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Obligatory Debate Thoughts

Kerry's handling of the environment question last time around may have been lame, but at least there was an environment question. This time, I figure if they could have gotten rid of all the tangenting into talking about foreign policy (hey guys, this was the domestic debate, remember?), there would have been room to squeeze in an exchange on, say, climate change.

This time around Bush seemed a bit exasperated -- he had a tone of "duh, don't you people understand?" He also seemed to be deliberately undermining the column I planned to write for the Scarlet next week (about how this campaign is being fought over competence rather than ideology). Out of nowhere he drops the "flip-flopper" charge, and starts trying to call Kerry a left-winger. There have been references to Kerry's liberalism all through the campaign, but it was never a major theme until tonight.

Technorati has inexplicably listed me as a conservative blog, so I guess I'll indulge in a little Kerry-bashing. Everybody's cheering Kerry's answer to the abortion question, since he gave the "I can't legislate my faith" line. But then -- trying to overcompensate for charges of insufficient religiosity -- he went and contradicted himself by saying that his faith motivates him to fight for other causes like reducing poverty. Why is it that religious beliefs about poverty are fair game for policymaking, but not religious beliefs about abortion? Overall Kerry seems unduly defensive -- worried about being painted as not religious enough, too pro-choice, willing to let the French overrule America. Bush, on the other hand, makes no bones about being very religious, very pro-life, and very unilateralist.


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