Well I thought it was pretty evenly matched, but too bad for McCain he needed a miracle to alleviate his epic drop in the polls. Even Karl Rove was calling this election for Obama before this debate started, and I didn't see McCain take out any magical fairydust out of his knickers to pull this one off. Time to get a grip on reality and understand that Obama is probably going to be running the country in a few months...and planning accordingly. Here's some dumb thoughts:
Where's The Money Lebowski!: Neither Obama nor McCain could answer the question about future obligations for entitlement programs without diverting the topic to immediate plans for tax relief. That probably has to do with them needing to win the election in the short-term, and the long-term ramifications of entitlement programs are just too damn depressing to think about for the average voter. I don't plan on living past 40, so I should be good to go, but the rest of you should probably bury a bunch of money in your backyard before aging boomers can get their mitts on it for yoga classes in their twilight years. There was a time when young people respected the elderly, but that was before the Ponzi schemes known as Medicare and Social Security became part of the collective conscious.
So, Healthcare is a Right Now: I'm a big fan of worldwide natural rights, such as institutions not being able to force people to think a certain way, not being coerced to see shitty chick flicks, and not being able to deprive others of those rights. But referring to healthcare as a "right" is a bit disturbing, because it requires the compulsive services of doctors, nurses, people developing medical technology, etc. Does that mean that I can willfully deprive those hardworking folks of their liberty just so I can get the ass implant I always wanted? Hmm. Obama is implying that we should mandate socialized healthcare the same way we have the right to free speech. I would sure like to know how we are going to pay for that shit. In fairness, McCain is the guy who wants the federal government to buy up foreclosed homes, so that money troff in Washington must run pretty damn deep.
Obama Fires a Zinger at AIG: The plutocrats at AIG have already stolen $61B of the $85B in taxpayer dollars that our unprincipled wangs in Washington handed over. A week after AIG got a piece of this "bailout", a bunch of the upper management went to some resort in CA for $400K. Obama said the CEO should be shitcanned, which struck a chord with me. But then I remembered that both Obama and McCain approved "The Bomb", and I just got pissed off two seconds later.
Energy: Seems like Obama and McCain both supported Nuke power, and McCain even mentioned that he spent some time on carriers run by nuclear power...cool! Of course he didn't mention that one nuclear operator in the Navy costs about $250,000 to train, and new nuclear plants cost multiple billion dollars. They might be profitable if oil prices continue to go through the roof, or a cap and trade system is implemented, but it's going to be a lot of dough, and considering we're going to be burning trash and dead squirrels in a barrel for the next four years due to the economy tanking, I'm just not sure Americans will be onboard with such massive projects for energy independence. As for my Navy nuclear training, you should feel honored that you, the taxpayers, spent a quarter of a million dollars on me and all you got is this lousy blog.
(for ABWF, on Obama talking about government research and computers: the first "general purpose electronic" computer was ENIAC which was developed by the Army during WWII for firing artillery. But, technically, the Abacus is probably a computer that was been around forever, but was invented by Al Gore.)
Afg/Pakistan: I never thought the Democrat would be the guy wanting to go Dr. Strangelove on the nuclear-armed Pakistan, while the Republican took a more nuanced approach. Seems a little hardcore, and I'm wondering if the State Dept. in Pakistan is going to have to do some damage control tomorrow. But, Obama recovered well and cited that supporting dictator Musharaf was probably a lousy idea on the Bush administration's part. Afg/Pakistan is really complicated, and it's tough to discuss in a townhall forum when the people running for Commander-in-Chief are fielding questions from the rubes in palookaville, ansewering ridiculous questions about their favorite flavor of ice cream or whatever the fuck that last question was.
Iraq: Didn't seem to come up much. I guess when stability broke out, it no longer became such a hot-button issue that it was at the beginning of this presidential campaign eons ago. I'd say that speaks loudly of what our troops did there. McCain's support for the successful surge strategy is definitely a big plus in my book, but it's in the past. Obama went further back into the past and cited McCain supporting the initial authorization for the use of military force, which still pisses off Americans.
Veterans Issues: IAVA came out with a very comprehensive grading system for DC politicians today (Obama got a B, and McCain got a D) based on how they voted on issues like the Webb GI Bill. TSO disagrees with Paul Rieckhoff's analysis in a very-detailed post, but I still consider Paul a very trustworthy dude who has done a lot for our generation of vets. But I urge IAVA to give both Obama and McCain a big fat F, because they FAILed to even mention veterans issues. A panel of vets at the NY Times were not very impressed with this lack of discussion. But we're a small voting bloc and we need to realize that there is going to be a serious lack of tax revenue to pay for vets benefits. Hang on, because it's going to be a wild ride.
Thanks to everyone who hung out at the chat room on This Ain't Hell. Politics is a vile, nasty business, but sooner or later, it is going to fuck you in the ass. We're just trying to stay educated on the subject. What are your thoughts on the debate?