Presidential Debate, No. 2

The second installment of the presidential debate was not as riveting as the first one, but it still had plenty of good moments. This Facebook page provides a very helpful view of the debate — perhaps marking the only time in which Timeline has been put to a good use.

Some impressions and highlights:

– This time, there was a meaningful battle between the two leading candidates, Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in. Moon first opened fire by assessing that Lee Myung-bak administration failed in the pocketbook economy, as well as democracy, economic development and North Korea relations, and argued that Park, as a fellow NFP member, jointly holds responsibility. Park responded by pointing out that Roh Moo-hyun administration saw a dramatic rise in college tuition, real property values and household debt, and Moon’s policies were more of the same of the Roh administration.

– The Lee Jeong-hee show continued. After her scintillating TV debate debut, Lee pointed out in her opening statement that the NFP submitted a bill restricting the appearance of minor candidates on TV debates, and said NFP has “yushin style, Park Chung-hee style.” Lee also accused that Park did not pay taxes on the KRW 600 million that Chun Doo-hwan paid her, nor on the house that Park currently lives. (Park received the house for free in 1980, shortly after her father was assassinated.)

– To her credit, Park Geun-hye was better prepared against Lee’s attacks. When Lee asked Park about the details of minimum wage, Park responded: “I don’t think it is appropriate play this ‘Twenty Questions’ game, trying to play ‘gotcha’ if the other person doesn’t know something. We are here to discuss the big vision for the future, how to give hopes to the people and lead the country; this is as if a teacher is asking a student, ‘Did you do this homework?'” A very nice, dignified parry on Lee’s attacks.

– The more I watch Park Geun-hye, the more she reminds me of George W. Bush — and not because they both have fathers who were presidents. The similarity that strikes me is:  I believe that both are quite intelligent, but boy, do they suck at talking. When Moon Jae-in delivered one of his better zingers regarding Park’s proposed expansion of healthcare (“How is it rational for the country to take care of heart disease, but not liver disease?”), Park responded with a stuttering non-sequitur that sounded like a restatement of her original position. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself:

지금, 그 가장 국민들이 어, 그, 이 이런 중증 으로 인해가지고 가정파탄까지 나는 그런 중증들을 먼저 그런 것부터 우리가 건강 보험에서 100% 어, 보장을 함으로서 어, 그, 그런 중병을 앓아도 병원도 못가고 치료도 못받는 이런 그 국민들이 없도록 해야되겠다 그렇게 시작을 하는 겁니다.

Park also pledged to “promote the underground economy” [지하경제를 활성화] to fund her welfare expansion — this is likely a mistake from the intended statement, “incorporate the underground economy (into the regular economy)” [지하경제를 양성화].

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Lee Jung Hee is great. I love her (or him..why does she look like a guy in half her photos?). She will siphon off enough of the ulta leftist trash from Moon and ensure PJH’s victory. No one is buying the Nork princess’ vitriol.

  • The_Korean

    It is remarkable that you manage to contradict yourself in just two sentences. Even by your standards, it’s a new low. Bravo, my feeble-minded friend, bravo.

  • imememememe

    My wife watched the whole debate this morning. She’s pumped about PGH and thinks Lee should be tortured. God bless her ultra right wing soul. Man, I hope PGH gets elected otherwise I’ll be eating 찬밥 for a long time.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Arent you contradicting yourself by being here, TK, when you declared you were quitting? Where do I contradict myself on my posting about the Nork princess?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Thanks for the update. I haven’t heard any staff-room chatter about this one, unlike the last one.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    When you wrote that your wife “thinks Lee should be tortured”, how literal were you? In Korea, where your wife likely spent sometime living under a military dictatorship, verbalizing the sentiment means something.

    Please note that I am not judging. I’m curious about Koreans’ sentiments. For example, in another thread TK posted the morning line for the time (assuming PGH is elected) PGH would take to put LJH in prison at 1 year after assuming office. I saw another commentator state similar on TV yesterday.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    LJH is already tortured. How can she live while being so damn ugly? It must be torture to look in the mirror every day

  • chucky3176

    Oh come on, that’s not fair. She’s not ugly. She’s just plain. If she takes off those thick glasses that remind me of the girl in the library that no-one will want to marry, she won’t look that bad.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    She’s already married…to Mr. Juche….He may have been the one to beat her ugly…and that mouth…such filth….how disgusting.

  • RElgin

    She does have crazy sexy eyes though. *_*

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No answer, TK? Perhaps youre a supporter of the Juche Princess. Maybe the filth that spews forth from her rotten insides and through that filthy orifice she calls a mouth somehow attracts you. You progressive types are strange that way.

  • GerryBevers

    One of the problems in Korea is that in an attempt to try to sound more intelligent many Koreans try to string out a sentence into a confusing mess of words, which I think is exemplified by the sentence provided above by The Korean. Instead of trying to say it in one long sentence, Ms. Pak could have said it much more clearly in two separate sentences.

    지금 그런 중증으로 가정파탄까지 나는 국민을 위해 우리가 먼저 건강보험에서 100% 보장해야 합니다. 그런 중병을 앓아도 병원에도 못 가고 치료도 못 받는 국민들이 없도록 해야합니다. 이렇게 시작할 겁니다.

  • will.i.aint

    Betcha a 천원짜리 that’s she’s a wild one in the sack.

  • Kuiwon

    It’s confusing to you, because you are Native-English speaker. It’s not uncommon to find Korean sentences that are more than a page. I have been told that sentences of that length are found in other languages, even European ones, such as German.

  • GerryBevers

    I have told this story before, Kuiwon, but one time I noticed my Korean brother-in-law, who was college educated, with a Korean version of “Newsweek” magazine, which was a part of “Joongang Ilbo” at one time and maybe still is. Anyway, since I had worked for a short while at “Newsweek” (Korea) proofreading the Korean translations of the English articles, I asked my brother-in-law what he thought of the articles. He told me he found them a little boring because the sentences were too easy to understand. He claimed that more complicated sentences were more fun to read because they were kind of like puzzles to be figured out. He said the interesting sentences were the ones you would have to read two or three times to figure them out.

  • ZenKimchi

    Try reading Caesar in the original Latin.

  • Kuiwon

    I have. Caesar is actually a relatively easy to read Latin author. Try reading Sulpicius Severus. Now that’s a challenge.

  • Kuiwon

    And your point is..?

  • GerryBevers

    What was YOUR point, Kuiwon? That page-long sentences are only confusing to non-Koreans? Well, I just told you about my Korean brother-in-law who told me that he had to read some Korean sentences two or three times before he could understand them, so it is not just a problem for non-Koreans. This was sometime between 1991 and 1993.

    I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are not as many Koreans writing page-long sentences anymore. Why? Because starting sometime in the late 1990s Korean schools started teaching students how to write more clearly and concisely, with the goal of helping readers to more easily understand the writing rather than trying to amuse them with multiple embedded-clause sentence puzzles.