OK, I'm sorta following the CNN.com stream. So far, my thoughts are this:
McCain: Obama, you want to hurt Joe the Plumber. You're robbing a white man!
Obama: I'm going to stick to my proposals and gently bat away McCain's ramblings. And I like Joe the Plumber.
Joe the Plumber is the most damn important guy in the history of the world.
Obama: But Warren Buffett...
McCain: Joe the Plumber. Plumber!!!!!one!
God, this election is stupid.
...OK, this is being played out on the terrain of taxes, which is kind of silly at this time of crisis. And here comes the neo-Hooverism from Bob Schieffer, with a focus on the deficit. Will Obama call him out?
...well, he's pushing back, sort of... he does say that public investment will be a savings in the future. And he does say that there's a time for fiscal responsibility, AFTER this economic crisis. I generally agree. You can be fiscally responsible and smart
- in good times. In bad times like this you simply have to use the federal government to provide stimulus, since monetary policy is currently useless.
This allows McCain to go into his across-the-board spending freeze and porkbusting nonsense. Obama goes back to earmarks acocunting for 1/2 of 1% of the federal budget. And he talks about Bush ballooning the deficit.
The focus on balancing the budget is absolutely annoying.
McCain: "I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago." That was a very good moment for him. I don't think it'll be enough, but it was a solid moment.
Obama on the tax increases for $42,000: "Even Fox News disputes that, and that's unusual for them to dispute a charge at me." Then he goes back to telling McCain if he mistakes McCain for Bush it's because they're the same on economic policy. McCain responds with a bunch of stuff that has virtually nothing to do with economic policy.
...here it comes, Schieffer gives McCain the Ayers opening, like a good little soldier. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. McCain starts with how everything could have changed if they only went out on town hall meetings. Now he says that Obama must repudiate the remarks about John Lewis. Now Obama is the dirty negative campaigner ("More money on negative ads than any campaign in history" -yeah, more money on ads.)
Obama's response - "We expect campaigns to be tough." Mentions the CBS poll. "100% of your ads have been negative." McCain meekly denies it. "I don't mind being attacked for the next 3 weeks. But what the American people deserve is not four more years of the same economic policies." It's the usual "Let's get back to the issues" high road. "Politics as usual is not solving the big problems in America."
McCain goes the "stop lying about my record" route. Worked well for Bob Dole. And Joe the Plumber is back!
...McCain is really a pathetic human being. He's trying to play backlash politics by saying that Obama mentioning that McCain's rallies have featured people yelling "Terrorist" and "Kill him" is an attack on his supporters. It's absolutely absurd and beneath any sentient human being. McCain's trying to wiggle away from the environment he created at those rallies.
Then, he jumps in during Obama's colloquy, right in the middle of a sentence, to bring up Bill Ayers and ACORN, who are "destroying the fabric of democracy." Conservatives everywhere just had an orgasm. Obama returns with his prepared remarks demurring the Ayers thing and ACORN. But the way in which McCain brought it up is what's significant. He jumped in because he thought he was going to get away from the question before name-checking ACORN and Ayers. He had to bring it into the dirt. What a sad display.
...The Biden-Palin question was absurd and boring.
...McCain corrects Schieffer on climate change for absolutely no reason. In his response, McCain apparently thinks that cars run on nuclear power.
...Obama explains what free trade actually means. That populism is going to be off the charts. He's been pushed into this position on trade, but he's absolutely right. Education and training for workers, like McCain says, is a total dodge. His answer is a complete mess.
OK, I'm going to drive home and listen to the rest of this on the radio.
Labels: 2008, Barack Obama, debates, John McCain