Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman debate: Women know exactly what’s going on here

This was the final debate between Governor Moonbeam (his porn name) and eMeg (her online porn name). I watched this one all the way through, no thanks to the Bay Area tv stations, none of whom carried it, and early on noticed for the first time that Brown’s voice sounds exactly like that of Tommy Smothers.

Everyone got to apologize insincerely, Whitman for never voting, and Brown for the staffer who called Whitman a whore (“That does not represent anything other than things that happen in a campaign”), though he undercut it by muttering that it was a private conversation and it was probably illegal to record it (it’s illegal to record someone on the phone without their permission; it is certainly not illegal for your answering machine to record a message, which is what happened here. Does Brown not even know the details of what, pathetically, has been the biggest story in the California election for days now?), denying that it was as bad as using the n-word about a black person, then saying that anyway Pete Wilson (Whitman’s campaign chair) used the w-word about public employees unions (in 1995). Whitman said that was a completely different thing, although it’s certainly the same word (Update: after the debate, reporters asked her to explain the difference; she would not). WhoreGate may be a negative for Brown, but there’s no sympathy vote here for Whitman, given the patent insincerity of her faux personal outrage and attempt to play the feminist card, saying darkly, “Women know exactly what’s going on here.”

Do they? Are you a woman? Do you know exactly what’s going on here? If so, tell us in comments exactly what’s going on here.

Whitman trumpeted her endorsement by the police union whose pensions she promised to exempt from her cuts, but said it was because she was tough on crime. She attacked Brown’s endorsement by the California Teachers’ Association, which is responsible for the “mess” in education. Evidently the cops can be trusted on criminal issues, but the teachers can’t be trusted on educational issues.

Brown asked Whitman how much money she’d save personally with her proposal to end capital gains taxes. “Shitloads,” she said, “shitloads and shitloads.”

Actually, of course, she wouldn’t answer. She did say she’s been out creating jobs and Brown’s been engaged on a “war on jobs.”

Both support two-tier pension systems for civil servants. Whitman noted, wistfully, “The existing pensioners we can’t touch”, without explaining why she wanted to touch pensioners.

Actually, I thought that phrasing was telling. She didn’t say we can’t touch existing pensions, but existing pensioners, which seemed to evince a personal hostility to the retirees who stand in her way, like they think they’re too good for cat food or something.

Brown accused Whitman, correctly, of not specifying where she’ll make the huge budget cuts she proposes (“She doesn’t have a plan. She said $14 billion in cuts. She doesn’t say where.”)

His plan: cut the budget of the governor’s office by 10 to 15%. That’s his plan. She pointed out that this was a minuscule proportion of the state budget; he said something about leading by example. So really, neither one of them has a plan. At the end of the debate, both were asked what structural reforms they’d support to California’s broken institutions. She called for two-year budgets, which is sensible in and of itself but would do absolutely nothing to fix the budget stalemate situation. He called for a majority vote in the Legislature for the budget, but not for taxes, which would do almost nothing to fix the budget stalemate situation. Once again, he proudly mentioned that Howard Jarvis (d.1986) voted for him some time after Prop 13 passed. Jarvis was a mean, bitter, anti-government crank of a sort we’re rather familiar with these days, and every time Brown brags about the old bastard, his soul shrivels a little more.

Governor Moonbeam (his screen name on Twilight fanfic websites) said he didn’t want to get into “that story” of Nicky Diaz, then of course did, pointing out that after 9 years of employing her, Whitman didn’t even get her a lawyer. Whitman said it broke her heart to fire her. Sure it did. After the debate, she said she’d moved on from “Gloria Allred’s political stunt.” So I guess her heart has healed up.

Brown: “I’ve been in the kitchen. I’ve taken the heat. She’s been in the bleachers.” Well, it’s not like Meg had to spend time in the kitchen. She had “help” for that.

(My posts on the 1st debate, 2nd debate.)

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