Thursday, June 28, 2007

Democratic Presidential Debate

I finally watched one of the Presidential debates. It was Tavis Smiley's All-American presidential debate on PBS, with focus meant to be on domestic issues, especially those of concern to African-Americans. I have to say I was underwhelmed.

Kookie old white guy Mike Gravel said the bravest things: end the war on drugs, take the money away from the military, make taxation transparent. I really liked most of what he said. But he's a nut. Dennis Kucinich said great things, also constantly tying the issues to the corruption of priorities caused by the war in Iraq. But (and I voted for him in the last democratic primary) he is so anti-charismatic, so unlikeable.

Dodd, Biden and Richardson seemed like the old establishment. All spouted flat rehashed speeches that could have been given by any politician any time in the last 20 years. Somewhat horrifyingly, the only time Biden got emotional was when he suggested the US intervene military in Darfur against the Sudanese government. What a horror these three seem.

Which leaves the three front runners. Honestly, I didn't hate Hillary. Expect for a moment or two of equivocation and then a horrifying hawk-like impulse on Darfur she was concise, well prepared, articulate, and respectful of the time limits and therefore the audience. The war wasn't really a topic so her bad history was set aside. My main problem with her remains that she is so so careful about how she phrases things you just don't trust her. Every sentence sounds like a legal contract you will be expected to understand and remember exactly. Edwards had great energy, if what he said was old hat and self-aggrandizement. But he had some good points. I didn't hate him either. Meanwhile Barack needs to take some geritol. He said some good stuff, and occasionally engaged with the audience. It's really clear that he has a deep commitment to progressive humanistic values and there's something tantalizing about what he says, but he's coming across a little boring. Time to jazz it up. Sadly, he hawked it up on Darfur also, though he then said the real problem is how America engages with Africa. He gets a couple points for bringing up homophobia.

I had some trouble staying awake. The field needs to be winnowed (I suggest Dodd, Biden and Richardson bow out), and then they need to start arguing. If Hillary is gonna be the front-runner I wanna see the others challenge her record. If Obama is gonna keep his poster up in my window I wanna see some inspiration. And if the Democrats are gonna get my vote then they need to start trying to stop the fucking war.

It's gonna be a long year.

Oh yeah, the Supreme Court trie dto roll back Brown vs. the Board of Education today. A sad day for America.

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