Wow. I guess we have really exported all facets of our democracy to Afghanistan, right down to the botched voting process.
Kerry's strategy was to try to goad the president into ill-temper, to try to spark a replay of the peevish demeanor of the first debate. It totally worked, and then some, in the first half. Bush seemed angry, almost hysterical at times. He was angry at Kerry. He was angry at Charles Gibson. He was angry at the folks who asked the questions. I once saw a lady trying to return a vacuum cleaner without a receipt at the Payless; and I once had an argument with a credit card customer service agent who claimed they had never received a payment when the check had been cashed weeks earlier; and in the movie Rosemary's Baby, there's this scene where Mia Farrow has just been told that her baby had been born dead and she starts screaming "you're lying! You're lying! It didn't die! You took it! You took it! You witches! You witches!" George Bush, the vacuum cleaner lady, Mia Farrow and I all had pretty much the same kind of tone and delivery. If you want to return a vacuum cleaner or sort out your credit card bill or get to the bottom of a plot by a coven of elderly Satanists to arrange for the Devil to impregnate you to produce a half-human/half-Devil baby, then it's pretty much the right way to go. And it's probably the right way to go if you want to impress Hugh Hewitt, too. But I'm not sure it's the best strategy to win over the skittish center, who are looking for something, anything, to persuade them to detest either of these guys just a little less than the other.