Sunday, June 03, 2007
Democratic debate: There’s a teachable moment here
Edwards: The war on terror is a bumper sticker. We are not safer.
Clinton: The war on terror is not a bumper sticker (but it is one of those Garfield dolls stuck to a car window). We are safer.
Kucinich: There’s a teachable moment here.
Biden, yelling (he seemed to be yelling a lot of the time, as was Gravel): We’re not funding the war, we’re funding the safety of the troops until we can get 67 votes to end the war. So that’s okay, then.
Hillary tried to avoid have to admit that she didn’t read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting for the war. But when pressed (good for Wolf Blitzer, by the way) she tried to claim it was irrelevant and that she was “totally briefed” (also: “thoroughly briefed”) (insert your own “boxers or briefs” joke here). By whom she did not say (and it’s important, since the question is whether she knew of the dissent in the full report that she failed to read, and since the dissent turned out to be correct). She also blamed “the Iraqis” for failing to take advantage of the “opportunity” we gave them.
Hillary: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a transition policy. She really can’t admit that anything she or the Clinton administration did was a mistake.
Biden: “No one asked anyone else whether they’re gay in those holes – foxholes!”
Asked how they would use Bill Clinton, every single one wants to send him out of the country. Especially Hillary. Indeed, Hillary says, “I believe in using former presidents.” No one asked what job she would give Chimpy.
Edwards was a little worrisome on foreign policy issues. He talked about driving a wedge between the Iranian people and its leaders, but seemed to support Pervez Musharaf as being better for us than the results of democratic elections.
Hillary said that Musharaf has “become” anti-democratic. I was going to ask what her first clue was – his seizing power in a military coup? – but then realized this was another example of her refusal to admit past mistakes, since Musharaf came to power when Bill was in office.
Bill Richardson suggested pressuring China to pressure Sudan by threatening to boycott the Olympics. People tend to forget how damaging to his reputation Carter’s decision to boycott the 1980 Olympics was. I’d go so far as to say he would have been re-elected but for that.
Asked what they would do in their first 100 days, several of course said pull troops out of Iraq. Richardson would establish pre-school for every American. Well, I’m looking forward to that. I haven’t finger-painted in a really long time. Edwards would travel the world re-establishing America’s moral authority. He didn’t say how. Gravel would yell at people. Dodd would restore constitutional rights. Yay, Dodd!