Friday, October 01, 2004

The Debates

Why does fake news have more substance than real news? Maybe its fitting though since everybody is crazy nowadays. These are days where only a comedian has the skill to properly engage a subject seriously and still be funny. John Stewart walked all over Giuliani, part time asshole and the former mayor of the countries biggest city who's still got that national hero smell. He had it coming I suppose. He had the impossible job of defending the indefensible, and his weak babbling candidate chose to avoid answering for his own decisive leadership every chance he got. George Bush, in a brilliant tactical move, chose instead to viciously attack entire legions of nefarious straw men. He was entirely victorious, and by the end of the 90 minute brawl, he stood triumphant; towering over his opponent mounted on the corpses of his imaginary enemies. There was no contest of wills; not one drop of sweat was shed as he hacked away. So great was his power, he sighed with irritation and rolled his eyes at the futility of it all. George Bush lost the facts debate, but he certainly could win the narrative debate. Facts cannot be changed, but the story of what happened can be redrawn by force of will and imagination. If I've learned anything, its that republicans have infinite capacity to imagine the most seductive and optimistic of fantasy lands. I don't know if you heard, but Iraq was a success. That’s what they said anyway, and they deserve a chance to have their story told. Newton's Law of Journalism: for every story there are two equal and opposite opposing sides. At this moment there are hundreds of republican elves making beautiful toys for all the good little journalists out there. They'll be way more fun than anything democrats will give them. Democrats don't know how to make fun toys.

JFK on the other hand was not another JFK. He certainly sounded Presidential and looked stately and serious. But he was arguing the Facts debate, and he certainly won. The facts are as he stated, and he is arguing action based on those facts. With facts as your ally its hard to loose, but you have to attack in order to win. He did not shoot to kill. You don't have to hulk out to attack someone in a debate, and in fact you'll automatically loose if you do. But all it takes is a word. Kerry should have Killed Bush with a sentence. Something calmly stated. A matter of fact conversational bitch slap, like something from a British period drama. I wanted tears. I wanted to see him suddenly stripped naked; clutching desperately at the podium trying to hide his sad contemptible shame before the entire world. I wanted to see Kerry the God of Life and Death. The one they tell stories about. But no. Alack-a-day, he played it safe and certain. He let Bush escape with his life, and he'll have to fight a constant uphill battle to combat the sound-bite sized arguments Bush pathetically delivered. Inevitably, context will be lost as the mass of republican operatives swarm over the airwaves declaring the president won because he didn't utterly fail. Tomorrow at 5am Eastern they'll activate the loom, spinning, using the President's unmistakable words to weave a grand web of lies that is more real that what really happened. When you're not wedded to using facts to advance your argument, its easy. If democrats still want to use facts and win, they'll have to learn the art of evisceration. Expose lies and incompetence in the most ruthless way possible. As long as what they're saying is tied to the real world I would whole heartedly support such a move. As for tonight, my team "won". Over the next few day's we'll see if someone hasn't gone back with an eraser and turned Bushes "F" into an "S". For Success.