Presidential Debate #2

A terrific performance tonight by both President Bush and presidential candidate John Kerry. The debate was incredibly ‘robust’ compared to debate #1 with Bush practically brushing aside Charlie Gibson at one point to respond to John Kerry. It was hard to believe the change that visibly occurred in George W. Bush’s performance.

John Kerry reiterated the same campaign positions so in that he has been quite consistent.

The questions posed to the candidates could not have made the choice any clearer to Americans:

  • If you want a ‘liberal’ president, vote for John Kerry.
  • If you want a ‘conservative’ president, vote for George W. Bush.

The most glaring difference I noted between Kerry and Bush were their stands on abortion. John Kerry came out of the debate clearly as the pro-choice candidate, while George W. Bush cemented his image as the pro-life president even with his limited support of embryonic stem cell research.

I still believe that we have the right team in the right place at the right time. Kerry posits that the solution to Iraq and terror is as simple as getting the allies together again. John Kerry is either ‘naive’ or being disingenuous for continuing to posit that.

The stinging truth is that allies such as France and Germany have no intention of sending troops to Iraq even if Kerry is elected. Like it or not, the United States must solve the Iraq issue with the coalition allies that it now has.

One thing that bothers me is the voters labeled ‘uncommitted.’ How can someone truly be ‘uncommitted’? A person certainly knows in which direction they lean and I certainly don’t believe a debate is going to change anyone’s mind.

President Bush and presidential candidate John Kerry both performed well, but neither was the clear winner. A 50/50 draw seems apparent.

Links update:

Paul at WizBang! has some interesting ‘live blogging’ commentary.

(Dis) Unity

It troubles me when I read or hear that someone has critized the president for his perceived failure to unite the country and congress.

How can a man unite a people and a congress that hold so many intractable positions? We hold so many that considering them is like looking at a ‘buffet line’ of religious and political beliefs. I will take a helping of ‘church and state separation’ and some of that ‘tax relief’, please. Some beliefs should ‘NEVER’ be compromised; I have a few of my own but they can be discussed.

What troubles me is that we simply cannot discuss our positions rationally and without emotional attachment. Our heartfelt beliefs are so dear to us that whenever someone dare express an opinion diametrical to our own, we perceive it as an attack upon us. Then we launch into a vicious attack upon our counterpart. The congress is no different; it does represent ‘us’ after all.

I believe that we can explain our positions and express our differences without resorting to name-calling and the like, but it does take an effort—Sometimes, a lot of effort.

I have conservative beliefs, but I want to hear and consider my counterpart’s positions as well. They are important to me. If I were only to consider voices similar to mine, it would be a bit like the movie ‘Castaway’ and less interesting. How would I ever learn a ‘new’ thing like that?

We may never achieve ‘real’ unity, nor perhaps should we (that’s another story). But, we can come together and talk about what we value, and come away enriched by the experience.

Now, to get ‘W’ and Michael Moore together…Anyone have an Advil?

U.S. Values A Threat?

IHT—The French president warned that the world’s different cultures could be “choked” by U.S. values.

Read the International Herald Tribune story

Perhaps President Jacques Chirac of France is actually ‘lamenting’ the loss of his own country’s heritage. Europe as a whole is facing the same threat, but it has nothing to do with the United States, and everything to do with immigration and a declining native population.

Did Kerry Cheat?

I would like to take this opportunity to update a story that ran a few days ago:

INDC Journal:

“What he takes out of his pocket … I’m almost 99% sure that it’s a pen. It’s a black, oblong object,” a FOX News producer told INDC Journal.

Let’s leave it at that. The debate rules were violated in letter, but not intent, and any charges of cheating against the Kerry campaign are undeserved and inaccurate.

A ‘big’ thanks to INDC Journal for staying with the story.

Dick Cheney, The Good Man

Vice President Dick Cheney was not at all the mean ole codger that the main stream media has led us to believe he was.

The Dick Cheney I saw at the Vice Presidential debate tonight was a friendly man, open to conversation, polite, even jovial at times. He was the type of man you’d meet for dinner at the local diner and talk about what Dan Rather had to say that day. As it turns out, the media elite had him figured all wrong.

Mr. Cheney, it was a pleasure to meet you tonight…

Check out the commentary at Wizbang!.

Link update: Also take a look at INDCJOURNAL. There is some great commentary there about the debate.

Vice Presidential Debate Analysis

A special thanks to Gwen Ifill for offering a more balanced question line.

Dick Cheney was clearly in control. He was calm, comfortable, resolute, and in control of the facts. Listening to the Vice President speak gave me complete confidence that we have the right team in the right place at the right time. Complete confidence…

John Edwards appeared nervous and fidgety. He stuck to the Kerry/Edwards campaign line and left viewers without an increased feeling of confidence. His responses to the questions posed by Gwen Ifill left more questions and more uncertainties than he resolved.

Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush are the clear winners of this one and only Vice Presidential debate.

Link update: Check out what Michelle Malkin has to say.

Paul Bremer’s Revelation

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer yesterday ‘revealed’ at the 91st annual Insurance Leadership Forum that “…the United States paid a price for not having enough troops in place to secure the country following the brief war.”

Apparently, Mr. Bremer thought his comments would be off-the-record. Most Americans, I believe, concluded a long time ago that we didn’t have enough troops in Iraq to stabilize the country after the war.

We had a force strong enough to win the war, but a force insufficient to secure the country after major fighting had been concluded. I believe we should have gone in with overwhelming forces as Colin Powell did during the first Gulf war. If we had done so, then we could have deposed Saddam Hussein; wiped out any guerrilla forces; rebuilt Iraq’s infrastructure; installed a respectable government; packed our bags and gone home.

Iraq is a mess today, everyone knows it, but we must win this fight and terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi knows it. If the United States succeeds in Iraq, then Zarqawi knows that we will take them down “one country at a time.”

If the Unites States fails, Zarqawi’s brand of radical Islam will spread throughout the world and there will be no stopping it.

Philippine Boondoggle

It is hard to tell these days where the government of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo stands on the war on terror.

After withdrawing Philippine troops in Iraq to comply with terrorist demands, the Arroyo government has been in a tailspin seeking to cement stronger relations with Islamic countries. Now, we learn thru Michelle Malkin that former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Major General Carlos Garcia is suspected of skimming his own people’s tax money and possibly abusing U.S. anti-terrorism aid funds. The good general has been suspended:

General Garcia and his apparently Imelda Marcos-like wife may have spent the money on real estate in New York (including a unit at Trump Park Avenue Condo in NYC) and Westerville, Ohio. Will keep an eye on the story.

Follow Michelle Malkin as she continues to break this story.

Cheney vs. Edwards

Tuesday night, Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney will square off against John Edwards at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY in the only Vice Presidential Debate scheduled for the 2004 Presidential campaign.

Edwards will meet a seasoned opponent; Cheney will meet a skilled and polished trial lawyer. The most noticeable difference between them is age. I believe people tend to fawn over John Edwards for just that reason.

Cheney certainly has a ‘gruff’ exterior, but I would remind everyone that the United States is at war with a foe that shows no mercy. I fully believe that at this time in our history we need people like George Bush and Dick Cheney, people that can meet an enemy head on and never blink.

Imagine having President John Kerry and Vice President John Edwards September 11th, 2001. I doubt that we would be in a protracted conflict in Iraq and Afganistan today had that been the case. President John Kerry would simply keep Osama and Sadaam off balance by changing positions, Vice President John Edwards would keep them tied up in the International Court of Justice with endless lawsuits.

I apologize for being so cynical in my opinions of John Kerry and John Edwards. Truthfully though, John Kerry is like a sailboat that sails with the wind and when I consider John Edwards, I think of how much my medical insurance costs.

The Kerry/Edwards team might indeed run the country quite well someday, but not today…