Okay, so after three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate, I can state conclusively that I'm going to vote for the guy that I was going to vote for anyway. I really do wonder if any undecided voters had their minds made up by the four largely content-free moderated games of grabass. If anyone knows of anyone who was convinced - and I'm not talking about the "I'm thinking Kerry but I'm not sure" types, I'm talking the "I seriously have no idea who should get my vote" types - let me know, because I'd really like to know what they saw and I didn't.
I know that Bush's supporters are probably all patting themselves on the back until it hurts right now because their candidate didn't blink and pout and smack his lips like a meth addict and he didn't shout like the crazy lady down the street. It's so easy to be impressed when your candidate sets his expectations low. Regardless of Bush's performance by his own standards, I feel quite comfortable in saying that Kerry met or exceeded his own standards, which meant that he still kicked ass, even if it wasn't the overwhelming ass that he kicked in the first two debates.
People who know me know that I really, really don't like being lied to. I don't. I would rather hear the dirty truth than a pretty half-truth. So you can imagine how pissed I was when Bush kept lying outright. Ooh, that got to me. Like that comment about how he never said that he wasn't concerned about Osama bin Laden - dude, I watched that press conference. Everybody did. It's on tape. We've had this conversation already with Dick Cheney - don't tell a lie if the public has a videotape of the truth. And the majority of his tax cuts go to the middle class? Say what?
But what pissed me off even more than that was his assertion that everything comes down to education. Or trial lawyers. Mostly education. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about education. I've been to good schools and crappy schools, and I can tell you for a fact that good schools are better and teachers don't get paid enough and cafeteria pizza never tastes good, ever, even if you put sausage on it. However, I don't think that a good, solid grasp of division and subtraction is what's standing between today's newly unemployed and a steady job. Somehow, Bush expects No Child Left Behind to magically retrieve tech jobs from India and re-employ the recently downsized.
When asked what he would say to a guy who had just lost his job because it got sent over to Bangalore for half the pay, Bush basically said he would tell the guy to go to community college. What a freaking huge insult. I can't even express it. Kevin Drum did, and I thank him for it. All I can say is that my bachelor's degree (with honors, beeyatch) got me a job that just barely pays the bills. On the off chance that my job gets outsourced, a semester at Atlanta Metro and a job flipping burgers will do nothing but get me evicted for nonpayment of rent. So here's what you say to Mr. My-Tech-Job-Got-Sent-to-India, Mr. President: "Wow, sorry we don't have any job protection for you there, Mr. Master's-in-Information-Technology. Why don't you get yourself an associate's degree and work at one of the gazillion new minimum-wage jobs I've created to replace the two-million-plus jobs lost in the last four years? Sure, it won't pay the bills, but Susie didn't really need braces, now, did she?"
Vote for Kerry, people. Please. Eighteen days from now, we decide whether we want a president with real, viable plans for national security and domestic tranquility, or one who will lie his freaking ass off, when he's not spouting crap that he doesn't even know is untrue. Eighteen days from now, you've got the opportunity to save the world. Don't fuck up.