This Debate Report Could Get Me Punched In The StomachIn 1994 me and Phil pledged to stay in touch forever, but even at 18 we knew we were grasping at straws. It’s a universal truth than when people leave high school and start college they grow apart as fast as they can. Me and Phil were too stoic to admit it, but we were afraid we’d change right out of each others’ lives. I know I couldn’t handle seeing a familiar-looking chump wearing Phil’s skin at Christmastime. Rather than hug and weep at the uncertain future of our friendship, we made a solemn pact:
If I heard tell of Phil ever wearing a pair of denim shorts or a set of Greek letters, I got to nail him one in the guts real hard. And if he ever caught wind of me going into a sports bar for anything other than dire emergency, the same punishment applied. The pact stands today.
I went to the Hawk and Dove on Capitol Hill last night to watch the final presidential debates, risking a suckerpunch in the guts from one of my best high school buddies. And it wasn’t even worth it...most of the debate was "more of the same."
In my defense, all I can say is that I thought the place was a normal DC bar until I had a look at the menu 30 minutes into the thing and saw the tagline “Washington’s oldest sports bar.”
I don’t even have much in the way of post-debate analysis…as John Kerry likes to repeat, it’s more of the same. But here’s a few thoughts:
The audio from the debates screening in the back room came through like 1/4 of a second before the audio in the front room, giving the whole bar this really ominous psychedelic delay. For about half an hour it sounded like the candidates were debating in the biggest swing territory of all: Mount Olympus.
Bush got asked why exactly it is that America doesn’t have enough flu vaccines this year. He responded that we contracted to buy the vaccines from another country (the reverb was too heavy for me to catch which one) and half of them were tainted and unusable. He then called on healthy young Americans not to get flu shots this year, saving them for children and the elderly who really need them.
So, long story short: the Bush administration outsourced a vital part of our health care, fucked it up, and we all pay the price. Republicans love to say that Democrats are cynical. And we are…but we wouldn’t be if their number-one guy didn’t pull shit like this every chance he gets.
Kerry just smiles and laughs to himself whenever Bush tries to attack him. He writes little notes to himself, and you just know he’s figuring out a way to use that turn that attack into a counter-smackdown in like, five minutes. That’s so cool.
I do like Bush’s proposal of a temporary-worker card for immigrants. For you foreign readers, the upshot is that migrant workers will be protected from shady employers, have rights as workers, and the ability to go home, visit and come back to their jobs in the US. If someone wants to come here and work hard and pay taxes, let ‘em.
My friend Alison says this will create a system of second-class citizens in America, and she’s right. But it beats being a fifth-class citizen that gets way less than the minimum wage to swab toilets. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I was an illegal immigrant in Australia for nine months. I would’ve loved having a card that gave me the right to a decent job and the chance to visit my family in the meantime.
Whenever George Bush wants to break bad on Kerry, he calls him a “Massachusetts liberal” or “outside the mainstream.” Since when have either of those been bad? It’s like getting all mad and calling me a “guy who has glasses.”
While I understand that neither candidate could honestly answer whether or not homosexuality is a choice for political reasons, I thought both guys’ answers were particularly lame and noncomittal. This is what basically happened:
Bob Schieffer (moderator of the debate): Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?
Kerry: I don’t know, but no homos are getting married on my watch. What about you, W?
Bush: Oh, hell no.
Kerry: And can I say one more time that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian.
We're at least four more years away from same-sex marriage, and it's a discredit to our nation. Shame neither of them could just come out and say it.
I risked a gut-punching for those tired little tidbits and a bunch of foofaraw that we’ve all heard a million times before. Phil… if you go through with it, we’re still friends, man.