Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The Vice Presidential Debate
What to me was perhaps the most significant result of the VP debate was the fact that, as combative and pointed as it often was, it had no estimable impact on my opinion. That is, nothing about the Vice Presidential candidates or their respective performances had an appreciable impact on how I view the heads of their respective tickets. That might not have been the case, had one of them had an on-stage meltdown, but obviously that didn't happen.
If I were to declare a "winner" in the context of which candidate looked most Presidential, it would be Edwards. If I were to declare a "loser" in the context of which candidate clung most desperately to a pathetic lie, it would be Cheney and his continued advancement of an Iraq-Al Qaeda nexus with an implied link to 9/11.
If I were to give a candidate bonus points for refusing to bend his personal convictions to the will of his party, they would go to Cheney for his silence on the issue of rights for domestic partnerships. Certainly it isn't bravery to sit in silence, rather than speaking one's conscience, but it demonstrated that there are lines Cheney will not cross with respect to his family and his party. When Cheney's boss was put to a similar test, and could have spoken out against the smear campaign over Kerry's war record, he failed - that is, unless his claimed personality traits of courage and credibility exist only as fiction. I am not sure that similar tests have yet been put to Edwards or Kerry.
At the same time, if I were to give penalty points for stubborn idiocy, it would be for Cheney's insistence that he would handle Iraq in exactly the same way if he were to do it again. That simply can't be true.
The "Zap Them With A Cattle Prod And Wake Them Up" award goes to Babbling David Brooks and Narcoleptic Mark Shields, who provided some post-debate commentary on PBS. They found the Iraq material exciting, but were bored by the domestic issues. Thus, declared Brooks, this election really does turn on Iraq. What a pathetic way to prioritize the many important issues this nation faces.