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I don't have a television, so I don't get to see "talking pictures" of the candidates very often. I go out of my way to watch some debates each political season, in order to get a good look at the candidates. I already know what positions to expect from them, but I want to see how they hold themselves, how they react, what kinds of emotions they display. And I like to hurl insults at the television screen to get out some of my frustrations. This time I didn't drink any wine, so the insults didn't flow as readily, but it was still worthwhile to watch.

The moderator was wide-eyed and good. It's too bad that he wasn't able to get the candidates to talk to each other. If he had been able to get McCain to look at Obama, he probably would have blown his stack. Though Obama is a slick lawyer he showed a very human side, looking at McCain periodically as if to include him in the conversation. McCain avoided looking his way, sneered while Obama was speaking, and spoke directly into the camera when his turn came.

McCain kept saying that he believes Obama "doesn't understand" things, and that he lacks the "experience and judgement" to "rule" effectively. He also had a really hard time addressing anything for which he did not have a prepared statement, for example he kept returning to "earmarks" as an example of wasteful spending, and was unwilling to address Obama's assertion that our war spending is far more serious. In general I'd say that McCain's "talking points" were limited, nonspecific and memorized, while Obama is more clearheaded and able to respond to questions and attacks with a plethora of examples, his memory is acute and his powers of logic are functional. McCain is more intelligent than Shrub, but that's not saying much....it appears to me that his age is catching up with him, or he was never as bright as Obama, or both. He was using the same general strategy that Shrub uses, of speaking generalities and appealing to what people already know and believe. Unfortunately it works quite well for the majority, who are not all that bright themselves.

Thoughout the debate McCain made extremely general points, and Obama continued to clarify his words, explaining exactly what bill or person or even McCain had been referring to, and then saying some more about it. McCain came off in my mind as comically and pitifully dull-minded, relatively speaking. To me it is sad because there was a time when I respected him, there was a time when I thought I might even vote for him for president. But since that time he has played the game too long, and he is no longer a "maverick" though the word plays large in his campaign. It is illusion. Neither of these candidates offers any real rebellion against the way things are. They fought long and hard over the financial collapse, but neither one offered any alternative besides the "bailout".

The point of the debate was supposed to be foreign policy, and there were some statements made about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Georgia and others. No surprises there. Both candidates seem to think that it is our job to assure that the rest of the world stays in line. They are so wrong, and frankly we cannot prevent more nations from getting nuclear weapons. We had best stop being the international asshole, and stop being target #1, rather than continuing to be the bully. But both men like the idea of being the most powerful man in the world and they are not about to back down from anything. Both men will spend us into deeper debt, and contribute to the ultimate failure of the nation.

I noticed that the word "fundamental" as in "fundamental disagreement" was spattered throughout. I got really sick of it. The two of them are "fundamentally" the same in that they both would have the federal reserve print enough money to buy out the failures in our financial sector, they both would continue to try to dominate the world, and they both are unwilling to paint themselves into any corners by offering specifics. They both are playing nice within the system in order to get elected, and will adjust their positions to satisfy critics. And they are both left handed.

Frankly, I have no faith remaining in our elections. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter how many of us vote for Obama or whoever, McCain will get in if the neocons decide to cheat him in. And unless we are willing to fight for clean elections (like the Ukranians did) we will not get them.

Thankfully, the debate didn't irritate me so badly that I couldn't enjoy dinner, which was wonderful fresh salmon cooked on the grill by Rick. YUM.

MEANWHILE this morning I notice that the Ron Paulites are planning to write in Ron Paul. They're calling it a "Write In Bomb", similar to the "money bombs" that were recordbreakers that got RP in the news. The plan is to lie to pollsters and all officials to keep that intent secret from the powers that be, but to do it anyway. http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread394594/pg1

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
b_vainamoinen
Sep. 27th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
I agree that McCain came off as slow-witted. I thought he sounded like a dreary, old man rambling on about all the typical stuff that dreary old men ramble on about.
liveonearth
Sep. 28th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Yeah....it's hard for me to understand how the pundits can be so evenly split between the candidates. How can anyone think that McCain won? How's that? I mean, I'm willing to give him points if he scores them, but what were the points? I think the pundits are paid.
b_vainamoinen
Sep. 28th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Okay - I'm 42, so I'm not exactly a young pup myself... but...

I was talking to some older people (in their 60's) yesterday about the debate and they seemed to think that McCain did about as well as Obama. They're both Obama supporters, too. I couldn't quite figure it out.

It might be a generational thing.
liveonearth
Sep. 28th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Perhaps they are old enough to think that being older is proof of being more experienced, and having better judgement? Because that was the core of all McCain's arguments: "I'm experienced" and "You don't understand".
neptunia67
Sep. 27th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
It rattled me to my core that McCain did not -ONCE- look Obama in the eye. Several times the moderator asked him to address Obama directly, and several times Obama tried to engage him in conversation. I have no trust of McCain after seeing how he engages in this type of conversation.

I am curious. How would you suggest the country get out of the current financial crisis? If you had been one of the people in the debate last night, what would your suggestions have been, given the current situation, for resolving the problems? Also given the fact that the bailout bill would be in place by the time you would take office?
(Anonymous)
Sep. 28th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
There is no easy resolution to our problems. It took us 50 years to get in this deep, and we will never get all the way out because 50 years from now oil will be incredibly expensive and we will still be sorting out how to survive without it. But what we need to do is let the banks fall and not bail them out by printing more money. The effect of this will be that businesses and home-purchasers will not be able to borrow money, for a long time, unless they have some connections or a really good business plan. Lots of people will loose their homes and/or their jobs, and have to go live with family or friends. The beneficial effect of this is that the dollar will keep its current value, instead of being devalued by central bank driven inflation. In the long term I think our federal reserve needs to be dissolved, such that the financial markets are no longer tied to the government, and the bubble and bust cycle will not be created by our government's efforts to shore up business. Let businesses fail that do not provide a useful product. Let the market decide. This is a long view toward a stable economy: the short run is going to be rough, regardless. Part of what we can do to stop running our economy into a hole is to stop pretending that it is our job to assure that Iran doesn't get nukes, that Iraq and Russia sell us their oil, etc etc etc. We have no right to dictate the behavoir of other countries, and it is precisely our invasive foreign policy that is driving us bankrupt. We need to retreat, lick our wounds, learn how to grow food in our yards, and stop expecting the government to keep us all rich. Because it won't happen. The bailout will cause the dollar to tank, which will be the end of the American Way. And as far as I can tell, they are going to do it. It will be a slower and worse fate than if we went into a deep depression tomorrow and emerged 10 years from now a rebalanced and more self-sufficient nation. More realistic. Less infantile and selfish. But as I have said, I don't think that the people or the powers that be are prepared for a decade of hardship to prevent a lifetime of disaster. So we are going to have short term mild hardship and long term chaos, starvation, disease and violence. This is page one of what happens when immediate gratification politics rules over long term horse sense. It is unfortunate that our country has fallen so far, but we are still high up in the saddle, and we have a long way yet to go before we hit bottom.
neptunia67
Sep. 27th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thinking about the word "fundamental" and why it was used so much last night. I think the 2nd question asked by the moderator was for each candidate to discuss fundamental differences from the other. The concept seemed to stick from that point forward.
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