Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Democrat Debate

The democrats had another debate. Hillary and Barack - both trying to make their case now to the super-delegates, more than anything. It was interesting to listen to what they had to say since (for once) the press was actually asking them some tougher questions. Of course, now that the tougher questions were asked, the democrats are crying "foul," saying that they were being treated unfairly. Well, let's just examine that for a second:

Charlie Rose asked Obama about his "bitter" comment regarding small town people who cling to guns, religion, and immigration opposition because of their frustration with government. Obama tried to fix that statement by saying, "The point I was making was that when people feel like Washington's not listening to them, when they're promised year after year, decade after decade, that their economic situation is going to change, and it doesn't, then politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion." Let's back up the truck for just a second and ask... how does a person "politically" focus on "religion?" What does that even mean?? But Obama goes on to say, "They end up feeling, 'This is a place where I can find some refuge. This is something that I can count on.' They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. And those are incredibly important to them." Yes... the tradition of gun ownership HAS been passed on from generation to generation -- it began when the country did, through the second amendment to the Constitution.

Of course, for Hillary's turn, she pointed out that she's the granddaughter of a steel worker and that HE would have been offended at the comments. 

Another question posed to Obama was regarding his "spiritual mentor," the Rev. Wright. Obama has claimed that he never heard Wright say from the pulpit the things that are so offensive (and are broadcast all over YouTube). But more than a year ago, Obama rescinded an invitation to Wright to attend the event where Barack announced his candidacy. According to Rev. Wright, Obama told him, "You can get kind of rough in sermons. So what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." Then the question was, "What did you know about his statements that caused you to rescind that invitation? And if you knew he got rough in sermons, why did it take you more than a year to publicly disassociate yourself from his remarks?"

Obama's response was to say, "Understand that I hadn't seen the remarks that ended up playing on YouTube repeatedly.... Reverend Wright is somebody who made controversial statements but they were not of the sort that we saw that offended so many Americans." He went on to talk about all the good work that the church as done with HIV/AIDS, prison ministries, providing people with comfort. He also said (regarding the sermon preached damning America immediately after 9/11), "Absolutely many of these remarks were objectionable. I've already said that I didn't hear them, because I wasn't in church that day. I didn't learn about those statements until much later."

The moderators then got on Clinton... "Senator Clinton, we also did a poll today, and there are also questions about you raised in this poll. About six in ten voters that we talked to say they don't believe you're honest and trustworthy." Really?? Forty percent of people think Clinton is honest and trustworthy? That's scary. They played a clip from a voter in Pittsburgh, "Senator, I was in your court until a couple weeks ago. How do you reconcile the campaign of credibility that you have when you've made those comments about what happened getting off the plane in Bosnia, which totally misrepresented what really happened on that day? You really lost my vote. And what can you tell met to get it back?

Clinton's response? "Well, Tom, I can tell you that I may be a lot of things, but I'm not dumb... I wrote about going to Bosnia in my book in 2004... On a couple of occasions in the last weeks I just said some things that weren't in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book. And you know, I'm embarrassed by it. I have apologized for it. I've said it was a mistake. And it is, I hope, something that you can look over, because clearly I am proud that I went to Bosnia. It was a war zone." Hmmm... what a fancy and nice way of saying, "I lied. And it was a really stupid lie because it was obvious I was lying. I hope you can look past that, though, and vote for me anyway because I'm not really dumb. But one of my favorite parts of her answer is, "So I will either try to get more sleep, Tom, or, you know, have somebody who, you know, is there as a reminder to me. You know, you can go back for the past 15 months. We both have said things that, you know, turned out not to be accurate. You know, that happens when you're talking as much as we have talked." And this is a not-so-fancy way of saying, "You know, Tom. We're both big fat liars. And we've both been caught at it -- you have to expect that when two big fat liars are talking for fifteen months. It's really hard to keep your lies straight in that long a time period."

Obama is also taking some hits because of his relationship with William Ayers, who was part of the Weather Underground in the 70s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings in an effort to disrupt/overthrow the government. On 9/11, Ayers was quoted in the New York Times saying, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough." The fact that Democrats are riled that this question was asked just kills me. Can you imagine if John McCain had held one of his organizing meetings at the home of a former bomber of abortion clinics who was completely unrepentant -- was only sorry that he didn't bomb enough of them? What would the press be doing to McCain?? 

Obama's explanation, though, is that "this is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from... The fact is, is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate..." Nice. He also brought up the fact that President Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground... And that, along with Clinton rah-rahing over Obama's tough questions, gave the debate a feeling of, "You're worse... no YOU'RE worse. Nu-uh, YOU are."

Both candidates took a hard and fast pledge to get the United States out of Iraq - no matter what is going on at the time, and no matter what the advice is from the generals. I just cannot see how this appeals to anybody. But, I guess, if 40% of Americans are stupid enough to think that Hillary is honest and trustworthy, maybe they're stupid enough to think that pulling out against the advice of our generals and creating a blood bath is a good idea, too. 

Obama showed himself to be an economic moron, too. He was asked about raising the capital gains tax - which he has stated he would do (or "look at doing"). It is now set at fifteen percent, and Obama said he would raise it to twenty-eight percent. The moderator pointed out in his question that every time (historically) the tax rate is dropped, revenues INCREASE and when it is raised, the revenues DECREASE. They then asked, "Why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?" Obama's response? He would raise the tax for the "purposes of fairness." He says, "Those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair." He's essentially saying that he will enact a policy, in the interest of fairness, that will decrease revenues to the government. (For the record, there is nothing unfair about everybody in the country paying a fifteen percent capital gains tax rate. It's not as if the secretary is paying a higher capital gains tax than her employer. If she invests, she'll get that same fifteen percent tax rate.) 

Hillary Clinton says that if she raises the capital gains tax, she would not go above 20 percent. Well, thank you for that, anyway. Although, coming from a self-professed big fat liar, this doesn't mean much. 

If you penalize investment, you're going to get less investing - which means that businesses will suffer, the economy will suffer, and the government will collect less revenue. Lowering tax rates has increased revenues for the government historically speaking - I cannot understand why politicians can't get it.

There was more to the debate, but it would get far too boring to go into all of it. I still think it's a toss up as to whether Barack or Hillary is the candidate of choice for the Democrat party. It will probably go all the way to the convention without us knowing for certain. And, frankly, I don't know who I'm hoping for. They're both darned scary - it kind of makes John McCain look good by comparison. 


Anonymous said...

The debate DID NOT focus on the real issues. Instead it tried to steer to the personal problems, tabloid stories. It reminded me of the previous debate on Fox. Ron Paul was hi-jack and ridiculed by Fox news people while he tried to represent his honest, clear point of view. It's no wonder that we have the government that run the country to the ground, and the government officials that are capable of telling lies without even blinking the eyes. People are manipulated by the media which are own and controlled by large corporations. Those corporation and wealthy businessmen selected and elected the government officials for you, and made sure that whoever elected would work for them. Every thing is dumped down to the lowest level and people are just too stupid seeing through smoke and mirror. The truth is spinned and twisted while lies are paraded as truth.

H.L.Washburn said...

Great analysis of the debate. I did not watch it, or read the transcripts, but I heard a great deal of it on talk radio. Obama is showing himself to be less intelligent than he is when he is presenting a speech. The capital gains response was so unintelligent or eloquent that I had to laugh at it. He tried to justify his decision with the "fair" card, but it just look lame. He was standing against historical fact, saying we have to be fair, so we will be so fair that we will hurt an already hurting economy more. LIBERAL IDIOCY!

So you have more readers now. I am not sure that I agree with your anonymous guest about the debate not focusing on REAL issues. I think this was one of those debates that actually did deal with issues, and not treating the candidates with white gloves.

Like to see how Obama fairs in the patriotism realm against McCain. I think his past will come back even more to bit him.

4ofusinNC said...


Let me start by saying that I'm thrilled there are people out there reading my blog who disagree with my point of view - and even more excited that they are willing to post, whether it be anonymously or not.

I agree that Ron Paul was ridiculed and treated terribly during the Republican debates. I don't agree with Ron Paul when it comes to foreign policy, but I do think that he had some good things to say and people treated him as if he were worthless. He deserved far more respect than what he was offered.

I completely disagree with you on the reason why we have the government we have, though. People aren't just "manipulated by media." People have realized that they can vote themselves gifts from the treasury, and that's what they've been doing. An envy of those who have been successful has been driving the vote for a while now.

As for the manipulation, certain media outlets have proven themselves to be completely untrustworthy, and yet people go to them again and again for news. But there's hope - the media is changing. We now aren't limited to the major networks... we have media choices that were unthinkable just ten years ago. Anybody who is willing to put in their time and do their own research is able to become competently informed and then can go out and inform others.

Now, for the debate -- you say that it did not focus on the "real issues." Since you weren't specific as to what you think the real issues are, I am hard put to answer this. The debate focused on character (I would think this to be a real issue), foreign policy as relates to Iraq, Iran, Israel, and other nations in that general region (certainly a real issue), gun control, the economy, affirmative action, taxation, and allowed each candidate time to put their case forward as to what better qualifies them to be the Democrat nominee.

I do see Reverend Wright as a real issue for Obama. Beyond his overly-published comments on America, Wright has ties to Louis Farrakhan who is a radical Muslim cleric and leader of "Nation of Islam." Farrakhan is also a huge supporter of Obama.

I also think that Obama's own comments should be fair game in asking questions of him. If he's going to stereotype small town America as people "clinging" to their guns and religion born out of frustration with their government, I think that the small town people of America have a right to hear an explanation of those comments.

Hillary's lack of ability (or willingness) to tell the truth should also be something discussed.

It sounds as if you are thinking that Obama's personal opinions, his connections with people who are criminal, radical and/or certifiably insane, and Hillary's complete lack of trustworthiness are simply "personal problems" and "tabloid stories." The fact that these people are completely unscrupulous doesn't make their stories "tabloid." And if their actual stories sound like something out of a soap opera, do we really want to elect them as president of the United States?