10 Notes On The Democratic Debate

Oh boy, the things I do for you guys. Watching a 2 hour long Democratic debate? Ouch, ouch, ouch….

Anyway, here are a few thoughts about the debate.

#1) All the Democratic contenders have essentially the exact same position on Iraq: we must cut and run, as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences. Yet and still, they spent a full 30 minutes rehashing the same ground over and over again. It was especially grating to watch Obama, Clinton, and Edwards going back and forth about which one of them is most desperate to lose the war in Iraq.

#2) Speaking of Iraq, there were a couple of particularly weird little quirks about that whole debate.

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A) First off, there were a couple of references made to getting out of Iraq so that we can fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, which makes no sense whatsoever.

We’re already fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq and their top priority seems to be defeating us there. So, if we cut and run in Iraq, we’re cutting and running, at least in part, from a fight with Al-Qaeda.

B) The other tic was the Democratic desire to get involved in Sudan. These guys are just itching to pull American troops out of Iraq, which is incredibly important to American interests, and send them to Sudan, which is not important to American interests. Additionally, one of the reasons that they cite for pulling out of Iraq is that it’s a “civil war.” That’s not really true of Iraq, but it is certainly true of Sudan. It’s just wacky.

#3) Wolf Blitzer alluded briefly to the possibility of genocide in Iraq if we cut and run, but he really didn’t pursue it. However, he should have gone into more depth on it. The Democrats are advocating a policy that may very well lead to the end of democracy in Iraq, genocide, a worldwide spike in gas prices, a spike in terrorist recruiting, terrorist attacks in the US, an Al-Qaeda state within a state in Iraq, a regional war, invasions of Iraq by Turkey and Iran — and more. All these things could occur as a direct result of what the Democrats want to do. So, they should be asked about that possibility and should have to go on the record about it. Do they think these things won’t occur? Would they be worth it if they do? If democracy collapsed after we left and there was a genocide, is that an acceptable price to pay for being able to pull out in the near future? They’re advocating a policy that could have really horrific consequences and they are, for the most part, getting a pass on it from the mainstream media.

#4) Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel both got one thing right: this isn’t just Bush’s war, it’s a Democratic war, too. Democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards voted for the war when it was popular and then changed their minds, when the public started turning against it.

#5) The audience actually applauded Hillary for refusing to say whether or not she’d use force to save people in Darfur which tells you a little something about the audience. What it tells you is that they’re sophisticated enough to know that sending the military to Darfur wouldn’t be popular, they think that she would do it anyway, and they’re okay with that.

#6) Dennis Kucinich certainly lived up to his wacky reputation. He declared that the Patriot Act was unconstitutional, said we needed a 9/10 forum to reconnect to who we are as Americans (Yes, let’s pretend 9/11 didn’t happen), and he said he would oppose taking out Osama Bin Laden with a hellfire missile because it would be an assassination.

#7) Mike Gravel was the only contender who supported making English our national language and believe it or not, he got a round of applause out of it.

#8) Everybody had incredibly expensive new pet projects they want to put into practice — from socialized medicine (pretty much everyone) to educating 100 million people around the world (Edwards) to creating a 40k minimum wage for teachers (Bill Richardson).

#9) At one point, Chris Dodd complained that we didn’t listen to the people who wanted to transform our military after the Cold War. Of course, the biggest mover and shaker behind “transforming our military” was Donald Rumsfeld, which I found ironic.

#10) Funniest line of the night, “I don’t know if I know what a rich person is…” — John Edwards

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