October 01, 2004

I did not see the debate.

Could there be a worse idea than going to a bi-partisan debate in the East Village? I'm not sure that there could and when the particular event gets billed the 'hot ticket' by the NY Post, your instinct should be to run away, and fast. Of course, all of these obvious thoughts would've been much more useful much earlier today.

I got to the bar with Ari, Jessica, Lisa and Evil Dawn. It was a quarter to 8 and I remarked in the cab to Ari how great it will be getting somewhere early for once. Big mistake. That only meant we had to endure the hellish bar that much longer. The line was already forming when we got there. There was some discussion about leaving with the Communists for Kerry but we all agreed that we couldn't leave the bar with no Republican contingency. We would remain resolute in a room packed wall to wall with liberals. It took Dawn all of 3 minutes to say 'I'm outta here' as the room filled up with people. Others lasted slightly longer. Eric and Judith were out the door before the debate began.

We tried, we really did, but it was impossible to hear or see anything and the cheering any time Kerry made any sense at all was all too much. Ari, Jessica, Lisa, Ace, Ivan, Steve, a young Communist for Kerry, and a few other blogless friends left for another bar. We caught the last 20 minutes or so. I thought Bush did well but I hear the rest of the debate didn't go so well for him. I'm looking forward to watching it quietly. At this bar, a woman yelled at Jessica and stormed past Ace and I muttering 'I don't believe this!' referring to the -shock horror- Republicans in the room. We were with two young black men and I feel like they bore the brunt of the nasty people in the bar. One was wearing a Bush/Cheney shirt and the other was wearing Bush buttons. They got stopped and questioned a few times at the bar and there were a few ugly exchanges.

The funniest moment of the night was ending up at Oschism's local bar and meeting a girl who was very excited about Jessica's 'W' sticker on her sleeve. She wasn't excited because she was a Bush supporter, mind you, just because she thought it was 'important to dialogue with the other side' and 'if you have strong convictions then I'm going respect you.' She kept repeating those things over and over. Then, when we were leaving the bar, she started talking to two Communists for Kerry. She loved them and no she didn't get it. She got very sentimental because I hugged the Commies and she felt that real bridges were being built in the understanding between Communists and Republicans. She kept telling them how fantastic they were and asking them 'so what kind of Communists are you, Maoist or Leninist?' It was embarassing/hilarious.

UPDATE: Jessica on some of the tolerance we experienced last night.

Posted by Karol at October 1, 2004 02:33 AM | TrackBack
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I was wondering how the Dubya Apology Squad would respond to his pitiful performance last night, and here it is: Just like Bush when his generals tell him that Iraq is a disaster, pretend you can't hear it and then go drink.

Posted by: Don Myers at October 1, 2004 07:09 AM

I may have disqualified myself from blogging, but I just couldn't watch without squirming. Escape from New York was on the American Movie Channel, and yes, Karol, I thought of you.

It is good to know another blogger missed it, even if for a different reason.

Your Commies for Kerry story is echoed here as well, after I printed the Allah Pundit's Kerry posters and stuck them in my car windows.

Posted by: michael parker at October 1, 2004 08:54 AM

Well,I would assume that Karol is on her way to Colorado. While I am a conservative, I do put principles over party which is why I am voting for Peroutka in a month as opposed to Bush. If my state was close, I would vote for Bush over Kerry.

So here's my take on last night. There's a reason the Republican (I really can not call them conservative) activists are silent. This debate was shown by Fox News, this debate was on foreign policy which is the president's trong suit. Drude and company breathlessly detailed how Baker outmanaged Jordon when it came to debate negotiation. Looked like a win.

Uh oh.

Kerry looked good, sounded good. Since the debate last night outdrew the 2000 ones, this was his opportunity and he took advantage of it. Bush was peevish with the eye rolling, eye squinting and seemed annoyed. I don't care how good you are, if you don't get hit with a punch every now and then you go down. Just ask Roy Jones who has now been knocked out twice in a row. Bush was in a media cocoon for most of this campaign and has not been hit. He was last night and he did not handle it well. A comparison can be made to Gore four years ago.

Bush also beat to death the fact that he work hard and it is a tough job. That was fine a few times but he managed to repeat it so much that he sounded like he was complaining.

Kerry kept Bush on the defensive (remember he was a prosecutor at one time) and Bush had little response. He should have fired away at Kerry as a flip flopper.

Kerry also stole a few stars out of the Republican constellation last night, using the ideas and actions of Bush the Senior, Powell, even George Will against the president.

Some of the RNC spokesmen at the Weekly Standard, National Review and other sites are declaring it a draw. But some of them think Kerry won but it won't change the race. The White House today is saying that Bush was tired and drained after seeing sights in Florida ravaged by the recent hurricanes. I can think of only one (Hugh Hewitt) who thought Bush won (Andrew Sullivan humoursly wondered who Hewitt on the Right and Daily Kos on the Left thought who won since both are hacks). The DNC spearcarriers from American Prospect to the Nation to TNR are all giving laurels to Kerry of course.

So yeah, Kerry needed to do better than Bush and he did. What bothers me is Kerry did this on Bush's ground, with Bush's rules, in front of Bush's cameras.

Posted by: Von Bek at October 1, 2004 10:07 AM

It's interesting that you cite yet another example of someone not "getting" Communists for Kerry. That either means 1) most people are not as sharp as I'd hope, or 2) the whole Communists for Kerry shtick (for lack of a better word) is too subtle. Probably a mix of the two.

Posted by: asphnxma at October 1, 2004 10:09 AM

For the record, it's not local to me- I've just known the DJ since high school.

Posted by: Oschisms at October 1, 2004 10:26 AM

The debate (or the 45 minutes at the end I was able to see) struck me as a draw - certainly, neither side lost. I don't think Bush's demeanor in the context of one debate is going to have much impact - if it doesn't change in the remaining debates, however, it's eventually going to work against him...

Posted by: Alceste at October 1, 2004 10:26 AM

Historically, we will remember Kerry’s global test remark as the event that cost Kerry the election.

Kerry will regret saying global test the rest of his life.

Posted by: Jake at October 1, 2004 10:27 AM

Yesterday @ 8:55pm I was an undecided voter. @ 9:30 I relized my vote would be going to Kerry. He made sense, had a plan, talked about what was important concerning his foriegn policy and he seemed like a strong personality. Bush on the other hand could only say "flip flop" and "wrong war wrong time?" over and over again and if anyone was counting the nuber of times Bush blinked between 9-10 PM it was 1,987,564,000. What became perfectly clear during the debate was the fact that Bush has his own ideas for the country and the world and he does not take the blinders off at any point to make adjustments in his policy's regaurdless of changing circumstances. I hope other undecided voters feel the same and lets see a new president come January!

Posted by: MKID at October 1, 2004 10:47 AM

Von Bek -- I also think JFK "won" but it's not that bad. Actually, it really wasn't that bad at all. There were a lot of moments where Bush really triumphed, but he lost it with some of the rhetoric JFK started throwing back at him toward the end. I guess I don't understand why Republicans think it was such a huge failure. When it came to hard questions, like is the job being done in Iraq, was this war the wrong decision, John Kerry's weaselly responses couldn't hold a candle to the truth. And when GW gave the facts, he wasn't reading off a page. He knew exactly what he was talking about.

Posted by: candace at October 1, 2004 11:05 AM

"I hope other undecided voters feel the same and lets see a new president come January!"

Who do think you're trying to kid with the "I was undecided at 8:55 pm line"? If you're going to bullshit, at least tone down the rallying cries and do it discreetly.

Posted by: candace at October 1, 2004 11:07 AM

Candace, point well taken. I think the reason a lot of Republicans are calling yesterday a failure was bad expectations. After the way Bush beat Gore in their debates, with the focus on international affairs, with Fox News running the cameras and with Baker winning the pre debate details, I think the GOPers got entangled in the web of high expectations. I think they were thinking Bush would knock the crap out of Kerry and were suprised by last night's result.

Posted by: Von Bek at October 1, 2004 11:09 AM

A minor thing to point out, but I think Fox may have gone overboard in trying to make Bush seem as tall as Kerry. With so much more (almost 6 inches or so) of the podium in the camera shot of Bush side-by-side with Kerry, it almost made Bush look dwarfed by the podium, especially during the moments in which he stuggled to speak (which certainly was not the intended effect). I do hope the other networks don't go overboard in the other direction using shots to emphasize Kerry's height.

Posted by: Alceste at October 1, 2004 11:17 AM

Alceste, CSPAN did the same thing with the podium. Bush actually looked taller than Kerry.

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2004 11:38 AM

I caught C-SPAN's coverage and the screen was split the whole time. The more I watch C-SPAN, the more I dig it.

Posted by: Shawn at October 1, 2004 11:39 AM

By Tuesday the only things people will remember are:

Globl Test
Nuclear Fuel for Iran

When Edwards floated the idea of nuclear enablement for the mullahs, I thought he'd just had a bad off-the-cuff moment. But no, this is really part of the Kerry/Edwards plan. Scary.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 1, 2004 11:42 AM

And perhaps the back-and-forth on talks with North Korea. At least, that's what sticks out for me.

Posted by: Shawn at October 1, 2004 12:14 PM

Mark, clearly you don't know much about American politics if you think those two issues are going to be what the American public pays attention to. Perhaps they may be two of the most important messages delivered in the debate, but they are not the kind of things that the mainstream media and the common voter will focus on -- regardless of which side of the spectrum you are on.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at October 1, 2004 12:23 PM

Once again Von Bek makes the most sense. Last night was a clear Kerry victory.

Posted by: Dawn Summers at October 1, 2004 12:39 PM

Horrible experience you guys had with the tolerant, bleeding-heart, liberals. I am sure much of the same people whose reaction to 9/11 was--most of those businessmen in the towers deserved to die (heard that statement AGAIN last night! That's twice) I was at my commie bookstore, hosting a non-political reading. After the author left, the employees opted to turn on the debate, thus I HOT-TAILED it out of there. Had a more enjoyable time watching the last 30 min it at home, on my bed, with my cat.

Posted by: Vanessa at October 1, 2004 12:46 PM

Signor Ferrari:

The MSM will not focus on those two outrageous statements of Kerry's, but Republican commercials will.

Posted by: Jake at October 1, 2004 12:51 PM

I think Bush's flubbing of Osama and Saddam could do well for DNC commercials. It will reinforce a lot of conceptions some people have as Bush as in over his head. His whine about how will we pay for Kerry's homeland security could be spun by the Bush haters to "Bush taxcuts, si ! Homeland security, no!"

Thanks for the kind words, Dawn. I have little emotional attachment to Bush and none to Kerry so I can kind of call it like I see it.

Posted by: Von Bek at October 1, 2004 12:59 PM

Cheney is starting already:

"We're perfectly prepared to seek international support for internationalefforts. We've got a great alliance -- we've got 30 countries fightingalongside of us in Iraq.

And we're prepared to work to lead a coalition, but we will never submit to the objections of a few. We will never seek a permission slip to defend the United States of America".

Kerry is toast.

Posted by: Jake at October 1, 2004 01:24 PM

He's toast because the Republicans are putting words in his mouth? The hollowness of that strategy showed last night. It is one thing to rally on these things at the RNC, when you don't have someone counterpunching you. But Kerry kept landing body blows on Bush last night and all Bush could say was "he keeps changing his mind", you can't be a leader and be critical of my decisions because that demoralizes the troops.

Kerry has never said permission slip and no sane person would understand his statements to mean that. On the continuum of consulting with other world powers before acting is Kerry much more in favor of consultation than going alone when you don't get your way right away. Of course he is. But anyone who tries to make this a black and white, Kerry seeks permission and Bush doesn't is over simplifying to the point of absurdity and insulting the intelligence of the voters and the people.

Honestly, I was shocked that Bush did not have more last night and was essentially just attacking Kerry as an equivocater rather than (1) defending his 4 years in office and (2) projecting forward the next four years. A President who cannot coherently defend his first four years in office will not get reelected. Reagan and Clinton were aggressive in saying they made things better. I don't hear that from Bush.

If the Republicans want to hang on, I think they need to explain, with more than sound bites, why Bush has been right the last four years, not just say Kerry will be scary.

Look out George. Uncle Mo might be walking over to the other side of the room.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at October 1, 2004 01:44 PM

Hmm, I seem to remember a certain boyfriend remarking to a certain blogger that perhaps watching the debate in a roomful of Democrats wouldn't be such a good idea.

I didn't watch the whole thing, but I'd say Kerry looked better. He seemed smoother and, unlike Bush, didn't struggle as much for words. But in the end, no matter how well his speaking skills, Kerry was still dead wrong on a number of matters.

Posted by: Peter at October 1, 2004 01:47 PM

I feel bad for you guys because of what the progressive people did to you. To me, being surrounded by even a handful of comrades outweighs the creeps of being surounded by 300 liberals. Plus, I often get in these friendly discussions with the latter. But yeah, some people were being really ugly. And those types never have the balls to simply face you, always shouting something stupid and then running away. That's what that lady from NBC did - she bitched to somebody "Oh, if somebody could find me an articulate Republican..." With the modesty characteristic of Lenin, I said: I'm an articulate Republican! She made fun of my accent (did she think it was fake?) and walked away.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at October 1, 2004 02:48 PM

All Kerry did last night was remind me of what a lovely facility the KGB possesses under Treblinka Square. Yeah idiots, vote for the guy that doesn't know THAT difference.


Posted by: Ari at October 1, 2004 03:54 PM

According to candace Kerry merely mispronounced a Russian word. I know a Bush supporter wouldn't hold a word mispronounciation against anyone.

Posted by: Dawn Summers at October 1, 2004 04:05 PM

My completely apolitical mom knows about the Kerry slip-up re KGB. She said 'he sounded like an idiot mixing that up'. You can take that to mean what you want but if my mom heard about, I'd say it's news (at least in the Russian community), no matter who you support.

I still have yet to see the debate in its entirety but one other little slip of Kerry's was that the subway was closed in NY during the Rep. convention. Why would he say that? Don't they fact check these people's comments before they deliver them? It's such a small, stupid thing to lie about. Why do it?

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2004 04:37 PM

How does "little slip" become a lie rather than a mistake? I don't want to put words into Kerry's mouth that he wasn't able to put there himself when it mattered; but given the context of the sentence, I think the intent was to reflect the Secret Service's demand (wisely rejected by Bloomberg) that the subway be closed for the president's safety.
Kerry was obviously wrong in his statement, but to accuse him of the intent to mislead strikes me as a similar line of reasoning to that employed by those on the left-of-Dawn who misguidedly go around shouting Bush lied all time.

Posted by: Alceste at October 1, 2004 04:49 PM

Alceste, I think the Russia thing was a slip, the subway line a lie. He wanted to prove that we are so unsafe that the subway had to be closed during the RNC. It was nonsense and I think Kerry knows it. I mean, Bloomberg sure bragged enough about how business went on as usual in NYC during the convention. It was a little lie, but a lie nevertheless.

Posted by: Karol at October 1, 2004 04:58 PM

Treblinka=Nazi Death Camp
Lubyanka=old KGB HQ location

Posted by: Jeff at October 2, 2004 04:49 PM
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