Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Thing About the Knockout

"You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose."

Now that the third and final presidential debate is over, can we address the "knockout" issue?

The people who write about political debates and talk about them on TV after the fact love to bring up knockout punches. It's a subject they're so fond of that if you Google the words "debate" and "knockout punch" together, you get something like thirty billion results. You get more results for the words "debate" and "knockout punch" than you do for "Britney Spears" and "naked."*

They didn't think one was landed in the vice-presidential debate; they didn't think any were landed in the first two debates between John McCain and Barack Obama; they don't think any were landed tonight. Here's the thing the pundits have been reluctant to admit, on the right because they're hopelessly stupid and on the left because they've been afraid to jinx themselves: John McCain knocked himself out in August when he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. John McCain knocked himself out again on September 15 when he said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." So far he has spent the month of October knocking himself out on a daily basis with his schizophrenic smear ads and the way he has allowed his rallies to turn ugly and vicious.

What is left of John McCain at this point for Barack Obama to punch?

My meager thoughts on the substance of the debate are coming sometime tomorrow, but in the meantime I had to vent my "knockout" frustration somewhere.

*That was a lie. Sorry, I thought I was John McCain for a minute. If you Google "debate" + "knockout punch," there are currently just under 47,000 results. "Britney Spears" + "naked" gets 8,400,000. Remove the quotes from the naked word and you'll get another million results.

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