I missed the first half of last night’s debate (Full Transcript), so I didn’t see the part where Bush appears more hot-tempered than he was in the latter half. The part I did see shows Bush performing a lot better than last time, and somewhat wittier as well. “Want some wood?” But I don’t think I would have even gotten the part about “battling green eye shades” had I not read L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz this morning, where the inhabitants of the Emerald City all wear green-tinted spectacles to make the city appear greener. I’m not sure what the reference is supposed to imply.
(Update: Apparently it’s something to do with accounting.)
Kerry elegantly dodged the “taxpayer’s money for abortion” question by talking about his own Catholic faith and how he would not legislate that faith as president, but, unfortunately, that still means he can’t deny the use of taxpayer’s money to kill babies. Bush’s response to that was subpar, failing to firmly elucidate his moral stand that abortion is murder and therefore cannot be legislated as a health issue. (More on abortion in some other post. One can of worms at a time.) Ironically, Kerry, though captive to his party, made a far better moral case on abortion, choice, and responsibility than Bush ever had. I don’t appreciate, however, his answer on stem cells, something to the effect that “frozen fetuses must fall to the march of science!”
Bush completely failed to answer the “Three Mistakes” question, which was obviously Iraq-War-Was-Wrong Bait. I’m not sure whether evading the mistakes query is politically shrewd or stupidly, proudly evasive.