Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Pennsylvania Democrat Debate - Obama vs Clinton

The debate hosted by ABC was something unique to behold. During the entire first hour, not a single question about the economy, health care, taxes, Iraq or any other policy matter. It was entirely devoted to "Bittergate", "Bosniagate", the Reverand Wright, Bill Ayers, who said what, when and how everybody felt about it. It didn't look like two candidates appealing to the voters, it looked like two employees standing before a board of directors trying to explain their dismal performance. They did so mainly by pointing out the flaws of the other.

Maybe it's because of all the attention on the gaffes, but when it got down to issues, they didn't fair much better. Have policy positions become an afterthought? Given that both candidates pledged in no uncertain terms to withdraw troops from Iraq on a definite timetable, which they proceeded to share with us as well as Al Quaida, one would think so. They both went so far as to say that they would go forward with withdrawal plans regardless of the advice of the military.

They had similar positions on the economy, both promising to raise taxes regardless of the economic situation at the time they take office. Obama even contradicted his own tax plan first saying he wouldn't raise taxes on anyone making under 200,000 then saying, yes he's considering raising the cap on social security taxes (currently at 97,000). There wasn't time to get into any detail on how we're all going to get health care. That would have detracted from the verbal and emotional analysis.

This has degraded into a contest of who's the least objectionable. I hope the general election campaign goes better.

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