Several web sites, including Drudge, are breathlessly speculating about whether Kerry broke debate rules by bringing in a "cheat sheet". The reasoning is that Kerry had notes to jog his memory during the pressure of the debate and Bush did not. So the conclusion would be that Kerry looked better than he otherwise would have looked and ... Bush looked worse? No, that's can't be right. The conclusion is that Bush's effort could have looked less crappy had HE come in with a cheat sheet? I guess. Look, if John Kerry cheated to make himself look better, that would be crummy and it should be splashed across the blogosphere. But it doesn't change the fact that Bush did a bad job of preparing for the debate. I heard on C-SPAN radio this morning that Bush didn't actually rehearse/prepare, he just went over a few times what he would say. And that he didn't practice over and over again ('cause that is what it takes, duh!) against an aggressive and hostile debating partner. What, nobody had nerve enough to tell the emperor that he had no clothes?
Edit: Jay Nordlinger is saying pretty much the same thing over on National Review Online. If I had seen this I might not have ranted over three different posts. "Pursed and annoyed" hits it directly. I wish I'd thought of that.