Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Friday, September 05, 2003
All right, here you go: excerpts from last night's Democratic debate.
On the War
RAY SUAREZ: Let's begin tonight with the conflict in Iraq. Senator Kerry, you voted to authorize the use of force, but now you're critical of how the President's handled it.
SENATOR KERRY: Thank you Ray. Yes, I voted to authorize the war, because based on the intelligence we received, it seemed that Iraq was bristling with weapons. This was just the first of the fuzzy truths presented by our President. He knows how to pose on an aircraft carrier and declare the war at an end, but does he know what it's like to have civilians open fire at him? I would never pose like that wearing a flight suit for a cheap photo opportunity.
RAY SUAREZ: Representative Gephardt, you also voted to authorize war. Your thoughts now?
REP. GEPHARDT: Thank you, Ray. I'd just like to begin by thanking the good people of New Mexico for having us here tonight. New Mexico's been good to Democrats. Now, on to Iraq. Yes, I did vote for the resolution. It was a fine resolution, and no one should apologize for deposing a dictator. I led my comrades in support for that resolution. But I agree with the Senator; this has turned into a quagmire on the President's watch. Since it has been mishandled, I've led a hardy band of Democrats from the floor of the House to try to get more troops where they're needed and bring in outside help. I know how to lead.
RAY SUAREZ: Representative Kucinich?
REP. KUCINICH: One score minus seventeen years ago Americans were mistakenly sold a bill of goods by the Republican-packed Supreme Court, and nothing less than a coup d'etat happened right before our disbelieving eyes. I tell you, Ray, my country tis of the, sweet land of liberty--but not while that bush-league Napoleon sits in the White House, and his hired thug John Ashcroft is left to exercise arbitrary law. No sir, this war is an excuse for a power grab, and when I'm President, I'll put an end to it immediately and bring in the UN to resolve the situation.
RAY SUAREZ: Howard Dean, you opposed the war, but you disagree with the Representative about staying there?
HOWARD DEAN: This was a fools, errand, Ray. The President of the United States is unable to string together a sentence of five words in a coherent sentence; it's inconceivable to me that both houses of Congress thought he could put together a credible plan to invade and occupy a foreign country. But now that we're there, we must stay and clean up the mess. That's what I do, I clean up messes. You can't believe what a hell hole Vermont was when I found it, but now it's a delightful place to live. You think Iraq is a mess? Wait'll I finish up with it. Real world pragmatism, that's what you'll get from a Dean presidency.
RAY SUAREZ: Joe Lieberman, you agree with Doctor Dean--you believe we should stay in Iraq as well.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: No, you're dead wrong. I disagree with dangerous Dean. I proudly voted for the resolution. I think the operation's been mostly a success. Howard Dean doesn't know about a military, doesn't know about Iraq. He talks big now, but governing this great nation isn't like governing an unpopulated state no bigger than a hangnail. No, Ray, I want to be on record here: I disagree with Howard Dean.
RAY SUAREZ: But you do want to keep troops there.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: That's right, but not like Dean. He wants a few thousand more. I want a massive force, far more macho than Dean's puny proposal.
On the Economy
RAY SUAREZ: Moving on to the economy. Dick Gephardt, you have a plan to create jobs?
REP. GEPHARDT: I do indeed, and thank you for asking. As most Americans know, I've fought for working people all of my political life. Back during the Clinton administration, I led the way in drafting legislation that led to a $5 trillion surplus. It was not easy work, but that's leadership for you. I drafted the legislation, got it through Congress, and the President signed it. Working people across America benefitted from this leadership, which is the kind you can expect when I become President.
RAY SUAREZ: What about the tax cuts, Ambassador Braun--would you repeal them, or let them stand?
CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN: The tax cuts are reprehensible policy. They are given to the only Americans who don't need them, they cost the rest of America valuable and necessary services, and they have returned us to another era of Republican deficits. But perhaps the worst part about these tax cuts is that they are clearly calculated not to benefit America or even those who received them, but rather George W. Bush, who is buying favors for those who supported his campaign. This kind of thing is absolutely unacceptable.
RAY SUAREZ: Howard Dean, what do you have to say about the economy?
HOWARD DEAN: It stinks. And I'll tell you, it takes a special talent to turn a massive surplus into a massive deficit in just three short years. I did exactly the opposite thing when I was in Vermont: we had red ink as far as the eye could see, but after just a few short can-do years of a Dean Governorship, Vermont was back in the black. And I can do it for America, too.
RAY SUAREZ: Senator Lieberman, what would you do with the economy?
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Well what I wouldn't do is treat it like it was a little bitty state with nobody in it that's no bigger than a hangnail. I tell you, Howard Dean is absolutely a menace to business. His wild, liberal ideas are exactly the kind of cannot do thinking that characterized the bad old Democrats of the McGovern years. Because as bad as a Bush recession is, if we follow the good doctor's plan, we'll have a Dean Depression on our hands.
On President Bush
RAY SUAREZ: There's been a theme here tonight about the President. Let's go around the room here and have you each tell me in one word how you would describe the President. Senator Graham?
SEN. GRAHAM: Misguided.
REP. GEPHARDT: A poor leader.
REP. KUCINICH: Corrupt.
HOWARD DEAN: Arrogant.
CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN: Yes, arrogant and corrupt.
SEN. KERRY: Out-of-touch.
SEN. EDWARDS: I don't like to call people names, Ray.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Evil. Wait a minute, did you say Dean or Bush? Bush is a boob. It's Howard Dean who's evil.
(Proof that liberals can make fun of their own. Happy Satire Friday, everyone--)