My thoughts on the Democratic debate

Mike Gravel is an angry, angry man. I like that he’s passionate about what he believes in, but he needs to take a look at what happened to Howard Dean and tone it down a bit. He doesn’t have even Dean’s charisma – people aren’t going to forget his little outbursts. And he maybe needs to learn that not every issue is so black and white. There are subtleties to issues that he didn’t acknowledge. Not that it matters. He has no chance of winning, as evidenced by his seating position. He was off-camera in even most of the wide shots.

Also not going to win is Dennis Kucinich. His repeated insistence that his fellow debators could stop the Iraq war right now if they’d change political tactics was annoying. I am adamantly opposed to cutting off war funding. I know that something politically drastic has to be done to get Bush to listen to reason on the war, but cutting off funding is a really good way to get a lot of people, both American and Iraqi, killed. Like it or not, we stirred things up over there pretty badly, and I think we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people to stick around until it’s cleaned up.

Hillary Clinton was not as bad as I expected. She did spend too much time bashing Bush, though. We already know she doesn’t agree with Bush. It’s not like she was one of his advisors and needs to distance herself. Instead of rallying support, her bashing is going to look like cheap shots. I’m pretty tired of Bush-bashing. It’s not getting us anywhere. I mean, he’s a terrible President. He’s done some really awful things to the country. But I’m not really interested in hearing about it anymore. I want to hear how you’re going to fix it.

And that’s where Barack Obama comes in. Man, that guy sounded good up there. I keep saying that I need to do some research on him, because a friend insists he’s basically a socialist. I really want to support Obama, and I really need to find out if I can. He said all the right things. He’s got a really nice talent for complimenting someone at the same time he’s disagreeing with them.

I agreed with a lot of the things that were said on the debate. But then a few of them started talking about how we need to crack down on insurance company profits and oil company profits, and then they lost me. What better way to lose the socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative voters who really want to vote for a Democrat in 2008?

I also really hated the format of the debate. If Wolf Blitzer had asked them to raise their hands if they agreed with point X one more time, I would have lost it. I think the number of issues and the number of people were both much too high for a two hour debate. There were a few times where the question was specifically about semantics rather than real discussion of the issues.

Right now, I’d like to see Obama/Edwards for ’08. I think the two of them were passing notes behind Hillary’s back, so maybe that’s what they’re planning on. I may change my mind as I learn more, but if the election were today, that’s who I would want on my ballot.

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