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Debate - A chance to put those questions to rest
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jonah Goldberg sort of hints at what I was feeling last night as I watched this "debate"-:
I'm no leftwing blogger, but I can only imagine how furious they must be with the debate so far. Nothing on any issues. Just a lot of box-checking on how the candidates will respond to various Republican talking points come the fall. Now I think a lot of those Republican talking points are valid and legitimate. But if I were a "fighting Dem" who thinks all of these topics are despicable distractions from the "real issues," I would find this debate to be nothing but Republican water-carrying.
And as predictable as flies on a steaming pile, the leftosphere is in an uproar over the conduct of the debate last night.

But seriously, what issues were they going to debate we haven't heard debated in the other 15 rounds of this endless debate cycle? That they had slight differences in how they'd impose health care on us or "save" social security? Come on.

Depending on how you look at this, it was either a media attack or a toughening up exercise - a form of vetting. Because everyone in the room, whether they will admit it or not, knew those questions were both legitimate and going to come up during the general election. And they were the only thing "new" that had come up between the last debate and this one.

So, here was a chance for the candidates to make them "old news" if they answered them well. It was a chance to put those questions behind them.

But they fumbled the ball for the most part - and I have a sneaking suspicion that is really why the left is so upset with all of this. They recognize that fact, whether they'll admit it or not, and know these questions aren't going to go away. And what they hate the worst is they won't be able to blame the persistence of these questions on "Republican dirty tricks" this time (although I expect to see slaps at the "right-wing media" to be forthcoming (and already have with a supposed Hannity/Stephanapoulas connection)). For the most part, these questions were originally raised among the Democratic campaigns and pursued by them. If Republicans are smart, they'll continuously remind voters of that.
 
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What the Left wanted to see was a free Democratic Party commercial, complete with the respective candidate’s positions regarding the various issues so the party could then show off their candidates versus the "another four years of Bush" mantra. What they got was a dog and pony "gotcha" show complete with George Stephanopolus playing like he was auditioning for a remake of the Jerry Lewis movie "The Errand Boy" without the humor.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Although I didn’t watch the debate - y’all [bloggers] watched it so I didn’t have too! - I did read some live blogging and some post-debate commentary. One of the best comments came from a non-partisan (British), American-political-scene-watcher named Gerry Baker, whose take I found on RCP.
The Obama supporters are furious that there weren’t more questions on policy. But we know why there weren’t. The two candidates don’t fundamentally disagree on any of the big issues. And ask yourself this. Has Obama become the Democratic frontrunner because he has persuaded Democrats his policies would be better than Hillary’s? No, I don’t think so. He has persuaded them that he is the more electable and the better equipped to put the Democratic case in November. As he becomes the presumptive nominee it seems reasonable to me that he should be ruthlessly examined on all these questions.
I completely agree with him. Since the substance for both of these two is paper-thin, the only thing to really grill them on is style. And in this regard, I think they both lost.

By the way, what is up with all the spam in the comments? I know y’all are cleanig it up as fast as you can, but dang, who did you make mad? And can we find them and put a beat down on ’em?
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badley
URL: http://
In watching the whining, wailing and gnashing of teeth on the left side of the sphere this monring I detect a whiff of desperation.

These people are actually charging that Stephy is a right wing stooge... laughable, given he’s a Clintonista.

But more, they actually expected that the issues that got brought up wouldn’t be. Are both Clinton and Obama so thin skinned? If so, they’re going to have themelves a real downer once they get past the conventino, and McCain gets after them.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
If the Republicans focus on trivialities like Obama’s preacher or who lives in his neighborhood, Obama has both the time and capacity to easily bury such questions as the kind of gutter politics he wants to overcome, and by November people talking about such things will, rightly, be seen as engaged the kind of thing that is wrong with American politics, and what people want to fix.

Given the economy, given McCain’s weaknesses (not yet being too visible since his primary is over), the unpopularity of war which has become yet again more violent, and Obama’s capacity to bring new voters into the system, especially minorities and youth who usually haven’t voted, Republicans who somehow think that the Democrats are self-destructing are living in a fool’s paradise. Sort of like how they were describing Iraq back in the summer of ’03.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If the Republicans focus on trivialities like Obama’s preacher or who lives in his neighborhood, Obama has both the time and capacity to easily bury such questions as the kind of gutter politics he wants to overcome, and by November people talking about such things will, rightly, be seen as engaged the kind of thing that is wrong with American politics, and what people want to fix.
Laughable attempt, Scott.

These questionable relationships keep poping up like roaches under the kicthen sink. If Ayers were the only one, we’d not have this discussion. But Wright, and one Bernardine Dohrn pop into view.

Nobody’s saying Obama is stupid enough to directly support terrorism. Clearly, though, he is willing to suborn the radical leftist politics which lead to it. This in fact is the elephant in the room, where Democrats are concerned. And his response talking about Coburn seems to me indicative of his mentality, as well. If Obama can’t tell the difference between a Senator and a terrorist, one possible reason is that in the case of Obama, there IS no diference.

And by the way, I’m still waiting for your retraction on oil. Are you honest enough for it?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Obama has both the time and capacity to easily bury such questions as the kind of gutter politics he wants to overcome,
If that was going to happen, it already would have.

Obama doesn’t have to convince his true believers that’s "politics as usual", he has to convince everybody else. And a lot of "everybody else" rather thinks that Wright himself is "politics as usual", that the criticism is perfectly justified, and the idea that the spirit of collegiality somehow mandates us to vote for somebody who clearly loathes us is the sort of idea that can only be entertained if you’re completely disconnected from all psychological reality.

Seriously. You really think America’s going to let this guy dance away from every attack by claiming that all attacks are wrong? You really think he can dispose of criticism by simply labeling it "gutter politics", and that this will free him from having to deal with the fact that quite a lot of the "attacks" are true? When has that ever worked? Obama’s not the first with that line. We talk the talk about wanting cleaner campaigns, but what we really want are cleaner politicians, and I see no particular evidence that Obama’s going to be able to convince people that he is one.

He may still win; nothing’s set in stone. But he has no chance of winning on the "new kind of candidate" platform, that train has left the station. If he wins, he’ll simply win as a Democrat.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
If that was going to happen, it already would have.
No, that’s something you figure out in the space between the primaries and the convention, as you strategize the general election strategy. At this point Obama doesn’t appear hurt much at all; the speculation is that he could be hurt in the general election. He has time to figure out a remedy to that. Obama appears to have a layer of teflon, and with his race speech he showed he can respond quite well to personal attacks. Because the stuff against him is really minor and petty, and the American public understands that — and there will be stuff about McCain out there competing with it.

I think you are going to be very, very surprised come November, Jeremy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If the Republicans focus on trivialities like Obama’s preacher or who lives in his neighborhood, then using the help of a compliant leftist-biased media, Obama has both the time and capacity to easily bury such questions as the kind of gutter politics he wants to overcome. He can count on any number of hand-wringing articles between now and the election, most of them displaying immense angst over asking him some tough questions early on and railing about how unfair it is that Obama isn’t asked straightforward, issue-oriented questions, such as "Do you favor nationalized healthcare immediately or do you prefer to phase it in?" and "Is there anything we can do to help Americans understand how different and special your campaign is?" By November people talking about those nasty preacher and friends-with-ex-terrorist things will, rightly in the eyes of we wise leftists and our colleages in the media, be seen as engaged the kind of thing that is wrong with American politics, and what people want to fix.

Given the economy, given McCain’s weaknesses (not yet being too visible since his primary is over, because we all know that with the short attention span of rubes in America, you have to be in front of them every single minute or the press will start talking about how you lack "fire in the belly"), the unpopularity of war which has become yet again more violent, at least this week, and I’m sure that if we just signal the terrorist to keep up the pressure by wringing our hands some more then it will get higher and stay high, and Obama’s capacity to bring new voters into the system, especially minorities and youth who usually haven’t voted and have disappointed every analyst who thought they would make a difference in the last thirty years, they won’t disappoint this time, no sir, because my godlike powers of political science tell me that this time is different, er, where was I going with this sentence (which demonstrates my massive-word-count powers by the way)? Oh, yes, Republicans who somehow think that the Democrats are self-destructing are living in a fool’s paradise. Not surprising, since they’re all fools. Sort of like how they were describing Iraq back in the summer of ’03, or at least how we on the left imagine they were describing Iraq, and our version is the only true one because of the principles of post-modern political science.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://clueless.maine.edu
I think you are going to be very, very surprised come November, Jeremy.
Yes, well, we recently demonstrated how prone you are to wishful thinking, and fantasy, didn’t we, Erb?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Professor, thanks for letting us know what issues you think should not be important to us, but I don’t consider these "trivialities." Obama, as a candidate for senator, attended an event for his candidacy at Ayers’ house. I think it’s important that the American people to know that this presidential candidate is supported by a terrorist. That may be trivial to you, but not to me.

Also, I think it’s important to understand that Obama’s position on the capital gains tax. He knows, and admitted as much last night, that increasing that tax is an economic loser. And he also admitted last night that he would still support it basically to screw people out of money. But that’s "trivial," right?
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
Yes, well, we recently demonstrated how prone you are to wishful thinking, and fantasy, didn’t we, Erb?
That’s describing you, thinking oil is going to down to $70 a barrel by midsummer, despite posts of data and government estimates much to the contrary. You rely on vague claims that there is an ’oil bubble,’ but can’t really back it up. Did you read the peak oil websites yet? I think they overstate the problem, actually, but your desire to pretend it doesn’t exist looks very much like wishful fantasy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Well, McQ, the vast majority of voters are more concerned about health care, Iraq policy, the economy, rising food and gas prices, etc., than they are about whether Barack Obama wears a flag pin or doesn’t wear a flag pin, or about his conversations with a neighbor who was a member of the Weather Underground 40 years ago, or about his former pastor’s sermons. And they certainly don’t want to sit in front of their tv’s for 90 minutes while two multimillionaire broadcasters ask Obama about bitterness and clinging, or about what he wears on his lapel, and don’t ask him about any of the issues that actually affect them.

And this:

That they had slight differences in how they’d impose health care on us. ...

made me laugh. I didn’t know health care was an imposition. But if it is, then I call out to Obama and Clinton: Impose health care on ME! PLEEAAASSE!!
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreet.wordpress.com
Well, McQ, the vast majority of voters are more concerned about health care, Iraq policy, the economy, rising food and gas prices, etc., than they are about whether Barack Obama wears a flag pin or doesn’t wear a flag pin, or about his conversations with a neighbor who was a member of the Weather Underground 40 years ago, or about his former pastor’s sermons. And they certainly don’t want to sit in front of their tv’s for 90 minutes while two multimillionaire broadcasters ask Obama about bitterness and clinging, or about what he wears on his lapel, and don’t ask him about any of the issues that actually affect them.
Well that’s your opinion, Kathy, but my guess is there are few that don’t know the positions of both candidates on all those issues. And, obviously, unlike you, I think all the questions asked were legitimate questions. And obviously flag pins and sniper fire are important to voters because if you recall, two voters asked those questions.
made me laugh. I didn’t know health care was an imposition. But if it is, then I call out to Obama and Clinton: Impose health care on ME! PLEEAAASSE!!
Well I’m glad you got a chuckle Kathy. You do know the latest poll shows a more Americans don’t want government’s hand in the health business that do, don’t you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
That’s describing you, thinking oil is going to down to $70 a barrel by midsummer, despite posts of data and government estimates much to the contrary.
Then you’d better spend some time contacting all those financial folks as I quoted... they’re apparently not the financial wizards you are.
By the way... you’re still a school teacher... why, again?

You were exposed as a clueless liar in that exchange and you and everyone else knows it. Now go sit in the corner someplace.
Well, McQ, the vast majority of voters are more concerned about health care, Iraq policy, the economy, rising food and gas prices, etc.
Those are subjects they’re not going to get for a while yet. You act as if you don’t have a clue as to why those topics having come up yet. The reason’s simple enough, Kathy... you can’t fit water between the positions of Obama and Clinton, and so as a result there’s nothing to talk about other then trying to out image each other. About as substanhsive an argument you’ll get out of those two just now is who can spend OPM faster on programs that don’t work to solve the problems under discussion.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Then you’d better spend some time contacting all those financial folks as I quoted...
As I noted in that thread, you quoted a few opinions, and someone analyzing the impact of Katrina. Your quotes were unimpressive. Note that I also linked real evidence, plus opinions and gave analysis. As usual, you have nothing, but then resort to name calling. That shows you know you’ve lost. Yet again.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
As I noted in that thread, you quoted a few opinions, and someone analyzing the impact of Katrina
Whereas you ignored the points within the quotes provided, or more likley didn’t bother reading them.

I’m not wasting any more time with you, idiot.
You made your bed.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I’m not wasting any more time with you, idiot.
In other words, you lost and you know it. You know your posts are opinion/speculation, some about Katrina, while I had data evidence and analysis, plus links to places to find a lot more data.

Of course, the real proof will come mid-summer. If oil isn’t down to $70 a barrel, will you admit you were wrong. Or will you just throw out an impotent insult and run away? If it is down, I’ll gladly address it. I don’t see this as some kind of left-right jihad, I’m not locked into a silly ideology-game.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
In other words, you lost and you know it.
Hardly.
It’s just that when going about changing minds, it’s normally best to make sure the person in question has a mind to change.

You don’t qualify.

As an example: I said the thing was due for a bigtime correction.
If it is down, I’ll gladly address it.
Not by what I’ve seen of you in the past... even the recent past. Like, for example, yesterday.

You’re dismissed.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Like, for example, yesterday.
When I gave you cites and evidence, and noted that all you had were a few opinions, and you couldn’t even defend your position. My cites and evidence were far more extensive than the few opinions you linked, and you know it. In fact, I suspect you did a quick google search to find some people who thought oil was overpriced just so you could post links and pretend that somehow they were superior to the evidence and analysis I posted and made. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it.

But we have your prediction: $70 by midsummer. Oil hit a new record today, $116.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Ya know I was going to ignore this....
Erb, your purpose in life must be as a bad example to others.
You stated my linnks didn’t support my case.
I went back in and directly quoted where they did exactly what you claimed they did not. OW your argument is that your links are more extensive? When did the subejct change? When you got caught in not having read what I posted?

Your’e DISMISSED, fool.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Ya know I was going to ignore this....
I do not think your links supported your case, since they did not counter the evidence I gave, and were just general opinion, relying on something I had already argued (that high prices decreased demand for oil) and didn’t take into account the production evidence. At best you could say "others disagree with me," instead you tried to insult me and say this showed your position superior.

You can’t seem to get out of the need to try to fight rather than discuss. If you want to discuss the likelihood of higher vs. lower oil prices, there are interesting stories from Russia and Africa which create pessimism. I’ll entertain evidence from you if you think otherwise.

But if you want to posture and strut, then go ahead. But it’s hilarious when you say "I’m done with you, you idiot." and then "You’re dismissed," but keep coming back. You undercut your insults.



 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You do know the latest poll shows a more Americans don’t want government’s hand in the health business that do, don’t you?

The "latest poll"? Is there a link?
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreet.wordpress.com
The "latest poll"? Is there a link?
Well of course there is.

Link.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Oh, I forgot this link about the problems Russia is having — it’s the second largest oil producer, and it may have well peaked itself.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Okay, so according to this poll, 29% of Americans support a health insurance program overseen by the federal government (single-payer, more succinctly), 39% oppose it, and 31% are not sure. So the poll does support your statement that "...more Americans don’t want government’s hand in the health business that do. ..."

Still, I would argue that 39% does not appear to indicate overwhelming opposition to single-payer among Americans. In my view, this poll does not really make for a vigorous and convincing support for an argument that Americans oppose single-payer; in fact, there is apparently no majority for any specific fix, although it does seem clear that most Americans agree there is a problem.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreet.wordpress.com
So the poll does support your statement that "...more Americans don’t want government’s hand in the health business that do. ..."
It most certainly does ... more oppose than support it, which is precisely what I said.

Those who "aren’t sure" aren’t supporting or opposing it (thus the designation "aren’t sure").

So the statement, as written, is correct.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
It most certainly does ... more oppose than support it, which is precisely what I said.

Yes, yes, and yes. And so what? I mean, what conclusions do you reach based on the poll, in specific regard to single-payer health care access? That is, beyond the fact that well fewer than half of Americans, according to the poll, either oppose or support single-payer? If well under 50 percent favor either position (yes, single-payer or no, single-payer), albeit the minority taking the no position is 10% larger than the minority taking the yes position, that tells me that if I favor single-payer (which I do), I am not way out there in la-la-land compared with other Americans.

I’ll put it another way: Is there, in your view, reason to conclude from the results of this poll that single-payer is a dead in the water losing proposition with the American people? Set aside that you don’t want it for the moment. I see from looking at the poll that a minority of Americans want single-payer and a larger minority don’t want it. What I *don’t* see is how that supports the idea that Americans in general are opposed to single-payer and that it’s a losing proposition. I just don’t see how this poll supports that notion.



 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreet.wordpress.com
Yes, yes, and yes. And so what?
And "so what I said" ... nothing more, nothing less.

It is you making the big deal of it Kathy, not me.
Is there, in your view, reason to conclude from the results of this poll that single-payer is a dead in the water losing proposition with the American people?
What it provides is evidence, not hyperbole, that Americans aren’t at all sold on the idea of universal health care run by government.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
What it provides is evidence, not hyperbole, that Americans aren’t at all sold on the idea of universal health care run by government.
Well, that doesn’t say much at all then. Americans are split, and not sold, that’s obvious to people on both sides. Did anyone say Americans were sold on a single payer system?

It looks like there is a lot of uncertainty out there, and if the recession gets worse and people start losing jobs with benefits, who knows where public opinion could head. Your statement did seem, though, to sound like Americans oppose government involvement; that’s a lot stronger than saying they aren’t sold.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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