Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Democratic debate: The bitter, bitter debate


One more debate after we were promised we were done with debates. I don’t know about the poor people in Pennsylvania, but I’m sure feeling bitter right about now.

Hillary notes that they are debating in Philadelphia where the founding documents of America were written – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the recipe for cream cheese. But “Neither of us were included in those original documents.” However, John McCain was included in those original documents. By name.

Neither of them will commit to a “Dream Ticket.”

Obama is bitter about having to explain again why he said people are bitter. Although the word he is using now for voters’ feelings is “frustration.”

Hillary defended people clinging to religion and “their traditions, like hunting and guns”.

Speaking of clinging to religion, they then talked interminably about Rev. Wright yet again. Little George Stephanopoulos asked Obama a couple of times if Wright is as patriotic as he is. Hillary said the whole Wright thing “deserves further exploration.” Oh yes, we so needed to have another debate.

Then it’s another re-airing of the Bosnia story. Hillary says she’s embarrassed about, you know, lying, but that it was “a very dangerous area” and the American soldiers in Bosnia “were totally in battle gear.”

Then someone on tape asks Obama why he doesn’t wear a flag pin: “I want to know if you believe in the American flag.” Charlie Gibson adds that not wearing one is a “major liability” for him (according to Clinton and McCain’s advisers). Then Little George asked about some English professor Obama has met who used to be in the Weather Underground. Hillary chimed in with some concern trolling, saying “this is an issue that certainly the Republicans will be raising.” Obama responded that Bill Clinton pardoned a couple of Weather Undergroundlings, so there.

Gibson asks both candidates how they can possibly withdraw from Iraq when Petraeus says they shouldn’t; “Are you essentially saying, ‘I know better than the military commanders here’?” Hillary pretends that the only problem in Iraq is that the Maliki government “will not accept responsibility for its own future” as long as the US is giving it a blank check. Obama reminds Gibson that the president is actually above Col. Combover in the chain of command. He says that the military has had a “bad mission” but has performed that bad mission “brilliantly.”

Would they extend the nuclear umbrella over Israel? Obama: an attack on Israel would be “unacceptable.” Hillary: let’s extend the “umbrella of deterrence” to the entire region! She would “begin diplomatic engagement” with Iran by not talking with its president, ever. “But I would have a diplomatic process that would engage him.”

Stephanopoulous: “Let me turn to the economy. That is the number one issue on Americans’ minds right now.” Which must be why he’s getting to it a full half an hour after the exhaustive discussion of the flag lapel pin issue.

I’m going to be hypocritical here and skip the boring economic stuff myself. They would both raise taxes on the rich, and maybe raise the capital gains tax, despite Charlie Gibson’s earnest but completely fallacious insistence that cutting the capital gains tax always increases revenue from it.

What will you do about high gas prices? Hillary: I’d investigate them.

Gibson: This has been “a fascinating debate.” Could not be more wrong.

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