Want some wood?
George Bush's four-year assault on the English langauge continued tonight, and John Kerry I think broke his own record for the phrase "I have a plan." I'll have to wait for the verdict from Fox News to be sure, but I'd give this one to Kerry. Each man was better at refuting the other's arguments than at supporting their own, but Bush seemed agitated, almost angry during the first half of the debate, and he even seemed to debate moderator Charlie Gibson at one point. Kerry gave what for him were principled answers to the stem cell and abortion questions, while Bush was successful at times at using Kerry's Senate record against him. Kerry parried well except when it came to the Patriot Act question--he never reconciled his criticism of the law with his vote in favor of it. Kerry also came out swinging, and never let a question go by without taking a swipe at the president.
The president's attempts at humor fell flat, but then again, most of the time, so do John Kerry's, and his Boston Red Sox joke was out of place. Most aggravating, of course, is Bush's insistence that the recent U.S. weapons inspector report on Iraq, which refuted his original rationale for going to war in Iraq, somehow supports his decision to go to war in Iraq. Kerry, in characterizing the president's environmental policy, used a word that also is apt in describing Bush's Iraq policy--"Orweillian."