On February 15, in an attempt to make any hangover that occurred as a result of a Valentine’s Day binge even worse, Karl Rove and Howard Dean debated at the University of Colorado’s Macky Auditorium.
A stunning display of bipartisanship, a debate between a champion of the left and a turd blossom on the right, a way for people of both parties to get together for an event in the kindred spirit of having separate opinions…wait, they’re getting paid $56,000 to do this?
Well, whatever. Still!
Really, this debate was full of the usual suspects and arguments we’ve all grown to love about American politics and the people that partake in them.
The audience was treated to a loud and vibrant Howard Dean, practically suffocating the microphone and the room with his voice during his opening statement, while Karl Rove verged on heart attack in attempting to justify the Iraq War with a speech so full of passion, he probably wrote it while watching “All The President’s Men” (viewing Woodward and Bernstein as the villains, of course).
While the debate was full of everything you would expect from two partisans going head to head, there were some interesting policy points that showed a stark difference between the two.
Karl Rove indicated that Miranda rights ought to be withheld for suspected terrorists for up to 15 weeks while Howard Dean declared that, “capitalism fails when there are no rules”…a truly cringe worthy moment for those, like Rove, who tear up and whisper, “Freedom first” when an image of President Reagan is shown.
Both declared support for sanctions against Iran, claiming that it is a pillar of a successful plan to defer nuclear arms from reaching the troubled nation. I know this isn’t a political science lecture, but I will point to Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press’s article from April 2000, ‘Study Rates Effectiveness of Sanctions’. Winfield writes that in regards to sanctions, the UN declared, “it’s often innocents who are hurt and not the regimes they targeted.”
Although posturing is necessary in American politics to convey to We the People that work is being done, coupling this with real strategies on how to better America’s image in the Middle East would be a refreshing addition.
But, isn’t this what America is all about? We love theater. We love to see doppelgangers clash. The architect of the right’s re-ascendance to political relevance and the man who put Democrats back on the map coming together for a few bucks to give the people what they want: justification of our values, a visual of the enemy and a reminder that only those without power are able to discuss issues to each other’s faces.