After that, I turned on C-Span; they were showing the Gore/Bush town-hall debate from 2000. It's not the famous sighing one. It's casual, and they're both striding all over the place like they're Phil Donahue, and Gore is on his freaking best behavior and he still looks like an asshole.
And it turns out I was right to be confused by how absolutely terribly Bush conducted himself this Thursday. I thought he was stupid back when he was debating Gore; he used lots of constructions that said nothing, like "It's about leadership, and I will be a leader," while Gore was lisping chapter and verse on every fucking thing and another. (Gore was bloviating like I was afraid John Kerry was going to this week.) "I'd like to use the rest of my time to finish answering that other fucking question I already spent two minutes on," said Gore in what I believe is a direct quote.
Hey. It's not like I voted for him. But as I was saying: even though Bush said plenty of simple and simplistic things in this here debate from 2000, he also spoke in paragraphs (sometimes) and remembered more than one talking point at a time and synthesized them. (Even though you could see his brain spinning as he did so. But still!)
But the best part, the part that hammered me plumb-sober, was Bush saying—and this time I really do quote—that he would never send troops into harm's way without making sure they had better housing, better pay, better health care, better armor and a clear exit plan. Yes, he actually said each one of those things. He may have even said "a plan to win the peace," but it's possible I hypnotized myself with the bizarre irony, like a fine Fielding novel, of the whole thing, but with even more foreshadowing. Isn't it ironic? Yes, it is, you ignorant twat.