My Debate Thoughts
Glenn Reynolds does a great job covering the debate, especially in this post, which rounds up the post-debate conclusions of several major pundits and bloggers. I recommend you check all of that out.
As far as my thoughts go, however, it comes down to a simple conclusion: Bush won, based on a stronger response, lower expectations after the first debate, and, I think, better preparation. Less often, tonight, I found myself scowling, cursing, and wondering why he didn't say x, y, or z. He still never slammed anything out of the park, even when Kerry teed up the ball, but there were some very strong answers just the same. Before I continue on my overall impression, however, I'd like to address a few very specific quotes from Senator Kerry (quotations from Washington Post transcript, available here).
"King Abdullah of Jordan said just yesterday or the day before you can't hold elections in Iraq with the chaos that's going on today."
Yes, people, that's King Abdullah, clearly an authority on when and where democratic elections can and should be held, right?
Randee Jacobs: "Iran sponsors terrorism and has missiles capable of hitting Israel and southern Europe. Iran will have nuclear weapons in two to three years time. In the event that U.N. sanctions don't stop this threat, what will you do as president?"
Senator Kerry: "I don't think you can just rely on U.N. sanctions, Randee."
That's right, he said it. In Iraq, we should have taken more time, and given "Hans Blix" the time he needed to complete his inspections. As I remember, Hans Blix said then that it would take years for him to be satisfied that there truly were no WMD in Iraq. Given those circumstances, Senator Kerry says he would have waited and allowed sanctions to continue to contain Saddam. Given similar circumstances in Iran, however, we cannot rely on sanctions. I'd like to ask Senator Kerry what exactly the difference is there. Of course, I already know that the answer is the same as why bilateral talks are the right idea with North Korea, while Iraq should have been mutlilateral: anything Bush does, particularly regarding Iraq, must be wrong.
"General Wes Clark, who won the war in Kosovo, supporting me[...]"
I won't go into depth here, but I wrote a paper on this, and I will hold firm on one point: we spectacularly failed to meet any one of our objectives for the war in Kosovo. If you want further details, email me, and I'd be happy to provide them.
"And in order to have the best intelligence in the world, to know who the terrorists are and where they are and what they're plotting, you've got to have the best cooperation you've ever had in the world."
Jokingly, while watching the debate, I interrupted the middle of this line, after the world "world," and said something along the lines of "you've got to ask France and Germany for permission." I didn't honestly believe he'd say that, but that's pretty much what this line says. Oh, and by the way, our intelligence on Niger and Iraq seeking Uranium there, which has been so wildly disputed by the Democrats, came from Britain, probably by way of France.
Also, as my brother points out, Kerry makes a good point: France did have more people on the ground in Iraq than we did, it's just that they were making deals with Saddam.
"Boy, to listen to that -- the president, I don't think, is living in a world of reality with respect to the environment.
Now, if you're a Red Sox fan, that's OK. But if you're a president, it's not."
First off, it's news to me that Red Sox fans don't live in a world of reality, with respect to the environment. That's a piece of information I didn't have at my disposal.
Secondly, he's just lost the vote of a lot of Red Sox fans, or he should. He's also proven once again that he is not a true Red Sox fan, and sticks to that line just for the votes it may bring him. Aside from saying his favorite Sox player is 'Manny Ortiz,' actually a combination of the players Davide Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, he has made several gaffs regarding his supposed favorite team. If he were a true Sox fan, though, he would know that while we may cognitively know we don't function in reality, and we acknowledge that people who say so may be right, we absolutely never say it about ourselves. It is always the year that our boys are going to win the series. (I chalk this up to more evidence that Kerry is a lying opportunist, to a much greater degree than that to which President Bush can ever legitimately be accused.
"They pulled out of the global warming [treaty], declared it dead, didn't even accept the science."
He is referring, here, to the Kyoto Accords, which he, apparently, thinks we should have stuck with. On July 25, 1997, the 105th Congress voted on the following:
Question: On the Resolution (s.res.98 )Senator Kerry's vote? Yea. That is, he voted for this proposition, which was to withdraw from Kyoto. Now, he says: "The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto, and I was part of that. I know what happened. But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen, and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years."
Declares that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997 or thereafter which would: (1) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex 1 Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period; or (2) result in serious harm to the U.S. economy.
Not Voting 5
But the fact remains, Senator Kerry voted to take precisely that action, along with 94 other Senators, in opposition to, that's right, exactly ZERO Senators (the rest were absentions). Sounds like the man I want to be my president.
"China and India are graduating more graduates in technology and science than we are."
According to WallStreetView.com (first site that came up in Google), China's 2003 population was 1.28 billion, India's was 1.05 billion, and the US was 0.29 billion (290 million). Combined, China and India have over 8 times the population of the United States. Separately, India alone (the smaller of the two), has over 3 times the population. Of course they are graduating more technology students than we are!
That's it for now, I'll try to post a bit more tomorrow, after I consider my overall impressions, and incorporate what I hear from the pundits.