(Note: This post isn't all about politics. So if you're bored with it, scroll down.)
The V.P. Debate...
I weighed in on last weeks debate, so I guess I'll go ahead and make a habit of it.
I came in from a meeting at church this evening about 2/3 of the way into the debate. From what I saw I was determined to call it a draw. Both Cheney and Edwards showed a clear understanding of the issues and were fairly affable. I thought both were very respectful of the other and didn't do anything out of the ordinary.
But at the end all of my favorite Talking Heads on MSNBC (you know, the people who tell you what to think,) were telling me that Cheney was the clear winner. I didn't believe them and actually looked down at the channel to make sure I hadn't accidentally switched the station to Fox News.
And then the clips of what I missed came and I realized that the John Edwards I had walked in on was a John Edwards that had been decimated and outclassed and out smarted for over an hour by a master of stating a case succinctly and convincingly.
Earlier today I was trying to articulate a post to myself about my frustrations with political and theological arguments, but I couldn't find the words. Howard Fineman, the Managing Editor of Newseek, put what I was thinking, and what would have taken me dozens of paragraphs to articulate into one simple sentence....
"John Edwards' performance tonight was nothing more than an emotion in search of an argument."
It's quite daunting when I stop and realize that everyone, myself included, is full of so many emotions that we are in search of an argument.
- Kerry/Edwards feels the need to be the anti-war candidates, so they search for an argument to try and cover over all of the former positions they had.
- Bush/Cheny feels the need to justify going to war, so they gloss over the horrible things that are going on in Iraq right now.
- The religious right feels the need to "protect" traditional marriage, so they modify their views on messing with the constitution.
- Liberals feel the need to look compassionate, so they try to make very difficult foreign policy matters look like black and white issues, such as the U.S. reaction to what is going on in the Sudan.
- I feel the need to justify my support for Bush, so I talk in great humanitarian terms such as "bringing freedom to the Iraqis," when the truth is I don't really care about the Iraqi people any more than my progressive friends care about the Sudan.
I think healthy discourse includes being able to recognize your own inconsistencies as much as, or more than, you recognize your opponents. Which is where I think Cheny hit a homerun tonight in dealing with the questions about gay marriage. It's clear that his position is in direct conflict with that of the administration, so he chose to allow Edwards to attack him, he took it, then declined the opportunity to defend himself. That's not the evil Cheney that has been portrayed. That showed class and respectibility.
(I feel the need to wrap up, because this is getting long and I'm getting tired, but I haven't written much lately.)
The Iraq War Question...
To repeat myself over and over again: The Dems have no foot to stand on when it comes to this argument. They have consistently modified their views on the war to reflect the changing political situation.
1. Kerry voted for the Iraq war resolution (http://hnn.us/articles/1282.html) He is, of course, now saying that he voted to authorize the president to go to war after certain conditions were met. Seriously, how dumb is that. If there are conditions attached to your authorization, then the only intelligent thing to do is vote against the resolution, wait until the conditions are met, and then, based on whether or not those conditions were met, vote for or against authorizing the president to go to war.
2. During the summer and fall of last year Howard Dean appeared to be the great savior of the Democratic party. He was energetic, progressive, and staunchly, unapologetically opposed to the war in Iraq-- no strings attached. Kerry, needing a win in Iowa, became Howard Dean and voted against war appropriations.
3. Kerry stated in early '03 that anyone who doubts the world is not safer without Saddam Hussein lacks the credibility to be president.
4. In the first Democratic debate Kerry made the following comment: “I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.”
Seriously Democrats, if you wanted a candidate against the war you should have voted for Howard Dean. But I am so sick of this bullshit about how Kerry has been consistent in his Iraq policy.
Alright, I'm done with that...
I tell you, I had a wonderful weekend with Blake and Karla. Saturday morning we woke up to a huge thunderstorm and did nothing be eat breakfast and lay around and talk for the entire morning and part of early afternoon. I'm so glad I went down. I was reminded why I love Blake so much and, subsequently, why I have a new friend in Karla.
It's almost 1:00 a.m. I'm not sleepy and could write forever, but I fear I've rambled on and have lost half of those who started reading from the beginning.
I'm doing well, had the day off. Spent time this morning running, watching television and surfing blogs. Had Ben, Jamie, and Kyle over for lunch. Spent the afternoon doing church stuff-- working on putting cabinets and hooks up in the nursery, working on writing a little thing for our alternative service this week. Had a nap in the chair this evening, then went to alt. service meeting. Working tomorrow and Thursday, but am taking Friday and Saturday off. Fingers crossed, Robert and Brandon and Blake and Karla will be in town this weekend and we will be in the best place in relation to each other-- together.
Overall life is going well. I do miss "Ed" though and if you make fun of me for missing a television show like it's a real person I'll dismiss you as a loser, say horrible things about your character, and drop you as a friend.
I leave you with something I quoted from Stuckeyville.com back in February:
In a world of danger and uncertainty, the world of possibility is a beautiful place. The world of possibility does not mean we naively put our trust in the unfathomable and act foolishly. The world of possibility means we are open to the possibility that extraordinary things can and DO happen. I've certainly been made a believer of such through the recent happenings here.
No matter how transient, I think that's something to embrace, not snicker at. We're all aware that nothing gold can stay. Come May the final knell may ring for our favorite show, and with it, sadness may ensue. That too, disappointment, is part of the world of possibility. What is and what should be rarely merge as one. In the rare event that they do, let's take notice, not cynically disbelieve...
What is beautiful about the world of possibility is that it renews hope. Without the world of possibility - what do we have left?