The River

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The First Bush-Kerry Presidential Debate




LEARER: Wasup, people? I’m Jim Learer of the Peoples Bullshitting Service, the straight bullshit the people deserve.

I’m sitting in for Jim Lehrer. I'm here at the University of Miami Convocation Center in Coral Gables, Florida, where these two dudes got some ideas ‘bout how American government should be run are gonna go at each other. Listen to what they have to say, so you can make an informed choice on which of the two should have ungodly power.

The debates are sponsored by Frito-Lay, makers of fine TV-watching snacks. And when you’re thirsty, make it a Bud Light.

Tonight's nasty sniping should last about 90 minutes, following detailed rules of engagement worked out by the two dudes. Although they don’t know it, I have not agreed to enforce their bullshit guidelines.

The umbrella topic is foreign policy and homeland security, or how to set the world on fire and sell the fire hose. The questions were composed by me last night at my kitchen table while hammering coffee. The candidates have not been told what they are, so they’ll probably be as surprised as me.

For each question there can only be a two-minute response, although hopefully the questions will haunt the candidates for much longer. There’s supposed to be a 90- second rebuttal, but they can keep going if they’re on a roll. Conversely, really crazy bullshit will be mercilessly buzzered. It could be a quiet night.

There is also a backup buzzer system if needed, wired by a friend of mine, an ex-felon, but a good guy. Just before air time, I asked him how it worked, and he just laughed maniacally. Let’s hope I don’t have to use it.

Candidates may not direct a question to each other. There will be two-minute closing statements, but simply cheesy grins for openers.

There is an audience here in the hall, but they’ve been told to lie back and think of America, except for now, when they join me in welcoming President Bush and Senator Kerry.


LEARER: Good evening, Mr. President, Senator Kerry.

As determined by a coin toss, the first question goes to you, Senator Kerry. You have two minutes.

Do you believe you could do a better job than President Bush in preventing another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States?

KERRY: Yes, I do.

LEARER: Yeah, me to.

KERRY: But before I answer further, let me thank you for moderating. I want to thank the University of Miami for hosting us. And I know the president will join me in welcoming all of Florida to this debate. You've been through the roughest weeks anybody could imagine. Our hearts go out to you, because after the election, you’re going to wish the hurricanes had finished the state completely. But I have a plan for that….

I can make American safer than President Bush has made us. How? My first act as president will be what I call The Kerry Shield. Every man, woman and child (cough, above the poverty level, cough) will receive this shield, which is really a protective, terrorist-proof suit. Some scientists say it cuts off oxygen to the brain, but that should only affect what’s left of our higher cognitive functions, and we’ve proven we can dominate the world without those.

Once you achieve safety at home, you have to look abroad. The other bosses, uh, government leaders, are not happy with how we structured the hostile takeover of Iraq. I too, am deeply offended at President Bush’s lack of business acumen.

I believe American investments are safest and strongest when we are world’s leading deal broker, which means better cooperation between all involved terrorists…I mean interests.

I'll never give a veto to any country over our deals. But I also know how to lead those alliances.

I have a plan, yes, I say unto you I have a plan. A grand plan for grand hand-shakes and back slaps all around the world, so that white men know what’s what and our club is more clubby. The president has fouled the atmosphere, and I, for one, am tired of the irate phone calls.

LEARER: Mr. President, Kerry just hinted at your utter failure. What do you have to say about that?

BUSH: I, too, thank the University of Miami, and say our prayers are with the good people of this state, who've suffered a lot.

And suffering is what good Christians do. For example, I have to suffer this asshole. And especially since September the 11th, we must suffer. September 11th changed how America must look at the world – as victims of the latest Arab bogeyman. Since that day, our nation has been on a multi-pronged crusade to secure the world’s oil and wealth, also knowN as the War on Terra.

We pursued Al Qaida wherever Al Qaida tries to hide. I can’t help it that nobody got it that Al Qaida were in Ire-ack. They hide right around the world’s biggest oil wells. It’s the darndest thing.

We've upheld the doctrine that said if you harbor a terrorist, you're equally as guilty as the terrorist. And the military carries out this doctrine every day when they kill and torture innocent men, women and children in Iraq, in their homes and in their prisons.

And the Taliban are no longer in power. That’s what happens when you refuse an oil deal.

Listen, my opponent and I have a fundamental difference of opinion. I believe that all you need for empire are bombs and PR, and he thinks we need to add diplomacy to the mix, and if we don’t, somewhere down the line we’ll get whacked. But nobody whacks a Bush!

But after September the 11th, BZZZZZZ

LEARER: Our President, ladies and gentlemen. New softball, this time for you, Mr. President. Two minutes.

Do you believe the election of Senator Kerry on November the 2nd would increase the chances of the U.S. being hit by another 9/11-type terrorist attack?

BUSH: No, I don't believe it's going to happen. I believe I'm going to win, because the American people know I know how to lead. I've shown the American people I know how to lead.

I have -- I understand everybody in this country doesn't agree with the decisions I've made. And I made some tough decisions. But people know where I stand.

People out there listening know what I believe. And that's how best it is to keep the peace. September 11th ..BZZZZ

LEARER: I’m gonna have to translate that, (which up to “Sept. 11” is straight from the transcript) cause it’s some serious BS. You said that you don’t think another terrorist attack will happen because you don’t expect to lose, implying that you think it would happen if Kerry won.

Then you told America that it’s okay to disagree with you but that you know how to lead, people know where you stand, what your beliefs are, and that you know best how to keep the peace. You TOLD them what they think.

I’m so deeply offended, I don’t know where to start. For the ones who love that god-bless-America, faith-based bullshit, it’s like a hit of heroin. For the ones who don’t, it’s a promise that you’ll do exactly what you want to do to bring “peace” to the world, which in your Orwellian language means more wars of aggression.

He’s making you look good, Senator. Your response?

KERRY: I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are. BZZZ

LEARER: What are you, fuckin Rambo? Don’t stoop to his bullshit, man.

KERRY: I was just about to say, But we also have to be smart, Jim. And I hope and pray there are enough undecideds who can identify with my obvious intelligence over his corny bullshit.

Iraq didn’t attack us, Jim. We pinned that on Osama bin Laden, and smart means you have to at least give him a new identity and anything else he wants and pretend you killed him. Smart means you sell people on the idea of removing Saddam Hussein, not on the easily disputed WMD charge. It’s another case of bad PR, Jim, and as president, the people will know exactly why I’m sending out the troops and I think they’re so addicted to consumer culture that they’ll approve of it. I have faith in the American people, Jim.

Now, with respect to Osama. If you’re going to play this manhunt game with him, if he has truly turned rogue, you don’t let him escape in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. The president relied on Afghan warlords to get him and he got away. He outsourced that job too. That's wrong.

This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment. He thinks we can outsource our killing, but I say we have the best-trained killers in the world. That’s why my military budget will be bigger than his.

LEARER: President Bush?

BUSH: First of all, of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that! ….He did, didn’t he?

LEARER: (slow, deliberate nod).

BUSH: Right… let me finish…..need some wood? No? How about some helicopter gunships? I have more than he ever dreamed about. And my military budget will skyrocket in 2005, count on it.

I saw the first plane hit the tower, and I thought, that’s either a bad pilot or today’s the day. So I went to the United Nations. I didn't need anybody to tell me to go to the United Nations, except my dad. He said that way when I launched my war, I could say it was because the U.N. was a buncha do nothing appeasers. He said I’d also get a sense of where the European powers stand on our new American empire, pop-a-cap-first doctrine.

Well, god damn, Jim, it worked like a fuckin charm….okay, I KNOW, yeah, sorry.

(ahem) Jim, after September 11th BZZZZ!

LEARER: Senator Kerry?

KERRY: God, I’m losing to this guy.

BUSH: Of course you are. I’ve bombed Arabs and you haven’t.

KERRY: That’s the first intelligent thing I’ve heard you say. But there are other parts of the world with more educated and progressive populations, and they don’t like that attitude.

BUSH: Fuck’em. We were attacked on September 11th.BZZZ!

Fuck you too, Jim.

September 11th BZZZZ!
September 11th! BZZZZ!

LEARER: Senator Kerry?

KERRY: Is he…?

LEARER: Comatose. Smoking, but comatose. You have the final word.

KERRY: Thank you, Jim. My fellow Americans, George W. Bush and his cronies engineered the September 11th attack on America. They made the decision that all powerful bureaucrats make – what is the trade-off in loss of life for our profit margin?

And so, they allowed the attack so that they could convince Americans that we have to fight in the Middle East. Because they know that the world’s oil supply will soon be gone. But they also know that war requires massive, fear-based propaganda, so they concocted a surefire way to demonize the people in the way of our resources.

I say we need a change. I say we can go about it like we did when we invaded this country. Genocide validated not by fear of the other, although there’s always that, but by manifest destiny – our right to take what we want from inferior peoples. But we will share the spoils with our allies under my presidency, because I am the more competent deal broker.

We can make America strong again, a truly monolithic empire of steel and glass and rampant corruption. But we don’t have to abandon our core values – one people, under god, who really, really need most of the world’s rapidly dwindling supply of oil. And a country still willing to cut deals with other superpowers.

Look up Peak Oil on the Internet. Then tell me if you feel better with a lying, incompetent chimp for president – one that can be easily demonized and attacked, just as we did with Iraq – or a real politician who dresses everything in more palatable clichés and believes that you need smarts as well as might to negotiate the future of American Empire.

The choice is yours, America.

Thank you, and good night.

LEARER: And it ain't much of one. But what are ya gonna do? That ends tonight’s debate. Stay tuned for major spinning.

From behind Bush’s podium: September 11th….fuck Saddam….some call you the elite…God told me to strike….he did…I’m president, see, I don’t have to explain…I hate Kerry…he can’t hide….hehehehehe

Comments: Post a Comment