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October 01, 2004

How kerry almost lost my vote last night

I admit, I only watched part of the debate last night. It was painful and irritating, and one of the most offensive moments of the entire campaign came early--and from John Kerry's mouth.

Neither of them said much of substance from what I could tell, but in discussing the fiasco in Iraq, Kerry said at least twice that 90% of the casualties in Iraq were Americans. So, somewhere around 1,000 Americans have been killed, and the estimates from varying sources indicate somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 Iraqis have been killed. It takes some pretty skillful manipulation of mathematical principals to come up with Americans representing 90% of the deaths.

Then he got the vote back when Bush, upon being asked about the miscalculations in the plan for after the war was over, basically said that the war had ended too quickly and we'd planned to kill a lot more people first, which we didn't get to do.

I wish I liked Kerry better. I really do. But I can't. On the other hand, I couldn't hate Bush more. So Kerry keeps my vote.

And thanks to Dan Savage for teaching me the most useful and relevant new word I've learned in years.

Posted by paulette at October 1, 2004 01:20 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

It was pretty clear, in context, that he was referring to the burden in casualties taken by the US forces compared to the "coalition of the willing" forces. Maybe there was an opportunity to take Bush on on the point of Iraqi casualties, too, but he had some better ripostes from a purely political standpoint.

Personally, I thought the debate was a triumph for Kerry. For the first time, he has demonstrated that he can be clear, forceful, and committed. This probably won't change many die-hard Bush fan's minds, but I think it probably will serve to motivate the "anyone but Bush" who, heretofore, could not bring themselves to vote for Kerry as a viable alternative. Remember, fewer than 20% of self-declared undecided voters think Bush is doing a good job, so they're just looking for a reason to vote for Kerry. I think he gave them that reason last night, in spades.

Posted by: david on October 1, 2004 02:16 PM

I've never liked Kerry. Not one bit. He looks good on paper, but he's uninspiring and okay, I'll admit it, I'm distracted by his giant head. Hey, I never said I disliked him for logical reasons. Still I never intended to vote for anyone BUT Kerry. The debates gave the voters that David mentions an excellent opportunity to see the two candidates literaly side by side.

If you've already purchased the Bush doctrine wholesale, you won't be swayed. But if you haven't, and you have something of an intellect, you can't help but notice that there's a lot more going on in Kerry's giant noggin than there is in Bush's normal sized yet ill-functioning melon. Kerry's clear understanding of the fact that politics are global compared to Bush's insistance that we will do what we're gonna do, regardless of world opinion has the potential to turn this ambivalent voter in to a Kerry loyalist and to turn any Rebuplican voter who sees beyond the bounds of their yard in Crawford in to a Kerry voter. At this point, that's good enough for me.

Posted by: pam on October 1, 2004 04:11 PM

I certainly don't want to give the impression that I would ever have conceived of voting for Bush. Or that I would ever have conceived of casting the ballot for anyone but Kerry come November since, regardless of how much I think Kerry is essentially a republican-light (sort of an anorectic elephant, if you will), the consequences of another Bush term would be much to awful to contemplate.

So the closest Kerry can ever get to losing my vote is almost getting there. Unfortunately, that's exactly what worries me about him. Those undecideds. Those folks who might still vote for W. If Kerry can disgust me so much with that kind of talk, and I still maintain that the first time he said it, it really came across as discounting the Iraqi casualties, what about those who don't already believe W is the devil incarnate. I fear the only hope there is that Shrub continue to say even more offensive things than those that might come out of anyone else's mouth.

And I'm distracted by the cranium as well. It is much to large, and the hair just a bit too poofy for comfort.

Posted by: paulette on October 1, 2004 04:22 PM

Heavens, I wouldn't want to imply I suspected you for a Bush voter, Paulette! I do honestly doubt the undecided voters would choose not to vote for Kerry because he didn't account for the Iraqi dead in the debate. It's the Nader voters that are going to make that distinction, may God have mercy on our souls.

You know, if you put a trunk on Kerry's elongated melon, he really would look elephantine. Also, in an unrelated comment, everyone noticed how Teresa and Laura were wearing the same suit, right?

Posted by: pam on October 1, 2004 09:32 PM
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