32 days left

Boy, did we get fired up last night. Did we? Should that be a question? I don't know. But we did. We are very much Debate People. We had popcorn and brownies for this one. And, uh, Biden won. People who thought it was a draw didn't watch the whole thing.

One of our favorite moments was when Palin, asked about the causes of global warming, repeated her crazy quote from one of her sad Couric interviews that it doesn't matter what caused global warming: what matters is what we do now to fix it. I paused the TV at that moment and begged Senator Biden to jump on it. Jon Stewart already took a shot at that statement this week with an analogy about continuing to smoke after you've been diagnosed with lung cancer... but Biden did a brilliant thing and took it one step further. He didn't just admonish her statement as lack of perspective on the environmental crisis we're facing. He drew a connection to the larger problem of the McCain/Palin duo's not seeming to question how *any* of our problems as a nation were created, and how shortsighted and unwise that sort of attitude is. Jack was pumping his fists like a boxer, and I was clapping giddily but very quietly so as not to wake our sleeping boy.

Biden's complete shredding of McCain's "maverick" label was nice, too, especially given the number of times Palin had already used the word. It's like she was getting commission or something.

My favorite moment, though, came toward the end. (Lauren, was *your* favorite moment when Biden cried??) He talked about a revelation he had during his time in the Senate, when he was deriding Jesse Helms on some issue (admittedly, an easy thing to do) and questioning his motives for a particular policy decision. A colleague in the Senate apparently asked Biden how he would feel if he knew that Helms had adopted a child with cerebral palsy, which he did after learning about how difficult it is for special needs children to get adopted. Biden said that he resolved never again to question the motives of someone with opinions different from his own.

This philosophy, which Biden and Obama seem to share, based on past comments from both of them, represents my own take on politics. I may be infuriated by what I think are the misguided opinions of social conservatives, or those who want to cut support to the poorest of our citizens, or those who believe that trickle-down economics actually work (um, hello, Wall Street? Is it working NOW?). But I do not believe that these people are acting out of malice. This is why I can't stand listening to politically-charged talk radio from either side, and why I couldn't get more than a chapter into Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them before I had to return it to the library. I think that everyone in politics believes sincerely that his or her method of doing things is the best for the country as a whole, and I look forward to a day when we can elevate our discourse to reflect this notion. Whether that day will come soon largely depends on whom we elect next month. I loved, loved, LOVED this statement by Obama during his acceptance speech:

"What I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain."

I have The Hope. I have it BAD. Don't make me lose my hope.




I definitely agree with what you said on people not acting out of malice. I do believe that most people do want the world to be a better place. Some ways and thoughts I just don't agree with but I know the other side has a right to think that too. I think that ultimately all the different thoughts are supposed to balance each other out. I do struggle with decisions that come from hate and malice and are made to take away people’s basic human rights to live a good life. You summed up how I feel about the election with your end quote

"I have The Hope. I have it BAD. Don't make me lose my hope"
Amen! We watched it with our neighbors, so I missed bits and pieces, but overall thought it was a much more interesting debate than the first presidential one. And I don't know if you know this or not, but Thom and I are a "mixed marriage" when it comes to politics, but gosh darn, I really want to kick his butt in a month!!
The "not acting out of malice" point is a good one, but one that can be hard to remember. When the first bailout bill wasn't passed by the House earlier this week, I had to remind myself that those who voted no weren't necessarily "playing the game" to get themselves re-elected (b/c they knew people would be pissed if they voted yes), but that their JOB is to listen to their constituents and to be a representative of the people. So, yeah.

I thought Biden's choking up was a highlight, yes, because it was a window into the person, rather than rhetoric. My other favorite moments were his closing statement ("stand up together, America") the "now THAT'S the bridge to nowhere." I was irritated by Palin's ridiculously folksy tone (and WTF is with SHOUT OUTS to 3rd graders?!) and her non-answering of questions, going back to things that had already been covered. Gwen Ifill didn't even call her on it! If anything, she changed the subject to the things Palin was already talking about off-topic! Argh.
You're "Don't make me lose my hope" sounds like something out of Grey's Anatomy, I love it!! I feel ya. This was the first debate I've ever watched all the way through. (It helped that I was babysitting so I could do other things around my house..)And it was aggravating as snot. I would have liked to smack Palin across the face to knock some sense into her. It's like she's afraid to let any of her own ideas or opinions out, all she had to say was "John McCain beleives.." or "John McCain says.." Even when directly asked she couldn't furnish her own answer.

I think someone at work summed it up pretty nicely: "Can you imagine her sitting across from some powerful world leader and have them take her seriously or carry on an intelligent, productive conversation?" Hell no. I hope this was a big eye opener for a lot of people, enough so that it'll stop them from voting for McCain because of it!!
I never thought the word nuclear was hard to pronounce, but apparently it is. Can you imagine trying to convince a foreign leader not to use their "nucular" weapons?
I know, seriously... nucular is one of those terrible utterances that started mysteriously in some sort of goop and just will not go away. I commented on it four years ago after the Bush/Kerry debate (http://thoughtsfromhermes.blogspot.com/2004/10/warning-politics-ahead.html). I also remember a year or two later hearing Kiefer Sutherland on 24 say nucular, and his character worked in counter-terrorism. There's just no excuse for it, but at least it separates the cognoscenti from the fakers, or it has so far. Bush, Palin, and a TV actor... all fakers, right?
While I have nothing to say about the people whom we have to choose between other than that I hope the votes of people are counted and the party that gets the most votes is able to move into the White House. It will be a refreshing change after the last two terms.

Anyway, what I really want to say is it was really good to spend some time reading three of your blogs this evening. I want you to finish your degree, but I love your posts too.
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