Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thinking About New Hampshire and Democrats

I took notes during the debate for consideration after the fact, rather than impressions.

Regarding the Iraq war you have essentially two schools of thought among the candidates, get out right now and on the other hand start getting out with some troops left somewhere. Gravel, Kucinich, Richardson, and Edwards want out immediately; Hillary, Obama, and Biden tend toward some phased withdrawal with troops either in or near Iraq. Gravel is possibly the most emphatic and angry, Kucinich perhaps more quick and softer spoken, Edwards the most contentious with his fellows about leaving. The talking heads think Hillary does well with Kucinich and Gravel so hard core about getting out, I'm not sure that she doesn't suffer in comparison. You can watch her trying to triangulate and please her camp's perception of the moderates.

Richardson, Kucinich, Edwards, and Obama hit hard on Constitutional issues, who was most credible on it really is a perception issue. Kucinich had the most to say, but his stance on the 2nd leaves such rhetoric a little hollow, Richardson may have been most believable as a staunch Civil Liberties supporter though Edwards and Obama carried themselves very well. Hillary, naturally, was not in the fray. Perhaps the most telling statement she could have made was in response to Edwards' contention that the War on Terror is a bumper sticker political spin, I'm from NY and 9/11. If Americans haven't caught on to the utter nonsense of that particular juxtaposition regarding policy and warfare they deserve another 4 years of BushCo.

If you can find substantive difference between the candidates on illegal immigration it mostly happens on border fence length, try to find out who exactly gives a rat's ass about workers that are here legally, like maybe Americans... oh sure

Nobody was happy with "don't ask/don't tell" as military policy, some took it a bit farther. Edwards moved a bit farther praising civil unions and non-discrimination laws. In fact it was just darn near inspiring to hear all of them hit that particular note.

At least nobody blew smoke about an easy fix for current gas prices, there was some talk about investigating oil companies. There was a bit of miss when only refining and retail was mentioned, seems nobody notices crude trading. Anybody want to mention it?

Hillary was the most hawkish on Iran, but did emphasize diplomacy as the first option. All criticised the BushCo stance of not talking to those we disapprove of. Richardson made the point that Iran is much farther from weaponized material than is the common stance of the Administration.

Nobody seems too sure what to do about Pakistan, Obama hit hard that Iraq makes things much more difficult for Musharef and pushes fundamental Islam forward, he hit that note again on Darfur regarding our credibility with Guantanamo, Habeas Corpus, and other strikes by BushCo on our liberties as discrediting us in all regions.

Biden was the most down right angry of the bunch regarding Darfur, never discount Joe Biden's ability to reach out to people - he may be the most able one at working a crowd. That won't save his campaign but he shines in small settings. He advocates establishing a no fly zone and pushing China, hard. Nobody wants to put US troops on the ground and Dodd opposes tying the Olympics and China to Darfur, Edwards, Biden, and Richardson think it would make good leverage, in the end Biden demanded no more talk, time to take action including sanctions.

Taken as a whole, the debate responses were more left than might have been expected, particularly in light of the first debate. Hillary is fading left, obviously reluctantly as she strives to maintain the center, the question is whether the Primary voters in the independent ranks are the center she's trying for.

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