LULU by John Linton Roberson (c) 2012.
I Didn't Write That!
13 October 2004
  Debate 3: Say Goodnight, Georgie

Debate 3: Say Goodnight, Georgie

Tonight may have been America's farewell to Bush, He was certainly no better tonight than Friday, and on Friday, if you recall, he stunk. MSNBC's online poll already has Kerry as the victor by a whopping 85% at this writing.

Bush sounded, as some have remarked, like an abusive husband begging his sweetie to stay when she's not only halfway out the door, but the neighbors can see and hear from the hallway. (Just as some once said his father looked like every woman's first ex-husband) That was the look on his face, and though at the beginning of the debate, his voice was that arrogant Texas holler it was at the walkin' one on Friday, around the first third it dropped, realizing aggressiveness wasn't helping, and Bush tried to sound gentle, quiet, almost hurt that people think so ill of him. That must have been the intent.

But what it sounded like against Kerry's assuredness was in fact the timid, careful voice of a loser. It was a voice of contrition that promised many changes, that allowed mistakes of the past without acknowledging them. The very sound of contrition would imply awareness that at least people generally think he's fucked up. He offers the promise to us all that, given the chance, he'll be happy to convince them he's changed, though of course he says he was right and would do everything the same again given a second chance.

Dude, um...I don't think you're getting a second chance.

Kerry once again demonstrated his consistency from debate to debate, which is what we've really been getting to see--he's looked steady debate to debate, while Bush flails and flails, each time seeming to have only come with twenty minutes of material, and then after the first twenty minutes he starts to slouch and to scowl, or at least look tired in resisting the urge to do so. Tonight it looked at though Bush had been told--as the format was once again podiums, not Bush's friend because he can't wave his arms or pace to get rid of his nervous energy--to smile and crane his head every time he felt like scowling or felt tired or impatient. And he's still stuttering and still giving the deer-in-the-headlights look when caught off-guard by a question.

This wasn't good advice. It was the dancing-as-fast-as-I-can smile of denial so often seen on the faces of suburban housewives on uppers. It looked like a smile to conceal nervousness. And worse, it's incredibly crooked. I mean literally. But when he makes the effort to smile with both ends of his mouth, he looks, again, every bit the chimp. But you could tell under it all that he was quite frightened. His eyes looked startled. And Bush mistakes rigidity for consistency.

Where Kerry has been consistent in building an aggressive, but positive, attack on Bush and mapping out his policies through these three debates, Bush has merely been rigid, in his repetition of talking points even when they've been knocked down and reflexive--and often hilariously inaccurate--negative attacks on Kerry. After the incredibly bad performance in the first debate, the only real suspense through the second and third was whether he wouldn't fuck up again. It seemed accepted pretty quickly that if he did manage not to fuck up again, this in itself would be a victory.

I doubt if we keep presidents just because they manage not to look like complete idiots some of the time.

The opening of the debate was interesting. Kerry's wave to the audience was assured and easy, Bush's was narrow and nervous. And this time, they somehow managed to wear matching ties--red with gold dots. Only Bush's was not as deep a red as Kerry's, more of a fire-engine or emergency or Stop-sign sort of red. Probably not the best subconscious impression to leave if one is seeking re-election.

The framing of the podiums on C-Span again was interesting. They did everything they could to try to frame them equally, because in debate 1, also at podiums, Kerry filled the frame and Bush, given his lesser stature, looked shorter and more defensive, more hunkered down and, standing alongside Kerry, certainly not presidential. Bush's frame appeared to be mostly podium, Kerry's mostly, well, Kerry. This time they did their best but in the end, it just focused our attention on the details of Bush's face more(which is good, because his makeup was better than Kerry's; Kerry's face looked a bit tired and shiny, while Bush looked flushed, but the George should blush, shouldn't he?) , and worse, one's attention was drawn to the much greater length of Kerry's mike than Bush's, which tips you off both to a difference in all sorts of sizes.

Kerry scored many points on the job losses because Bush, whenever he was asked about them, tried to change the subject to education, even saying that the All Children Left Behind Act is a jobs program. Well, maybe 15-20 years from now, Bush, but what about right now? No answer each time it was brought up. Instead he reminds us that--horrors!--Kerry is from Massacussetts tried to claim that "Ted Kennedy is the conservative senator from Massachussetts" and that Kerry's politics were "far Left Bank," a clumsy way to imply that Kerry is a Francophile or...something, I'm not sure. And again "liberal," as though it packs the punch of "communist."

Again, George, the swing voters don't care; your base will vote for you no matter what, you idiot. Saying "liberal" doesn't score you points in your favor anymore, unless the best-seller lists are no indication where the country's swinging. Having as your only refutation of Kerry's promises that they're "empty" only makes us want to take a chance on the guy who hasn't broken any to us yet, unlike, say, Bush. Calling "pay as you go" "pay-go" doesn't help. And repeating "freedom's on the march" which he began doing at 8:07 pm CST just irritates us. And issuing a smug little snicker like you're expecting Karl Rove to give you a biscuit after you've managed to repeat a talking point really. Pisses. Us. Off.

Bush hasn't outlined any positive program of his own; he believes all his decisions have been the right ones. But they've led to disaster to all but Bush's most wealthy supporters. He really has no intention of changing course at all. This means to the average person that things are bad now--and most believe that--and therefore, they will be worse. He's not reassuring. Being unbearably smug wasn't what got Reagan votes--being reassuring was. Bush has read the attitude wrong. Admitting mistakes indicates to others that you now have the wisdom to not make them again. But he doesn't even give us that. "I'm sorry if some people think I'm wrong," Bush's attitude says. Problem is, those people are the American people. How can a man be overconfident and frightened at the same time?

And then he tells outright lies, which doesn't help him look less desperate. For instance, he denied his statement that he didn't worry too much about Osama Bin Laden, that he "isn't that important." Just issued a bald-faced denial. He also said Kerry didn't have anything to do with any health-care legislation. Also not true. Does no one tell him these things can be instantly checked these days? Throughout these debates I kept saying, out loud, is that all you've got? I keep thinking maybe Republican playbooks never change--it's just that, when they have the power to do so, they try to reshape the world into something in which they can operate. As you can see, that climate best suited to them is fear, deprivation, insecurity and paranoia. Like living in that?

Repeating talking points never made us believe anything. That was the illusion that Bush maintained for himself by the fear he kept us under for so long. Were we ever asked for our consent when Congress gave Bush the Patriot Act(which, as it happens, very few if any read first) or the authorization to attack Iraq? He has never really had to face the wrath of the American people. Unless he has a really good plan with Diebold regarding the voting machines, Bush is fucked.

And given that the polls are swinging away from Bush(Kerry now has the edge in Wisconsin and Republican bellwether state Ohio, which both have barnstormed very heavily), if they do have something like that planned, it will be obvious. Not that being obvious has stopped them before.



Post a Comment

<< Home
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil."
--E. Blackadder, 1789

JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson

FOR MATURE READERS in most cases


LULU Book 1 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Martin Pasko
LULU Book 1 (2013) 
with an introduction by Martin Pasko

Amazon | Createspace | Comixology

Frank Wedekind's LULU
VLADRUSHKA (adults only)
STORY OF OH!(2008) Written by Charles Alverson (adults only)



April 2013: LULU Book 1 Interview at Comics Forge 


New! April 2013: Lulu”- Staging a classic on paper - interview by Tim Young.
August 2012: Flex Mentallo - discussion with Troy Belford.
January 2012: Comics Events - discussion with Tim Young
May 2011: Theatre and Comics - interview by Tim Young.

August 2006 at

Sept. 2001 at Spark-Online


Stuff About My Work

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

October 2002 / November 2002 / February 2003 / March 2003 / April 2003 / May 2003 / June 2003 / July 2003 / August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / October 2014 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / July 2017 / August 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / January 2018 / March 2018 / April 2018 / May 2018 / June 2018 / July 2018 / August 2018 / September 2018 / October 2018 / November 2018 / December 2018 / January 2019 / February 2019 / March 2019 / June 2019 / October 2019 / March 2020 / April 2020 / August 2020 / October 2020 / November 2020 /

Powered by Blogger