The Dr. King Suckup Debate

Several days ago I was a guest on News Radio Magazine. The conversation with Kevin Liger was enjoyable, and very general.

Tonight I will be a guest on Political Vindication. The topic I will be discussing is Ideological Bigotry. Other topics may be discussed as well. I will be on 7:05pm PST.

Oh, and the democrats had a debate in South Carolina on MLK Day. Here were the instructions from the moderator.

“Good evening, and welcome to South Carolina. You are all as candidates instructed in your answers to keep your lips no more than six inches from Martin Luther King’s rhetorical anus at all times. You are to mention him in every third sentence.

You are to castigate republicans, conservatives, and George W. Bush in particular. You are then expected to speak about unifying people in the great tradition of Dr. King.

You are to treat the audience like black sheep, refusing to discuss issues in any way except to insult their intelligence. Every issue in 2008 must be related to Selma, Alabama.

You are allowed and expected to use provocative words such as lynching and nooses provided it is related to the republican party, and anyone in the Bush Administration. Dick Cheney and Halliburton should be related to slavery.

You may make one gratuitous football remark to convince people you know anything about football. Hillary Clinton has always been a New York Giants fan, John Edwards can feel the spirit of the Carolina Panthers, and Barack Obama can mention Tony Dungy or Lovie Smith for no reason.

You must mention how nothing has changed since 1863, but that if you get elected, racial harmony will immediately begin.

Good luck, and remember to pucker up. If you can fit your whole head inside Dr. King’s rumpus, extra points will be given.”

With that, here is the recap.

Hillary Clinton was asked about her stimulus plan. President Bush has not taken the mortgage crisis seriously. She wants to freeze interest rates for 5 years. She is offering people rebates, which is exactly what President Bush proposed. She mentioned “green collar jobs” again. However, her rebates are the “right” rebates, and his rebates are wrong rebates. She complains that the Bush plan does not help peope who do not pay taxes to begin with. Her praise of Dr. King and the Congressional Black Caucus was brief.

Barack Obama claimed that Dr. King’s “I have a dream,” speech was mainly about jobs. He then bashed President Bush. He asked for rebates before Hillary thought of it. He seems to have been against or for everything from the beginning of time. Nobody else ever thinks of anything first. He wants a $500 rebate, Hillary wants $650, Bush wants $800. He also wants extra social security payments.

John Edwards does not offer a rebate. He then pursed his lips perfectly, in keeping with the moderator’s instructions. Wolf Blitzer tried to rein him in, and he explained that he supports benefits in green infrastructure, and long term solutions, not just short term solutions. He then bashed the Peru trade deal, which his colleagues supported. He then refused to elaborate on why he refuses to give a rebate.

Obama correctly pointed out that long term solutions are good, but short term solutions are necessary. He astutely mentioned the financial markets dropping. He pointed out that he was against NAFTA while Hillary supported it. He stated that he supported the Peru trade deal because it had safeguards that NAFTA did not. He pointed out that Edwards favored normal trade status with China.

Hillary again announced she did not want the Bush tax cuts to be permanent. The Bush package is bad. She mentioned green collar jobs again. She then praised Oakland Congressman Ron Dellums, and mentioned solar power for some reason.

Edwards said his plan would have an impact within 30 days. He again mentioned his father the mill worker, who actually did own the mill. He “would not trust George W. Bush to enforce anything”

Obama got off the first great line by saying that in a year “it will be me that is enforcing” the rules.

Obama was asked about Hillary’s criticism of his economic plan. He responded that her assertions were “not true.” He then went after Bill and Hillary Clinton, saying that they were the “same old politics.” Hillary pursed her lips as well, but in anger. Obama hit the Clintons very hard.

Hillary said, “I could not agree more,” and reiterated her claim that Obama praises Ronald Reagan and republicans in general. Yes, she took his remarks out of context, but the key would be if he could survive the attack. Hillary believes that “elections are about the future,” before going after Obama’s credibility. She praised Obama’s opposing the war in 2002, but said that in 2003 he reversed himself.

Obama tried to speak and Hillary kept interrupting. He pointe dout that while “he was on the streets helping people, you were a corporate lawyer at Walmart.” The crowd erupted. He then mentioned that it was Bill and Hillary playing political games, and praising Reagan in books.

The last debate was a lovefest. This was a smackdown.

When Hillary announced that she was on stage, and not her husband, Obama remarked, “Sometimes I do not know who I am running against.” Hillary kept trying to tie Obama to the republicans, and he kept rebutting her. Hillary then tied Obama to Rezko, a slumlord, and the crowd booed Hillary.

Edwards played the role of peacemaker, and stated that the squabbling between Obama and Clinton would not help children get healthcare. Going back to fiscal responsibility, Edwards claimed he had the most “aggressive and progressive agenda.” He also pointed out that Hillary has no plan to save social security, and that Hillary will refuse to admit that taxes need to be raised. He tied himself to Obama.

One moderator currently stated we were in an “economic mess.” A race card question was asked, whether or not the subprime mortgage situation was racially tinged.

Edwards took the bait, and agreed emphatically. He brought up slavery, segregation and discrimination. Apparently greedy lenders only want to hurt black people, since most of America is white and their money is no good.

Hillary said her plan for a moratorium is a “workout, not a bailout.”

Obama said we have a “history in this country in praying on low income people.” Like Hillary, he did not say it was anti-black overtly. He did mention opening up bank branches in all neighborhoods. He was against the bankruptcy bill while Hillary “voted for it but hoped it would not pass.”

Obama also answered Hillary’s charge about being a slumlord. He then mentioned that we must be able to trust our leaders, or nothing can get done on issues. “Consistency matters. Truthfulness in campaigns matters.”

Hillary stated that she regretted voting for the 2001 bankruptcy bill, and she opposed the 2005 bankruptcy bill. She then said Obama “did the bidding of insurance companies.” She said Obama had a “hands off attitude about his record.” Hillary claimed Obama was against a 30% ceiling on credit cards.

Edwards stated that Obama favored no limits on interest at all.

Hillary then stated that “Obama never takes responsibility for any vote.” The crowd booed loudly. She stated that Obama voted “present” on sex shop bills, sexual abuse victims bills, etc. “It is very difficult to get a straight answer out of Barack.”

Obama pointed out that the sexual abuse bill was one that he personally sponsored. He mentioned his own daughters. He accused Hillary of distorting his record, and that Hillary will “say anything to get elected.”

Edwards asked Obama why he voted present so often. Obama explained that sometimes that was procedurally necessary. Edwards responded that Obama was cherrypicking votes in the same way Hillary was doing.

Obama spoke of reforming the death penalty in Illinois, keeping juveniles from being charged as adults, opposing the Iraq War, all decisions that were not popular politically at the time.

Hillary was asked about a comment about how she played the race card involving AIDS, stating that the problem gets ignored because it affects black women more. She spoke of her own health plan, and then bashed the republicans and health care companies. She ignored the question itself.

Obama was asked about charges that his plan does not cover everybody, and should illegal immigrants be covered. Obama said he would not cover illegal immigrants because we have limited resources. He stated that Bill and Hillary Clinton messed up health care reform because they acted in secrecy in 1994, excluding the American people from the process.

Edwards stated that he believed that none of the three candidates favor covering illegal immigrants, but spoke that undocumented people who became citizens could get coverage. He stated that he and Clinton cover everybody, but Obama does not. Obama takes money from drug companies, and Hillary takes money from insurance companies.

Obama stated that mandating coverage for all adults is problematic because it forces people to buy health insurance. He stated that at least Edwards states how that mandate would be enforced, while Hillary does not. Obama stated that the key is not mandates, but out of control costs. He threw in a brief dig at President Bush in passing. Also, Edwards and Hillary have a “hardship exemption,” which defeats the concept of universal coverage.

Edwards compared Obama’s “opt out” plan to President Bush’s social security opt out provision.

Hillary stated that everybody had to be covered. She would “not leave 15 million Americans out of healthcare.” She pointed out Obama’s shifting positions away from a single payer system.

Obama claimed that people would rather pay a fine as opposed to coverage they cannot afford. So they pay the fine and still have no coverage. He stated that we should never try to have a single payer system, that it was good in theory.

The debate shifted to Iraq, and Hillary was confronted with good news. Does Hillary want to end the war or win it?

Hillary said she wanted to bring the troops home, and that she supports the troops. “There is no military solution.” She refused to say she wanted to win the war. Republicans should make that the first general election campaign issue. She is “committed to withdrawing the troops.”

Edwards was quoted John McCain saying “we must win.” When asked why the surge was wrong, he stated that even President Bush realized it was wrong. He then said, “If even President Bush realizes it was wrong, then you know it is wrong.” Edwards said he would bring all combat troops out of Iraq in his first year.

Obama stated we must get combat troops out safely as well as quickly. He stated that it is not just the tragic loss of life, but the financial unsustainability of the war. Money could be spent on broadband in South Carolina. He stated that Al Queda is more powerful than at any time since 2001.He got that fact from himself.

Hillary stated that nearly all the troops would be out within a year. She then stated that President Bush is negotiating a permanent base in Iraq, without going to congress. She is against permanent bases. Perhaps she wants to remove the troops from South Korea.

Obama was asked about comments by Rep. Charles Rangel, who supports Hillary, that voting for Obama is a feel good gesture. Obama replied that he agrees with Rangel in principle, but that Obama can unite and inspire people most effectively. He looks forward to working with Rangel when he becomes President.

Edwards was asked that voting for a black man would be good for black America, and what he thought. Edwards stated that he does not have the right to tell anybody who to vote for, but that he has been the best on issues such as ending poverty.

Hillary spoke about working for Marian Wright Edelman on children’s issues 35 years ago. She stated that black people did better under her husband than the current President.

Out of nowhere, the camera panned to Dave Chappelle. Nobody knows why, except that he is a celebrity.

Obama reiterated that he started out working out in low income neighborhoods. He then stated that the media has been focused on race throughout South Carolina. People want to move beyond those divisions. The crowd cheered. He said, “I don’t want to sell the American people short.” He then bashed republicans for not going to diverse forums.

Edwards spoke of his work with urban ministries in North Carolina. He then bashed Bill O’Reilly. He then offered one of his heart tugging stories.

Obama was asked about Bill Clinton being the first black President. He did praise Bill Clinton’s “affinity with the black community.” He then joked about investigating “Bill Clinton’s dancing abilities before accurately judging that he was a brother.”

It was a stupid question, a pathetic answer, and Bill Clinton was caucasian because race is about pigmentation, not attitudes or feelings. Hillary offered platitudes about how proud she is of her fellow candidates. Out of nowhere, her smile was replaced by a scowl as she lambasted President Bush. This woman wants to unite people. Hillary thinks we should “act like Americans,” whatever that means.

Obama pointed out that Edwards and Hillary were coming after his because he was “doing pretty good.” He clarified that while people should not be elected based on race or gender, but that race issues should still be spoken about. He cited the disparities in criminal sentences.

Hillary pointed out gender disparities in pay. She complained that “republicans are not talking about any of this.” Apparently they are trying to win the War on Terror, which she is against based on her prior comments.

Edwards spoke of things that democrats don’t talk about either. He stated that we need to start living together. He spoke of the 9th ward in New Orleans.

Hillary was asked about her husband’s voice becoming too loud, and overshadowing her. Hillary praised her husband and then quickly deflected to who has the most experience.

Obama was very careful in discussing the issue, but stated that he was troubled by how the former President portrayed his record. He then stated that the political map needs to be redrawn. He can reach out and inspire independents and even republicans. He said the one thing Bush and Cheney have done that is good for democrats is to give their own party a bad name.

Edwards stated that McCain will likely be the republican candidate, and that Edwards can compete against him in all 50 states. Democrats can compete in urban areas, but he can compete in rural areas. He then went on to differentiate himself again as not being beholden to special interests.

Obama spoke of reaching out to all people. He spoke proudly of his Christian faith, and spoke of reaching out to evangelicals. He felt that vote should not be conceded.

Hillary pointed out that if McCain is the nominee, the election will be about national security, making her the strongest democrat to face off against him.

Edwards stated that given McCain’s cleaning up the money in politics, Hillary would not be the best choice to face off against him. He challenged Hillary not to have lobbyists in the White House. She demurred. He challenged her again, and she pointed out that he took on people that worked for and married to lobbyists. When Hillary said that trial lawyers supported him, he stated that trial lawyers were for democracy. When he stated they had divergent views, Hillary disagreed. She said, “You’ve got to say no and stand up to lobbyists.”

Obama disagreed with Hillary’s assertion that she was prepared from a national security standpoint. Obama stated that he would contrast McCain more, while Hillary voted for the war. He again stated that we should talk to our enemies.

Edwards labeled our foreign policy as belligerent.

The candidates were then asked one final dopey question about why Dr. King would endorse them if he were alive today.

Edwards mentioned his commitments to equality and ending poverty.

Obama smartly replied that Dr. King would not endorse any of them. He would hold them all accountable. His career was about transparency and accountability.

Hillary mentioned John Lewis and James Clyburn, but did not answer the question

This debate was hard to gauge. The exchanges between Hillary and Barack clearly had Barack as the winner. Yet in the last debate, Edwards sided with Obama. This debate Edwards sided with Hillary. Edwards won his exchanges with Obama.

Hillary was booed on several occasions, and Obama was cheered the most. Edwards did not make any mistakes, but he took the racial bait question, which was disgusting. He also failed to break through, knowing he was on the verge of being on the outside of a two person race.

Hillary clearly lost, but between Obama and Edwards, it was a standstill. Given that Obama was ahead of Edwards, this is a win for Obama.


4 Responses to “The Dr. King Suckup Debate”

  1. micky2 says:

    “Hillary stated that nearly all the troops would be out within a year. She then stated that President Bush is negotiating a permanent base in Iraq, without going to congress. She is against permanent bases. Perhaps she wants to remove the troops from South Korea.”

    Anyone who doesnt think this was part of the plan from the beggining has no business running for office.
    I dont think its about hearts and minds at all. It certainly wasnt for cheaper oil.
    I think, and it seems rather obvious that we went there to set up shop and keep an eye on these brats
    As long as only 4 or 5 years ago plans for the largest American embassey were drawn up and its being constructed now. I believe Saddam needed to go. And we had numerous justifiable reasons to kick him out. The price tag is having to put Iraq back together establishing stability, which is happening on a greater scale every day.
    The best anaology I could come up with is that we just intentinally planted our butts right smack in the middle of the hornets nest so we could watch and react to the radical elements a better than we ever have
    I think it will work out. But like anything , as generations go on and on everything takes longer to do. I cant even get my pants hemmed up in a day anymore.
    The demographics and cultural aspects in that region will always make for 3 steps forward and 2 back.

  2. tennisguy says:

    Great synopsis of the MLK Day debate. I had hoped CNN would go to some local watering hole afterward and find out what the locals really thought. Such canned entertainment. Can you imagine how much would get done if Hill and Bill get elected president? Even my GF, who tends Democratic, had to admit Hillary is a first-class biotch. Good job.


  3. Jersey McJones says:

    That was the worst debate yet. What a pathetic, low-brow, gamey display. I just played it back. What a sleaze-fest. Say whatever you will about MLK, but you have to give him credit – he made his point and he made it clearly and succinct. He was a brilliant writer and speaker (those letters to the SBC were just amazing). What a shame that such a debate took part on such a day.

    It’s times like these I’m so glad I’m not a Democrat.

    (Don’t even get me started on the Republicans…)


  4. micky2 says:

    It pains me to agree with Jersey, but I will. I also am glad I’m not a democrat
    It looks almost now as if the Dem party is going to implode on itself.
    And to think. Almost a year ago I debated some libs who though a Hillary/Obama ticket was going to happen. I told them they were high and that the two will go at each others throat. It was only an opinion then.

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