Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Live-Blogging Debate #2

T+13 minutes: Nothing but meaningless economic populism from both sides.

McCain just made a hit against Obama on his Fannie/Freddie connections. We've been waiting for this one. Of course, this just opens up the old back-and-forth on whether deregulation or CRA is at the roots of this crisis. Bla bla bla I just don't care anymore.

Interestingly, Obama admits that small businesses and corporations need the bailout so that the middle class don't lose their jobs. But of course, subsidizing bread and circuses on the backs of those businesses won't affect those middle-class jobs.

I like Brokaw's questions. Oh sorry, it's a town hall, I'm supposed to pretend they're from "the people".

Yay nuclear power! Wind, tide, solar! Clean coal! Wait, tide? I mean, I know it's got enormous potential. It's had enormous potential for like 40 years now, you know, right up there with fusion.

Why was Obama hesitant to mention Iran as an unfriendly country benefiting from high oil prices? "In some cases, Iran"? Which cases, other than all of them.

Hahahaha, Obama's going to go line-by-line through the federal code and eliminate non-working programs. That sounds great, except, how does he expect to get that through his Congress? Because there are a lot of useless programs have a lot of friends.

What would be the response if McCain had been the one to bring up 9/11? I mean, other than that he's racist.

Did Obama just say that what's good for GM is good for America? Because that's what I heard.

Tom Brokaw's really doing a good job reigning these guys in.

Obama on reforming entitlements: "I'd like to do it in my first term as President". In your first term?

Only a few percent of small businesses would get a tax increase under the Obama plan. Which probably amounts to "only" hundreds of thousands of businesses employing "only" millions of people.

McCain's response on entitlements? Excellent. "We know how to fix Social Security". Well, that's true, but just because the fix is simple doesn't mean it'll be easy.

Ugh, climate change glurge. Probably my biggest complaint with McCain. At least he's got the right answer: nuclear power generation and electric transportation.

Obama: "We can't simply drill our way out of the problem." Senator, to coin a phrase, "Yes we can!"

Did McCain seriously make a dig at Biden's hair plugs? Surreal. And right in the middle of an otherwise very decent apologia of his health care plan, too.

"Government mandates, I'm always a little nervous about." Amen.

Is health care a privelege, a right, or a responsibility? A good sort of question, and the responses are predictable. Of course I'm revealing my radicalism when I admit I actually come down on the privelege side.

McCain: "The fact is, America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world." Sing it, Senator!

Hahahahaha, Obama just called out McCain for "all these wonderful things he's been saying we should do, but hasn't said how we're going to pay for". I am seriously in Wonderland.

Man, Brokaw is on. This, friends, is what a debate moderator looks like.

On humanitarian, non-national-security interventions: we must consider intervening where possible. He implies we couldn't have intervened in Rwanda. Really? Because America's military was so tied up in 1994? (UPDATE: Michael Graham echoes my point here, and Jonah Goldberg takes it one further.)

Wow, good question for McCain. "You have to temper your ambitions with your ability to beneficially affect the situation".

Oooh, "should we respect Pakistani sovereignty"? Very good question. Which Obama is completely dodging. Meaningless aside: Obama pronounces Pakistan like Christiane Amanpour: paaaahkistaahn. And the Taaahlibaahn. Sorry, there is absolutely no chance that any Pakistani pronounces the name of his country that way. Apparently a Corner reader agrees.

Ugh, McCain is half-way in the same camp, saying Talibaaahn. At least he says Pakistan normally.

Obama: "I didn't call for the invasion of Pakistan. I just said we have to go into Pakistan". Amazing. McCain's gotten under Obama's skin; now it's getting interesting.

I don't like this whole "Afghanistan was the right war all along". There are a lot of reasons to believe that Iraq has a far greater chance of becoming a decent country than Afghanistan has ever had. I feel like Obama is setting himself up for failure by investing so much expectation in a place that has never been a coherent state, ever. Were it not for the millions of people who would suffer, the spiteful jerk in me would love to see him preside over a complete collapse of the entire region. Since I try to keep the spiteful jerk under control, I really hope Obama sees something there that I don't.

McCain just explained that a nuclear Iran would lead to the nuclearization of the entire region. Has this point been made clearly in the public sphere? Have I just been missing it? Because I've long been frustrated that nobody has been making this clear. He should have drilled it down even harder: "Let me make this clear: an Iranian bomb will lead undoubtedly to an Emirati bomb and a Saudi bomb, probably an Omani bomb and a Qatari bomb, and possible even an Egyptian bomb. This is why an Iranian bomb is unacceptable." Whether or not the Iranians are crazy enough to give the bomb to terrorists or use it themselves, the Gulf would likely be a far touchier nuclear standoff even than the Line of Control.

NOOO!! CNN's internet feed is crapping out on the last question! Hopefully it's fluff.

Oh sad, I just realized I could have been watching the version with the live audience reaction ticker. That would have been fun in the horserace sense, anyway.

So, the final reaction? I don't even know if I'm going to bother. Maybe I'll just do a reaction to the reaction tomorrow.

UPDATE: Ramesh Ponnuru's drinking-game suggestion would have had me under the table.


Rita Loca said...

My opinion of last nights Presidential debate is that we may have discovered the cure for insomnia.
However, I did watch it dubbed over in Spanish.

Elephantschild said...

Anything to make it less painful, Jungle Mom.

I missed the entire thing, as I was at Catechism class at church, and I'm not sure I've got the stomach to go back and watch it via YouTube.

Bruce Gee said...

I actually felt McCain bettered Obama, in a debating sort of way. Much of the night Obama was on the defensive, and the way the questions fell, Obama had often to answer first which gave McCain time to formulate.

But it wasn't a knock-out punch, and therefore Obama won. Obama was deft enough to stay out of trouble. Of course, neither one of them has a clue about what to do about the economy (McCain's suggestion to buy out mortgages was still-born), but president's have advisors to worry about those things. Just as Obama will have Biden to make all his foreign policy decisions for him--I hope.

Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake said...

I don't know about hoping Biden will take the lead in foreign policy. This is the man who thinks we should have partitioned Iraq (because that always works) and who clearly has a very confused and conflicted understanding of the broader Middle East.