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The Democratic Halloween Debate
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Well I watched a debate - naturally it was the Democratic debate - and I only watched it because there were going to be some promised fireworks. And, to an extent, there were. As an aside, my wife, who obviously knows I'm a political junkie, always questioned why I didn't watch these things. I had various excuses, but last night, sitting together watching this one she said, "now I know why you don't watch. They irritate the heck out of you don't they"?

Uh, yeah. 2 hours of one-sided, unanswered crap - well, except when they were attacking Hillary, and then she got some rebuttal time. In fact the most used 6 words during the debate were "George Bush, Dick Cheney and Senator Clinton" because they were the ones under constant attack. Only the latter got to answer the attacks. Naturally, having not watched these little fandangos previously, I wasn't aware that Mike Gravel was no longer playing. That was fine with me though. One wingnut on stage is enough and Dennis "Impeach Bush" Kucinich filled the role admirably.

The conventional wisdom, or at least the spin, is Hillary got handed her rear end last night.
We now know something that we did not know before: When Hillary Clinton has a bad night, she really has a bad night.

In a debate against six Democratic opponents at Drexel University here Tuesday, Clinton gave the worst performance of her entire campaign.
Eh. Obviously I have no real frame of reference having not watched the previous debates, but if that was her "worst performance of her entire campagin" she came out OK.

She took a lot of heat for her vote on the Iranian resolution, but I thought she defended herself adequately. You be the judge, but note the moderators set this up as an attack on Clinton from the beginning:

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My impression of Clinton during the debate was that she had thought extensively about these issues (although I disagree almost completely with her solutions) and how they would play out and wouldn't be pushed into the oversimplified sound-bite solutions the others were offering. But I also sensed a bit of frustration on her part at not being able to adequately explain why she had arrived at her conclusions. This was especially true when she slapped Edwards down about troop removal from Iraq or tired to explain her plan for Social Security (first move to fiscal responsibility, then work out a remedy for SS, because fiscal responsibility will have an effect on the solution).

She did, however, stumble badly on one question and was mostly non-responsive on another, which, I think, did hurt her.

The stumble had to do with NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to give illegal immigrants drivers licences. Here's how it went down:

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If you prefer video, you can watch the exchange here:



Note that Obama's response isn't much better on the issue but he took the opportunity (and rightfully, given her answer) to say she had confused him. I actually found myself agreeing with Dodd on the issue, but that should come as no surprise (not that I agree with Dodd, that is surprising, but that he'd say "it's a privilege, not a right").

Her other less than glowing moment came in response to a question about the records of the Clinton administration, specifically those communications between her and Bill Clinton, which Bill Clinton had put off limits until 2012. Tim Russert asks:

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Probably Obama's best point in the debate. You'll notice that Clinton never did answer an obvious "yes or no" question with either yes or no. I mean come on, arguing that it is a bureaucratic thing and it just has to wend its bureaucratic way when the question had to do, specifically, with Bill Clinton asking the National Archives not to do anything on them until 2012? Pretty poor.

The rest was the usual nonsense of glittering generalities in which government, especially government under each of the candidates, was the panacea for all things which concern you. And, naturally, it was all going to be done with little or no cost while moving toward "fiscal responsibility". Yes, it was Halloween eve and magic was certainly in the air.

All spoke about the magic of national health care/insurance. Kucinich kept talking about "not-for-profit" national health care (would someone pull him aside and explain to him what "R&D" means and how that is funded?). They banged around the edges of tax reform (which essentially meant trashing the AMT (good) and raising taxes on "the rich"), Social Security reform (while claiming not to believe the Republican talking points they put forward the Republican talking points) etc.

Probably the dumbest question of the night (beside what Obama would wear for a Halloween costume or about Kucinich and the UFO) had to do with airlines. It was posed to Obama, and, frankly, he handled it poorly. The transcript doesn't do justice to the stumbling, mumbling gap-filled answer he gave:

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Huh? It may have been the lightning round, but that was anything but a lightning strike. Could a candidate ever, just once, say "hey, that's not something that is an issue for the President of the United States?"

The question and answer are indicative of this group's belief that government, especially one run by them, must be involved in all aspects of daily life, and, more importantly, can solve all problems.

Now if that isn't the scariest thing you've heard on Halloween, I don't know what is.

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Full transcript of the debate here (pdf).
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Erm, we’re the wingnuts; Mr. Kucinich is a moonbat.
 
Written By: sammler
URL: http://stonecity.blogspot.com
Kucinich is a wingnut moonbat.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It’s easy to see why Clinton is polling so much higher than all the rest. Though I can’t stand her politics, she’s clearly a woman among boys.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
It also appears that none of them are capable of explaining their own position without tacking on "this administration has failed on this issue." Aren’t they already preaching to the choir? It’s juvenile. Who wants to cast their vote for someone who complains about everything?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Erm, we’re the wingnuts; Mr. Kucinich is a moonbat.


Yep.
It’s easy to see why Clinton is polling so much higher than all the rest. Though I can’t stand her politics, she’s clearly a woman among boys.

Yep.
It also appears that none of them are capable of explaining their own position without tacking on "this administration has failed on this issue." Aren’t they already preaching to the choir? It’s juvenile. Who wants to cast their vote for someone who complains about everything?
Yep—but I’m sure mkultra would be happy to vote for whichever one (Hillery) wins the Donkey nomination.


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Sharp object - meet eye... OUCH!

And these people complain about GitMo... that was painful to watch. And, for the most part, USELESS.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Obama said: "And they’re seeing better solvency, but they’ve done it on the backs of consumers."

Wow. Just, wow. Companies are seeking solvency from their consumers? I had no idea! This madness must be stopped!!!

The saddest part is that sarcasm at the Democrats inability to understand even the basics of our market system, the airlines have actually been too dependant on government money and bailouts.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
The saddest part is that sarcasm at the Democrats inability to understand even the basics of our market system, the airlines have actually been too dependant on government money and bailouts.
That’s one of the reasons I don’t watch the debates for the most part. Two hours of throwing things at my TV, and it’s not even the TV’s fault.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I love Hillary’s response that Spitzer handing out licenses to illegal aliens makes sense because it fills the gap created by Bush not crafting a comprehensive immigration policy.

I didn’t realize we could solve such a problem just by issuing licenses.

The Dems have a simple solution for everything!
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://

 
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