Saturday, October 09, 2004


The 2nd Debate

I'm not sure why, but the online polls (which are not by any means a scientific survey) seem to be polling the debate as a win by Kerry. I don't really think so. I thought this was a clear win for Bush. There were definitely problems. As per my earlier post, I'm disappointed that Bush didn't take the question on drug reimportation to tell Americans the truth...allowing reimportation of drugs will not in the long run reduce costs on will reduce the drugs available to Canada and other countries. Bush did hit one area on this question that is a real part of the question but he didn't hit it hard enough. The real issue on drug costs is whether we need to change patent law. Bush hinted at this when he talked about making the move to generic drug manufacturing quicker. Patent issues should be the central focus of concerns over drug costs, but unfortunately people have this mistaken impression that drug reimportation would actually reduce costs in the long run with no adverse side effect. That was an annoying moment for me hitting my head against the wall.

Other than that...Bush scored a lot of really strong points in my opinion.

When asked about the opinion of us around the world he gave an answer that may not sway many undecided voters but that was still the kind of answer that almost makes me want to vote for Bush. He said that when you do what is right it isn't always popular and its better to do what is right than what is popular. The comparison to Ronald Reagan that he used may serve him well amongst younger voters who think very fondly of Ronald Reagan.

I think the issue of Supreme Court nominees was a rather strange moment for Kerry who seemed, in my interpretation, to be stating that he would appoint activist judges to the Supreme Court if given a chance. (I'm hoping that I misunderstood him since that is basically an argument abdicating the legislature of their responsibility.)

I think Kerry also lost points because he failed to admit that Saddam would still be in power if he had been President. His argument as I understand it is that if we had waited longer and done things properly we would have discovered prior to going in that there were no weapons of mass destruction and unless I am missing something, according to Kerry that would mean that there was no reason to go in. I hope I'm not misrepresenting this opinion of Kerry's but he seems loath for some reason to say Saddam would still be in power if had been President. I'm not really sure why if Saddam wasn't really a threat he would care so much about not letting that be the impression of what a Kerry presidency would have meant.

I think both candidates missed the boat on how they intend to cut the deficits in half in five years. They missed the boat because truth be told...they both have the same plan for cutting the deficits. They both intend to grow our way out of debt. There is nothing wrong with that answer in my opinion...I don't find it as absurd as some people do...but it seems clear that neither one feels this is an answer that will play particularly well. Kerry's tax increases will not cut into the deficit incidentally by any substantive amount even if all of the tax increases were to go directly towards financing the debt, but he doesn't even want to do that since much of this tax increase has been passed off as a way to pay for other promises he has made. Bush was a little bit more on target in my opinion in acknowledging that there are times that deficits make sense and are necessary.

Bush had some ticks and twitches that were a little annoying and a few bad moments such as interrupting the moderator...but I think on the whole he made a case for himself whereas Kerry could only make a case against Bush.

Maybe it isn't a surprise to some people who know me that I was so impressed with the Bush performance tonight, but it was a surprise to me. I don't really like Bush (I don't like Kerry either) but as I constantly hear invalid and misleading charges leveled against the Bush I feel the need to defend him at times. Tonight I think he defended himself fine.

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