Perhaps, instead of praying for an alien abduction for myself, I should have been praying for alien abduction for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Pretty slow at first, I don't like the format of this debate. They should have a question to bat back and forth, but it seems that they just get one shot, or even different questions. I'd like to hear them make responses to each other. As it is they spend half their time sniping at each other before answering the questions, if they answer the questions at all. Halfway through the debate and a real answer has been as rare as the spotted owl.
To me, a real debate is one in which a question is posed, and the first candidate gives an answer, explaining that his attention-deficit-disordered, probably autistic opponent wouldn't understand the issues. Then the second candidate responds by saying that his worthy and esteemed opponent is an asshat who bought his way through college and is a noted libertine who couldn't explain the working of a toaster much less the working of the economy, and then he gives his answer to the question. Then the first candidate responds by saying that his friend and colleague, the thrice-divorced, possibly homosexual, suspected child-molester is totally wrong and this is why. And finally the second contestant, oops, I mean candidate, responds to the response by saying that his long-time bosom buddy and fellow politician, who he respects deeply and with whom he has worked closely in Congress, has misinterpreted and twisted his response, which you would totally expect from a bi-polar, drug-addled, former white-slaver.
I'd love to hear a debate like that. I believe they used to have them a century or two ago. I mean, wouldn't it be a hell of a lot more interesting? It's a sign of the decline of western civilization that our politicians can't even insult each other in creatively malicious ways. The cowards leave it up to anonymous internet bloggers. Another example of computers and the web degrading human existence.
McCain is good at putting a certain emphasis and emotion into his voice. Keeps saying "my friends." It does a lot to cover up his mendacity. Although, he did do Obama a favor by getting him pissed over the health care issues and the associated taxes. Brokaw didn't let Obama answer right away but he got his response into the next question. Obama said that it looked like the "Straight Talk Express" has lost a wheel. Best thing was that tho he was clearly unhappy he didn't go overboard. There's a good way to do anger and a bad way. He did the good way.
I'm not all that enchanted by the questions the audience asked.
First question about what the candidates would do to protect people's retirement plans. McCain is going to have the Secretary of the Treasury buy up bad home loan mortgages and have the Sec. renegotiate them. Uh, well, what about my social security, you know, the question?
In answer to a question about whether or not they would give Congress a fixed date to reform Social Security and Medicare, Obama said he would like to do it within his first term said that couldn't be done without addressing tax policies. Obama rejected the McCain's charge that he would raise taxes, i.e. "fine," small businesses. His proposal would reduce tax on 95% of Americans, including those small businesses.
McCain said, "It's not that hard to fix Social Security." Ayup. So why hasn't it been fixed already?
Obama has to lose that "…and…" Of course his hesitations come from actually thinking about the question, not spouting pre-packaged answers like McCain. Did McCain memorize all those? I don't think they allow teleprompters in there.
Example of McCain's fact-twisting: he accused Obama of saying he would announce an attack on Pakistan. And that that annoucement would turn the people against us. Not only did Obama not say that, but it is the UNANNOUNCED attacks we have already made, which have cost many civilian casualties, which is turning the Pakistanis against us.
Mostly McCain repeats his sound bites, usually distorted or downright inaccurate, against Obama. He was protected by the non-response format. When Obama protested about the nonsense McCain was saying over the Iraq-Pakistani question and forced Brokaw to agree to a temporary back and forth, I think Obama came out better. McCain lost his way briefly, started talking about joking about Iran with a fellow veteran, then lost and dropped it without a resolution.
Anyway it was one of the few interesting parts of this debate, which wasn't really a debate, since there wasn't any statement and response.
McCain had a little zinger about health care, said he wouldn't allow "gold-plated benefits like hair transplants." Ouch. Joe Biden's ears must have been burning.
Brokaw asks a "yes or no" question about whether or not Russia is an "evil empire", neither of them could do it. McCain got a laugh with "maybe". Both gave lengthy answers, basically saying "no…but."
If Iran attacks Israel, would we go in to help Israel? Yes, probably.
McCain brought up the "meeting with enemies" charge. Obama did a good job explaining himself against that charge. He sounded more grounded in that question than McCain.
Last question, "What don't you know and how will you learn it?" From New Hampshire. Where do they find these people? Was this a transplanted hippie or one of the six-toed crowd up in the mountains? I vote for a yoga-ing Birkenstocker. Obama said a lot without answering. McCain at least said he didn't know the future, then went on to his own particular set of platitudes.
Linda Wertheimer says it was an interesting debate and is looking forward to the discussion after the station break. It was something but it wasn't a real debate.
I am going to count the "I was struck by"s and send an admonishing letter off to NPR.
Mara Liasson pointed out that gee it would be nice if they actually answered the questions, like the one about health care being a commodity.
McCain's health plan would make people be better off in the beginning, but down the line not so good. People shopping for their own health insurance would not do so well.
McCain did not do well on foreign policy.
Did not talk about actual decision to invade Iraq.
Commentator says that late arrival of foreign policy questions show how it has fallen in concern.
Obama sounded strong on foreign policy. Seemed to be a "steadier hand" on the questions.
One commentator says Obama did better than usual in debate.
I'd agree. He sounded like it was a lot more personal to him, not some academic exercise. Even if he can't do that"my friends" thing McCain does.
I'm almost disappointed. Only four "I was struck by"s in the post debate commentary. I must've missed a couple while I was typing. I don't see a transcript on the NPR site of the commentary part so I can't check, which also means I can't tell you who said what. That's the breaks.
I don't think anything happened here tonight to change people's minds. Maybe a few in the undecided middle will drift one way or another, but those on both the right and left will both be trumpeting their candidate's victory tomorrow.
There's one more debate: someone please, pour honey on me and tie me down on an anthill. I'll suffer less.
I think the election will boil down to one point—do you think Sarah Palin is worthy to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, or does the idea scare you all the way down to your pinko, leftist liberal, socialist commie toes?
G'night all (both of you)