The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Jeff Jarvis followed tonight's debate the same way I did - over the radio, and catching bits and pieces.
He had the same reaction I did. Mine was entirely predictable - I know too much about Kerry to have had my mind changed by style points and media spin. I was listening for content, and what I expected is what I heard.
Jarvis is different. He's been endorsing Kerry on his blog in recent weeks and states he was 85% certain he was going to vote for him.
Tonight I rushed out of my kid's back-to-school event and turned on the radio to hear the debate soon into it. And I got upset with Kerry from the first.
Kerry was pushing his Coke-commercial view of a world marching together hand-in-hand and I don't buy it. I don't buy that the U.N. or Old Europe will come into Iraq to save our skins -- or to fight for democracy or the rights of the Iraqi people. If you say that Bush mislead us to think we'd find WMDs in Iraq then perhaps you also should say that Kerry misleads us to think we'll ever find a French butt on the line there. I fear the consequences of giving these countries what amounts to veto power over what we must sometimes do; the result will be paralysis.
In this new era of terrorism and of our role as the sole superpower, I want to see a new vision and strong strategy for foreign policy. The Kumbaya gambit won't cut it.
I heard Kerry criticize the war over and over without hearing a clear plan for winning it -- and a clear will to win it. I also did not hear Bush give a clear plan for winning this war -- but at least I still hear his will. It's not that Kerry flipflops. It's that I don't hear iron will. And in a time of war -- war against terrorism -- we need a leader with iron will.
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I thought Kerry did remarkably well, in the sense that he managed to spout his slogans as rehearsed (ad nauseam) without once radically changing his position in mid-sentence. Also, the absence of staff malfunctions leading him to propose the appointment of Jimmy Carter (or equivalent) as a special envoy for the destruction of Israel was a refreshing change for Kerry.
For my money, GWB's most telling points were on the pointlessness of building a larger coalition only to belittle its members' contributions or complain about being in the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. (Kerry obviously needs to reflect on why we speak of "committing" forces to battle.) And I can't believe even the Democrats would think the line about outsourcing at Tora Bora is a winning slogan.
Posted by: Charles MacDonald | 2004-10-01 7:15:45 AM
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