In general terms, Friday’s debate went pretty much how I thought it would. Obama was better (and better sounding) on all issues economic because John McCain is a rich white man who thinks only about the interests of his patrons. On foreign policy, although I agree with Obama more than with McCain, McCain certainly sounded more knowledgeable based on his ability to name-drop and his ability to invoke his experience directly. He did sound, from time to time, incredibly nasty and patronizing to Obama; unfortunately, only people who already support Obama would probably hear it that way.
Maureen Dowd’s column in this morning’s NY Times gets it right, I think. She contends that Obama had several opportunities to lay McCain out, but he refused to throw the punches. He could have done so, she contends further, without descending into the kind of politics he says he rejects. In other words, he could have answered some of McCain’s flat-out lies without simply calling McCain a liar. I hope, as I know many of my friends do, that Obama does a better job of exposing McCain’s lies for what they are as the campaign moves towards its end.
The facts are incredibly clear. John McCain doesn’t care, at all, about what happens to anybody as a result of his support for deregulation. He doesn’t care, at all, about the damage done to the economy, or the nation’s standing in the world, while some rich folks got richer. He doesn’t care, at all, about the problems people are facing keeping afloat.
He does care, a lot, about projecting American power around the globe in imperial ways. He does care, a lot, about maintaining the appearance of American dominance around the globe, even at the expense of crumbling actual military power, homeland economics, safety of American citizens, and so on. He may know more about the history and the personal lives of leaders in places like Kurdistan, but knowing more factoids doesn’t give him better judgment. It’s crystal clear that his judgment on everything is wrong (Joe Biden’s urge to hyperbole served him well when he said this on Saturday). The simple fact of the matter is that McCain is an awful choice for President, and anybody who votes for him is voting to ruin our country.
And that’s before we even begin to consider his VP choice…