The Debate

by Hemant Joshi | 10/17/00 5:00am

Me: Hello, and welcome to the first of the Hemant Joshi Debates. Our guests today are presidential candidates Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. Before we begin, please allow me to explain the rules of this debate. Let me remind you that both of you have agreed to these guidelines earlier. First, I am the only one who knows what questions will be asked -- I have made these questions up myself. Second, and most importantly, I get to answer the questions for you. Neither of you can say anything. OK, with that said, let's begin the debate.

George (Me): (big smirk) I don't get it.

Me: I don't care. First question: Both of you have answered questions about gun control before. I'm too dumb to figure this out myself, so can you please explain to me the differences between your positions? In other words, if a voter were to decide based on this one issue, what would you say?

Gore (Me): Why, yes, Hemant, haha. I would be delighted to answer your wonderful question. First let me thank the entire world for everything it has blessed me with: a beautiful wife, some kids and the man in the first row right there, I believe his name is Bert -- without these people, I would not have been able to make it this far. And now to your question: Let me just make it clear that I am AGAINST people killing other people with guns. In fact, out of the 479 times I have been asked this question, I have answered this way 88 percent of the time. The other 12 percent was when someone offered me money to say I LIKE people killing other people with guns

George (Me): (big smirk) See, now that's where I think we differ. I have nothing against people using guns to kill people, especially if the killer has strong family values. What I am against is the Internet, which is the primary cause of the Columbine shooting, for example. And, as we all know, it is you, Mr. Gore who invented this Internet thing. Therefore, fellow Americans, Mr. Gore is responsible for this tragedy. Plus, Mr. Gore uses fluffy numbers, and I can't deal with those.

Me: OK. Next question.

Gore (Me): Wait! I will admit it now: I did not have sexual relations with the Internet. I mean -- I did not invent the Internet.

Me: Whatever. Mr. Bush, Vice President Gore has often cited your poor record in Texas in the area of health care -- one of the worst in the country. What is your response to these allegations?

George (Me): (big smirk) Yes, yes, I really am smart. In fact, did you know that Russia is a country? Actually, I do like cheese

Gore (Me): Now this is just another example of the inexperience that Mr. Bush would bring to office if he were elected. Statistics show that 56 percent of Mr. Bush's brain is gelatinous and/or moldy. And because of this, I believe, Mr. Bush would be unable to run this country well, I think.

George (Me): (big smirk) Well, that's just another wooly number. Why don't we look at my record in my state of Texas?

Me: Yes, Mr. Bush, that's what we're trying to talk about: Texas's poor record in the area of health care.

George (Me): (smaller, yet still sizable smirk) Oh, never mind then. I shall pass on this question, next one please.

Me: Mr. Gore, what is your view on the state of race relations in this country? And would you support a clause with harsh punishments for hate crimes based on sexual orientation?

Gore (Me): Oh, that is such a super question, Hemant, and it would be my pleasure to answer it. I think that we need to push for a tougher hate crimes bill. Well maybe. See, I'm trying to get votes from some conservatives who don't want a clause protecting the homosexual community from hate crimes, so I can't really have the backbone to fully and truly support such a measure.

Me: And Mr. Bush, your opinion?

George (Me): (big smirk) Well, I don't think we should protect gays or bisexuals because by protecting them equally there is something inherently UNEQUAL about it. What we need to do, Hemant, is punish the people who commit crimes -- any crimes, hate ones or not -- with wickedly tough penalties. For example, you know the guys that killed that Byrd guy in my great state of Texas? Well, yeah, you probably also KNOW what's gonna happen to them (Eyes light up, mouth salivates, big grin).

Me: And Mr. Bush, last question for tonight, can you please accuse former leaders of other countries of stealing money from the IMF like you accused Russia's Viktor Chernomyrdin even though you had no evidence and you are wrong?

George (Me): (big smirk) Well, sure I would love to, in fact, I heard that down in

Nader (the real one): Hey guys! What's up? I just wanted to let you guys know something. I have lots of really good ideas, and lots in common with the Democratic Party, but if you vote for me, it's actually a vote for Bush!

Me: On that note, I would like to thank our guests for coming to debate today. And I would like to place a restraining order on Mr. Nader, because why the hell should a viable third-party presidential candidate be able to attend a presidential debate? That's ridiculous! Please join us next week, when we will most likely host some other boringly similar politicians. Thank you, and good night.

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