Wednesday, October 06, 2004
On the vice-presidential debate, or what I saw of it. I had to tape it (bagua practise at the same time), and I misunderestimated the length so I missed the last few minutes.
First, Dick Cheney is not George Bush. Cheney is intelligent and able to argue quite well. He wove the Republican lies and half-truths into an almost-coherent whole, but the thing still stinks, of course. I must admit that I enjoyed watching Dick as he's not bad thinking on his feet and then he has that crackerjaw...
He did utter several untruths in the debate. The most puzzling one concerned not meeting John Edwards before. There is at least one photograph of them meeting at a prayer breakfast. Cheney also implied that Massachusetts had suggested amending its constitution in order to allow gay marriage, whereas the truth is that the judges interpreted the Massachusetts constitution to require allowing gay marriage. The other untruths he uttered are the same he and Bush always utter.
Cheney was quite aggressive, almost snapping his maw at Edwards, and I'm not sure if this is what the viewers want to see. I kind of enjoyed it but then I'm not human.
Edwards did well. He debated with gusto and elan, and managed to bring out all the major points, and he didn't surrender to any of Cheney's bites. Plus he was very pleasant and personable which shouldn't matter, but if it matters for Bush then it should matter here, too.
The debate wasn't as close to slaughter as the first presidential debate was. But then we didn't expect a rerun of that. Cheney is, after all, the real president of this country.
So who won? I would say that the debate was a draw in debating skills, Cheney won in ferociousness and Edwards in looks. The substance was won by Edwards, naturally. He told the truth.
The picture of Cheney and Edwards in 2001 via Atrios.