Symbolism or Substance (Part 1)

At Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi Jim Lehrer of PBS “News Hour” commentator of the First Presidential Debate. This is just some of my notes/analysis of the debate. You may disagree or agree and that’s fine. That’s why I say that it is MY notes and analysis. I’m sure those who support McCain think he done well, and those like myself believe that Obama did well. It appears that the poll results from CNN & CBS of undecided voters rate Obama for wining the debate, but I would call it 51% Obama to 49% McCain, but you can call me partisan like yourself.

Economics —
Jim Lehrer asked John McCain directly if there fundamental differences between your approach and Sen. Obama’s approach to what you would do as president to lead this country out of this financial crisis?

John McCain says, “The first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington, it’s completely out of control. We have now presided over the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society.”

He continued to talk about cutting spending, but refuses to give a real answer to Jim’s question. Hasn’t it been George W. Bush, a President that John McCain has agreed with 90% of the time that presided over this spending and increase deficit. How are you going to lead on spending when you have agreed with President Bush?

What’s up with the constant references to not being voted congenial in the senate? We don’t care about that. Doesn’t that mean you don’t work well with others.

Veterans – It’s amazing how John McCain still want to use the POW experience as a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” when it comes to veterans issues. But when we hear from veteran organizations such as the New Generation Veterans, Disabled American Veterans and the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America gave McCain a D and Obama a B on his legislative record on veteran related issues. The Disabled American Vets gave McCain 20% and Obama 80% on veteran issues.

If you know veterans and know then well then why is it that you was the opposition on the recent GI Bill and didn’t bother to vote for it?

The chairman of Jon Soltz called your response a joke. You voted twice against a $1 Billion procreations bill for National Guard units for body armor in 2003, then again in 2003. In 2006 the Dwell Time issue you opposed, if you spend a year away at war you get a year at home, but John McCain lead the opposition to that. In 2003 McCain oppose increasing the size of the military. When it was time to vote for it you was at a political fundraiser in CA.

So how do you love them or care for them?

National Security
– What is John McCain’s policy on Afghanistan? It is a secondary issue to him. It appears that he believes that victory in Iraq must occur before we deal with Afghanistan. But has said that he would stay in Iraq for 50 to 100 years.

What is Barack Obama’s policy on Afghanistan? It’s the primary issue in the war on terror. He believes the war in Iraq should have never been waged and Afghanistan is the war we cannot lose. Afghanistan is where the real threat is and that’s where he wants to take the fight.

Since John McCain is believed to be an expert why did you bring up Sarah Palin that one time and why didn’t you blow Obama out the water?

Overall Analysis — I think Barack Obama & John McCain did well. To now surprise to most of you reading this I would tip the balance to Obama, but would suggest that he not let McCain off the hook on a couple of openings he left you to hit him on next time. (To the crazy conservatives who are looking for something to criticize me on this is the part where I say, “see I can criticize Obama and still support him”)

I personally believe that McCain is on the ropes and although I understand and generally will be the gentleman and give people a chance, this is the time that I would throw that out and stomp his conservative wrinkled ass into the mat and apologize later for my aggression. But I have a strong mistrust for the Republican lies and crap.

McCain served his Republican Talking Points by repeating the phrase, “Senator Obama doesn’t understand” it give his base something to use against people like me who are not afraid of them and will hit them back. That’s fair and I anticipate it.

Side Note — Just a side thought on a comparison with this debate in Presidential Debate history and would like to know what you think from those who know who may remember the Nixon / Kennedy Debate. John McCain couldn’t look Barack Obama in the eye, appeared and acted very uncomfortable and generally agitated.

Obviously others thought that too if you look at the results from the multiple polls of the “uncommitted” voters. It appeared to me that John McCain acted as he always do, “agitate, uncomfortable and grumpy” but it just reminded me of that Nixon/Kennedy Debate. I wasn’t living at that time, but I’m a bit of a history enthusiasts.

By the way where was McCain’s lapel Flag pin? Obama had his on. That’s for those who made a big fuss about Obama not wearing one. What’s your answer on that? I guess it doesn’t matter when it comes to McCain.

Quick Fact Check:

  1. Business Taxes – John McCain said that American business has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world. But the Bush Administration’s Treasury Department has said that as a percentage of our GDP American has the lowest corp. tax rate in the world and the GAO said that most corporations pay no tax at all. If John McCain wants to say that we’re not doing enough for corporations with the $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout that’s fine keep saying it, because it’s easily proven to be wrong.
  2. Government Spending & Economic Crisis – John the government non-defense discretionary spending has nothing to do with this economic crisis. If you’re concerned about excessive Defense cost, but when asked about the budget you say you want to freeze all spending except for defense. Can’t have it both ways dude. Non-defense spending is at its lowest levels now since the 1960’s.
  3. Healthcare Scare Tactic – McCain spouts off the old Republican standard scare tactic that Obama and the Democrats want to turn over your healthcare to the government so you and your doctor will not be allowed to make decisions anymore only the government. That’s right, Medicare is so unpopular. I wonder why after repeated polls they consistently show that both Democrats & Republicans have supported so sort of government sponsored healthcare program.

I have more to say about this, but this is enough for now. Now we get to see what Sarah Palin & Joe Biden has to say on Thursday, October 2nd in St. Louis, MO. I’ll have some more info on that very soon. I’m quite sure this will be very interesting.

I’m quite sure I will receive the typical hate email from Republicans supporting John McCain so let it begin. The bottom line is that John McCain had a lot to say about Barack Obama, but had nothing to say about you. John McCain can argue about the past, but doesn’t have much to say about the future except more of the past.


6 thoughts on “Symbolism or Substance (Part 1)

  1. John McCain says that the Dems will turn healthcare over to the government. That doctors and won’t be able to make the decisions anymore. Well, the interesting thing I’ve noticed about healthcare is that patients and doctors don’t have much say now anyway. For those of us lucky enough to have health coverage, the decisions of our care are made by the pencil pushers and bean counters. Any treatment my doctor wants to do has be approved by someone who knows nothing about me except what they see on paper. They change my prescriptions to generic when they think the cost is too expensive or they refuse to pay. They decide how long the hospital stay will be, not the hospital or surgeon. The insurance companies say they are trying to contain costs. But in reality, it’s to the point now, that healthcare costs are running rampant because the insurance companies want to keep all the money for themselves. Even people with good paying jobs can barely afford the co-pay and premiums that they are required. My employer changes insurance carriers almost every year—trying to keep the costs down for employees. So, just look at what has already happened in the banking industry because there were no controls in place—banks, investment brokers making money hand over fist at the expense of average “Joe Citizen.” I’m all for free enterprise, but when it gets out of hand, where no one can afford basic services, something is very wrong with the system.

    And to add to the point that you made about McCain not looking at Obama when he “addressed” him—even when he was addressing Obama by name, he never looked at him. Liars can never look you in the face.

  2. I agree. The price of healthcare has to change.

    McCain said that speaking with the enemy/terrorist gives him legitimacy. Apparently he considers Obama to be the enemy as well. I hope the next debate is not on war. McCain will show that he can’t do anything but recite blurbs about war.

  3. Tim, thanks for mentioning the critical points. The debates started at 2am here so by the time it was over, I was holding my eyelids up with toothpicks. I did not get to hear what the USA public/newcasters/watchdogs thought about the debate. I heard what several British newscasters thought about the debate. Important, but not the same.

  4. One semi-correction: I think both John McCain and the Treasury Department have it right with regard to corporate taxes. We do have a very high corporate tax rate, however corporations seek to use tax shelters and loopholes to avoid paying it, hence the low percentage of GDP. It’s a situation in which lowering the tax rate could be prudent, because more companies might actually be willing to pay it.

    I liked your analysis. I would give the same ratings to both men. McCain’s definite lack of eye contact and the one-way criticism of Obama by McCain shows a definite lack of congeniality. As a figurehead, I’d rather have a president who is more conversational and empathetic, but that’s just me.

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