ASU. My alma matter. What a weird experience to see the debate held on the same stage I walked across as an undergrad. But enough about me, there's a debate going on!
I thought this debate was on domestic policy? What's up with this loaded question for Kerry, essentially on foreign policy. But we did learn Bush has a new four syllable word: comprehensive. Not once, but twice, but three times. Bush now has a comprehensive plan. Wow. Only four years late.
Health Insurance: We learned Kerry knows that statistics on health insurance. But of course Bush reminds us that stuff costs money and Kerry can't pay for it. Kerry slam dunks him on it using his own argument for medicare reform.
Balanced Budget: Kerry reminds us of Bush forgetting about pay as you go, and goes on to list things Bush has lost. Kerry: every plan he's laid out have shown how to pay for them. Every plan. We do this, we pay for it this way. Bush goes back to attacking Kerry's record. Bush cites's the "facts" on Kerry's voting record. I can't wait to see FactCheck.org's assesment of this one. "Paygo?" WTF is a Paygo? Budgetman? Budgetman paygo, yougo to next question.
[Note to Bush: Get rid of that goober on the right corner of your mouth. Wads of spit are not presidential.]
Budget: Kerry: Bush = Tony Saprano. Kerry=Fiscal responsible. Kerry=Balance Budget. [Bush:deer in headlights look].
Tax Reform: Kerry wants a level playing field. Bush touts higher Pell grants, but fails to note there are fewer of them due to his underfunding. Bush touts the sweet spot family of four in his tax plan. Bush then goes back to the "facts" on Kerry's record, and Kerry again spikes him with his own "facts" on his own record.
Gay Rights: Bush says he "doesn't know." Wow, that's a first. Gays good. Just stay at home. Marriage is sacred. Activist judges again. Does his just not remember how he got his job? Bush=Marriage amendment. Kerry wants equal rights.
Faith and Abortion: Kerry won't legislate his morality. Bush goes to his "culture of life" and the "partial birth" abortion ban. Abortion bad under all circumstances.
Tort Reform: Bush: "Gosh, I sure hope it's not the adminstration." Duh. Lawyers=Bad. Doctors aren't using "information technology" and should to reduce cost 20%. Kerry spikes him with a liteny of thing Bush has not done to lower drug costs. Medicare drug cards. Drug importation. Bush overrides the moderator again to say essentially "did not.
Healthcare: Moderator takes a shot at Kerry's health plan, questioning how he's going to pay for it. Kerry explains how the plan is paid for and further cites two organizations that agree. Bush: government run health is bad. Distortion boys and girls. Kerry stuffs him on underfunding VA and medicade. Bush in fantasy land on veteran benefits.
Social Security: Bush promises seniors their social security checks. Gee thanks George. Kerry points out how privatization of social security is a disaster, cites the CBO's quote about cutting benefits to make this work [Bush pastes on smile]. Moderator lays it on with Greenspan quotes about the need to cut benefits. Kerry hits on Bush giving tax cut to the rich when it could have saved social security.
Immigration: Bush sees it everyway possible. Card 'em. If employer's want 'em, give 'em a card! Kerry=Bush broke his promise, and Kerry will do more. Enforce the law. Earn legalization. Bush: we done better. Kerry: have not.
Minimum Wage: Kerry: long overdue to raise it. Republicans won't even allow vote to raise it. Women's pay equity: Republican's have blocked that too. Bush: I would have supported it. Side step to education. Standards equal better jobs? Huh?
Roe v. Wade: President won't have litmus test (and we believe the Dred Scott answer too!). Kerry flat out pledges he will support Roe v. Wade. Kerry pivots to education and spikes him on funding education. Bush hauls out the "liberal from Mass" big guns. Kerry spikes him again using Bush's own budget cuts for afterschool programs yet the wealthy got a tax cut.
The Draft and the Guard: Kerry: military over extended, guard over extended, Bush has bad judgement. Rush to war, mislead, OBL. Bush: Iraq is good, democracy, serve their with honor. Bush is resolute, strong and comprehensive (there's that word again). Kerry: Bush has it wrong. Bush: the "internation world"?
Assault Weapons Ban: Republicans AND DEMOCRATS against renewing. Huh? Kerry: Failure of presidential leadership. Hunter and sportsman. As a prosecuter he knows law enforcement wanted a ban. Good story followed by gun show, and then pivots to America is less safe thanks to Bush.
Affirmative Action: Kerry: we have not reached equity. Long way to go although we've made progress. Cite's Clinton policy. Kerry: Bush first president not to meet with NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, divider not uniter. Bush: [dear in headlights], stumbles through answer pivoting back to BS about education and Pell grants. College solves all, and then goes on to small business issues that tangentally related to minorities.
Higher Authority and Faith in Policy: Bush: faith, faith is personal, faith important and George prays and people pray for George. Decisions base on principal. Bush's "I Believe" speech about God wants everyone to be free, and in Afganistan people are happy and free. Kerry: Respects Bush's faith. Talks about differnt connectiveness to higher being. Love your neighbor, pivot to two Americas and difference between Bush and him. Faith without works is dead.
National Unity: Kerry: Starts with a complement to Bush after 9-11. Pivots to Bush's divisiveness and ideological policy pushing divisiveness and how Kerry has worked with both sides, then pivots again to rally against Bush secrecy and working with McCaine on finanace reform. Bush: Dissapointed in how partisan Washington is. Pot meet kettle. Washington's tuff. Special interests bad. Pot meet kettle again. Divided in the 1990s (GOP majority). Pot meet kettle again. Then WAR ON TERRA! WAR ON TERRA!! Huh?
Strong Women as Spouses: Bush: Listen to them! Good joke finally about first debate performance. Followed by bad joke. [Note to George: Stopy while ahead]. Story of George and Laura. Awwww, he's so nice. Bush rambles. Kerry: Lucky to marry up. Joke! We all laugh. Mom in hospital bed story: integrity. Kerry ties to honesty and respect.
Kerry wins again. Bring on November 2nd.