Ok, here we go, starting at the beginning…
B: “Obama laid out four basic principles…” Yeah, and they were so basic, that it was sort of like walking into a ship design meeting and rattling on about the fact that the ship needs to float. No crap, now how are you going to do that?
B: “… middle class…” That’s right, trot out the buzzwords.
P: “John McCain sounded the warning bell three years ago on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac… People in the Senate, his colleagues [gestures at Biden] didn’t want to listen…” Ouch. No real response to that from Biden.
P: “Let’s commit ourselves… we need to band together and say, ‘Never again, never will we be exploited…’ … We need also not to get ourselves in debt… don’t live outside our means. We need to make sure as individuals that we are taking personal responsibility.” Yep, the predatory lenders and greedy people on Wall Street are to blame… but so are many of “us” who took out loans we couldn’t handle.
B: “Two years ago, Barack Obama warned about the subprime mortgage crisis… John McCain said… that he’s always for cutting regulations… You had overwhelming deregulation… John said he wants to do for the health care industry what he’s done for Wall Street: deregulation.” Should we point out that the regulations required banks and lenders to lend to people who couldn’t quite afford it, because we wanted to expand home ownership into racial groups that had not been well represented? The regulations were part of the problem, in some cases.
“Why is that not class warfare?” (proposing increased taxes on the rich)
B: “Gwen, where I come from it’s called fairness. The middle class are struggling… [most people get tax breaks… “Middle class!”] John wants to give $300 billion to the corporations…” Ok, so I guess the answer was, “Yes, it’s class warfare, but we’re calling it fairness… sort of a Robin Hood thing.” The assertion that the middle class is struggling has nothing to do with how much we tax the rich; we ask the rich to pay higher tax percentages than everyone else already.
P: “I do take issue with some of that redistribution of wealth principle that you espouse there…. You’re forgetting the millions of small businesses that fit into that bracket, who create jobs… You talked about paying higher taxes as being patriotic…” I don’t want government to rob the rich and hand me money. I want government to make sure the playing field is even so I have a fair chance to earn my success, too.
P: $5000 tax credit for families to buy their own health care coverage… “And, unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, you won’t want government getting into health care…” Good, very good… and, no, you do not want government running health care. Just ask the British.
B: “We don’t call it redistribution… cutting tax cuts to give it to the middle class to send their kids to college…” Um, yeah, that’s redistribution: taxing the rich at a higher rate so as to give it to the “less fortunate.”
What will you have to change because of the bailout, what won’t get funded?
B: “We may have to slow down a committment to double foreign assistance…” What?! We pour money into foreign countries already, why do we need to double that?
B: “We’re going to eliminate wasteful spending… ” Ok, everyone says that.
P: “THAT’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks; your running mate voted for that… they don’t like me much… that I then had to turn around as the governor of an energy producing state and undo that…” Hmmm…. no answer from Biden on that, either.
P: “There isn’t a whole lot that I’ve promised except to put government back on Americans’ side…” eliminate corruption, oversight of Wall Street, etc. Obama, on the other hand, has promised government handouts and programs for everybody, their dogs, and at least half of their cats. And that takes money, which has to come from somewhere…
B: Exxon-Mobils “of the world” have made $600 billion dollars since 2001? Ok… what kind of percentage is that? This is a nice, fat number, but it doesn’t really tell us anything. Except that Biden considers the oil companies an easy target. That should make the oil companies *really* want to invest here.
B: “Barack Obama wrote the Secretary of the Treasury and said, ‘You need to get on the stick here and get this [subprime lending] addressed…’ ” And the Secretary of the Treasury said, “Who the heck is this? The new Senator from Illinois? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
B: “We need to be able to adjust not just the interest but the principal that you owe…” WTF!?!! If I’m a bank, I’m not making another loan until I know whether or not this redistributionist loony is going to be voted in. The government is going to step in and rewrite my loans for less than I loaned?!?
P: “East Coast politicians who don’t let energy producing states produce energy…” Hey, Biden, that’s you!
P: “Alaska feels and sees climate change more than any other state… there is something to be said for man’s activities but also for the cyclical changes on our planet. But I’m not going to argue about that… we have to clean up… discuss with other countries how to deal with climate change impacts… we have to become energy independent for that reason also, because some of these other countries don’t care about the climate like we do…” Perfect. Whether we agree on whether climate change is man-made or not, the fact is that we could be much better stewards of our environment, for the sake of the other people on the planet, for the sake of biodiversity, and for the sake of efficiency and energy independence.
B: “I think it is clearly man-made… We know what the cause is… We have 3% of the oil reserves, we consume 25% of the world’s oil. John McCain has voted against funding alternative energy sources… Obama believes by investing in clean coal and better nuclear… It’ll take ten years for one drop of oil to come out of those new wells.” And, again, the liberals keep yelling that the debate is over, on climate change, on abortion, on whatever, hoping that people will quit arguing and cede the fight to the liberals.
P: “You’ve said no to everything… referred to drilling offshore as ‘raping’ the continental shelf… I was surprised to hear you mention that, since you had said there wasn’t any such thing as ‘clean coal’…” I was surprised to hear Biden mention nuclear power; I thought that was completely off the table for the Democrats, too.
B: “Maybe he’s for everything if it’s not taken care of by the government…” Yep. If it’s going to require the government’s money to develop better solar or wind, then it isn’t ready. If the money is there, the private sector will happily pour research money into it. (And yes, I really wish I could buy solar panels that would cost less and work better than what’s currently out there. I’d install them in a heartbeat. But I won’t waste money to claim I’m “green” when it isn’t that much of a help for my energy bills.)
Same sex benefits to couples
B: “There will be no Constitutional basis to say that there’s any difference for same sex couples… they should be guaranteed the same Constitutional benefits as traditional couples…” I wasn’t aware that the Constitution actually said anything about marriage or couples’ benefits.
P: “… some very dear friends who don’t agree with me on that issue… I don’t support defining marriage as anything but one man and one woman…” And that’s the problem with Biden’s position; starting down that slope is not a good idea. Fine, say that the government won’t interfere with agreements approximating marriage rights, like living wills and powers of attorney, but don’t enshrine it in law, because that is the first step in creating “gay marriage”.
B: “No, I do not support redefining marriage… ” Good. And she also made the point about the slippery slope of starting in with some acknowledgements of gay relationships.
P: “I am very thankful that we do have a good plan, and the surge and counterinsurgency work… I know that the other ticket opposed that surge… Barack Obama voted against funding troops and, Sen. Biden, I respect you for calling him out on that… We do have a plan for withdrawal, but not early withdrawal… We’re now down to pre-surge numbers and we can put more troops in Afghanistan…” Oops. Biden had to keep smiling (repeatedly) while Palin congratulated him on disagreeing sharply with Obama.
B: “With all due respect, I didn’t hear a plan. Shift all responsibilty to Iraqi troops… We’re spending $10 billion dollars a month while the Iraqis have a $80 billion surplus… For John McCain, there is no end in sight.” Shifting responsibility is already in the plan, duh. So, where is the rest of Biden’s plan?
P: “Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq… You guys opposed the surge… We’ll know we are done in Iraq when the Iraqi forces can defend their people… and our commanders on the ground will tell us when that happens.” There, the plan, with more details. Any further questions?
P: “In fact, you said that you’d be honored to run with him [McCain] on the ticket… I know you opposed his [Obama’s] move to not fund the troops, and I respect you for that…”
Which is the greatest threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?
B: “Pakistan already has nuclear weapons… Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be very destabilizing; they are not close to getting a weapon that’s deployable… John continues to tell us that the central front on the war on terror is in Iraq… an attack will come from Al Qaeda, which is in those hills in Pakistan… we should be helping them build schools to compete for the hearts and minds of the people in that region…”
P: “As for who termed that as the central front is in Iraq, that was Gen. Petraeus and Al Qaeda.” Biden, you should have caught that already from the last debates. It didn’t work then and it didn’t work now.
P: “A leader like Akhmadinejad, when he says things like that, is not stable or sane… and Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers… these are the people Obama has said he would meet with as president, without preconditions…” Obama is not going to escape that comment.
P: “Dr. Henry Kissinger, I had a good conversation with him recently, he shared his passion for diplomacy which I certainly share… can not be met with just sitting down on a presidential level, which Barack Obama has said he was going to do, that is beyond naiviete, that is bad judgement.” There is a vast difference between diplomacy at lower levels and getting to sit down for the photo op with the president of the United States.
B: “He did not say he would sit down with Akhmadinejad… five secretaries of state have said we should… sit down [and talk]… after five years, look what Pres. Bush did, he sent a high level diplomat to meet with the highest level diplomats from Iran…” Didn’t Biden just prove her point? You sit down at lower levels first, and only later do you get the presidential meetings.
P: “There have been huge blunders in the war, there have been huge blunders, like there are in any administration… but for a ticket so focused on change, there’s an awful lot of looking backwards…”
B: same as George Bush’s (repeat five or six times) Wait, didn’t he just prove her point again?
P: “The surge principles, the principles not the strategy, should be applied in Afghanistan, and that is a difference between George Bush and McCain’s policy.”
B: “Our commanding general in Afghanistan said, ‘The surge principles that worked in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan.’… we need more troops, we need more money…” Um, isn’t more troops and more money a surge? What would he call this, exactly, if it isn’t a surge?
B: “When he first got to the Senate, Barack Obama reached across the aisle and said, ‘We’ve got to do something about keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists’…” And the freshman Senator from Illinois knows what about this subject? This is worse than the, “Hey, Treasury guy! Fix this subprime stuff now!” letter.
P: “First of all, McClelland did not say definitively that the surge principles would not work…” *SIGH* Um, Sen. Biden? Your mike is hot, so stop sighing every other time Gov. Palin talks.
B: (in reply) “Well… um… we need more money, we need more troops [in Afghanistan]…” Ok, which is a surge; Biden is agreeing with Palin but trying to say he doesn’t, let’s move on.
B: “… I myself can not stomach genocide. We can now impose a no-fly zone, it is within our capacity. We can lead NATO…” Darfur, too? Why now? Darfur has been going on for decades at greater and lesser levels. Instead of jumping into military action, how about leaning on China to stop supporting the government in Sudan? And now Biden suddenly wants to throw the military around?
P: “You voted for the war, and now you oppose the war… Americans are craving that straight talk, saying, ‘Hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it.’ … As for Darfur, we can agree on that… America is in a position to help. What I have done… we, I and others in the [Alaskan] legislature, called for divestment from Darfur…” Bingo. Start with sanctions. And then go after China, who is pumping investment money into Sudan as a proxy to stand up to the West.
B: “The line that should be drawn is whether or not we a) first of all, have to have the capacity to do it and number two there are certain new lines that need to be drawn internationally. When a country engages in genocide, when a country engages in harboring people who are killing our people, terrorists, and does nothing about it, that in fact, at that point, that country in my view, and in Barack’s view, forfeits the right to say we can’t intervene…”
Drat, I wanted to see her hit him out of the park over the fact that Biden just endorsed the most controversial facet of the Bush Doctrine. I thought the Democrats thought we shouldn’t be the policemen of the world?
B: “It would be a national tragedy of unimaginable proportions if that [Obama dying in office] did happen…” Does this qualify as a gaffe? We’ve had presidents die in office or be assasinated; it’s hardly “unimaginable proportions;” get a grip.
B: “… the one mission the American public gave the president after 9/11, to get and capture or kill bin Laden and go after Al Qaeda…” Except that Biden wants to add Darfur…
B: “… a policy that would preempt the Bush Doctrine of prevention and regime change…” Which Biden just endorsed a few minutes back.
P: “We don’t agree on everything… I have so appreciated that [McCain] has never asked me to check my opinions at the door…” As opposed to what happened when Biden dropped all of his previous issues with Obama to run with him.
P: “There you go, again, Joe…” Ah, yes, a little channeling of Ronald Reagan, too.
“You, Governor, back in July said that someone would have to explain to you what exactly the Vice President did, and you, Senator, said you would not serve as vice president under any circumstances… [laughter]” Ok, maybe the moderator is pretty ok. I wasn’t sure when the news about her book about Obama broke, but she’s been very fair.
B: “John is not supporting early childhood education…” i.e. preschool, a.k.a. government funded daycare. The government can’t take over all of the functions of parents; China tried this and gave it up, because it doesn’t work. At some point, you have to tell the parents to step up and do their job. Government is a bad substitute.
B: “… every major decision he makes, I’ll be in the room…” Wasn’t this the complaint about Cheney, that he had too much power and influence? So, does Biden still think Obama is not prepared yet to be president?
Palin talking about VP… while Biden picked his teeth, made bizarre faces…
B: “Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vp… Article 1 describes the vice president’s duty… He has no authority relative to the Congress…” Actually, what it says is that Congress may elect other officers, including a president pro tempore for when the vice president is not there. “The vice president is the president of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided.” Sounds like the Constitution envisages a pretty active role for the VP in the Senate; his/her presence during Senate proceedings is understood to be normal, not the exception.
B: “John McCain voted for Bush’s budget four out of five times… he hasn’t been a maverick… kitchen table…” Now Biden’s just playing defense: “Hey! Stop saying maverick! He isn’t! Because, um…”
B: “… the ideology of that judge makes a big difference, that’s why I went against Bork…” THAT’S WHAT HE WANTS US TO KNOW HE’S CHANGED ON?!?! That he dropped the, “Has he been a good judge? Is he of good character?” in favor of, “Does he approve of abortion on demand?” Biden’s abuse of Bork in the hearings is legendary, and not in a good sense. This is supposed to make me like Biden?
P: “Thank God, I know what the joys are, too, of living in America… Ronald Reagan said, ‘Freedom is always just one generation away from extinction…’ ” Great closing statement. Positive, forward looking.
B: “Noone will deny that over the last eight years we’ve been dug into a very deep hole… we do not measure progress by tax breaks to the Exxon-Mobils of the world…” Ok, either say “oil companies” or say “Exxon-Mobil” specifically… this phrasing is just stupid. And his closing statement was negative and mostly about how wrong Bush was.
Comments on Biden:
“Let me say that again…” The phrase works maybe once. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick, but, fine, use it once. But three times?
Biden has really got to watch his body language. *SIGH* *Fidget* Odd grins. Pick teeth. The camera is always on, Senator. She seemed to figure this out after five weeks, why haven’t you?
Comparing his record with McCain’s? Does the Obama campaign understand who’s on the head and who’s on the bottom of the ticket? First Obama went after Palin, now Biden goes after McCain.
Lay off the “kitchen table” and “middle class, middle class, did you hear me talk about you, middle class?”
Sen. Biden, never, never refer to yourself in the third person. And absolutely do NOT do it twice. We’ve already got the Messiah on the top of the ticket, is it rubbing off to the royal “we” for Biden?
I think the worry about Governor Sarah Palin has been pretty well laid to rest. She came across as smart, professional, intense, together, a quick learner, and passionate about improving the country.
That’s the kind of person I want to see in charge.