The debate is over; I watched it live. I thought it was a tie, but a lot of pundits are calling it a Bush win.
It looked as I expected all the debates to look: Bush warm and likable, Kerry like a wind-up toy. Lots of jive talking. Here are a few bits I noted down:
"It's against the law in the United States to hire people illegally."
Shocking. I hope the press picks up on it. This needs to get out.
"The fact is that we now have people from the Middle East, allegedly, coming across the border."
Also shocking. Imagine, people from the Middle East coming to the US. There goes the neighbourhood.
As I said before, Kerry is racist.
I also thought I heard Kerry say "We'd put money into the hands of people who work hard, who play the rules, who pay for the American Dream." Maybe it was just my imagination, but it does seem to sum something up. His Freudian slip, or mine?
He also quoted the Bible as saying:
"Love the Lord, your God, with all your mind, your body and your soul"
Now, to me, the image of loving God with your whole body seems unfortunate. This is not love, although it does tally with what many people who support Kerry apparently think love involves.
What the Bible really says is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Probably best to keep your body out of it.
I also heard Kerry spend the taxes he is going to raise on "those making more than $200,000 a year" at least three times. First he spent it on health care: the $600 billion to $800 billion it is going to raise would cover the $1.2 trillion to $5 trillion cost of his health care plan. Then he used it to cover the projected social security shortfall. Then in the next response he used some of it to cut the deficit in half. That's another $150 billion per year of the up to $89 billion per year the tax raise would bring in. Then later he said he'd spend it on after-school programs.
I'm not sure I'd want my money managed by someone who thinks 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 2.
Kerry also repeated his fundamental error on morality. On the question of abortion, he said "I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith." But issues of morality are objective, and objectively binding on all, not matters of faith. Faith and morals are quite separate things. If someone claimed a personal belief in human sacrifice, is that his right to choose? Would government have no business legislating on the matter?
A side note: Wesley Clark slaughtered Sean Hannity in their post-debate analysis. It's a pity that Clark ran for president this time. He wasn't ready, and needed political seasoning. He might have been formidable in four years.