The Third Debate: Jesus, Mary, Bob and Joseph! Oh My!

Episode three of a "Gentleman and a Gangsta" – which really ended up being half debate, half Bible study – was enjoyed by myself and other willing and able young bodies at Carol's in Cincinnati, Ohio, hosted by the the 'Nati League of Pissed Off Voters. Last week I watched the debate in Bowling Green, in a bar/family restaurant on the edge of town. Watching the debates in different parts of this crucial state is inspirational. People ask the same questions, laugh at the same faces, start conversations during the same um-ah‚ framed pauses. Kids scream. Oh wait, that's only when the VP shows his face. Anyway!

The content of this last debate was so similar to the previous two debates that I now feel I could produce the talking points verbatim. Actually – that's kind of what you're reading! But rather than merely reiterate the rhetoric, I took this opportunity to create a fun, interactive game.

The Top Ten Most Overused Words in Debate 3!
Which candidate overused which word/s? Answers are below.

1. cargo hold
2. mission of America
3. pay go!
4. hunt and kill
5. armies of compassion
6. afghan warlords!
7. fiscal sanity
8. international world
9. youngsters
10. real alliances

Answer key (no Jebbing! Don't cheat!):

1. Kerry is coocoo for cargo holds!
2. Should we choose to accept it, what exactly is the American mission, Kerry?
3. Kerry got the giggles as Bush went all freestyle rapper on his ass, apparently trying to make "pay as you go‚" rhyme with "leggo," as in "leggo my liberty you dirty liberal!"
4. Kerry is the hunting ex-cop Catholic in the house, and he will take you out. Holla!
5. Dear Karl Rove: if used in a misleading context in past, stolen elections, is the word "compassion‚" eligible in debate-speak?
6. Kerry believes we would have found our revenge-driven thrill in the Tora Bora hills! The assumption here: that Afghan warlords are less trustworthy than American warlords. Well, they do export some of the finest funny "third world" medicine in the world – of which we in America are the number one buyer. But I guess the point is – where in the world is Osama "Can't touch this (poppy field)" bin Laden?
7. Bush, who has taken us from the biggest surplus in history to the biggest deficit, is suddenly concerned with fiscal sanity? I say hell's no – let's go crazy!! Let's go for broke. To quote our president: "Whew!!"
8. What Bob should have asked Bush: Is there, or is there not, a "national world?"
9. Nothing says "I am not up on the issues of youth" as clearly as use of the term "youngsters," Walker.
10. Whiskey libations for my homies in Poland who regrettably had to bounce from the alliance! When Kerry emphasizes the concept of real alliances, it makes me wonder – where my real road dawgs at? If Tony Blair is the only dude who truly has our back, and even he's squirming at this point, then where does Bush turn when he needs a shoulder to place blame on for this failed war?

And now: frequently asked questions from the progressive young crowd in the Nasty Nati (Cincinnati, Ohio):

1. Why do they keep explaining how the debate is gonna work? Is there any chance that green, yellow and red could mean anything other than go, slow, and stop, biatch!
2. So are Bob and George and Kerry all agreed we were safer and more secure during World Wars I, II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Great Depression? If that's safety y'all can just leave me here!
3. So the contaminated medicine comes from England now – and we want medicine from Canada? Bush flips, then he flops. Either way, if you're a strapping young buck just stay healthy, aight?
4. Who taught Bush the word litany? It's like, so the perfect word for how he handles his platform:
a. A liturgical prayer consisting of a series of petitions recited by a leader alternating with fixed responses by the congregation. (The fixed response is absolute silence!)
5. Did one of y'all email Kerry that George W. Bush resume email?
6. Is it just me, or did Bush just basically say that other countries who we outsource to are like, so 20th century?
7. When Kerry compared Bush to Tony Soprano, Cincinnati erupted. Oh – that's not a question. But that was the coolest moment of this debate hands down, followed closely by the mention of Cheney's lesbian offspring to make the point that being gay isn't a choice. Imagine coming out to Cheney – three snaps to her!
8. Bush says we should encourage marriage. For real? I have an idea how! And we shouldn't tell citizens how to live their lives. For real? How about dictating how people live by sustaining poverty? Bush brags that he secured $1000 a year to folks with kids, which makes me wonder if he ever looked at a bill while raising Jenna and Barbie – $1000 is poo-poo money, like it might just barely cover diapers.
9. Kerry went all "Jesus is my homeboy" in the second half of this debate. Who you cover with sweet naughty kisses when not being abstinent? That's between you and God. A woman's extremely complex choices on reproductive health? That's between God and the woman, plus a doctor for good measure. After the elections, do you think we'll see an uprising of altar boys for healthcare?
10. Was I the only one who got really excited when Bush said he is into a culture of life, thinking he was about to admit that his excessive use of the death penalty in Texas and the mass death penalty in Afghanistan and Iraq to punish those who are guilty until proven dead was the wrong way to go? How silly of me. That wouldn't be very steadfast of him – heck, Freedom might just dropkick him in the back for saying something like that.
11. Okay middle class, its time to 'fess up. Have you felt tax relief spread like a vapor of love through your bones? Or have you felt the tax burden seep into your pores with the leaden weight of eternal debt? Tell me, dear over-referenced middle class, what do you really feel?
12. Where is the mysterious border point where those pesky Middle Easteners (as an entire world region apparently out to get up in our groove) are slipping into our illustrious country?
a. By illustrious, I mean envied by all for our busted, expensive healthcare plan while a mere 90 miles away Cuba languishes with the burden of too many qualified doctors.
13. Kerry and Bush, mid-debate, start to sound like they're skating figure eights around each other, crossing from moderate to liberal to conservative and back with little clarity.
14. Isn't $14,560 still under the official poverty line of $15,260 for a family of three? As long as we're in huge debt, can we recklessly fund a living wage in addition to the dying wage (a.k.a. war on terror/drugs/poverty/people)? At least then we'd all be depressed on a full belly.
15. I wonder if anyone else noticed the heightened emotional output toward the end of the debate:
a. Kerry, while speaking of Bush's post 9/11 speech to Congress, came close to tearing up. Then, a nanosecond later, it was gone.
b. Bush was like: It's too partisan in D.C. – I miss Texas! Boohoo.
c. Kerry went all "Tupac Dear Mama" on us and I felt the underlying message to our dear Bush the Lesser was "You too can survive crack/cocaine!"
d. And then they showed Teresa "Bad-As-She-Wanna-Be" Heinz-Kerry looking all fresh. Viewers at separate tables were overheard saying, "I like her" when the cameras cut to Teresa.
16. Is anyone abstinent? Cause towards the end, Bush sounded kind of like that boyfriend or girlfriend we've all had who makes you wish you had just stayed home and done abstinent for the night cause he like, lied to you and cheated on you and then came back like, "I have a plan to do better – trust me," just be optimistic with me and let me in your bush – I mean be your Bush – I mean Bush for President.

Pick your favorite conclusion!:
1. Jesus walks with each and every one of us, whether you want him to or not, and he has the ear of our future president, no matter who you vote for. Bush's calmness? That's Jesus. Kerry's work to stop poverty and get us some healthcare? That's Jesus. While both guys are really into Jesus, Kerry seems to understand the separation of church and state. Bush? Not so much. (I kind of get the feeling that Bush and Cheney aren't so into black folks either – argh! That's what the Democrats want me to think! Give. Me. Back. My. Talking Points!)

2. No matter who wins, I'm never getting a social security check. DAMN those bastards! At least lie to me since I can't legally put a restraining order between your grubby hands and my paycheck!

3. In the most non-partisan conclusion I can come to, Kerry is three for three with 18 days left for these boys to drop it like its hot in every battleground state in the country. May the best Skull & Bones Yalie boy rise victorious.

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