What got to Bush? Here's what I think: It was not the brilliance of Kerry's debating tactics but the absurdity of the essence of the new Kerry position: The war on Iraq is an easy thing. The reason bad things are happening is Bush is bungling.
Give that man a wand and slap a pair of wings on his back: John Kerry is running for fairy godmother! Our allies are opposed to the war? A swoosh of the Kerry wand and President Kerry will have the French and Germans rushing to our rescue in no time. Iraq needs a new army to defend itself? Zap bing -- the Kerry touch will make training an Iraqi army faster and easier. Al-Qaida and other terrorists are pouring over the border to join the fight? When Kerry is elected, the guerrilla insurgency will magically disappear. A summit? How brilliant! Why didn't President Bush think of that?
Overthrow Saddam Hussein with less than 1,000 casualties and build a free, democratic ally to help us fight terror in the Middle East? Oh, that's easy. Or such is the Kerry promise.
Bush had trouble believing what he was hearing. And so, ultimately, I think will a lot of other Americans.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.