Substance? Nay...

But there was a strange lack of, let's call it idiocy in the debate last night. One can almost use the word "debate" to describe it and not raise the hackles of a dead William Webster. It is as close to a truly substantive discussion betwixt the candidates as we're likely to get, and I can be happy with that if Kerry continues to whallop Bush.

Wallop. H or no h? Either way, the word is appropriate, for a whalloping is what Bush got (and gave himself). He became particularly upset, and I thought this was brilliant on Kerry's part, when his father's record was compared to his. Is it not evident that everything Dubya has done in his life, from the spurned guard service to flailing at Yale and Harvard Business to killing businesses of his own to his entire political existence, has been a failed effort to emulate his father? And now they even have Iraq wars to compare. Analysis can do nothing but harm Bush, and the only way it harms Kerry now is if it is done without context.

A friend of mine (who remains a friend, despite being at odds politically) can only speak of Kerry's positions without context, the whole "he was for it before he was against it" thing. What's funny is, those statements are true, and their veracity is not challeneged. Rather it is their complexity which is somehow worthy of scorn, and if that is how we measure our leaders then by all means give me polysyllabic conceptual iterations. The leader of the Free World should be smart.

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