A bizarre psychological evaluation can drive some people into the strangest moments of self-examination. After debates one and two, it must have been a regular "piecing back together the preznut" extravaganza with Karl, Laura and Karen since many of us on the outside were wondering what version of the Deceptor-in-Chief we would see during the final debate, termed the Tempest in Tempe by Olbermann at MSNBC.
When it comes to the preznut it's a terriblly labile endeavor most days. One day he's the angry redneck; other days he's the downhill version of Jerry Fallwell or the retarded chimp who appears to be waiting for his M&M while swinging with the truck tire hanging from a rope.
A nation waited with dry anticipation as Big John started in on Fearless Leader, projecting a new image as calmer and, oddly enough, more presidential than Bobo, in Pacific Standard Time:
6:04PM: Big John and the Preznut suck up to the folks at Arizona State for letting them pander about for 90 minutes.
6:08PM: The Preznut is repeating the buzz words that Karl Rove showed him on flash cards: "libural," "nuisance," "Ted Kennedy," "Osama" and "really freakin' libural."
6:09PM: Big John wants to really hunt and kill some terrorists. The Preznut is wondering if the libural thing will stick.
6:10PM: BINGO! We got the retarded chimp tonite. Casinos all over Vegas are paying out 3 to 2 on the comeback. Who knew that Tony Blair screwed us on flu vaccines? And now we're back to Canada with their contamidated stash - god forsaken terrorists those Canucks! The Preznut makes note to self: make sure he gets Rummy to torture those people once and for all.
6:11PM: Amazing moment: Bobo is giving up his flu shot. . . because of frivolous lawsuits by John Edwards.
6:12PM: "A plan is not a litany of complaints." Body language: Slogans and sound bytes work better!
6:16PM: The Preznut: "Paygo ... you pay ... Me Tarzan ... You Jane."
6:20PM: Big John: Tony Soprano comeback. The Preznut looks confused because he only watches "Real Sex" on HBO.
6:27PM: Softball question: Is homosexuality a choice? The Preznut's immediate response, inside his head: Don't look at me that way - I am not a gaylord.
6:29PM: WHO KNEW?!?! Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian!?! Goddamit. The Preznut looks confused.
6:34PM: Big John was an altar boy - Bobo was a cheerleader at Yale until he found Jesus in Crawford.
6:39PM: The Preznut: the altar boy thing is making The Preznut wonder if they are talking about gays again.
6:43PM: KEY NON-VERBAL MOMENT: Foam has appeared on the Preznut's mouth. The voice in his ear told him to wipe it off.
6:45PM: Big John has completely lost The Preznut with his rebuttal. Bobo is blinking uncontrollably now.
6:50PM: The Preznut: "Buggy and horse ... how come nobody mentions the Coalition anymore?"
6:51PM: Non verbal answer by The Preznut: "Nothing bad is my fault ... EVER!"
6:54PM: Dangit, Big John even sounds better on immigration. The voice in the earpiece is yelling for a rebuttal, but The Preznut thinks nothing of it because there was no flash card on it.
6:58PM: I wonder how the Red Sox and Yankees are doing.
7:00PM: "No child left behind is really a jobs program," says the Preznut. Jeez, how come I didn't see that. And Medicare is actually a WMD program. And Federal Energy policy? It is really a secret plan to clean up the environment. And cleaner fossil fuel legislation makes the crops grow better for Archer Daniels Midland.
7:05PM: Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 ... the curse continues for the evening, at least.
7:07PM: The war in Iraq is now a ransom note, according to The Preznut: "The best way to get the troops home is to send them to Iraq." I wish I was kidding when I thought that.
7:10PM: Thank God for recall on the remote control - the Red Sox got a guy on base.
7:11PM: Just thinking aloud: "What would it cost to have Michael Moore buy an assault gun and shoot Dick Cheney?"
7:14PM: Amazing Grace: The Preznut likes black people sometimes. Also, education is good. And, hold the phone, educated black people is EVEN better. They can have guns too. Educated black people with guns is not good.
7:17PM: The Preznut can "feel" it when people pray for him. The democrat spin will later say that's the prozac kicking in.
7:20PM: A baseball rain delay is more exciting than this is.
7:25PM: Another prozac moment, not to be confused with Viagra: "I love the strong women around me. As many as possible. As long as possible."
7:28PM: Big John's closing remarks: "Carville-ish sound byte, he actually smiled again, 'I beat the shit outta this moron again,' the hand gesture said it, God bless America, 'I'll kill more terrorists than this idiot will."
7:30PM: The Preznut's last debate moment: "Thank you, God, it's over. Sound byte. I hate debates. Saddam is gone. Do I get my M&M now? I am Chimperor. Fuck you, Senator. Mucho pandering and begging for votes. Get me off the stage, Laura!"
7:31PM: Bob Schieffer won the debate. Audience is wiping their eyes. The insurgents are planning. The rethugs are working themselves into a tizzy about the lezzy comment. Can this election be over already?
Cut to the spin room. The democrats sense that there are some more terror alerts coming. Tucker Eskew has Ridge on the cellphone barking out instructions. Karen Hughes is doing her best from looking like Lizzy Borden with CNN. Somebody better put Cheney under observation - he has a heart condition and the lesbian comment has him worked up. Good thing his wife took the microphone.
But let's return to the key points raised by the Retarded Chimp version seen by America on this better late than never evening:
Uhh -- Gosh, I -- don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations.
-- To quote Dubya (3/13/2002): "I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
BOB SCHIEFFER: Suddenly we find ourselves with a severe shortage of flu vaccine. How did that happen?
DUBYA: Uhhh -- Bob, we relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizen, and it turned out that the vaccine they were producing was contaminated. And so we took the right action and didn't allow contamidated medicine into our country.
-- Yes, he actually said "contamidated", while taking credit for the UK government's intervention in preventing export of contaminated vaccine (and by the way, the "company out of England" is Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, California, which operates a vaccine production facility in England), Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
We have a problem with litigation in the United States of America. Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine. One of the reasons I'm such a strong believer in legal reform is so that people aren't afraid of producing a product that is necessary for the health of our citizens and then end up getting sued in a court of law.
-- On why America doesn't produce all of its flu vaccine domestically, and trying to blame it on medical litigation, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
The last debate, my opponent said well they only -- those lawsuits only caused costs to go up by 1 percent. Well, he didn't -- he didn't in -- include the defensive practice of medicine, that costs the federal government some 28 billion dollars a year and costs our society between 60 and 100 billion dollars a year. Uhh, thirdly, one of the reasons why there's still high cost in, in medicine is because this is -- the, the, the, they don't use an information technology. It's like if you looked at the -- it's the equivalent of the -- of the buggy and horse days.
-- Dubya never explains the meaning of "defensive practice of medicine", but rewards the patient listener with the "buggy and horse" line, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself, as manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we've unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt.
-- Dubya comes out boldly for narcissism, and the stormtroopers of compassion, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, never mind.
-- One of many attempts at humor in the Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
But the best way to protect our citizens from guns is to prosecute those who commit crimes with guns.
-- I'm trying to figure out how gun crime victims are protected by this solution, since you can't prosecute in advance of the crime, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
You cannot solve a problem unless you diagnose the problem. And we weren't diagnosing problems. And therefore just kids were being shuffled through the school. And guess who would get shuffled through? Children whose parents wouldn't speak English as a first language just move through.
-- A display of sloppy diction that seems to make the point that some children have parents who refuse to speak English, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
I believe part of a hopeful society is one in which somebody owns something.
-- For Dubya's sake, I wish that made sense, Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
[Laura is] out campaigning along with our girls. And she speaks English a lot better than I do.
-- She ain't the only one, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004
And you need further evidence? The Retarded Chimp is certainly better than the Angry Redneck, but neither is qualified to be Preznut of Amurica. And in case you missed the move to the middle by the challenger: Big John clearly won all three debates and he surprisingly won the points on fiscal discipline, guns and immigration. He was certainly tougher on illegal immigration than a Rethug? He was also able to use the ban on assault weapons to reinforce his hawkish stance on terrorism. Another strategic move. On fiscal management and discipline, The Preznut was obliterated. Big John's insistence on pay-as-you-go, his reminder of his support for balancing the budget in the 1990s, and his killer "Tony Soprano" line was enough to toss aside the Retarded Chimp like a used towel.
Big John even had the self-confidence to be gracious toward the president during the debate; and he seemed calming and more trustworthy in his patrician sort of way. Theatrically and strategically, he was the conservative on the stage. The underlying message to this: "See? It's okay to switch leaders with me at the helm." Big John didn't slide into even the slightest moment of demonizing the Rethugs. He even acknowledged The Preznut in the days after 9/11. But while doing so, he displayed a comforting logic to the debate and for this election: "Thanks for the memories, Mr Bush, and now leave the keys at the door."
Neither an angry redneck nor a retarded chimp could reverse this logic. Only Reagan could come back from this fiasco of a debate season, for a Rethug, and even, perhaps, Clinton, if it was a Democrat facing the same odds.
Hard to see The Preznut reaching for the stars now - but he could become an Angry Chimp or a Retarded Redneck in the next couple of weeks. It's going to get ugly now.