"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Presidential Debate II: W did much better this time, seeming more comfortable in a Town Meeting format that worked well on this occasion, and featured questions that were balanced and thoughtful. That said, the president remains less adept than Kerry at speaking on his feet, so while W might say the right things, he doesn't say them well. (He might have said them well enough: My wife said she preferred Bush's down-home Texas "man of few words" delivery.)
And what struck me ultimately was that while Kerry is much smoother, he is also more facile in his convictions, if he can be said to have any apart from whatever positions suit his advancement. Responding to the questions on embryonic stem-cell research and on abortion, he stressed the great "respect" he had for ethical qualms in these areas – though that respect apparently did not extend to honoring the tenets of his own stated religious faith, which he said he could not rightly impose legislatively on others of different denominations. This is bosh, or one hopes it is, lest bans on murder, slavery, foot-binding and Muslim sharia head-lopping come to be seen as culturally intolerant. Once you dodge the red herrings Kerry tosses about to distract from his unwavering allegiance to the party line on abortion and stem-cell research, you ask: Is there any protection at all Kerry would offer to nascent life? And when he says he wants to appoints justices whose opinions don't reflect their personal politics – but at the same time, must uphold equal pay for equal work, women's reproductive rights, yada yada – isn't he saying he wants to appoint default liberal judges?
A confession: I did sneak away to peruse the Red Sox online discussion forum during the part on Canadian prescription medications, David Ortiz trumping health care. On the whole, I'd say the event was a toss-up, while giving Bush the Most Improved award.