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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

Obligatory debate post

Friday, October 01, 2004

For me, Kerry looked like the same old stuffy intellectual liberal that the Democratic Party keeps propping up. All the Kerry supporters I have talked to since the debate, as well as the reactions I've read online, suggest he won hands down Yet, the thing they don't talk about is that, while we Democrats recognize that he dominated on the facts and knowing the issues, all Bush had to do was use terms like "ludicrous" and "absurd", like he did, and repeat over and over again that he's the president, it's hard work and it's getting done despite all the bad news we see in the headlines, oh, and that Kerry constantly changes his position, and people eat that shit up.

So, I'm not saying that Kerry did a lousy job. He was simply being John Kerry and he's no match for Bush's charm, rah-rah militaristic nationalism, and fundamentalist Christianity. Kerry could not even manage a simple home run point: Bush said that inspections were not working and all Kerry had to say was that if inspections truly had not been working then WMDs would have been found. George Bush is brilliant at being the anti-intellectual cowboy, moved by his beliefs rather than political pressure. That plays incredibly well and actually overshadows his disastrous record.

Much has been said about Kerry having kept GW on the defensive for much of the debate. I couldn't disagree more.

Kerry was actually the one on the defensive the whole time, just as he's mostly been on the defensive the whole campaign. The bottom line is that the Bush administration/campaign set the bar through their war and fear mongering, establishing that a challenger must be strong, unwavering, militaristic. All the proof is in the Kerry Campaign's slogan: "A Stronger America". Kerry & Co. are playing by Bush's rules plain and simple.

Instead of taking a principled stance, instead of being the John Kerry who came back from Vietnam, having seen the horrors and senselessness of war, and protested, he has fallen right into Karl Rove's trap. Last night Kerry said things like: "I will hunt down and kill the terrorists.", "I know how to win in Iraq.", "The President of the United States must always reserve the right to pre-emptive war." Bush's oft repeated attack was that you can't say it is the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, and Kerry never once said, "Shut the fuck up! How dare you say that I can't criticize you because it would not be supportive to our troops and allies." (Ok, so I'd tone it down a bit obviously. But why didn't he ever call Bush on that? He had enough chances.)

I'll be a peacenik until the day I die and I truly believe that if someone like Dennis Kucinich, had been facing off against Bush, you would have seen the President really squirm as his fear and war mongering are held up to the light of a concept like establishing a Department of Peace, making a global declaration of peace, eschewing the practice of forcing Democracy and capitalism down the throat of the rest of the world and becoming a uniter of nations. This senseless militarism, this eye-for-an-eye madness has proven over and over again to be disastrous for human beings and for nations of humans.

Bring on the cynical remarks about how this is a lot of pipe dream garbage and I'll just point out that it is precisely because so many millions of cynics say that so casually and out of hand that it appears to be unrealistic. I totally believe it is possible that a message of peace could transform the globe.

Perhaps, when the Democratic Party is done scratching their heads wondering how Kerry, like Gore, could lose to a sociopath like Bush, they will see that they have to change their strategy. I can only hope that someone new will come along to take Kucinich's platform and run with it, someone with Clintonesque mega mojo charisma.