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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

JB Williams on The YouTube Debate

When Democrats Debate

CNN & You Too

Written by JB Williams

©2007 USA

When I first heard that Democrat presidential candidates would be taking video questions from average Americans via YouTube uploads, I thought, what a great idea as finally they will face the voter directly. Moments later, I realized that CNN would be controlling which video questions made it through the culling process into the debate and that Anderson Cooper would still be framing the discussion based upon the handful of questions not left on the cutting room floor.

For the record, any such effort in the future should be done “live” so that the sponsoring network does not have the opportunity to cherry pick the questions for the candidates. Illegal immigration is one of the most pressing problems in America today, yet the topic never came up.

In the end, save the unknown faces asking unpolished questions, it appeared much like every other so-called debate between Democrat candidates appearing on a Democrat friendly network. After all, this is the group that refused to appear on a FOX sponsored debate, strictly on the basis that they thought they would face questions from folks who were not minions of their political tribe. If Republican candidates took this same approach, fair and balanced FOX is the only channel where a republican debate could be held.

But back to how the first YouTube debate went, at least in my mind. Despite the obvious softball culling out of any really tough questions, I thought a few good questions made it through and a few telling answers were given.

Although Reuters UK led with this headline this morning, Democrats face unpredictable queries from YouTube, the questions were very predictable, as were the answers, both of which limited to those which Democrats prefer to focus upon. Maybe it’s appropriate that only Democrats ask liberal leading questions in a Democrat primary debate? But it isn’t very informative to the rest of the nation, now is it? Or maybe it is…

Race reparations for blacks - anti-war rhetoric - gay rights - free stuff from the fed, and the always entertaining obligatory Bush bashing opportunities, laced in every answer, no matter the question as usual. No one on the stage seemed to realize or care that their own job approval rating is even lower than Bush’s at present. Except Barack Obama that is, who clearly wants to define himself as both the anti-Bush and the anti-establishment Democrat for this very reason.

US News & World Report leads this morning with this obvious headline, Obama Targets Clinton At YouTube Debate. Hillary Clinton, who is clearly running on her husband’s record rather than her own which doesn’t actually exist, is the assumed party nominee to beat. Obama, the freshman senator who is also lacking a résumé, seems the only real party challenger to the Hillary nomination. So, of course Obama must target Hillary, drawing some distinction between the otherwise unqualified two.

If it wasn’t clear before last nights debate that none of the other Democrat candidates are really in this race, it should be clear now. John Edwards appeared almost child like every time he opened his mouth, very nervous, in way over his head in this arena.

The rest simply took turns making fools of themselves with overtly ignorant statements like these, Dennis Kucinich, “I say we achieve strength through peace. That's the new doctrine that I'm going to promote throughout this campaign.” – Mike Gravel who spent the evening firing at everyone on the stage, “You're not going to see any change when these people get elected. We were asked about -- that we're united. We're not united. I'm not united on many of their views.” He’s right of course, but still… can’t we all just get along, at least in public?

Gravel did his best to pull the mask off of the “Washington-outsider” with this exchange, “I want to take on Barack Obama for a minute, who said he doesn't take money from lobbyists. Well, he has 134 bundlers. Now, what does he think that is? - And, besides that, he has received money from a Robert Wolf, the head of the USB (sic) bank in the United States, who raised $195,000 -- from this bank -- wait a second -- who has lobbyists in Washington...”

Joe Biden and Chris Dodd spent the evening in standard inside the beltway double-speak, trying to strike a balance between their congressional records and their presidential views which seem at odds with those records on nearly every issue. Bill Richardson was uncharacteristically awkward, off beat and out of balance, seeming to stumble through every answer as if he didn’t really understand the question.

In my opinion, Hillary had some of the best answers of the evening. Not that I agree with much of what she said or believes, but she was articulate, by far the most calculated and polished. I thought she did a good job of explaining why she parts company with her party core on the war, why we don’t negotiate with terrorists or rogue regimes around the globe, and why we can’t just up and pull out of Iraq just to wait to see what happens next.

At the same time, she provided fresh meat for her blood thirsty constituents by offering a few blows against the Bush administration. Many of her supporters will never notice that her true policy positions are no different from Bush’s. They simply need to hear Bush bashed to be happy.

It’s clear why Hillary is the leading Democrat candidate. It isn’t that her résumé is so impressive, but rather that her challengers have no résumé at all. She is quite clearly, the only Democrat candidate with any oval office qualifications at all and she is very well rehearsed. She has the best handlers in the business and she is married to probably the most polished politician of our time, if you like that sort of breed.

Obama’s challenge is his overtly dangerous lack of experience, demonstrated by statements like this, - “I opposed this war from the start. Because I anticipated that we would be creating the kind of sectarian violence that we've seen and that it would distract us from the war on terror.”, which overlooks the fact that sectarian violence has been the favorite pastime of the Middle East since the beginning of recorded history.

- Or when asked if he would meet with terrorists and rogue regimes as president, “I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous.”, as if he believes we refuse to meet with these people as some childish form of punishment alone.

A silly notion quickly knocked out of the park by Clinton seconds later, “Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse.” - proving that she possesses at least a fundamental understanding of international diplomacy regarding evil rogue empires.

Hillary Clinton was the only Democrat candidate on the stage that is even remotely qualified to apply for the position of president and she knows it. She was relaxed and candid as a result. The more Obama speaks, the more unqualified he appears. The others were never in the race and never will be. Unless Gore decides to run, Democrats will be supporting the other Clinton in 2008.

However, at the end of the day, another Democrat might have summed it up best…

“Don't tell me the Democrats are our "saviors" because I am not buying it!” said Democrat activist Cindy Sheehan, who went on to speak truth to power, “I was a lifelong Democrat only because the choices were limited. The Democrats are the party of slavery and were the party that started every war in the 20th century, except the other Bush debacle. The Federal Reserve, permanent federal income taxes, not one but two World Wars, Japanese concentration camps, and not one but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan -- all brought to us via the Democrats.”

For a change, Sheehan stumbled into a statement which happened to be historically true and accurate. It was unintentional on her part, I’m sure, but the facts remain.

Although many modern voters seem to think Democrats will save them from racism, war and poverty, history including recent congressional voting records, show that this is far more myth than reality.

If Democrat voters ever take a serious look at history, the current Marxist platform of the DNC or their extremely limited field of potential leaders, they will look beyond their beloved party for answers to questions no Democrat can answer honestly today.

That alone would make these debates worthwhile… But since when were liberals ever concerned with the facts?

As one of my dear friends pointed out after the debate, “Not one of them has ever managed a store much less a city or a state or anything else. What makes any of them think they are qualified to run the Greatest Nation on Earth?”