And You Shall Know the Truth . . .:
Pity Charlie Gibson. What did he do to earn the rage of George W. Bush? There he was, moderator of the second presidential "debate", and all he was attempting to do was, well, moderate, going beyond the stilted question-asking automatons that were Jim "Eyes Courtesy of My Taxidermist" Lehrer and Gwen "No Question Too Insipid" Ifill. Instead of merely allowing the candidates to blather on for an additional minute, Gibson tried, desperately at times, to get the two men to answer a direct fuckin' question. Kerry responded to Gibson, engaging him and mostly expanding on the question. However, George W. Bush chose instead to either ignore or bulldoze Gibson. It was the Old West: no tinhorn reporter's gonna ask George W. Bush a follow-up.

Early on, Bush turned on Gibson twice, viciously smacking the TV morning show host to the ground and standing on his large ass, braying like the loudest howler monkey in the desiccated rainforest, "You tell Tony Blair we're going alone," our president at that moment showing he was tough enough to pound the Good Morning, America guy, motherfuckers, now bring him the head of Katie Couric.

Then, most bizarrely, Bush accused Gibson of being gay or, at least, of desiring some cock when, in his ad-lib about not knowing he owned part of a lumber company, he said, point blank to Gibson, "Need some wood?" You could see Gibson shudder in desire, eyes rolling back in the much needed ecstasy "some wood" might impart.

What we saw on Friday night was how much George Bush hates us, all of us, how we are simply impediments to his will to power, his a priori rightness. Goddamn, how Bush seethed. If he thought the idea of being called to account for his actions by a journalist in the first debate was odious, Bush could barely contain his deep contempt for the American public, treating the questions derisively, answering them like the debate was a particularly bad Cape Cod Thanksgiving and he was the meth'd-out uncle being accused of fondling his nephews, screeching,

Look at his answer to Rob Fowler, one of the many shitting-themselves timid middle Americans forced to be seen by millions of people while questioning the President, who dared to believe that the Patriot Act might infringe on his civil liberties: "I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that" and then he said, most strangely, considering the fucking question had just been asked, "I hope you don't think that." Look at that non-answer: in essence, Bush said, "You are wrong. Shut the fuck up and trust me."

But that was Bush's approach the entire evening, to treat the questioners as children, simply needing reassurance that Daddy knows what he's doing when he raids the college fund to please his gambling addiction: When Nikki Washington asked about why people around the world think America is fucked up, Bush said, "We've got a great country. I love our values . . . People love America." In one of his follow-up responses on preventing terrorist attacks on American soil, Bush said, "I'm worried. I'm worried. I'm worried about our country. And all I can tell you is every day I know that there's people working overtime, doing the very best they can." Time and again, time and again, Bush's answer was "You don't need to worry your poor little heads about it. Now get back to watching The Apprentice in the few minutes a day you have between your three jobs."

This doesn't even get into two of the most bullshit answers. For the vast majoriy of Americans not into the fucked up legal fantasy world of right-to-lifers, it just seemed boggling that Bush dragged out Dred Scott as an example of a Supreme Court case he disagreed with. ("So, like, he's telling us he doesn't support slavery? Bully for him.") And let's not even bother with the psychosis of the mind of a man who can't admit error, even when directly asked to do so. We used to call those people "sociopaths," driven by delusions of self-grandeur. Instead, let's just say it's a pattern of Bush's hate of the average American.

As for Kerry, the list of his should-have-done's is as long as the list for Beckett's Krapp or Ashton Kutcher on his final night before wedding Demi. Kerry should have buried Bush in opening after opening after opening. He should have put Bush away on WMDs (despite admitting that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, Bush kept saying we had to stop Hussein from spreading WMDs) and on the environment. And if Kerry doesn't have an answer cold on stem cell research, he isn't paying the right handlers. Kerry should have taken Bush apart. And when is Kerry going to debunk the myth of the $87 billion and say that Bush was threatening to veto any version that wasn't exactly what he wanted? When is Kerry going to debunk the myth of the "most liberal" Senator rating, which is for one year, not his entire career (remember: Kerry was to the right of Clinton on Iraq)? (Although Kerry's mocking of "compassionate conservative" ought to become a template rejoinder to "liberal"-baiting). The best one can say is that Kerry was too worried about alienating some mythical voter by beating up poor, poor Bush, so red-faced, so screechy, so lost. But still, Kerry could have ripped Bush a new one over the idiotic repetition of "You can run, but you can't hide" simply by staring at him like he's deranged. No, the Rude Pundit doesn't think Kerry lost, but Kerry could have rubbed Bush's face in his own pile of shit and held up his face so the rest of us could point and laugh.

In many, many ways, these last two debates have been about showing us all the truth about George Bush, his confusion, his anger, like a dyslexic second-grader throwing his pencil across a room 'cause he can't read "Dick and Jane." After the last debate, as nasty as it's gotten, it's gonna get a whole lot nastier, 'cause Karl Rove knows to wait until Kerry can't directly confront Bush to roll out the biggest guns. It's why Kerry needs to treat Bush like Bush treated poor Charlie Gibson.

Rumors are that Gibson visited the only gay fetish club in St. Louis after the debate, Mississippi Mud. There he stood at the bar, sipping a cosmo, trying to look inconspicuous, holding a George Bush mask tightly. Leather queen after feather queen would approach the ABC newsman and ask what he wanted. "I want someone to put on this mask and pretend I'm America," he said sadly, in memory of the President's offer. But fetish lover after fetish lover passed him by, saying they could never fuck anything that hard.