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Democrat Kerry Challenges Bush to Monthly Debates
March 13, 2004 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Democrat Kerry Challenges Bush to Monthly Debates Kerry, already engaged in a running exchange of negative ads with Bush eight months before the November election, planned to deliver the challenge at the site of the historic Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates in Quincy, Illinois. A frontrunner, way ahead, would naturally turn down this "invitation," but at this point, Bush is not way ahead, and to turn down debates would give Kerry a fine focus to play over and over in ads and speeches. How will Bush (ie Rove) react to this challenge? (go on tour of duty with National Guard perhaps.)
posted by Postroad (61 comments total)

 
I'm going to go by what happened when Gore challenged Bush to the same thing and put my money on Bush ignoring it.

We'll be lucky if Bush agrees to three debates this time. Maybe Bush'll offer Kerry an hour to answer questions. [/snark]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:07 PM on March 13, 2004


I just wanna see bush in a debate. I don't care who it's with. it could be against lance armstrong or paul hogan. I just wanna see it!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:31 PM on March 13, 2004


Here's another Bush Kerry link, not FPP worthy, but still germane to the attack ads reference in this post:

Poll: Kerry would be choice of terrorists - The Washington Times.

Yeah Washington times, I know. But can push polling get ANY sleazier than this? And they're only just getting started. I'm already feeling nauseous.
posted by psmealey at 1:32 PM on March 13, 2004


See Billmon's post in response to the Wash. Times, piece, "House of the Rising Scum."
posted by kgasmart at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2004


I agree: Bush doesn't want to debate. Unless the media hates whoever he's debating anyway.

He won't even let himself get interviewed by a friendly host without taking the time to re-edit the soundbites to make him sound better, what are the odds he'd put himself in the position to look the fool he is for all to see?

In short, he can only lose by accepting. And even if you could bait by calling him 'yellow', I'm sure the Secret Service are trained by Rove to dive in front of the mike should he begin to accept the challenge.

But can push polling get ANY sleazier than this?


Yup. Watch and weep.
posted by Busithoth at 1:42 PM on March 13, 2004


God, I don't know if I could handle monthly debates. What would they say after the first two?

"You are so."

"I am not."

"Shut up."

"Shut up yourself."

"Copycat."

"Liar. Fibber. Faker."

"Whatever. I'm only here because my handlers made me come. You're not worth it."

"I'm only here because I want people to see how much taller I am than you. People like taller presidents. Look at Reagan."

"You're no Reagan! I know Reagan! He's a friend mine! We play Scrabble together! He usually beats me, but he's still a friend! You, sir, are no Ronald Wilson Reagan!"
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2004


(go on tour of duty with National Guard perhaps.)

The world must never know.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on March 13, 2004


From the article: is this or is it not the weirdest sentence ever?

"Surely, if the attack ads can start now at least we can agree to start a real discussion about America's future," Kerry said in remarks prepared for delivery in Quincy, Illinois, later on Saturday.

So when did this happen, or when is it going to happen? He said it in remarks prepared for delivery later? WTF?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:09 PM on March 13, 2004


debate...
debate what?
posted by clavdivs at 2:14 PM on March 13, 2004


"Poll: Kerry would be choice of terrorists - The Washington Times."

The thing I find strange, and I guess it has nothing to do with debates (non-sequiter, sorry) is why anyone would think the terrorists want Kerry to win. The whole aim of the terrorists is to start a holy war and defeat the infidels. The terrorists love having Bush as President because they know that every time they attack somewhere, Bush is going to react like a madman and start killing innocent civilians in Arab countries and create even more soldiers for the Army of God.
posted by PigAlien at 2:24 PM on March 13, 2004


Perhaps they could discuss the merits of these numbers:

FY 2005 Budget Request for Missile Defense: $10.2 billion

FY 2005 Budget Request for Port Security grants: $46 million
posted by homunculus at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2004


what PigAlien said--Bush is the best thing to happen to Osama since dialysis machines.
posted by amberglow at 3:54 PM on March 13, 2004


"...why anyone would think the terrorists want Kerry to win."

Because, as a rule, people can't figure things out on their own, and only make judgements based on sound bites and late night talk shows? Just a guess.
posted by benjh at 4:09 PM on March 13, 2004


Debate who is the bigger sellout, I guess.
posted by xmutex at 4:09 PM on March 13, 2004


A survey by a Washington pollster released Friday found a majority of those surveyed think terrorists would prefer to have Sen. John F. Kerry as president.

This just in: in a survey of Chinese nationals, it was decided that the Emperor's nose is 2.5" long.

I love useless statistics.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:15 PM on March 13, 2004


I would think that what the terrorists want is for America to turn on itself in an orgy of internal hatreds, to pass laws rejecting its most fundamental principles, and to offend and alienate its closest allies.

How could they be anything but completely satisfied with Bush?
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:30 PM on March 13, 2004


The story's been updated now that the announcement's been made as planned and Bush's goons have said some stupid shit about how "Senator Kerry should finish the debate with himself before he starts trying to explain his positions to the voters" and that they look forward to "vigorous" debates in September, after they spend a couple of hundred million bucks on opposition research and negative ads. I'd call them cowards, but they're just sensible CREEPs limiting Bush's exposure to embarassing questions.
posted by nicwolff at 4:55 PM on March 13, 2004


Of course Kerry wants monthly debates. Debates don't cost him any money, and still keep him in front of the cameras.

But Bush will ignore it for other, more personal reasons.
posted by crunchland at 5:03 PM on March 13, 2004


why's kerry wasting his time?

it's not like the people who vote for bush don't already know hes a dumbass.
posted by tsarfan at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2004


Wow, I thought I was cynical.

See that little flash of pink on the horizon? That's democracy's ass, as it hightails on outta town.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 PM on March 13, 2004


And that is the saddest part of all, tsarfan.
posted by rushmc at 5:43 PM on March 13, 2004


God, stavros, I wish that wasn't nearly as funny or true as it is.
posted by eriko at 5:43 PM on March 13, 2004


Forget debates: I want Kerry--every single day, from now until the election--pointing at Madrid and asking why that happened and why we're not safer here or anywhere, and asking why we took the focus off Afghanistan to go to Iraq (and also where the first-responder money is that Bush promised). well, he could do that during the monthly debates too, but they'll never happen
posted by amberglow at 5:51 PM on March 13, 2004


Of course Kerry wants monthly debates. Debates don't cost him any money, and still keep him in front of the cameras.

Yes ... this isn't about Bush or Kerry ... it is about incumbant vs. challenger. It is always in the challenger's best interest to try to appear side by side with a sitting President as often as possible. And always against an incumbant's best interest to comply with the challenger's strategy.

If the Bush people are talking about debating in September, they are being more than accomodating. Clinton only agreed to debate Dole twice - both times in October "after they spent a couple of hundred million bucks on opposition research and negative ads."

I'd call them cowards, but they're just sensible CREEPs limiting Bush's exposure to embarassing questions.

Then I assume you'd say the same thing about Clinton? For the same reason?

Senator Kerry should finish the debate with himself before he starts trying to explain his positions to the voters

Actually, that's kinda funny. And is an issue those that are rooting for Kerry will need to face. ("Hi. I'm John Kerry. Tell me what you stand for, and I'll stand for it too.")

Forget debates: I want Kerry--every single day, from now until the election--pointing at Madrid and asking why that happened and why we're not safer here or anywhere, and asking why we took the focus off Afghanistan to go to Iraq (and also where the first-responder money is that Bush promised). well, he could do that during the monthly debates too, but they'll never happen.

Bringing up the fact that no one has been able to successfully pull off a major terrorist event, in the US, since 9/11 is probably not the best strategy.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:22 PM on March 13, 2004


why's kerry wasting his time?

it's not like the people who vote for bush don't already know hes a dumbass.


And its not like those that voted for Clinton didn't know that he was a slimly sleazebag with the morals of a rutting pig. But he was re-elected.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:27 PM on March 13, 2004


Yeah, that was awesome. I long for the days when our president's biggest problem was that he couldn't keep his dick in his pants. Wasn't that great?
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:30 PM on March 13, 2004


And its not like those that voted for Clinton didn't know that he was a slimly sleazebag with the morals of a rutting pig. But he was re-elected.

Most assuredly, but that happened on the back of economic growth, which blinds most to the... less desireable qualities of their leadership. Sad, what America has sunk to, innit?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 PM on March 13, 2004


Bringing up the fact that no one has been able to successfully pull off a major terrorist event, in the US, since 9/11 is probably not the best strategy.
Bringing up the fact that our firemen, and police, and ports, etc, haven't received the money they were promised post-9/11, and the fact that we dropped the search for Osama to go play in Iraq is in fact a very very good strategy, especially now. Would Madrid have happened if we hadn't gone to Iraq? Is a pre-election thing like that in our cards too? Are we at all prepared? Have we been made any safer? This is what Bush thinks is his strong point, and it's completely not.

What, are we going to hear: "We never dreamed terrorists would plant bombs on subways and commuter trains" after the fact?
posted by amberglow at 6:37 PM on March 13, 2004


Most assuredly, but that happened on the back of economic growth, which blinds most to the... less desireable qualities of their leadership. Sad, what America has sunk to, innit?

I'm certain I'll be saying this many times over the next few months ... but the economy was already tanking when Bush took office.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:49 PM on March 13, 2004


Which, even if true, has no relevance that I can see to the point you were trying to make. Or the one that I was, for that matter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on March 13, 2004


I'm certain I'll be saying this many times over the next few months ... but the economy was already tanking when Bush took office.

And has arguably gotten much worse but certainly not improved significantly since he did. For spraying billions of dollars around this guy hasn't created many jobs.
posted by shagoth at 7:15 PM on March 13, 2004


Hey Midas you just might be right, but it doesn't matter, because the sitting President gets blamed for everything. Bush has to go, because I don't want him picking judges for the Supreme Court, I don't want him in charge of foreign policy anymore, and for christsakes we don't need anymore tax cuts for anyone, balance the damn budget, and start taxing income over 89 grand for social security so we can shore that up. And Kerry would be smart to pursue some sort of national health insurance pool that takes the burden away from the employer to provide health insurance. I'm not looking for miracles from a President, just some decent policy, and good national security, Bush is providing me with neither.
posted by jbou at 7:18 PM on March 13, 2004


and start taxing income over 89 grand for social security

Now there's a winning strategy for the Democrats...I can't wait for him to propose that....
posted by Durwood at 7:22 PM on March 13, 2004


I'd call them cowards, but they're just sensible CREEPs limiting Bush's exposure to embarassing questions.

Then I assume you'd say the same thing about Clinton? For the same reason?


Hey, at least Clinton was willing to hold press conferences.
posted by rushmc at 7:24 PM on March 13, 2004


Durwood, don't propose, just pursue it after Kerry wins. I expect Kerry to do his best to appeal to the most voters as possible, but then do his best to piss off as many people as possible when he's President, remember, Kerry is quite the liberal despite what Ralph, I wrote a book, Nader says.
posted by jbou at 7:26 PM on March 13, 2004


Then I assume you'd say the same thing about Clinton? For the same reason?

Well, I would, though only after sighing and reminding you that Bill Clinton is not President now, and never will be again. He is not relevant to the 2004 election, and your implication here seems to be that one criticizes George Bush only if one was also a Clinton supporter/apologist. That is demonstrably untrue. It is entirely possible to not like both, not to mention to endorse the notion of accountbaility working both ways.

The radical left--which you often cite as the source of the "metafilter consensus"--was no friend of Clinton, if that's worth anything.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:32 PM on March 13, 2004


MidasMulligan, ParisParamus, Hama7, steve_at_linwood:

Do you like the idea that the government wants to monitor people more? It seems to me like you're supposed to be associated with the party of small government.

What do you guys think about what our government is up to right now, considering that they want to monitor our emails and phone calls and sex-organs? How does this fit with your conception of "smaller government"?
posted by interrobang at 8:04 PM on March 13, 2004


...or, in other words, isn't this party not the party you wanted? They're very fundamentally different than the republican party that you guys seem to like:

-fiscal responsibilty
-smaller government

Aren't these the factors that drew you originally to the Republican Party? Do the current actions of this party have anything to do with what you like about the Republican Party?
posted by interrobang at 8:27 PM on March 13, 2004


Nope Interrobang. You might as well write to brick walls. All staunch bush apologists are scurrying for the protection of Mama Fundamentalism about now. That is from where they will fight their battle from now on. They've exhausted every last beneficial vagary of statesmanship the Republican party has somehow been able to convince people they stand upon and now they must settle for appealing to America's LCD. It must be a real bummer. But a win's a win right?

Instead of informing, enlightening and empowering people, they poison them with hatred for their fellows. Propaganda, disinformation, meaningless issues, manipulation of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- all tools at the disposal of the bush apologist or the fundamentalist zealot.

They stand on nothing.
posted by crasspastor at 9:00 PM on March 13, 2004


Yes ... this isn't about Bush or Kerry ... it is about incumbant vs. challenger. It is always in the challenger's best interest to try to appear side by side with a sitting President as often as possible. And always against an incumbant's best interest to comply with the challenger's strategy.

What, however, is the best strategy for the people of this nation?

I'd say it's with the debate -- as far as this issue goes, every one of us should be with the incumbent.

Except for those of us who want boxing matches resolved by pundit commentary on relative strengths of the contenders, before a match takes place.
posted by weston at 9:12 PM on March 13, 2004


as far as this issue goes, every one of us should be with the incumbent.

Arrgh! The non-incumbent, the challenger, etc.
posted by weston at 9:15 PM on March 13, 2004


Forget debates: I want Kerry--every single day, from now until the election--pointing at Madrid and asking why that happened ...

And asking why it happened there, and not in the USA.
posted by Ayn Marx at 9:16 PM on March 13, 2004


I'm certain I'll be saying this many times over the next few months ... but the economy was already tanking when Bush took office.

This point is lost without a detailed discussion of how a president can affect an economy and with what policy mechanisms, and the approximate time period it takes to see results.
posted by namespan at 9:25 PM on March 13, 2004


And asking why it happened there, and not in the USA.

That's right. America's alone in this. Forget about Aznar, Blair and Bush meeting in the Azores before the eve of the attack and occupation of Iraq in order to give off the impression of a global multilateral alliance.

The War on Terror is supposed to be the world's war that all earthly peaceful, freedom loving, Iraq attack supporting citizens are supposed to get behind. Remember?
posted by crasspastor at 9:30 PM on March 13, 2004


Bringing up the fact that no one has been able to successfully pull off a major terrorist event, in the US, since 9/11 is probably not the best strategy.

If you walk through Penn Station or Times Square Station in New York, it's obvious that a few people crazy enough to strap a bomb on themselves could "pull off a major terrorist event" at any given rush hour. They've simply chosen not to, for whatever reason.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:32 PM on March 13, 2004


Bringing up the fact that our firemen, and police, and ports, etc, haven't received the money they were promised post-9/11, and the fact that we dropped the search for Osama to go play in Iraq is in fact a very very good strategy, especially now.

Indeed.

The first anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq has arrived. By now, we were told by the Bush Administration before the war, the flower-throwing celebrations of our troops' arrival would have long ended; their numbers would have been reduced to the low tens of thousands, if not to zero; Iraq's large stores of weapons of mass destruction would have been found and dismantled; the institutions of democracy would be flourishing; Kurd and Shiite and Sunni would be working happily together in a federal system; the economy, now privatized, would be taking off; other peoples of the Middle East, thrilled and awed, so to speak, by the beautiful scenes in Iraq, would be dismantling their own tyrannical regimes. Instead, 549 American soldiers and uncounted thousands of Iraqis, military and civilian, have died; some $125 billion has been expended; no weapons of mass destruction have been found; the economy is a disaster; electricity and water are sometime things; America's former well-wishers, the Shiites, are impatient with the occupation; terrorist bombs are taking a heavy toll; and Iraq as a whole, far from being a model for anything, is a cautionary lesson in the folly of imperial rule in the twenty-first century. And yet all this is only part of the cost of the decision to invade and occupy Iraq. To weigh the full cost, one must look not just at the war itself but away from it, at the progress of the larger policy it served, at things that have been done elsewhere--some far from Iraq or deep in the past--and, perhaps above all, at things that have been left undone.

...If the engine of a train suddenly goes off the rails, a wreck ensues. Such is the war in Iraq, now one year old. At the same time, the train's journey forward is canceled. Such is the current paralysis of the international community. Only when the engine is back on the tracks and starts in the right direction can either disaster be overcome. Only then will everyone be able to even begin the return to the world's unfinished business.


The Empire Backfires
posted by y2karl at 11:06 PM on March 13, 2004


How soon we forget...
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM on March 13, 2004


Better idea than a boxing match followed by pundit commentary (which, arguably we have now) would be a boxing match between pundits. Let`s face it...we apparently need them to tell us the outcome. My dream match would be the tag-team of Ann (invade their countries and convert them) Coulter & Bill (bullet between the head) O`Reilly v. Eric (rock on) Alterman & Al (liar, liar pants on fire) Franken.
posted by charms55 at 11:17 PM on March 13, 2004


MidasMulligan: Bringing up the fact that no one has been able to successfully pull off a major terrorist event, in the US, since 9/11 is probably not the best strategy.

How about, for 225 years from Washington to Clinton, there had never been an Islamic terrorist attack in the US. Then GWB took over, and ignored/vacationed his way into one in less than a year.

but the economy was already tanking when Bush took office.

Well, the economy was in the shitter when Clinton was elected, too. He managed to do a little better in his first 3 and a half years - as has every other president since Hoover.

Even if you only look at the two years following the end of their respective recessions, it is clear that Clinton was a hell of a lot better for the economy than Bush.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:26 AM on March 14, 2004


How about, for 225 years from Washington to Clinton, there had never been an Islamic terrorist attack in the US.

Huh?
posted by gluechunk at 12:55 AM on March 14, 2004


ok I did some more polling of my own and the numbers are in!

apparently 72% of the people I polled thought that nanny-state loving' neo-crusades wantin' poor-people hatin' christian fascists would prefer that bush wins the 2004 presidential election.

(before the pile-on ensues, please note that I didn't say all christians loved nanny states, wanted a second crusades, hated poor people, or were fascists. unless you are a christian who loves nanny states, wants a second crusades, hates poor people, and is a fascist, you needn't take issue with me. relax!)
posted by mcsweetie at 7:39 AM on March 14, 2004


what PigAlien said--Bush is the best thing to happen to Osama since dialysis machines.

So, you would follow anyone amberglow, hey buddy....come here kinda thing...

to bad your ignorance is too profound to merely overlook at this point. Do you know why he heeds a kidney machine amberglow.

why don't you read some books M-kay hot shot.

Bringing up the fact that our firemen, and police, and ports, etc, haven't received the money they were promised post-9/11

boohoo
have not got (your)money, WE WANT OUR FUCKING MONEY. If i had a pallet of money i would drop over the WTC and say here is your F$%&*( money.
posted by clavdivs at 9:57 AM on March 14, 2004


heeds=needs
posted by clavdivs at 10:06 AM on March 14, 2004


have not got (your)money, WE WANT OUR FUCKING MONEY. If i had a pallet of money i would drop over the WTC and say here is your F$%&*( money.

And money, of course, has nothing to do with the effectiveness of first responders. The problem with the current prosecution of the "War on Terror" is that it substitutes revenge for actual problem solving, and takes a disdainful view of the notion of actually learning from our past mistakes (ie, the stalling and stonewalling fo the 9/11 investigation, the oodles of unfunded homeland security madates).

So you can bitch about how police and firefighter leadership are greedy for wanting to pay for the overtime they ask of their employees or to actually buy the new equipment required by the federal government. But unless you are personally going to either 1) fund these things yourself, or 2) institute some sort of non-currency based trade and production system for the US, you might be wise to consider whether it matters to you that the government be successful in increasing our capacity to prevent and respond to possible future attacks.

For those of us for whom it does matter, firemen and police "whining" about being hamstrung and limited by unfunded homeland security mandates actually sounds pretty serious.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:17 AM on March 14, 2004


Well, the economy was in the shitter when Clinton was elected, too
no, not really frog boy poetry FAKER, You too get some history books frogpoetfaker. look at how hard FDR tried to repair this country. Hell, our first covert OP was in Tripoli.

hows that mr. frog
want some wine now or will you slink off to your pad now?

Instead of informing, enlightening and empowering people, they poison them with hatred for their fellows. Propaganda, disinformation, meaningless issues, manipulation of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- all tools at the disposal of the bush apologist or the fundamentalist zealot.

wow crass, think we should write a phamplet about this, have it peddled out of Peublo.

inform ourself. make your own meaning, overcome your fear, erase doubt.

whats a matter, your momma never told you these things.
posted by clavdivs at 10:29 AM on March 14, 2004


WTF Reilly
are you saying something. I did not say anything about overtime. and here is my take on it ffrom a local level

This was the first time in years that Flint firefighters had received new turnout gear. Paid for by federal grants, it was supposed to be top-of-the line equipment.

But now for safety reasons the department has been told: "Don't wear it."


yeah, it sounds serious.
posted by clavdivs at 10:38 AM on March 14, 2004


...or, in other words, isn't this party not the party you wanted? They're very fundamentally different than the republican party that you guys seem to like:

-fiscal responsibilty
-smaller government

Aren't these the factors that drew you originally to the Republican Party? Do the current actions of this party have anything to do with what you like about the Republican Party?



another hotshot mouth wanker.

The old GOP stood for

-fiscal responsibilty
-social progress

(UG)

{anyone for bull moose II?}
posted by clavdivs at 10:43 AM on March 14, 2004


Kerry should be careful about debating Bush, who, as he did in the Gore debates, and has done for most of his presidency, will benefit from low expectations. It doesn't really matter that Kerry's grasp of policy obviously far exceeds Bush's, all Bush has to do is show up in a clean suit with a flag pin on the lapel, occasionally make that little "serious" face of his, and avoid projectile vomiting on the moderator, and the people will be amazed.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:25 PM on March 14, 2004


WTF Reilly
are you saying something. I did not say anything about overtime.


No, but the "whiny" first offenders who you are so quick to malign, and who have been shafted out of proper funding for the increased antiterrorist actions that they are being required to take, did. But you're completely flipping out, so that's OK.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:44 PM on March 14, 2004


Al Qaeda attacked us. Bush went after Al Qaeda and failed to eliminate it, as demonstrated by the Madrid attack. Let's elect a president who will go after Al Qaeda, and make sure our soldiers don't have to buy their own body armor when they do it.
posted by Slagman at 4:31 PM on March 14, 2004


Uh, first responders, Ignatious!
posted by nicwolff at 7:25 PM on March 14, 2004


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