Senator Kennedy, want some third world Canadian wood?

As I mentioned to Scotter while watching the debate, off-road diesel-powered vehicles are never relevant in any context at any point in time, past, present, or future, so Bush's ambiguous reference to them as his first environmental accomplishment is, ummm, suspect. Unless it's off-road diesel-powered vehicles and not personal friends of Bush's and Cheney's that secretly control the nation's energy companies.

Following that, the second least relevant thing ever is the fact that farm revenues are at a record high. While there still might be six independent farmers left in Missouri, I guarantee that they're not accounting for a fraction of a percent of the revenue generated by AgriBusiness, subsidized by our tax dollars. And this is what Bush chooses to mention in his closing statement.

I can only hope that Bush's complete inability to admit to ever making a mistake will come off as a bit unflattering with the public.

What frustrated me was that Bush is using the same deceptive rhetorical device over and over again during these debates: pointing to any improvement anywhere as a sign that he's doing a good job, regardless of the fact that said improvements would be markedly larger were it not for Bush's policies. Bush did this with the tax cut (everyone's tax burden did improve, but the overwhelming percentage of the improvements went to the already-wealthy), the environment (while the air quality has improved, it certainly would have improved even more without Bush's true disregard for the environment), with job creation (mentioning that he's created jobs in the past 13 months when he's lost jobs in 3.7 years and not created enough in the past few months to keep up with population growth).

Kerry has been pointing out the facts after Bush makes these statements, which is good, but what he really needs to do is preemptively take a stand against this type of rhetoric. Kerry did a good job in the second debate in, from the very start, making his view on Iraq clear and making his view on the right of America to act independently of foreign nations clear, and while this didn't stop Bush from leveling flip-flopping/global test criticism, it certainly defused it. If early on in the next debate Kerry were to say something like (and I'm not going Rude Pundit here) "The President is going to tell you that he cut everyone's taxes, but when middle-class families get $1 for every $100 given to the rich. He says the air is better, but the rate of improvement has slowed under his administration. He says he's created jobs, but he hasn't created nearly enough to keep up with population growth." then that would frame everything Bush says for the next hour and a half with the doubt it rightfully deserves.


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