Friday, October 08, 2004

Presidential Debate: Round 2

This debate was a lot better. Senator Kerry said mostly the same things in regards to foreign policy and some devestating things came out about his domestic policy position. Of course, if you heard Mort Kondracke and Bill Kristol tonight, you'll know that the President missed some good opportunities. However, you'll notice that no one says that about Kerry. Is that because he makes all the good arguments? No. It's because either there aren't good arguments for his positions, or he's already made all the possible arguments from all the possible angles.
UPDATE: George Pataki just did it by saying that John Kerry had the opportunity to defend his mention of "Global Test" when the President mentioned it, and he didn't. Many Kerry-supporters have tried to defend away this mention of a Global Test, Kerry hasn't defended it because he still believes it.

As always, Hugh Hewitt has his scorecard up.

Here's my rundown:

1. The Culture of Life: Abortion and Stem Cells
This came up in some of the final questions of the night. The President pointed out that Kerry voted against the Partial Birth Abortion ban. Kerry retorted that he wanted a caveat for the life and health of the mother. Well, life is one thing and I believe the bill allows for that. As to health, this was all covered in the 90s with Clinton in that health was so misconstrued that it allowed for doctors to make any excuse.
Kerry also implied that the government would pay for abortions for those who could not afford it by saying that we have to "make sure you don't deny a poor person the right they would have been afforded otherwise." The questioner in this case wanted to be assured that her tax dollars wouldn't be going to abortions. Kerry couldn't give her that assurance. President Bush could. He also emphasized adoption and support for maternity group homes, as well as his signing of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

As for Stem Cells, the questioner made the good point that cures have been found using adult and umbilical cord stem cells, but no cures found with all the research done so far using embryonic stem cells. It seems perfectly logical to wait to destroy more life until all 70 lines of embryonic stem cells have been used for research. That is, to see how the research turns out before killing more embryos. Kerry claimed that Bush made it impossible to pursue this reasearch, which is obviously wrong based on the fact that the President was the first to allow government funding for embryonic stem cell research.

2. Tax Cuts and Small Businesses
I mentioned before that rolling back the tax cuts on incomes of 200,000+ will hurt small businesses. Both Kerry and Edwards have both said over and over that they will do this, and I believe it to be true. Kerry said it multiple times just tonight and I was yelling at the TV for the President to talk about Small Businesses that file as subchapter S-corporations. He finally mentioned it, but a good time to mention it would have been when Kerry said that only 3 people in the room (Kerry, Bush, Charlie Gibson) would be affected by the rolling back of those cuts. This is wrong because of the small businesses filing under the income tax rules. People who work for those 900,000 small businesses will be affected. People who could potentially be hired by those business will be affected. People who rely on those businesses for their larger companies will be affected. People who BUY goods or services will be affected because that cost will most likely be passed on and prices will go up for the consumers. The effect is much broader than Kerry either realizes or is willing to admit.

3. The Threat of Saddam Hussein
Kerry seems to think the the Duelfer report says that Saddam Hussein was not a threat. This is wrong. Facts outside of the WMD constitute the "unique threat" that was posed by Iraq. For more, review this article about 11 reasons to support the war.

4. Homeland Security
I would have liked to see President Bush mention more of the terrorist threats that have been thwarted since 9/11 and the terror cells that have been rooted out (though he did mention that a bit in dealing with the Patriot Act). Also, Kerry showed that he does not have a good understanding of the history of terror attacks on Americans, both here and abroad by seeming to imply that the terrorists didn't do much between the first and second attacks on the world trade center. Embassies were bombed, the USS Cole, Khobar towers, etc etc. We have not been attacked because of advances in Homeland Security and the powers of the Patriot Act. Of course there is always more that can be done. It would be impossible to have done everything ever to make us safe in this amount of time. The county is enourmous, it has many airports and train stations, but we have done what is possible so far. I'm sure that everything Kerry talks about doing to advance Homeland Security is something that the Bush Administration has talked about doing.

5. Nuclear Bunker Buster Bombs
If you read Hugh Hewitt you know that Kerry announcing the shut down of the development of Nuclear Bunker Buster bombs shows that he is not serious about stopping nuclear proliferation. Nuclear Bunker Busters serve the purpose of routing out hidden nuclear weapons and the hidden nuclear weapons production facilities. Nuclear Bunker busters are a deterrent. They deter nuclear proliferation because those that wish to secretly build weapons (North Korea, we're looking in your direction) will not be able to do so worry-free. With nuclear bunker busters, countries with secret weapons programs will certainly think twice about backing out of the non-proliferation agreements of which Kerry is so fond. Which brings us to...

6. North Korea
The President made the great point that Kerry wants unilateral talks with North Korea that will undermine the 6-party talks that are currently going on. I should have been marking down how many times Kerry said something about "bringing allies to our side." The President has brought allies to our side in North Korea, and Kerry wants nothing of it. Unilateral talks were a good idea at one time, for a time, with Clinton when we thought North Korea would actually pay attention. But they skirted those agreements and continued along in their plan to develop nuclear weapons. We can't sanction North Korea anymore and expect it to work. The people are already starving and the government just doesn't care. The pressure of the other countries is the thing that will affect change in North Korea.

7. President Bush's Timber Country
I wish Senator Kerry had given a website for that. Winter is coming and I need to make sure I have enough kindling for my fireplace and it would be nice to heat my house and support President Bush at the same time :)

8. Liability/Tort Reform
President Bush: If [Kerry] believes in capping he should have shown up to vote for it

9. Global Conflict
The President was correct to say that Kerry shows a misunderstanding of the War on Terror to think that it is only about Osama bin Laden. Kerry talks about "taking your eye" off Osama, as if we must just watch Osama all the time in this war. The President is right - Kerry fundamentally misunderstands that the Terrorists are all over the world. Kerry claims that he will "never stop at anything to hunt down and kill terrorists," but then implies that the President should only be hunting down Osama. This in itself is inconsistent. As I said about Edwards when he made a similar statement on Tuesday:
Kerry and Edwards will hunt down terrorists [though only those with the first name "Osama"] wherever they are [unless they are in Iraq].