Dubya vs. Hanoi John--Some Friendly Debating Advice
Written by Doc Farmer
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Well, we're just a day away from round one of a three-round, no-holds-barred, unmitigated mudslinging fest of almost biblical proportions. Two men will be locked in the political version of mortal combat, separated by 10 feet of space and light years of philosophy.
We have one guy who has been commander in chief for just over three-and-a-half years, and another guy who wants to be. We have one guy with two decades of experience in the Senate, and another guy with no legislative background. We have two men who
served in the military, and two men who have had their service questioned over and over--one by the press, and the other by the folks he served with.
They've been kvetching at each other for months now. Oh, Dubya’s been a bit more genteel about it, and a bit funnier besides, but the political knives are out and everybody knows it. There have been attack ads against Dubya since last year from 527 committees, and attack ads against Kerry since he became frontrunner for the lib/dem/soc/commies. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into both campaigns and into all of these soft-money groups. We hear political analysis almost everywhere we go, on news shows, radio shows, newspaper analyses, even--believe it or not--on sports fans. There's a group out there called ''Football Fans for Truth'' which is complaining that Kerry’s not sports-minded enough.
Now, we distill all that angst, anger, and frustration into 270 minutes of political badminton. Instead of a
shuttlecock, however, Bush and Kerry will thwack a live grenade back and forth between them.
The two candidates are sequestered now, being greased up by their handlers in their respective locker rooms. Dubya's in Crawford, taking it a bit easy, getting his talking points honed to a fine point by his staff. Kerry's resting his throat after an apparent bout of laryngitis, and he's also being coached on what to say, how to say it, what to wear, and what hand gestures and points of nuance to make.
I hope, however, that Kerry gets away from that quick-tanning cream he's been using. Have you seen that photo of him on Drudge from Monday? He looks like the world's tallest Oompa-Loompa.
But I digress...
Before the first debate, I'd like to offer my services to the candidates and the folks who are actually running these debates--a little advice to hopefully make things go smoother for the president and the senator, and to make things a bit more informative and
interesting to the American people.
For the Debate Operators
- First of all, drop CBS from any and all involvement in the debates. In fact, you might want to drop the feed to CBS and ban them from airing the event entirely. Cowboy Dan should not be invited to this roundup.
- Without question, you should drop Bob Schieffer as a moderator of Debate #2. As a replacement, and in order to balance out the left-leaning of the other two moderators, I suggest you choose one the following –
- Rush Limbaugh
- Ann Coulter (Hubba! Hubba!)
- Sean Hannity
- CarrotTop (to attract the younger crowd)
- Rush Limbaugh
- Throw away that 37-page, carefully crafted agreement between the candidates. It was crafted by a bunch of (bleeping) lawyers anyway, so you know you'll be hard pressed to get any truth squeezed out of it.
- Make the first debate a formal affair (suit and tie). The second one should be more casual, with slacks and perhaps Hawaiian shirts the order of the day. The last one should be jeans and ''wife-beater'' t-shirts. Please note that I'm speaking of the dress code for the moderators. The candidates should wear whatever feels comfortable.
- Wire up both candidates to lie detector machines and voice stress analyzers. Keep a running tally of when they fib. Same goes for the moderator.
- Considering the history of the administration previous to this one, perhaps it would be best to use see-through podiums.
- Make sure the moderators' questions don't take longer to ask than it does for the candidates to answer.
For President Bush
- Please have someone in your staff type out a Standard Form 180, with all of Senator Kerry's details on it. Take it with you. Ask him to sign it. If Kerry wants to be commander in chief, he should be willing to put his record up to the light of full disclosure.
- Be willing to call a spade a spade. If Kerry is lying, don't dance around it, just say so. If Kerry said one thing and now says another, call him indecisive or just plain wrong.
- When you walk up to Senator Kerry at the beginning of the debate, tell him that his fly is open. It always helps to break the ice. Whatever you do, however, don’t insult his hair--that'll just make him mad!
- If you get a question you can't answer, just say that you don't know but you'll make sure to find out. Do not, under any circumstances, ask to phone your lifeline. Cheney's busy getting ready for his debate, after all.
- If the moderator's question turns into a monologue, ask if he’s got a time limit.
- During Senator Kerry's answers, only ask for No-Dôz if it is absolutely necessary.
For Senator Kerry
- Try to stick to one position per question. You may call it nuance, but in the heartland of America, we refer to it as male bovine excrement.
- Skip that $500 wash and trim you normally get, and go to SuperCuts. Don't forget to use lots of Brylcreem.
- Avoid answering questions about your time in the Senate. Not as a senator, mind you, but as an anti-war protester giving aid and comfort to the enemy. On second thought, you probably want to avoid the Senator subject as well. Not too much there for you to crow about in that respect.
- If you get stuck for an answer, don't you call your lifeline either. Paris is six hours ahead of New York, and Jacques Chiraq needs his beauty sleep. Actually, he could probably use a beauty coma, come to think of it.
- Wear your formal flip-flops – it is a special occasion, after all.
- And for pity's sake, please find out who in your staff hired Tammy Faye Bakker as your makeup artist and have both of them shot.
About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in Indiana. Doc receives e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Article Was First Published In ChronWatch At: http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=10034