SOME PUNDITS AGREE
Kerry crushed Bush tonight. Bush didn't look like he wanted to be there. He had this horrible frown on his face like he was smelling a bad fart or the entire proceedings were beneath him. And he generally sidestepped most questions with pat answers that missed the subject at hand. Considering Kerry went into this as the underdog, it's pretty clear he'll get the bounce here. As I type, MSNBC's online reader's poll on debate performance puts Kerry ahead 71% to 29%.
Some right-wing pundits - in the minutes right after the debate - seemed to concur that Kerry had the edge in the debate. They said the President looked bored and tired and didn't hammer his strongest points. But soon, the spinners took over and all the networks were happy to let Karen Hughes and Rudy and the rest of the gang claim that their guy creamed to opposition and presented a Presidential face with which middle-America could relate (the Dems did it too, but their claims sounded a lot less far fetched to anyone who had watched the proceedings).
Eventually it got back to a weird game of Truth or Patriotism. ON MSNBC, Joe Scarbough asked this brain teaser (I paraphrase) "Kerry said Australia might be a bigger target for terrorism because of it's support for the US in Iraq. Now how can he expect to get allies for that war if he says a nation's support will increase the risk of terrorism in that country?"
Joe obviously comes from the school of I prefer the lie, thanks. As I understand his comment, even if it's true that supporting the US in Iraq might increase the risks of terror in a country, the US should pretend that's not true in order to gain allies. Because telling the truth would risk not gaining that allies' support and (though not mentioned) hurt the war effort meaning that You, sir are unpatriotic!
Joe, here's a news flash - countries besides the US have opinions too. They know very well the effect their actions will have. Us lying to them won't change that or change their minds. You think they're going jump on the bandwagon because Ol' George says Don't Worry! You poor stupid bastard.
Perhaps the best foreign policy for allies is a truthful policy? How about a President who says, "I won't lie to you - fighting the war on terror might make you a target, but it's a just fight and one that if done right and right now, will save lives down the line." Don't you think a policy of respect and truth would encourage more support from other nations than would a policy of sticking your head in the sand and lying?
Oh, it's all bullshit anyway. I'll bet anything that if a sitting Dem President had said, "Nobody becomes a bigger target for terror by siding with the US in a war" Regular Joe S. and his buddies would have swarmed on that like flies on poop. Of course nobody should expect Joe to be on the side of the truth. His background includes a stint as a Republican Congressman from North Florida and a Bush Admin employee. There's an unbiased voice on the news, huh?