Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Third Debate --- Education

The morning after, after I have watched the debate, and read Sullivan and read Marshall, and looked at a few other things, I have to say that I thought that the debate was a draw, except maybe for the part where Bush indicated that he did not see Fahrenheit 9/11, where the film clip with the Osama bin Laden quote was prominently displayed. The other non-draw moment was where Kerry spoke about his own marriage. I thought he should tell a joke about how "it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich girl," but when he actually did it was worse than dreadful. I watched this debate on NBC, and saw the reaction shot of both Stepford Wife Laura and Sit Up Straight and Comb Your Hair Already Teresa. Yeesh.


I don't know how the Spin will play on the debate. For me it was a draw in the sense that Kerry gets to spend 90 minutes showing that he is not as out there as Republicans claim, and Bush gets to spend 90 minutes showing that he is not as stupid as Democrats claim.

Look, I'm a Democrat, and on domestic policy issues, I don't trust Republicans. When Bush 41 said something I inadvertenly agreed with, I knew immediately that there was something about the issue I misunderstood, figured it out, and changed my position on it. If Bush 43 says something I inadvertently agree with, well, on domestic issues that simply doesn't happen.

Education came up a lot in this debate. I know that Bush snookered Ted Kennedy into believing that Bush was an honest man. They passed No Child Left Behind, to bring the Texas educational miracle to the United States. I know Bush presided over an educational system in Texas where they gave a gazillion dollars to test manufacturers (who I assume, in Texas at least, are Republicans)to test children, and then when the children failed the tests, they covered up the results, produced easier tests, or some combination of the two. Now Bush wants to take that wonderful system and bestow it on the rest of the world. I am glad No Child Left Behind is underfunded. Who wants Texas-style education in New York?

There is a lot of education money that goes to the unions, and other groups that tend to vote for Democrats. People such as Bush and Blumberg see that money, and want the money to go to their friends. Although they are interested in union-busting, it is just a side issue to putting their snouts in the education trough. The notion that a politician might be interested in the education of somebody else's children ... I have rarely seen it. It's just who gets the money.

Therefore, it is hard for me to say who won a debate where the topic kept going back to how a Republican might reform education.