Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Not a live-blog exactly as I'm watching this on a 40 minute Tivo delay, but I'll put up my strong reactions here when and if I have them. For an actual live-blog, check out Stephen Green, who is also several drinks ahead of me.
It is not original to point out that it is very interesting that Clinton and Obama are no longer fighting over their manifest differences over Iraq and national security, but are splitting hairs over their competing health care plans, both of which are substantially to the left of anything that is likely to get enacted. True, Democratic primary voters have apparently bottomless interest in "universal health care," but is this really the best point on which to differentiate between the two?
[Many minutes transpire]
If they don't stop talking idiotically health care I'm going to have to switch to one of my other 400 channels. At random. I hope a lot of independent voters are watching this.
Hillary's extended whine about "always getting the first question" was both legitimate and very unattractive. Frank Luntz's little dials no doubt twisted to the negative on that one.
Hillary's pandering on NAFTA really is depressing. Obama drafts behind Hillary's answer, which is to threaten to withdraw in order to "renegotiate" the labor and environmental standards.
"Green collar" jobs are apparently the wave of the future, if only we would subsidize them the way Germany has. So says Mrs. Clinton.
Obama is completely incoherent on foreign policy, or at least I believe that a reading of the transcript will reveal that his answer, particularly as it relates to Pakistan, is nonsensical.
Hillary's point -- that she an Obama have voted identically on Iraq, and that his 2002 speech without any associated responsibility to act is really just a speech -- is a good point. Obama, meanwhile, is digging in on his point that we should strike al Qaeda inside Pakistan without regard for that country's sovereign rights. Good on him, but does he really believe it?
Here's what drives me nuts about Obama and other lefties: "It is not going to be easy to have a sensible energy policy in this country. ExxonMobil made $11 billion last quarter. They are not going to give up those profits easily." So, a sensible energy policy requires the producers of energy to give up profits? Does this guy not understand capitalism, or is he just trying to abolish it?
Russert is torturing Obama over Louis Farrakhan's endorsement, demanding that he "reassure Americans" over his support for Israel. Russert is especially strained when he points out that Obama quoted some minister in his book who happens to be a fan of Farrakhan. On the one hand, Obama's lengthy claims about the sheer quantity of Jews who support him are dangerously close to "many of my friends are Jewish" or, for that matter, black. On the other hand, Russert's line of questioning really is unfair. Nobody would try to hang any of the presidential candidates if, say, Osama bin Laden "endorsed" them; why is an endorsement from the odious Farrakhan really any different?
I can't take it any more.
OK, one more point -- some analyst on MSNBC said that tonight's winner was John McCain, insofar as the debate was stultifying and granular, pecking us to death over trivia. But that impression, alas, will not likely last into the general election. It is easy to forget that it is only February.
Hillary or one of her staffers must have been listening to All Things Considered on NPR tonight, which ran a story on how the former East German states made the choice to attracting green energy companies and landed 14 companies and 20,000 jobs, largely in solar.
"I can't take it any more."
It's amazing how many similar versions of that I've read over the past 24 hours. :)
There's a parallel with the Oscars. A number of RW bloggers tried to liveblog it, but gave up when some moonbat started ranting about Abu Ghraib or whatever. Pretty pathetic, all in all. Art is supposed to be above mere politics. The same is true with sports.
Anyways, just wanted to say 'thanks' for the summation. I meant to watch it, but forgot.
You reallly have to wonder what goes through the average white male Dem's mind watching the two of them. As I said on my site the other day:
"Personally, I feel a profound sorrow for the Democrats. Talk about 'too much of a good thing.' All they wanted was to one day have a woman nominee, or a black nominee, and now they get both at once and don't even have a regular nominee to choose from."
As a small side note, my site is not geared toward the black or female demographic.
But one does have to wonder what it's like to be a white male Dem watching the shows.
"This is my choice?"
Reap what ye shall sow, buddy.
"It is easy to forget that it is only February."
May I slightly argue the point? Yes, because almost everything's already been wrapped up, it's easy to forget what a long way it is until November. But that also reinforces a counterpoint.
I think the general backlash of conservatives re: McCain is twofold. First, not in recent history has the nominee had the word traitor branded on his forehead. It's one thing to pull together for the party, but quite another to do it for a traitor. That's asking a lot.
But second, and more subliminally, I think people are pissed that they got cheated out of their primary season -- and thus are very aware that "it is only February." And both sides are pissed, if for different reasons.
Certainly, the conservatives are angry that it was over so quickly. And to get saddled with a traitor, to boot? Go ahead, twist the knife some more. We were picturing the field getting whittled down to Fred, Mitt and John and seeing these terrific debates on TV; a conservative's dream.
And what did we get? Week after week of debate with about nineteen candidates answering in 15-second soundbites and then, "Okay, folks, it's all over!"
And, if I were a Dem, I'd be seriously miffed that I didn't have a Joe Biden type to vote for. But I couldn't say that out loud, of course, as it might imply I'm some terrible word that ends with "-ist."
Personally, I think Joe Biden is the most charismatic member of Congress. Naturally, his policies suck, but he's absolutely riveting when he speaks. If he'd gone middle-of-the-road, he could have swept this thing.
Oh, just one note on his wacky policies? He had this really crazy notion of dividing Iraq up into three countries. Rather than using some arbitrary line of demarcation like a line of latitude, this lunatic actually wanted to divide them up by the types of people they were, so they could live together with their own kind.
What a moonbat!
Hillary is a terrible candidate. I hope McCain would have the nuts to go after Obama on Israel, anti-semitism and support for terrist states in the middle east. Ann Althouse did a complete dissection of the back and forth on Farrakhan last night that illustrates in sharp relief why Hillary is losing this election.
The larger concern, now that Obama seems to be winning (barring some Texas-Ohio surprise) is that Obama seems to think (or at least Samantha Power does) that America needs to somehow better "balance" our support of Israel, by more actively engaging in diplomacy with Iran, Syria and their ilk. Even more troubling than these views is the presence on Obama's advisory staff of Zbigniew Brzezinski, a man who has endorsed the Mearsheimer-Walt "Jewish cabal" views and Robert Malley, who could easily turn out to be a member of the Moslem Brotherhood before all is said and done. Obama says lots of things that sound pitch-perfect for pulling in Jewish votes, and pro-Israel liberal votes. But the company he Keeps is creepily holocaust-denying, totalitarian supporting and Arab focused. Would President Obama accept an Iranian nuclear bomb? Does he support the resumption of Syrian rule in Lebanon? Does he take at face value the Iranian threats to destroy Israeli cities and drive Israelis into the sea? I hope somebody asks him before the election.
The Farrakhan question is ENTIRELY FAIR.
Obama (read his autobiography) is a Black Nationalist just like his wife who wants a separate Black Culture in her thesis. He has played a double game the way Republicans ala Nixon did with their Southern Strategy.
Like Nixon courting segregationist Whites, Obama courts Farrakhan-inclined Black Nationalists. Who are really the flip side of the Klan. Let no doubt the astonishing level of racism in the Black Community. And asking him about Jews and Israel is a good proxy or symbolic signalling for his attitudes towards Whites.
Like many Black Nationalists, Obama is fearful of Whites -- that they might inter-marry and thus absorb Blacks. He wrote in his autobiography how he felt revulsion over the idea of being related to white people when he was seriously courting a white woman and met her (apparently nice middle class) parents.
So yeah, that question needs to be asked MORE. A lot more. Farrakhan ENDORSED Obama BECAUSE he was Black and symbolized a "Black Nationalist Agenda" for "the world." That's an entirely legitimate question -- what is it about Obama that attracts Farrakhan and what is it about Farrakhan that Obama won't criticize?