Admission up front: I am biased against Bush, in favor of Kerry. Admission out back: I’m not overly thrilled with Kerry.
I again listened to most of the debate, all but maybe three questions worth, but did not see any of it. Nothing surprising, although phrases like “flip-flop”, “I have a plan”, “It’s just not credible”, and “You can run, but you can’t hide” were mercifully absent (or at least less prominent) in this debate.
- Is there anything which can’t be solved by Pell Grants, Mr. Bush?
- “No litmus test on judges” as the answer to whether you’ll try to overturn Roe v. Wade? We’ll take that dodge as a “Yes,” since you didn’t say no. Not that anything but “Yes” could be expected, given the Republican platform plank this year seeking a Constitutional amendment outlawing all abortions. (And Bush has already said he does have a litmus test: strict Constitutional interpretation. Flip-flop much, Mr. President?)
- Speaking of Dodge City, what kind of an answer was that on the Minimum Wage? For a 25 year-old single mother working at Taco Bell, education (and Pell Grants) are not the answer. A 40% pay hike from $5-something an hour to $7-something an hour, that will help. (Not that education isn’t important, but that pays off 2, 5, 10 years down the line, and it doesn’t do shit for those who are below the poverty line now.)
- Kerry is being painted as not just a liberal, but a liberal from Massachusetts. I’m inclined to interpret that as code for “He supports gay marriage,” despite Kerry’s protests to the contrary. Same-sex civil marriage is the most prominent recent event pushing Massachusetts into the hearts and minds of Americans.
- In one question, Kerry made a reference to there being two education systems in this country, one for the haves and one for the have nots. (Or something similar to that.) While that mostly plays to Edwards’s “Two Americas” speech, it also may be code for Kerry not supporting Charter Schools, since such are usually painted as either a benefit only for better-off families, or as a method for publicly funding religious-oriented schools.
Updated on May 18, 2011