Paul Hopper (paulhopper) wrote,
Paul Hopper

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debate party

I watched the debate yesterday with a group of friends. Going into the debate as undecideds, we were looking for something to distinguish one candidate from the other and, frankly, I'm beginning to think they're twins.

I know you know better than to believe a single word of that! Who's still undecided at this point and why do they get to determine who wins the election!?!? It's not fair!!!

We had a good time. I met up with Megan for sushi beforehand, Brandi and Liz joined us later, and Bernard got there just a few minutes before the start of the debate. (And I know Ashleigh was here in spirit, right?) It was nice watching the debate with such a cool group of people. Too bad the third debate will be on Wednesday and not Friday or I'd be up to doing that again.

My favorite part of the debate was the last question.
GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

BUSH: I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little, like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some of them big.

And in a war, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for them. I'm human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?" And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

We knew he hated us. We knew he'd been -- invaded other countries. We knew he tortured his own people.

On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision. Our recession was one of the shallowest in modern history.

Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV.


BUSH: But history will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept any mistakes that history judges to my administration, because the president makes the decisions, the president has to take the responsibility.

I know part of my reaction to this is based on the crazy belief I have that we should have gotten Osama bin Laden and made a lot more progress in the War on Terrorism before invading Iraq and opening it up to the terrorists, but it seems so arrogant the way Bush never admits to doing anything wrong and, even when he tries, he pins the responsibility for mistakes on others. Saying he made some mistakes in appointing people isn't really accepting blame, it's saying other people have proven to be a disappointment to him. That's very different from accepting real blame for something. Of course, the question targeted the Iraq War. So I've been trying to think of other things he could have mentioned and what he could have said to keep it from being a negative. Not that I agree with any of this or think any of it is true, but they're things I think he could have said anyway to show he was at least trying to answer the question and prove that he's human.

  1. The first thing to come to mind was the Patriot Act. He could have acknowledged that the Patriot Act was not perfect and that there were some mistakes in the way it was written, but point out that it was important to act quickly to give those prosecuting the War on Terrorism the tools they need to be more effective. I'm not saying I'd agree with that characterization of it, but I think that would have been a good answer for him to give. Except that he believes that it, like everything his administration has done, was inspired by God.
  2. He could have come up with something in regards to the Abu Graib prison scandal. It still would have been putting the real blame on people way under him, but it would have be an admission that his administration has run into some troubles, he could have specifically apologized for the Abu Ghraib stuff and then talked about how people responsible are being held accountable for it and his administration is running a tighter ship now. It's regrettable that it happened, he's sorry, they've fixed the problem.
  3. That question also could have been a good lead-in to something on his current platform. Take taxes, for instance. Since he's in favor of still more tax breaks, he could have said that he made the mistake of not pushing for an even bigger tax break the first time around.

I don't know. He should have been able to come up with something, though, other than appointments to boards and stuff like that. Learn to accept some responsibility for something, Dubya! It doesn't have to be as bad as you think! Eh. Why do I even bother?

Megan and Bernard stuck around a little while after the debate to sit and talk and stuff, but had to go home eventually. Looking back, I should have at least offered for Megan to crash here for the night because she looked so sleepy when she left! I had her email me when she got home, though, to let me know she got there okay. I couldn't get rid of Brandi and Liz, though, no matter how hard I tried. ;-) We watched The Best Man and made it all the way through that one, but we couldn't stay awake forever. I don't remember how late we were up, but each one of us must have drifted off around the same time. Brandi fell asleep on the couch. Liz started to fall asleep on the floor, but moved to my sister's room and I eventually crawled to mine from my spot on the floor.

And, apparently, I didn't get enough sleep last night (who's surprised?) because it's only 8:30pm and I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open! I'll probably go to sleep soon only to wake up in four or five hours. In any case, good night!

I was telling my mother about the debate party and she asked about who all was there and how I knew them, etc. and asked that I write a little something about them and post it here. So...

I know Ashleigh from high school and got to know her when I was, briefly, in D&D. She was a year ahead of me and went off to Kalamazoo College after high school. She took Chinese in high school and I still remember her talking to the Chinese teacher in the library one day, telling jokes back and forth. I don't know if it was that the Chinese teacher was that good or Ashleigh was that good that they were able to have a regular conversation, but I found that very impressive at the time. What am I saying? I find that that very impressive even now! It's no wonder that she's living in Beijing right now.

Brandi was friends with Ashleigh in high school and was one year ahead of Ashleigh. She was also in the BDPA high school computer programming competition the two years before I was in it. I knew of her, but didn't really know her. I remember the first year I was in the competition, the team from the year before had come in just to tell what was in store for us, I guess. So I remember her from that. Well, I got back in touch with Ashleigh about a year ago and that led to rediscovering Brandi, who happens to live about a mile and a half from my house. So then we started hanging out with each other.

Liz is Brandi's roommate. They were roommates at some college in East Lansing, whatever it's called, and now they're roommates again. She just moved in with Brandi about a month and a half ago, I think, then moved to a bigger apartment (in the same complex) a couple weeks ago. I must also mention that Liz is freakishly strong and she scares me. On purpose. *waves to Liz*

Bernard is also from the Brandi branch of the tree. If I recall correctly, he used to race cows with Brandi and Liz back when they were all in college together. He lives in Troy now. His apartment is freakishly clean.

Then there's Megan. Megan went to Renaissance and grew up in Detroit. (Hmm... she was a freshman when Bekah was a senior. You know what that means, don't you? Yearbook!) She and Ashleigh were in college together and ended up in China together in the Study Abroad program. She's done some traveling around, but she's back here for now. She's the first white person I've ever met who talks just like me, with whatever accent it is that we have. Oh, and can you believe she also has a familial connection to Chillicothe, OH? What are the odds!?

So... Ashleigh, you got any other friends back here in Michigan I can adopt? ;-)
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