Friday, October 01, 2004

Who won

When pundits vote on who won the debates, they don't let on whether they are scoring, shall we say, "conservatively," under which regimen only the forensic skills of the debaters are counted, or whether (this is politics after all) the bigger picture is being considered. For example, no one should doubt that Kerry was filled with more information than Bush. He had an assertion and a "fact" for everything important that he wanted to say. In a real debate, he would have had to "prove" his assertions and validate his evidence. In the "cross press conference" from last night, he didn't. He only had to fill in the blank in accordance with the procedural needs of the moment. For example, the rhetorical defense of Kerry's vote-for, vote-against ends up with "which is worse? Saying it or doing it (wrong)" [and I paraphrase]? The "right" forensic answer is: "Prove it that you only 'misspoke.' Prove it that the money wasn't needed to provide the vests and armored Humvees that you say kids are having cookie sales for." But we can't get there from here. If I were Bush I wouldn't worry about losing such a "debate." He's got his work cut out for him, that's for sure, but he also has reality to fall back upon. Unlike Kerry.


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