Now, on substance here's why Kerry won:
- First, regarding the Iraq force levels. Bush said that his generals had told him that force leves were sufficient. However, it's clear that this is a case of yes-men saying yes. Why? Because military strategists from Harry Summer to James Dunnigan have written that in order to fight a guerilla war, ten to fifty times the force leves of the enemy are needed. Now, the kindest estimate to Bush is that there are 20,000 guerillas in Iraq. Or insurgents. Or terrorists. Or partisans. Well, you do the math. And if you don't believe Harry Summer and James Dunnigan, well, consider that the proof is in the pudding: is Iraq in any way near pacified? Hell, no- in fact, even the "Green Zone" of safety for Americans is being destabilized! Score this to Kerry.
- This exchange was a clear, clear shot out of the park for Kerry:
You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going
alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone.
There are 30
countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount
their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going
alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.
KERRY: Mr. President, countries are leaving the coalition, not joining.
Eight countries have left it.
- Next, Kerry was spot-on about the "Drug discount card" scam, and the re-importation broken promise of W. in 2000. Score this to Kerry.
- In the "Freedom is Slavery" category, we have Bush saying "I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words "under God" in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution." Actually, it's the other way around: a strict interpretation of the Constitution would imply that we shouldn't have kids being forced to say "under God."
- The next lines in the transcript after the under God thing, are even more bizarre: "Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges, years ago, said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights. That's a personal opinion." No, the Constitution actually, really, and truly did allow slavery- it was implicit in saying that slaves were 3/5 of a human being for the purpose of alloting seats for the House of Representatives (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. "). Not to mention Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3:
This is a big blunder for Bush that you can expect to see more of in the coming days: Bush clearly has no clue about American history or the Constitution.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof,
escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein,
be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of
the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
- And then there's the "timber company." Yes, Virginia, Bush really does own a timber company:
In fact, on Mr. Bush's 2001 tax return he reported $84 of business incomeSo the guy doesn't even know what he owns. I'm sure that resonates well with a lot of American families.
from his stake in a timber-growing enterprise. Since then, he has listed this
income as "royalties" on a different tax schedule
Bottom line: Bush was more prepped, but he was still pulverized by Kerry.
Update: Having read the blogosphere, it's apparent that my viewpoint is pretty much conventional wisdom. Cool.