Real-time debate reactions

Okay, these comments came pretty much right as I thought of them while we were watching the debate tonight. I wanted to do something besides picking 2 or 3 issues discussed in the debate and examining those in detail. Time for a change of pace, at least for tonight.

8:05 — Obama brings up the "fundamentals of the economy are strong" comment, McCain retorts with how he warned of the Fannie and Freddie crisis, but wait, Obama says he's the one who pointed out the deteriorating effects of the subprime mortgage meltdown... didn't we already *have* this debate?

8:10 — Why is John McCain shiny? What in the heck is his suit made out of?

8:20 — McCain is going to attack Obama for wanting to fund a planetarium? Seriously? How can he talk about American innovation and improving education and then not want to fund a planetarium?

8:30 — I love CNN's juxtaposed shots of the GOP watch party and the Democrat watch party. The difference in racial diversity between those two groups is almost palpable.

8:31 — McCain says we can attack health care and the energy crisis at the same time. Sure, we've got two houses of Congress, right? The House can debate the rising costs of health care for a couple of days, the Senate can draft sweeping energy reform, and then they can switch.

8:33 — Did Obama just go back to advocating offshore drilling?

8:34 — Ooh, Obama wants to double the Peace Corps. Very cool idea.

8:37 — McCain once again accuses Obama of the worst thing a Liberal can be accused of: Raising Taxes. Um, Obama would like to raise taxes (on the wealthiest Americans and corporations) to PAY for things, rather than BORROWING more money from China.

8:40 — McCain labels himself a reformer again and talks about not being popular with his party leaders at times. You know he wanted to use the word "maverick," but he probably read the brilliant, satirical Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart and then thought better of it.

8:45 — I feel so bad for Tom Brokaw, trying to herd these two wildcats into predetermined time limits. He just seems like he wants to yell at them and put them in timeout.

8:49 — Brokaw asks a great question: do we fund another Manhattan-Project-like thinktank to deal with global climate change, or do we fund 100,000 garages across the country? Either one at this point would be awesome in my opinion, just so people are dealing with it, at long last.

8:51 — While Obama is talking, McCain in the background looks like he's giving someone a hand signal. Maybe he wants his chief advisor lobbyist guy to steal third. Incidentally, this is during the question about whether health care should be treated as a commodity; I don't think either candidate understood her question, and I have to admit that I don't get what she's driving at, either.

8:55 — McCain, when talking about Obama's health care plan, says he is always "nervous when government mandates something"... John, would that be like regulation on Wall Street, for example? Did that make you nervous? I think it did, John. And look what's up now.

9:00 — McCain keeps trying to get the crowd on his side by cracking little jokes. There's scattered laughter, but I think McCain is laughing harder than anyone else. He reminds me a little of a professor who thinks his students find him funny, when really they either don't get his sense of humor or think he's just kind of out of it. And I've been one of those profs, so don't think I'm judging him. I lost count of the number of times I tried to joke with my music appreciation students and the jokes just kind of fell flat. Sigh. At least Brokaw is getting some laughs.

(blah, blah, blah, same comments about foreign policy in the Middle East, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, more of the same stuff about foreign policy, blah blah blah)

9:10 — I have a headache from hearing the same infuriating words and divisive statements from both candidates, honestly. I still want my guy to win next month, but this repeated rhetoric is exhausting me.

9:16 — McCain says about Osama Bin Laden, "I know how to get him." So what exactly is he waiting for??

9:18 — Brokaw: "If either of you becomes President, as one of you will..." Is there such a thing as the If/When Police?

9:25 — I like McCain's answer about whether Russia is an evil empire. Sensitive, well-said. I think that if McCain had different political advisors (i.e., not Steve Schmidt, who's responsible for so much of McCain's attack strategy and closing off of the press), more of his campaign would sound like this.

9:28 — I think I have foreign policy ennui. I can't focus on what they're even saying at this point. I'm also very tired.

9:30 — Peggy from Amherst, NH! "What don't you know, and how will you learn it?" Brilliant!

Not nearly as much fun as the VP debate. At least it's over. I'm going to bed.




I think the woman asking the health care as a commodity question was trying to get at the fundamental underpinning of our health care system and it's flaws. It could also be phrased in a more politically charged way such as "Should our health care system be based on a capitalistic or socialistic framework?" Does the current profit based system inherently undermine what should be the goal of the system; maintaining peoples good health? Or does it in fact only serve to extract as much capital as possible from consumers and place it in the hands of insurance, pharmaceutical and health care organizations while impeding actual quality care?

I think if McCain had said "My friends" one more time my head would have imploded.
I think you're probably right. Now that I've had some sleep and the sun has risen once again, that makes sense to me. Unfortunately, neither candidate wants to do away with the profit-based system yet, I guess since people are so wary of "government-run" health care. NPR did a great series on that several months ago, talking to Americans living abroad about the kind of care they receive, and comparing Americans and Europeans with similar diseases who are getting drastically different care (and paying drastically different amounts, of course). I think a lot of Americans are just so concerned that their choice is going to go out the window, though there's so much that isn't currently covered by certain health plans, and doctors have to jump through such hoops for some plans, that I think a major change would be better received than a lot of politicians think.
I heard that NPR series on healthcare, too. I hope it impacted people to see concrete examples of other systems, how they can work, and where they too fall flat.

Also, as for McC's statement that he gets "nervous when government mandates something," I find that statement one of the most ridiculous of them all. This coming from the party that wants to (a) tell women what they can do with their uteruses (or is that uteri?) :-) and (b) constitutionally define marriage as between a man & a woman. Argh.
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