Friday, October 01, 2004

Of course, I watched the debate last night. First impressions? As expected, Botox gets the style points, but Bush had the substance. Botox did well in projecting a more resolute image of himself, but glossed over his positions with his trademark “nuance” so thoroughly that it’s going to take a few days for the media and the blogosphere to flesh out what he was trying to convey. Here’s an example:

BOTOX: …the president made a mistake in invading Iraq.

LEHRER: Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?

BOTOX: No, and they don't have to, providing we have the leadership that we put -- that I'm offering.

Confused? I am. If going into Iraq was a mistake, are the soldiers not dying there mistakenly? The President was effective in exploiting that obvious contradiction, and he did so numerous times last night.

Botox also tried repeatedly to assert that Bush erred by shifting his focus away from the job of capturing a cornered Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora. If you take that argument at face value, as Botox hopes you will, you are making a rather grand assumption that killing bin Laden will hasten the end of Islamo-fascist terrorism. That’s a rather specious notion. Sure, it would be great to finally get rid of him, but there’s more to the story. Al-Qaeda, and all the other myriad Islamo-fascist organizations operating throughout the Middle East, will undoubtedly carry on an intense terror campaign whether bin Laden is torched or not. Some, particularly those on the left, argue that his death or capture could make him a sort of martyr, which might embolden the terrorists even further, at least in the short-term.

The President understands that maintaining a singular focus on killing bin Laden is a myopic approach to achieving the broader objective of stopping global terrorism. He concluded that converting terror-enabling nations to terror-disabling nations by promoting democracy and freedom would be a far more effective strategy. On this, he is dead right. Despite all of Botox’s fancy, nuanced talking points and his Yale Debating Society pedigree, he showed last night that he fundamentally does not comprehend the nature of the War on Terror.

I still say it will be Bush by 5 on Election Night.

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