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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:00 PM
Original message
The Scary Little Man (my debate report, rough)
Link to come soon.

===

"He had a feeling that the answer was quite different and that he ought to know it, but he could not think of it. He began to get frightened, and that is bad for thinking."

- J.R.R. Tolkien

George W. Bush, still smarting from his embarrassing performance in the Florida debate, decided on Friday night in St. Louis that volume was a good substitute for strength, that yelling would be mistaken for gravitas. The result was an ugly, disturbing, genuinely frightening show.

In my report on the first debate, I described Bush as, "Shrill. Defensive. Muddled. Angry, very angry. Repetitive. Uninformed. Outmatched. Unprepared. Hesitant." As bad as that display was, it honestly paled in comparison to the frenzied hectoring Bush sprayed at 140 Missouri citizens who had the ill fortune of watching the man come unglued before their eyes.

John Kerry, by comparison, was every inch the controlled prosecutor pressing his case to the jury. It was, perhaps, that calm delineation of Bush's myriad errors which caused the Republican candidate to blow his stack. Exactly 30 minutes into the debate, Bush became so agitated by Kerry's description of the "back-door draft," which is literally bleeding the life out of our National Guard and Reserve forces, that he lunged out of his chair and shrieked over moderator Charles Gibson, who was trying to maintain some semblance of decorum.

"You tell Tony Blair we're going alone," Bush roared. "Tell Tony Blair we're going alone!" The disturbed murmur from the crowd was audible. Bush, simply, frightened them.

More unsettling than Bush's demonstrable agitation was his almost uncanny disconnect from reality.

The voluminous report released by Charles Duelfer and the Iraq Survey Group, compiled by 1,625 U.N. and U.S. weapons inspectors after two years of searching some 1,700 sites in Iraq at a cost of more than $1 billion, stated flatly that no weapons of mass destruction exist in that nation, that no weapons of mass destruction have existed in that nation for years, and that any capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction within that nation has been crumbling for the same amount of years.

"My opponent said that America must pass a global test before we used force to protect ourselves," said Bush during the Iraq phase of the debate. "That's the kind of mindset that says sanctions were working. That's the kind of mindset that said, 'Let's keep it at the United Nations and hope things go well.' Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies. Sanctions were not working. The United Nations was not effective at removing Saddam Hussein."

What? First of all, the Duelfer Report proves beyond any question that sanctions had worked incredibly well. The stuff wasn't there, because Scott Ritter and the UNSCOM inspectors destroyed it all during the 1990s, along with any and all equipment and facilities to make it. The stuff wasn't there because the sanctions put into place against Hussein prevented him from getting any material to develop weapons. The stuff wasn't there because Hussein stopped making it years ago, because the sanctions were breaking his back. The sanctions worked.

When Bush made the statement about Hussein giving weapons of mass destruction to "terrorist enemies," the needle edged over from 'Dumb' to 'Deranged.' How many different ways must one say "The stuff wasn't there" before George picks up the clue phone? How does someone give away something he doesn't have?

Bush continued in this appalling vein when he said, "He keeps talking about, 'Let the inspectors do their job.' It's naive and dangerous to say that. That's what the Duelfer report showed." Welcome to Bush World, where everything is upside down and two plus two equals a bag of hammers. It is naive and dangerous to point out that the inspectors got the job done in the 1990s, that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction whatsoever? No, George. It is simply the truth.

The mental disconnect reared its shouting head repeatedly throughout the evening. Bush somehow lost track of where he was at one point and called his opponent, "Senator Kennedy." He told one questioner that he would control the deficit by stopping Congress from spending, only a few minutes after defending the fact that he had never, not once, vetoed a spending bill from Congress.

He said something about "Battling green eyeshade," a statement that immediately became a first-ballot nominee for the Gibberish Hall of Fame. When asked what kind of Supreme Court Justice he would nominate if given an opportunity, he wandered off along a free-association rant about Dred Scott. Clearly, this President will make sure to nominate people to the bench who are opposed to chattel slavery.

Perhaps the most telling moment came when questioner Linda Grabel asked Bush, "Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it."

As with his April prime time press conference, in which he was asked a very similar question, Bush absolutely refused to admit to any errors in judgment, beyond a cryptic quip about mistakes in personnel appointments which he would not elaborate upon. He opened himself up to the judgment of history, a sad straddle given the simple fact that no President can avoid such a judgment. That was all he was willing to offer. Ms. Grabel did not hear about three mistakes. She did not even hear about one.

Bush was every inch the angry man on Friday night, which is dangerous enough. But to witness anger combined with belligerent ignorance, with a willful denial of basic facts, to witness a man utterly incapable of admitting to any mistakes while his clear errors in judgment are costing his country in blood, to see that combination roiling within the man who is in charge of the most awesome military arsenal in the history of the planet, is more than dangerous.

It is flatly terrifying.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. I know a lot of citizens that watched that incident had their concerns
solidify into genuine fear.

Good draft and truly on target Will.
:thumbsup:
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inmania Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nice article!
This debate is only going to look worse over time for Bush, both his anger and actual words. Kerry was articulate and very presidential.
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newsguyatl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. boy did you hit the nail on the head with this
"... that volume was a good substitute for strength, that yelling would be mistaken for gravitas."

reading the rest as i go.
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SEpatriot Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Clearly, this President will make sure to nominate people to the bench who
Edited on Fri Oct-08-04 11:08 PM by SEpatriot
are opposed to chattel slavery"

Ain't that the best?? What a glimpse into the limping mind of Shrub.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. .
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KC21304 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Bean counters were always portrayed in the movies wearing
green eye shades. I believe Bush made this strange remark in answer to Kerry's questioning some dollar figure Bush had given. So Bush said there were " battling green eye shades ". It was strange but that is what Bush was referring to.

Great article, Will.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. Fantastic.
Exactly in line with my assessment, and put so well.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
8. the Bush "scream".............
a great meme to pin on bush.............use it often and oftener.

Msongs
Riverside CA
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sounds like you hit the high points
:thumbsup:

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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Sending 7 cases of fine wine and Caviar to boot... Good job Will
Edited on Fri Oct-08-04 11:23 PM by opihimoimoi
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Domitan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. Bang on!
But will the media spin take this into consideration? Will the masses see this with or without the spin?
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. Your Tolkein quote was perfect...Your piece could have written itself
because your subject,the pResident, is such a joke. Thanks for the excellent, frightening, and funny critique!

:toast:
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. nomed for front page..great stuff will! thank you
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KC21304 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. Bean Counters.
For the really young, bean counters are the people who handle finances in government or even for a corporation etc.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Not to be confused with being counters.
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
15. I was entertained by the reference to battling green eyeshades
It was clear (to me) that he was making a joke about accountants with the reference to visors.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. Right on, Will....
Good one !
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onecitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. Great article........
Edited on Fri Oct-08-04 11:25 PM by onecitzenBtrayed
I forgot the green eyeshadow comment. What was up with that?

Why do seemingly intelligent people like this little moron? Really, somebody explain this to me. This crazy person has his psychotic finger on the button for god's sake. Can't we get him impeached or something? I'm afraid he'll blow before 11-2.


And we think Kim Jung Ill is crazy........
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
18. Nice analysis. As time goes on, more and more will see this as a win..
for Kerry.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. Eloquent as always Will
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. Maximum Leader Bush reminds me of a distant relative
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. These are very astute observations about a disturbed man.
Thanks for putting to words what I was inadequately trying to describe to my family (they did not see the debate). Your report will serve very well.

I actually covered my eyes when Bush lunged out of his chair towards Charlie Gibson. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. Through it all, Kerry maintained his composure.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
22. and now...
the coveted ZombyKick.
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Technowitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
23. Beautifully said, Mr. Pitt
BTW, I think the 'green eyeshade' thing was some sort of lame attempt at a joke, referring to the green eyeshades that accountants and bookkeepers are said to wear.
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
24. One thing missing: Kerry
It became pretty obvious that Kerry has decided (actually decided some time ago) that he will not win this election by trading snarky quips with Bush. He calls a spade a spade, but he has stuck to the high road and has not stooped to needling Bush. There was a time when many of us (*cough* myself included) thought the nice-guy bit was a defect. Now I see it as a strength.

I have long been a fan of candidates other than Kerry, but it is apparent that he is a thoroughly decent man. He handled himself well tonight.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
25. wonderful
You hit the nail on the head...the man is deranged and living in a fantasy world. Nothing in the world scares me as much as someone who is incapable of recognizing and admitting when they've made a mistake...because if you can't acknowledge your mistakes you can't LEARN from them.

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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-04 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
26. Excellent
Could you use the word "hubris" in there someplace?
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
28. Finally, the term "Orwellian" used in public forum by Kerry...
Many of your points go to Orwellian WH qualities. "Uncanny disconnect from reality" as you say.. or terrifying, confusing, manipulative distortion of the truth? I think the latter.

What you say is so clear, so plain to see. Yet no one with wide public audience is saying it. Someone from Congress, a republican even, or someone outside political affiliation, should be standing up and talking about how dangerous and dysfunctional this administration is. Strike that....not someone, EVERYONE.

On post debate shows, pundits, politicians, show hosts....all are trying hard not to state the obvious. All are trying to ignore that one of the debators is thoughtful, articulate, engaging, pertinent, presidential, and credible... and that the other by comparison is scary, rash, inarticulate, small, dishonest, and arrogant.

My wish: you write a press conference speech for Colin Powell or McCain telling the American public to wake up and see what has been going on the last 4 years.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
29. LINK TO FINAL
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 12:41 AM
Original message
One last kick
and then bed
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Another gem
This was great. I couldn't have said it any better.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Kick
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
32. I agree, my commentary along the same lines
The second presidential debate of 2004 was once again the triumph of style over substance. The two candidates basically stuck to their rehearsed answers that most people have heard 1000 times or more. If substance were the sole measure of this debate, you would have to score it a draw. At least Bush was able to articulate something of an answer in this debate.

However, debates are not solely about substance. The first two debates so far have served to reinforce the worst two stereotypes concerning the President...

Bush had all the personality of a chimpanzee who had been beaten soundly by a flipflop. He was all scream and attitude. He was very unpresidential.

Neither Bush or Kerry presented any new views. Nor, did they commit any terrible gaffes in terms of substance. Once again though, Bush's performance will leave America scratching its head and wondering which G.W. Bush will show for the 3rd debate.

On that point, Kerry clearly won.

http://www.thesyndrome.com /?
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SoCalDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
33. How about a Zarqawi report?

I'm still waiting to read your coverage of Zarqawi and Bush being soft on terrorism...
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ralps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
34. Great Article William
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Andromeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
35. Couldn't have said it better!
You've got another winner. :thumbsup:
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Bongo Prophet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
36. You hit the core of it, Mr. Pitt
Ms. Calico and I are still laughing/creeped out by this display.
This is the kind of thing that all the spin in the world cannot undo.
The tone.
The posture AND the posturing.
The teeth-grinding grimaces.
The disconnect.
The smell of something burning...

Kerry was brilliant getting in Alpha-males space to challenge him. A great experiment in primate psychological warfare!
Oh look Kerry's challenging.
It's building...building...

STAND BACK! It's gonna blow!

"IF I REPEAT MYSELF LOUDER AND BOB MY HEAD MORE THEY'LL
Preciate my direct line to Gawd."

I'm still having flashbacks.
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bush equals idiot Donating Member (757 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Excellent discertation..diccertattion..disertation....ah shit.
great job.
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Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
38. Excellent as always
I have passed this along to others.
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goodboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
39. nice will. I just wonder why the media didn't make more hay with
the Monkey's bad temper.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
40. Thank you very kindly for your well written report Mr. Pitt
I have fired it off to my oversea friends on the four corners of this planet.

It indeed sums up my feelings about the debate last night.

Thank you again!
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
41. Thank you!
I had thought that the debates would be so controlled as to be useless. Wrong! We clearly see two men: one presidential, the other in over his head, pompously ignorant.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-09-04 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
42. .
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