B(F)logging the Debate
Small crowd at the Don Smith Special Events Center, maybe 200, all partisans of one side or the other. Seemed to be evenly divided, based upon lapel stickers and t-shirts. Both candidates wore virtually identical charcoal-gray suits. Van Taylor grips the podium for dear life and has a perennial deer-in-the-headlights look.
Shorter Van Taylor: I'm a Marine! And a hero! There's too much partisanship in Washington and it's all the fault of liberal cut and run Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, whom my opponent loves and plans to marry. America faces many challenges, and they are all the fault of gay terrorist illegal aliens who want to adopt. Grover Norquist loves me so you should, too! If you hate America, vote for my opponent.
Shorter Chet Edwards: I'm the only grown-up in this race and I've actually done my homework. Plus, veterans and normally Right-Wing special interest groups love me, thus showing how bipartisan I am. And I bring home the bacon for Johnson County. The Dallas Morning News says my opponent is a nitwit.
My observations: Van Taylor looks even younger in person, maybe 25. When you consider that Chet (at 51) could easily pass for 40+, it just emphasizes his immaturity. Vancampen was considerably better behaved than at the first debate, except towards the end, when he started to get cranky. Perhaps he missed his nap. You would've thought that sometime between the first debate and now, Vancampen would've bothered to read his own party's budget resolution, given that Chet has been relentlessly flogging him with it. Or at the very least, someone on his crack staff might've come up with a better response than "I didn't read it. There are too many bills to read." Yeah, and math is hard. Taylor answered "illegal aliens!" or "homosexual adoption!" to every question but his name. He is opposed to free health care for illegal aliens (i.e., the emergency room) but he wants them to have "dignity." Presumably, he'd like them to die with dignity in the hospital parking lot. Taylor also hates runaway government spending. Voters should send a message to stop runaway government spending by electing...more Republicans like the ones who've been writing the budgets for the last twelve years? The only applause of the evening came when Taylor made the mistake of claiming Chet was against Jesus. It was such an incredibly bone-headed manuever, you'd almost think Chet was paying him off.
Further impressions later on. In the meantime, Somervell County Salon has some interesting bits on Vancampen's pedigree. Let's see, a thin-skinned, arrogant trust-fund baby who owes everything in life to family connections? Does this sound familiar?
UPDATE: Capitol Annex has more fallout from the debate.
UPDATE II: Via BOR, the NRCC raises the white flag and cancels its ad buys for CD-17.