Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Kerry Concedes

November 3rd, 2004 Viewed 1818 times

Wow.  What a night.  I was up to 2:00 am EST waiting for NM or NV to go to Bush, but it didn’t happen last night.  In fact, I almost believed that we were going to go the litigation route with the provisional
ballots– but Kerry is going to act statesmanly and concede at 2:00 pm EST.  How late were you up?

Election Day

November 2nd, 2004 Viewed 1900 times

So, who’s it going to be, Bush or Kerry.  After all of the campaigning, October surprises, debates, and everything it comes down to our votes.  Living in one of the states that appears to be a lock, it would be easy to not vote– and yet it’s our duty to let our voice be heard.  So, get out to the polls and vote!

Bush vs. Kerry – Round 3

October 14th, 2004 Viewed 1658 times

I had watched every debate, including the VP debate, in totality live up until this one.  Given the momentum in the debates, I figured Bush would consistently do better, and since part of the strategy during the last campaign and this presidency was to co-opt democrat ideas so he could claim he got things done, I thought that the conventional wisdom regarding Kerry’s advantage would be proven wrong.

That all being said, I also figured more people would tune into the ball game!  We’ve been all fighting a cold or something that we’ve been passing around along with little sleep, so I opted to go to bed at 9:00 pm.  However, curiosity and the fact that I had skipped dinner got the best of me, and I caught the last 30 minutes of the debate– so I’ll give my impression of that.

I can’t remember the first question I heard– it might have been the automatic rifles.  My response to that question would be that, although it would be scary to enter a house with someone with an automatic  weapon as a law enforcement officer, the bad guys are always going to have access to these weapons.  Gun control seems to only prohibit those that will follow the rules from getting their hands on tools of defense.  I believe that there’s a European country– Switzerland?– that teaches all homeowners to use semi-automatic weapons and they have a tremendously low crime rate.

On the faith question, I believe Bush did a better job because I believe he actually believes what he says.  It was somewhat of a loaded question– no matter how many of the pundits say this was a softball– because had he answered directly that his faith directs his policies he would have played right into the argument that the democrats want to make about legislating morality and the whole “God told me to go into Iraq.”

My reaction to some of the closing comments by the FOX guys and the ones they interviewed, it’s hard to say my reaction to hearing Kerry mention Mary Cheney.  I don’t think it was as much of a secret as the pundits are making it out to be.  It’s also a common tactic to name a person representative of a group to illustrate your point.  Usually, however, it’s a person that you’ve met on the trail in relative obscurity instead of someone that is semi well known.

I guess my feeling is that it is one thing to be spoke about as someone who needs a solution to a problem or to attack someone in public that has a public voice, but no one outside of the campaign rallies or Mary Cheney’s friends have ever talked to or heard from her.  I agree with Rush Limbaugh that the tactic would have been much better if he had used someone he knew in the public spotlight, like Barney Frank, to make his point– a point which I disagree with, by the way.

I wish Bush would have been clearer than what I heard was his response to whether homosexuality was a choice or born with it.  He didn’t need to alienate people– he could have said something like “Bob, in either
case we are given things in our lives– desires, physical ailments, etc– and we have to make choices about what we will do with these impulses and dilemmas…”  Here he could have even played up Christopher Reeve’s amazing will to survive and honored his memory instead of what Edwards did for another contrast, should he have desired. “… and homosexuals have choices about what to do about their desires and impulses, but should we as a country encourage choices that harm these people and families?”

Other than that, I thought Bush did so much better with humor and with his answers about the women
in his life.  It makes you connect when someone talks you through the first time he saw his wife.  Bush totally avoided politics in this question, whereas Kerry tried to play up his deceased mother for points.  Time will tell how that worked.

Debates and things

October 5th, 2004 Viewed 1885 times

There are a lot of heartening articles out there.  My favorite is one from Dennis Prager.  Here’s the part I like the best:

Here are direct quotes from John Kerry in the debate.

On staying in Iraq:

“I’m not talking about leaving. I’m talking about winning.”

“Yes, we have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am. And I will succeed for those troops, now that we’re there. We have to succeed. We can’t leave a failed Iraq.”

On leaving Iraq:

“And our goal in my administration would be to get all of the troops out of there …”

“I believe that when you know something’s going wrong, you make it right. That’s what I learned in Vietnam.”

What was it that John Kerry “learned in Vietnam?” To leave a war he regarded as a mistake.

On America acting alone:

“I’ll never give a veto to any country over our security.”

On America acting only with world support or within an alliance:

“But if and when you do it (act alone), Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test …”

And what if acting alone does not pass “the global test”? Then presumably we won’t act alone. Kerry made references to the need to be in Iraq in alliance with other nations eight times.

On the war being a mistake:

“This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment.”

“The president made a mistake in invading Iraq.”

“The war is a mistake.”

On the war being important enough to have to win:

“I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that.”

After hearing Kerry call the war a mistake, the moderator Jim Lehrer asked the logical question: “Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?

John Kerry’s answer: “No, and they don’t have to, providing we have the leadership that I’m offering.”

Now what does that response, arguably the most important thing the senator said in the debate, mean? Does it mean that American soldiers won’t die for what John Kerry continually labels a mistake because he will prosecute the war more effectively? Or does it mean that Americans won’t die for this mistaken war because he will leave Iraq and then there will be no mistake to die for?

The answer, again, is that it can mean either.

I’m glad someone was actually keeping track of what Kerry said and didn’t say.  I have to say that since I wasn’t “keeping score” I missed all of this.  I think the fact that it was so drawn out lead to that confusion.  I think that I would be upset if I were Bush at the fact that he continually changes position.  Had I been Bush’s prep team, I’d make sure that Bush keeps track of what Kerry’s saying so he can do more “didn’t you just say…” and that would help a lot.  Let Kerry work himself out of his statements.

Bush vs. Kerry

October 1st, 2004 Viewed 1921 times

Last night’s debate was long!  My wife left about two thirds of the way through for bed.  In my opinion, it was too long on Iraq without saying much!  The other thing that debates miss is fact checking during it.  What I would really like to see is a buzzer sound every time someone gets a fact wrong.  For instance, there were many statements that the President had to correct Kerry on.  A buzzer would have helped there tremendously.

Critique of the President

The President looked/acted like I do when I’m tired (which, with two young children happens often).  He had trouble recalling what he was going to say.  He fumbled with “the day before 9/10” in which he mixed
two different ways of saying acting like 9/11 never happened.  His body language on some of the wide shots made him look agitated, and my wife noticed a smirk.

I thought his best lines were to do with avoiding sending mixed messages and denigrating our allies.  He also made good points regarding actually talking with our allies instead of saying that he will talk with them.  I thought he answered the critiques that he was “doing nothing” well.   I don’t know if the tactic of addressing Kerry’s stump speeches carried that well, since undecideds may not be listening to stump speeches, and some people don’t even know positions!

Critique of the Senator

The Senator had a lot to prove here.  He was impressive in his presence.  I thought he stayed pretty general on things, and used Vietnam much more than I thought he would.  I wish that he would have gotten the “what do you think about the other guy” question too.  Some things just didn’t sound accurate– like when he claimed to never accuse the President of lying.

I thought he was articulate as he could have been.  I thought he appeared knowledgeable, and did a good
job communicating what he previously said in nuanced ways.  If this was the first time you’d heard both of them, you would definitely find Kerry likable.

I think Kerry won this one, not so much because of facts, etc., but because he came across as someone you could trust– had you not been paying attention up to now.  And that’s where the President can improve his game.

Voting on Election Day

September 23rd, 2004 Viewed 1876 times

Bert Prelutsky has an article today about voting— something I’ve been thinking around for a while.  The Founders definitely wanted people with a stake in the game to be voting.  Now we’ve come so far as to herd people like cattle to the polling place telling them to vote for our guy.  My feeling when I hear about all this busing and other means to get people to the polling places is, if it’s important to them why aren’t they finding a way to get there?

Now, before you call me a meanie, I’m not saying that people with disabilities or the inability to travel shouldn’t have a means provided for them should they so desire– maybe an internet sign up page or something.  What I am against is this– “I’m coming by to fill this bus to bring people who wouldn’t have voted otherwise to the polls because I know they know nothing but that they will vote for the guy with the D or the R next to their name.”

John Kerry and the Lack of Oxygen

September 21st, 2004 Viewed 1773 times

I remember back in the good ole days of Sierra computer games that there were a lot of creative software titles as well as creative fake titles in games.  My favorite series was the Space Quest Series which
followed the path of a man who started out as a janitor but ended up the hero every time– Roger Wilco.  Oh for games that simple and fun to play.

John Kerry is having a lot of trouble.  Yesterday, I don’t know how many times Rush Limbaugh said it on his program, but he said that Kerry hit a single erased by Rather’s double play.  Rush’s comments were that Kerry finally has a good speech, but with the announcement coming out of CBS, everything is turned toward that direction with that focus.

Dick Morris states that  [Kerry] is playing a simple game of checkers, while President Bush is playing a subtle game of chess.  Kerry, Morris says, is spending too much time playing to his base, and instead of having a strategist, he has tacticians.  Bush has taken a line on Iraq where Kerry hasn’t figured out who to be yet.  On the domestic front, all of the issues are being addressed or getting better due to policies Bush already has in place.

Finally, Dennis Prager has some interesting insights into what makes the right and left interpret something as right and wrong.  To the left, he says, “rightness” is determined by law, whereas those on the right view “rightness” by some higher moral code.  Maybe this can being to shed some light as to why those on the other side of the aisle think the way they do.

Swift Boat Controversy

August 20th, 2004 Viewed 1796 times

In my opinion it looks as if Kerry is going to be plagued by flip flops for the entire campaign.  Let alone the fact that he can’t get straight when (if ever) he was in Cambodia, now there’s a new Swift Boat ad!  This ad is hard to refute, for even Senator John McCain of Arizona said that the things that Kerry and the other Anti-Vietnam crusaders were saying was used in their torture in the POW camps.

Will this hurt him in the long run?  It can wear away at those that believe in him– but is this election really about those that believe in John Kerry and his plans?  I haven’t really heard many plans that he has, and many of them hardly differ from Bush.  No, it seems that this election is more about President George W. Bush and whether you like him.  What will these people who hate him so do when they find out that they’ve put into office someone as two-faced as Kerry (if he manages to get there)?

A case of Mistaken Identity

August 17th, 2004 Viewed 1709 times

John Kerry’s crew has a case of mistaken identity.  Let’s see if you can tell the two apart:

Which of these is running for President, and which of these was vice chairmen of the Senate intelligence committee?

Who are you going to vote for?

July 30th, 2004 Viewed 1825 times, 1 so far today

It’s interesting, thinking about the upcoming Presidential election and who to vote for.  I’ve heard and read of many people on all sides of the issues bemoaning the fact that the two major candidates are either fuzzy about who they are as a ploy to get the center votes.  Either that, or the idea that certain promises and  stances that the hearer believed the candidate really had were not followed once elected.

A relative of mine believes that she should vote her conscience and is voting for Peroutka of the  Constitutional Party.  She believes it’s not an option to just vote for the lesser of two evils.

Along this line, Allan Wall states in his recent column that the evangelicals are big enough that they shouldn’t just roll over or capitulate to the Republican party because he’d be better than Kerry.

On the other hand, there are a multitude of articles talking about how Kerry is being anything other than himself during this campaign.

Robert Novak states that one of the biggest things for the Dems is judicial selection in the next term, even though it isn’t mentioned much.  There is a lot of people out there that believe that the Supreme Court gave President Bush the victory in 2000 and believe that if Bush has his way that he will get anti-abortion, anti-gay rights people on the bench who will immediately begin imposing their will on the people.  Kind of like the way the courts are doing it now.

Then of course is all the commotion caused by accounts that Kerry reenacted some of his war footage, that he doesn’t know where he stands on issues– standing in the grey as much as he can.

So, who to vote for?  The important thing is to vote because your voice must be heard.  They question of who is best decided by you.  Conscience?  Best chance to win?  What would happen if all voted conscience?  It’s an interesting question.


Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.