I listened to the debate on the radio, not being able to afford one of those expensive image transporting devices. This, of course, left me bereft of many gestures and facial ticks used to decipher the candidates' true character and fitness to be daddy of the nation. To compensate, I've developed an uncanny ability to detect Shrub's smirk merely from the rising lilt in his voice. In all fairness, both candidates did quite well, according to the standards we've set for them. Kerry limited himself to no more than two relative clauses per sentence while Shrub managed to add only a few more words to the already overburdened English lexicon (two of them found their way into the title of this post, you'll notice).
Some are ready to pre-emptively give up on Bush, but I think if we are little more patient and allow him to continue to reign as the American king for another 8 or 12 years, we just might be able to get him from the phrase level ("You've gotta understand," "Well, flip-flopping, you know...") to form actual sentences, although I grimace as I consider what Shrub's education is costing us in terms of U.S. economic viability, the national debt, international standing, or the environment. Even so, I guess we need to "bite the bullet," having all vowed to leave no child behind...
We lefties like to tease Shrub and it really isn't fair, you know. I would even agree with those conservative voices that say Bush didn't really need to show up to grace us with his presence. He's running on his record and his "core" values, after all. Personally, I'd rather he got in touch a little more with some of his "peripheral" values, but I guess we'll have to wait for one of his future incarnations to see that happen.
During the debates, Shrub, being the tough Texan daddy that he is, pounded that whimpy war-hero Kerry on a number of issues. Shrub insisted, for example, that we can't criticize the war because that might discourage troops in Iraq. Perhaps I'm also one of those poor left-behind-children but I can't quite follow the intricate meanderings of the neocon brain at this point. Someone help me out here. Don't a lot of the arguments we hear lately seem a bit circular:
(a) We can't criticize the war.
(b) So the troops must stay in Iraq.
(c) And since the troops are in Iraq.
(c) We can't criticize the war.
or how about:
(a) The U.S. government now has the ability to arrest American citizens in the U.S. because they're terrorists.
(b) They're terrorists because we've determined them to be terrorists.
(c) But if courts or other U.S. citizens want access to determine who should be held (or even more importantly, who's been arrested), they can't have this information.
(d) Because the people being held are terrorists.
I think we need to add an extra category to Aristotelian logic, something called the Shrub Syllajizm (or mexed missages, for short).
Pinko Feminist Hellcat talks about the debate and some of Shrub's "mexed missages." For a good Esperanto article on the debates, see Gxangalo.
P.S. Far East, a leading Japanese blog, has an interesting Japanese-language post on the implications of a Kerry win for Japan.