repeatedly stated that he will bring in more international troops. So from these two statements my guess is that the extra troops would come from an international contingent, not the United States. But either way, the criticism underlines the Bush administrations failure to effectively plan for post-war Iraq.
 
Forgot the link to the DailyKos article which explains Cheney's lie about the hometown paper.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/6/13143/3874
 
I know that campaigning for president can make it difficult for the senators to attend senate sessions and meetings. Granted, but I have to agree with Professor Larsen on this one. The people of Massachusetts and South Carolina did not elect Kerry and Edwards simply to build up a resume for Pres/VP, but rather to represent them in the senate and actually appear at meetings and votes. I wouldn't by any means expect them to attend all meetings while still effectively campaigning, but they have to realize that being a senator is not a part-time job.

And it is certainly not an egregious lie by VP Cheney to mention the "Senator Gone" comment as coming from Edwards' actual hometown. The point of this reference was to simply show the collective disappointment of Edwards' attendance record by the people of South Carolina. I think most pepole would take "hometown" with a grain of salt.

This all being said, I am still on the fence regarding who I plan to vote for. On domestic policy issues, I usually agree with Kerry, but on some foreign policy I concur with Bush. During the primaries, it was an easy decision for me to support Lieberman. It seems this general presidential contest lacks honesty and/or consistency from both sides.
 
Well, it seems that Bush and Cheney have lied about a lot of things, haven't they? The difference is Republicans forget Big Lies and remember small ones. Recall that Saadam was supposed to have WMD avaiable to hit the USA on 40 minutes notice? That was the Big Lie, a lie so preposterous that it is now conviently fogotten. The Big Lie theory was invented by Goebbles, by the way, and it still works. Note that Cheney got caught on the Small Lie.
 
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