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The Fake Debate

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George Bush and John Kerry finally crawl into the ring tonight to do rhetorical combat in one of the most important, historic, meaningful, stupendous, and all-around spectacular television events of all time!!

Or so we've been told.

In truth, this thing is as scripted as "The Apprentice" and as dramatic as "Lost." With the campaigns having signed a memorandum of agreement that has more stipulations than a Van Halen backstage contract rider (post David Lee Roth, alas), tonight's debate will have all the spontaneity and life of an Orrin Hatch house party.

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This "debate" would more accurately be described as a stream of alternating sound bites, with the candidates repeating whole sections of their stump speeches. We'll watch anyway (on the off chance that something substantive slips out), but most likely the debate will go a little something like this:

Bush: Strength. 9/11. Nucular [sic].

Kerry: Well, as the great man Plutarch once remarked, whose writings I studied during free moments in my swift boat, and who is, while profound, somehow not convincing as judged strictly on the ontological soundness of his arguments...errr, I mean to say, "Strength."

On second thought, maybe we'll just pop in our new Star Wars DVD instead.