. . . Monday February 16, 2004

Wisconsin Debate, Translated

The five remaining Democratic candidates had what could be their last group debate at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sunday night. Almost all of the applause and/or laughter lines were reserved for Al Sharpton with the remaining enthusiasm going to Dennis Kucinich (Who won? Who knows?). Overall, the night offered nothing new and little to sink your teeth into (in other words, typical debate). Below is a translation – what they said and what they really meant – of a few of the key lines of the night. Translation in parenthesis.

Kerry on Bush’s Nat. Guard Alabama getaway: That’s not something that I’m qualified to comment on (I don’t do wimp). I have not looked at the records (in the last twenty seconds), I haven’t seen the records (unless you mean this copy right here on my podium), I’m not reading the records (except when one of tonight’s questions is being directed to someone else). It’s not for me to make that judgment (although after being in on several Skull and Bones initiations, I could bring up a few other issues related to the president’s manhood). I think that all of us today (emphasis on “today”) are very proud of those who serve in the National Guard. (I am a decorated Vet and war hero and W got out of the war and then even went AWOL from getting out of the war. Forget the tough talk; Kucinich could kick this guy’s ass!)

Dean: Wisconsin has a long history of voting for people like me and I hope they’ll do it on Tuesday. (But knowing that, thanks to you, I’m currently polling about 40% behind an insider who stole my message, what I’m really saying is: Brett Favre sucks.)

Kerry: And when I’m president, we will put back on the table the effort to get the money out of American politics and restore the voices of average Americans to the agenda of our country. (I own about six massive houses. If I owned two hundred, I still don’t think a single one would be in Wisconsin.)

Kucinich: We should be worried about bringing them home, not worrying about what the president did or didn’t do 30 years ago. We have to be concerned about what he’s doing now. He sent those men and women there on a lie, and we have to bring them home. (That made sense. What the hell am I still doing here?)

Dean: Now, with all due respect, I’m the only person up here who’s ever balanced a budget, who’s ever had the kind of agreements that will create jobs. (Friggin’ Wisconsin)

Kucinich: I mean, let’s face it. It’s either we buy America or it’s bye bye America. (I’ve really got to quit bunking with Sharpton)

Kerry: On the Patriot Act. The problem with the Patriot Act are two words: John Ashcroft. (Translation: John Ashcroft, John Ashcroft, John Ashcroft)

Dean: I have done what all the folks up here are talking about doing. (And if that’s not good enough, I’ve even screamed about doing what they’ve talked about doing…)

Sharpton: And Governor Dean says he’s the only one up here who’s balanced the budget, I’m the only one in here that all my life had to deal with deficit spending. I was born in a deficit. (And as you know, almost nothing creative rhymes with deficit.)

Dean: I think the most difficult job of any president of the United States is the decision to send people to war, because you know that you are almost certain to lose somebody, to deprive families of somebody they love. (How can I send a kid to war? I can’t even get my wife to come to Wisconsin.)

Sharpton: Well, first of all, I think that if he did know he was lying and was lying, that’s even worse. Clearly, he lied. Now if he is an unconscious liar, and doesn’t realize when he’s lying, then we’re really in trouble. Because, absolutely, it was a lie. They said they knew the weapons were there. He had members of the administration say they knew where the weapons were. So we’re not just talking about something passing here. We’re talking about 500 lives. We’re talking about billions of dollars. So I hope he knew he was lying, because if he didn’t, and just went in some kind of crazy, psychological breakdown, then we are really in trouble. Clearly, you know, I’m a minister. Why do people lie? Because they’re liars. He lied in Florida he’s lied several times. I believe he lied in Iraq. (Bottom line? He probably told the truth.)

Kerry: So I will lead in a different way, and I will not just sit there and talk about the war. (Me, 50 Cent. Him, Urkel.)

Edwards: I think Howard Dean and John Kerry have good hearts. They want to do the right thing. They believe in many of the same things that I believe in. But I think it matters to have lived it, and I have lived it. (God, I wish I knew I had this kind of rhythm when I was still single.)

Sharpton: So just because people have the same background does not mean they understand things the same way. I’d rather have John Kerry, Howard Dean wrapped together than Clarence Thomas any day of the week. (In fact, if they try to keep me from speaking at the convention, I may very well have them wrapped together somewhere.)

Complete debate transcript available here.

Concentration is important!