Friday, October 01, 2004
The Global Test
I was on a plane last night - returning from a business trip to the land northward (Canada for those geographically challenged readers) - so I didn't get to watch the debate as it unfolded live on the air. Thankfully, Bonjo taped it for me.
And with due respect to RoninKengo's comment, Lurch did not win the debate. In fact, he stumbled into a Michael Dukakis moment that may in fact finally sink the SS Lurch. As an example of this, I submit the following exchange from the debate transcript:
LEHRER: New question. Two minutes, Senator Kerry.This election will be won or lost on the candidate's ability to convince the American people he is ready, willing, and able to defend the United States from all enemies - regardless of whether or not any "Global Test" has been passed.
What is your position on the whole concept of preemptive war?
KERRY: The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. And it was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control.
No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.
But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.
LEHRER: Ninety seconds.
BUSH: Let me -- I'm not exactly sure what you mean, "passes the global test," you take preemptive action if you pass a global test.
My attitude is you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure.
Lurch may have come across as polished and articulate - possibly even likeable. So far, the press has labeled W as "annoyed". Well, I'd be annoyed too if I had to put up with the constant drivel that emanated forth from the mouth of Lurch last night.
Perhaps W didn't change any minds last night. He didn't need to. His performance was solid - he said what he had to say and defended his record. Where Lurch was wrong, as was the case many times - specifically regarding North Korea, W called him on it.
Lurch, as will soon be noted, changed no minds last night. Field goals don't mean much when you're down by several touchdowns.
Here endeth the lesson.