Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Final Debate Worries [UPDATED]
Since it's the last debate, I expect all kinds of crap to be flying from Bush, because he'll never have to answer for it again. There is standard, expected crap about Kerry being liberal (that's the new old strategy), and about his health care plan being a big government-run plan (which is of course totally not true), and I hope Kerry has some well-rehearsed simple ways of demonstrating that Bush is just not telling the truth. [UPDATE: on that score, check out Kevin Drum's list of the top 5 Bush lies about Kerry's domestic agenda from the last debate. We're likely to hear them again.]

While he's dodging crap like that, he somehow has to hammer home the flawed Bush tax cuts without raising the spectre of increased taxes across the board. Republicans win on taxes, no matter what the truth is. If Kerry can't successfully block the big-taxing liberal charge (and it's hard to beat), this whole "domestic issues" debate could be a big tax trap. Everything will turn into "how's he going to pay for it?" and "Raising taxes on just the wealthy won't pay for all his programs; he's coming for your money next."

But what I worry about the most is some total surprise, that Bush will broadside him with some new baseless attack/misstatement, probably about taxes or maybe homeland security, or gay marriage. I'm not worried about Kerry being wrong about something, but if it leaves him unscripted he could meander, nuance (can that be a verb?), sound like he's equivocating and let slip a loser phrase like "global test."

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