Democrats & Liberals Archives

Democratic Debate #1

Well, that was fun. Who the heck is Mike Gravel? I was all prepared to make fun of Kucinich and we got Gravel for comedy relief instead. As for the serious contenders, I was impressed by Clinton, Obama and Biden, and not so impressed by anybody else — but there’s a long way to go until next February.

The defining moment was when Brian Williams tossed them the Dukakis question -- What would you do if al-Qaeda attacked America? Edwards and Obama wiffed it but Clinton hit it out of the park by saying she'd "retaliate." That's experience talking.

Obama tried to save himself on that question later and took on what Biden called Gravel and Kucinich's "happy talk" about peaceful resolutions, and did a good job. I guess the anti-war lefties (as opposed to the anti-Iraq War mainstream) will have to scratch Obama off their list.

The debate was a good introduction to the Democratic candidates. Hillary and Obama looked Presidential (Clinton more so than Obama) and Biden held his own. Edwards and Richardson were weak and the others don't even rate a mention.

Now I'm looking forward to the upcoming GOP debate. I'm dying to see which dress Guiliani will wear. Will it be Vera Wang? Oscar de la Renta? Christian Dior? Maybe something by the winner of Project Runway. How exciting!

Posted by American Pundit at April 27, 2007 8:06 PM
Comments
Comment #218641

I haven’t watched yet. Wow, internet debates, how cool is that? But as far as the terrorist attack goes…. Retaliate against whom? Terrorists aren’t part of a nation, they’re individuals. Obama’s answer that he would “hunt them down” made a little more sense, and I’m not less pleased that he thought it through before he said it. It’s really this Republican holding onto the notion of “war”, “nation”, etc. that, in my opinion, that is preventing us from framing the problem correctly. Terrorists are invidual groups of wackos. Finding them and rooting them out is the problem, and the best solution is an international police force. Before we went to war, I believe we should have tracked down Osama and his henchmen individually.

Posted by: Max at April 27, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #218643

Max

Absolutely on target. A “War on Terror” makes about as much sense as a “War on Poverty” or a “War on Drugs”. In other words, none. Unless there is a situation like Afghanistan, where the Taliban held sway and was actively engaged with al Queda, and definite targets can be engaged, terrorism is a matter for intelligence organizations and law enforcement, not armies. As we see in Iraq and increasingly in Afghanistan, military force is relatively useless against true terrorist activiities. All it does is tie up a lot of military assets and waste time and lives.

By the way, what do you folks think about the announcement today of more than 170 suspected terrorists being rounded up in Saudi Arabia? Is this good news or publicity seeking? As an aside, remember that most, if not all, the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as is Osama ben Laden. If we wanted to hit a target in retaliation, why did we choose Iraq?

Posted by: John Back at April 27, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #218646

I thought Dodd did very well for himself. He impressed me as having a sure command of the facts, history, and paramters of the issues he fielded.

Obama was a disappointment for me. With rehearsed text he is one hell of an orator. But, extemporaneously he disappoints.

Clinton did indeed strengthen her position with viewers, I thought.

I respect Kucinich, but, the man has not concept of his audience and speaking to their needs. He failed utterly last nigh especially on defense.

Biden did very well. His “yes” aside. He seemed to be the only one with a prescription for Iraq, but failed to address the issue of whether the Iraqis would buy into his states/loose federalist design.

Edwards held his own, but, appeared to me receding amongst the rest. No power in his words.

Gravel has no concept of diplomacy - that ruled him out entirely as far as I am concerned.

Richardson comes off as a man trying to sell himself instead of letting his policy and strategy ideas do the selling. He appeared to me to have an inferiority complex for which he was trying to compensate. Just the impression he left with me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 27, 2007 9:41 PM
Comment #218650

I pretty much concur with David’s views.

I looked for any signs that the other candidates had the debating chops to either now or later really make a dent in Hillary, and just couldn’t see it. Hillary didn’t do anything that remarkable in that debate, but all she really needs to do is play effective defense to consolidate her enormous advantages over everybody else.

I was surprised by the apparent complaceny of both Edwards and Obama, the only other realistic alternatives. Although it’s still early, Hillary looks poised to effectively wrap up the nominaton unless somebody really finds a way to shake things up very soon.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 27, 2007 11:32 PM
Comment #218659
Although it’s still early, Hillary looks poised to effectively wrap up the nominaton unless somebody really finds a way to shake things up very soon.

Your side’s been saying that for years now, LO. Obama’s been steadily gaining on Hillary in the polls and he would be crazy to start getting aggressive now.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 28, 2007 8:52 AM
Comment #218661

Experience will desperetly be needed by whomever wins the Presidency in ‘08. The Dems would do wise to look seriously at a Biden & Richardson or Dodd ticket IMHO. Obama needs more time as does Clinton and Edwards.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 28, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #218665

Frankly, I was greatly dissapointed by the debate. Nothing but softballs and smiles. When will they start staking out their territories? They appealed not to thier bases in the debate, but to the blah, bland vanilla voting crowd.

Of course, I was not impressed by any of them, because they have shown that they are no better than George Bush. They opted out of the Nevada Fox debate in August, which means they only want to talk to people who are friendly to them. No tough questions. No opposition. No hot seat. No “flop sweat”. No substance.

If they think that they can win the presidency by appealing to the “left of center” voters and completely ignore the “left wing radicals”, “right of center” swing voters and some liberal leaning conservatives, then they are making the same John Kerry mistake. They cannot win the presidency with a couple of eastern states, some rust belt states and a few western states. Even if they did win, how would they run the country effectively when all those little 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 electoral vote states are hostile to you?

My personal opinion is that when they opted out of the Nevada Fox debate, they showed what a complete bunch of “wussies” they are. If they can’t answer the tough and hostile questions with grace, forthrightness, determination and forcefullness, who wants them as president anyway? If they can’t take the heat…get out of the kitchen.

If I were running for the presidency, it would seem to me that I would want to appeal to each and every voter I could. Conservative, Liberal or Independant, I would want to get my message to them. I would want them to know my face and what I stood for.

If they want this to be a government of the yes men, by the yes men and for the yes men…then all we would have is another Goerge Bush.

Posted by: Jim T at April 28, 2007 11:20 AM
Comment #218668

Democrats opted out of the Fox News sponsored debate when they compared Obama to Osama, because they have similar sounding names. Those kinds of smear tactics have been dragging the level of discourse down in this country, not up. Good for them.

Posted by: Max at April 28, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #218669

Agreeing to debate in “politically correct” forums only is not a winning decision. If one is fearful of honest debate, hard questions, and an intellectualy inquiring audience how in the world is that candidate ever going to stand up to the pressure of the oval office? A great president represents all the people and must win approval by both sides to be effective in office.

Posted by: Jim at April 28, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #218671

I don’t consider Fox news news. Their purpose is not to inform, it’s to promote right wing propaganda and sandbag Democrats. Comparing Obama to Osama isn’t talking about issues or bridging any kind of divide. Fox does a great disservice to this country.

Posted by: Max at April 28, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #218674

Hearing this discussion of Fox, you’d think that before the last presidential election, they must have aired an anti-Democrat story based on forged documents.

Seems that the problem liberals have with Fox is that they’re the only network who doesn’t see it as their duty to lie on their backs for the Democratic party.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 28, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #218675
They appealed not to thier bases in the debate, but to the blah, bland vanilla voting crowd.

I thought that was interesting as well. Only Kucinich and Gravel were the only far lefties on thte podium, the rest of them were downright mainstream.

I think any of them (barring Kucinich and Gravel) would make good Presidents in the sense that they’d appeal to the majority of Americans. They don’t have that radical, idealogical narrow-mindedness that everyone is so tired of seeing in Republicans.

If they can’t answer the tough and hostile questions…

I’m curious what questions those are, Jim T. Can you give us an example?

Posted by: American Pundit at April 28, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #218676

You too, LO. How about some examples of FOX-like questions you’d like asked?

Posted by: American Pundit at April 28, 2007 2:34 PM
Comment #218677

I like Edwards, and many months ago had thought that an Edwards/Obama ticket would be a very strong draw. That was before Obama threw his hat in the ring, of course. It would be most interesting to see if any of the contenders would consider joining a ticket and making a combination that would be tough to beat. I think that egos would prevent that, but look at the possibilities.
I’m hoping to be able to tolerate some of the Rep.candidates long enough to watch and listen to them on Thursday. There are to be different people presenting the questions and I think the format is to be different, as well. I believe they should use the same procedures and with consistancy…..then no one has an edge.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 28, 2007 2:37 PM
Comment #218682

It should be noted that any one of the candidaes will bring universal healthcare. On the Rep bench not a one of them wants to do anything much about it except maybe get employers off the hook.

Posted by: BillS at April 28, 2007 4:17 PM
Comment #218686

BillS, there are some very clear choices for voters in ‘08 between nearly any Dem and Rep candidate. Choices having nothing to do with character.

  • Univer. Health Care.
  • Ending the Police Occupation of Iraq.
  • Talk softly & carry a big stick, vs. Wield a Big Stick and be forced to talk softly being overextended.
  • Spending priorities leaning domestically vs. internationally
  • Tax reform as Flat Tax vs. tax reform as Sales Tax
  • Separation of Church and State vs. U.S. as Christian nation.
  • And a big one, Education quality with a national focus vs. education quality with local focus
  • Illegal immigration continuing with amnesty vs. Illegal immigration continuing without amnesty.

The dems are going to pick up more Senate seats in ‘08, they have far less Senate seats up for reelection than Republicans do. And if we are still in Iraq, they will likely pick up more House seats as well.

If the Dem’s win the Presidency, the concern for Republicans will be strategy. Do they give Democrats all the rope they need to hang themselves as Dem’s have just done to Republicans? Or, do Republicans fight Democratic policy from a platform of principle/s, which they themselves could not live up to?

I would urge voters who want to vote Democrat, to vote out current Democrats (if they aren’t very, very satisfied) and vote in new Democrats. Same for Republicans. Because, if this nation does not truly remove billions of dollars of bribery from out political system, we are not going to be able to solve are largest problems due to special interests splitting the votes in Congress, preventing comprehensive answers to future looming problems.

This is the heart of the vote out incumbents democracy movement which was in play in 2006 and is hopefully going to continue to grow. Combined with increasing numbers of Independent voters voting on the basis of results, instead of party, we the voters have a real chance to force the politicians to respond to the nation’s and our future’s needs in real and effective ways consistent with the best principles which founded this nation.

None of this however, is possible, if we leave the current special interest deep pocket lobbyist bribery and blackmail system in place. Politicians won’t legislate against those special interests and for the people and nation, UNLESS, they realize the voters won’t reelect them if they do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 28, 2007 5:13 PM
Comment #218690

D.Remer

I am very,very satified with my congresswoman and one senator. The other not so much but she is better than anyone the Reps have ever or will ever put up against her.

Your issues:
1. Yes.Dems win
2.Yes,but I question the term “police’ occupation. Is it not a military occupation?
3.Yes
4.Yes. #1 would be a big part of that.
5.Your either or does not compute. Many,myself included would prefer ending loopholes for the wealthy and corporations but maintaining a progressive income tax. One suggestion you might like is ending the business deduction for lobbying.
6.Yes. Dems clearly win.
7.Dems again largely because of support by and for the teachers unions. A key part of successful education is well qualified and dynamic teachers. To getand keep people like that you have to pay them well enough. Reps just hate that.
8.Imigration. Interesting problem.Most Dems have called for increased bordor security coupled with enforcement actions against employers,a guest worker program and some sort of path to legitamicy for the undocuemented already here.Seems pretty realistic to me. We do not have the police or military to round them all up. If we did and deported them back to Mexico the Mexican government would likely collapse and during the ensuing chaos the amount of immigration would increase dramatically and we would be back to square one no matter how tight the bordor. What would you do to get your family out of a war zone?The Reps do not really want a fix at all. They get to blame things on the immigrants while industry still gets to have workers that are afraid to complain.You want a solution,look to the Dems.

Posted by: BillS at April 28, 2007 7:38 PM
Comment #218691

BillS,

The problem with a progressive income tax as we now have is that long term tax policy is not policy. With the changing of parties, tax policy changes, negating any and all long term goals dependent upon predictable and continuous tax policy. Many Dem’s just don’t want to accept that historical truth.

The flat tax eliminates business and corporate taxes which will bring Republicans on board, and taxes only personal income at a flat rate for all incomes save for 1.5 times the poverty level which pays no tax, which brings many Dem’s on board.

Sales tax is regressive and can’t and won’t pass. That leaves the flat tax which would save Americans 10’s of millions in tax prep fees, permit the IRS to be far more efficient in collections at even lower cost than now, and its fair, since the endless debate and give and take over who should pay more and who should pay less rates is completely absent from the flat tax system.

As for education, the union would be less necessary and fewer teachers would sign on if salaries were commensurate with private industry. The teacher’s union actually, in too many cases, keeps bad teachers employed, and that is not a good thing for American students. But without the union in the current system contractually binding districts to salary contracts, teacher pay would be lower than it already is, which is very bad.

The nations that are kicking our ass on education have national education systems. It is where America must go if we are to compete. I know, resistance is huge, but, then resistance was even larger against the end of slavery and Jim Crow. It is doable. But the wealthy lobbyists must be stopped from trumping the voters will in the Congress before ANY meaningful reforms can come to pass.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 28, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #218702

Max:

“Democrats opted out of the Fox News sponsored debate when they compared Obama to Osama, because they have similar sounding names. Those kinds of smear tactics have been dragging the level of discourse down in this country, not up. Good for them.”

Yeah…good for them. None, and I mean absolutely NONE of them will appeal to the right, because Conservatives and Republicans will not hear their message and will not vote for them. Looks good for the Republicans aand anyone else who will face ALL the media.

“I don’t consider Fox news news.”

And I consider ABC, CBS CNN, MSNBC, NBC Democratic lapdogs with a liberal agenda a true news source either. Nothing more than propaganda mouthpieces of the Marxist left that have a vested interest in destroying anything thier agenda does not agree completely with.

AP:

“I’m curious what questions those are, Jim T. Can you give us an example?”

Sure, AP, no problem.

1.) When would you call for a complete investigation and possible censure of Rep. William Jefferson?

2.) When will you call for a full investigation of Harry Reid’s highly questionable land scams?

3.) Are you ready, at this point in the impasse in Sudan, to deploy military forces to end the genocide in Darfur?

4.) Will you, like the war in Iraq, declare the “War On Drug” lost and implement legalization and treatment options or will you continue to waste billions of dollars on a completely failed effort?

5.) How will you stem the flow of millions of illegal aliens into this country? (Followup) How will you secure the borders of this country to prevent terrorists from infiltrating this country?

6.) How will you deal with a nuclear Iran that is dedicated to the eradication of Isreal? (Followup) How will you keep terrorists from bringing Iranian nuclear weapons into this country?

See, AP, tough questions that they can either dodge and tap-dance around…or answer in a straightforward, honest and forceful manner.

As it is now…all they get is “softball” questions with absolutely no substance whatsoever.


Posted by: Jim T at April 29, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #218704
None, and I mean absolutely NONE of them will appeal to the right

By that, I’m sure you’re referring to the insignificant 25% of people who still think President Bush is doing a heck of a job.

As for your list of tough questions that only FOX will ask:

1.) When would you call for a complete investigation and possible censure of Rep. William Jefferson?

He’s already being investigated by the FBI.

2.) When will you call for a full investigation of Harry Reid’s highly questionable land scams?

Republicans already investigated and found nothing improper.

3.) Are you ready, at this point in the impasse in Sudan, to deploy military forces to end the genocide in Darfur?

Excellent question. Richardson addressed it in the debate: “Number three, I would deal with issues like Darfur. Why is it that America does not care about Africa, about genocide, about issues relating to enormous amount of deaths that are brought forth by international poverty?”

The question wasn’t directly asked, and it’ll be interesting to see if it gets bumped by more important questions at the Republican debate as well.

4.) Will you, like the war in Iraq, declare the “War On Drug” lost and implement legalization and treatment options or will you continue to waste billions of dollars on a completely failed effort?

Another good question that won’t get asked of Republicans either.

5.) How will you stem the flow of millions of illegal aliens into this country? (Followup) How will you secure the borders of this country to prevent terrorists from infiltrating this country?

That got asked in the debate.

6.) How will you deal with a nuclear Iran that is dedicated to the eradication of Isreal? (Followup) How will you keep terrorists from bringing Iranian nuclear weapons into this country?

That was dealt with extensively as well — and led to some of the best debate of the event. You really should read the transcript or watch the debate, Jim.

Based on your questions, I can see why nobody thinks it’s necessary to debate on FOX. You had two questions based on partisan ignorance, three that were already covered by MSNBC and one legitimate question that will bever be asked by any network.

As I said, you might want to go back and read the transcript. All the valid “hardball” questions were addressed by the Democratic “lap dog” network.

LO, what about you?

Posted by: American Pundit at April 29, 2007 12:38 AM
Comment #218743

Dodd is probably the best of the not Hillaries, I would put Richardson as a close second.
I voted for Obama in the primary and the general election for senator, but am not interested in him as a presidential candidate.
Biden would have been better in 1988 than now,
Edwards did not bring NC with in 2004,
Kucinich would be Mad magazines favorite candidate, and would probably not even win Ohio.
Gravel was a good guy a long time ago, but like Biden, his time is way past.

Hillary Clinton is the best of the best. She represents everything good, decent, fair and wonderful about our country. She is a conservative, with a few liberal ideas, and will bring the best president of my lifetime back to the White House with her.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 29, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #218748

ohrealy, any president that brings intelligence, education, and respect for our Constitution back into the White House, instead of loyal incompetence, will have to be a considerable improvement. But we should not settle for good, we should insist on the best available.

And the best available will be determined by the Electoral College. Ironic, isn’t it?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 29, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #218775

AP,

Damnit! I missed the debate! You thought Clinton was impressive? That’s interesting. I am a major supporter of her husband, but I am very skeptical about her. I wish I had seen the debate, but there is more to come.

I liked your last bit about Gulliani’s dress! Good stuff. I plan to watch, but I may have to turn it off before the end if my throat gets soar from screaming at the TV!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at April 29, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #218776

Saying she would “retaliate” may be a good debate answer, but it is not always a good policy. Obama’s answer was good, the first task would be aiding the victims, maybe making a speech about retaliating while the cleanup was getting done. Most candidates didn’t think of that, or just assumed that would be done by the state and local officials. Many candidates mentioned being sure who did it. The question said Al Queada. So does that mean we would attack Pakistan, where the main leaders are supposed to be hiding? That will bring up questions of why it wasn’t done sooner, where to hit with a limited strike, or what happens if general chaos & looting happen in a country with nuclear weapons. So a really good answer would have needed to mention these problems and how the candidate would deal with them, not just say “I’m not a wimp. There are times I would use force!”

Posted by: Eric at April 30, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #218814
I may have to turn it off before the end if my throat gets soar from screaming at the TV!

LOL! That’s the best part, right? The morning-after burn that keeps reminding you how bad those guys really are. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at April 30, 2007 2:38 PM
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