I just saw my first presidential debate of the season. Well, more heard it than saw it. The CSPAN on-line video wasn't much use.
I thought Kerry was the more appealing character because I tend to value calmness more than intensity. But I'm extremely atypical in things like that.
The best line was where Kerry told the audience that he could tell by looking at them that they weren't in the same league with him and the other two on stage with him. The audience had to love that.
Next best was the meandering answer that could have been reduced to, "I deeply respect your beliefs about how abortion is murder, but I'm going to force you to help pay for them anyway, but I'm real sympathetic." Unfortunately, I think he may have separated the "I deeply respect" part from the "I'm going to force you to pay" part enough that a lot of viewers didn't quite get it. Especially since he didn't say it outright. He just said he thinks poor people have a right to abortion that is so profound that, well, we as nation just can't let them go without.
Bush had a funny response to that answer, but I think he would have been better off if he had bluntly translated it for the audience like I just did.
Kerry did give Bush some well-deserved zingers on spending and the deficit. If I thought for a minute that Kerry was serious about balancing the budget and not co-opting the entire medical industry into a federal bureaucracy, I'd be tempted to vote for him. Of course I could never actually do it. His betrayal of our country in Vietnam and Iraq makes him unfit for any office, much less president.
Kerry at one point said that he wasn't going to "take over" health care --you could go on using your more expensive private alternatives if you wanted. What he didn't mention was that you would be subsidizing the federal plan whether you joined or not. It's sort of like public schooling. You're paying for public schooling whether your kids go there or not. But that doesn't mean we're taking away any choices. Oh, no. You are perfectly free to pay for schooling twice.
That's how people like Kerry want it. Only the rich can afford something better than average. Everybody else gets crammed into a one-size-fits-all box. We non-rich have no choice about how to allocate our own resources to fit our own priorities.