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CNN/YouTube Debates:  Democrats in Sharper Focus

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Posted on Jul 24, 2007
democrats
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Ready for their cyber close-up:  From left, former Sen. Mike Gravel, Sen. Christopher Dodd, former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Joseph Biden and Rep. Dennis Kucinich strike confident poses at Monday’s CNN/YouTube presidential debate.

By Bill Boyarsky

Let Dennis debate.  Mike, too.  In a television debate that had room for the YouTube guy from Michigan holding an assault-style rifle he called “my baby,” there was certainly space for long-shot candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.

The questions from YouTube on the CNN/YouTube debate Monday night gave us a lively, enlightening dialogue freed from the rules and pomposity of the usual televised candidate confrontation.  It also provided the clearest view into the Democratic Party’s division over the Iraq war, uncluttered by the fudging and spins of much of last week’s Senate all-night session on Iraq.

The debate showed that Sen. John Edwards was wrong several days ago when he suggested to his Senate colleague Hillary Clinton that “we should try to have a more serious and smaller group.”  She was wrong when she replied, as picked up by television microphones, “our guys ought to talk.”  The YouTubers’ questions, from bathrooms, bedrooms and backyards, changed the nature of debates for the better.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson clearly reflected the view of Democrats who want to get out of Iraq ASAP, a view that was submerged in the Senate debate by the equivocations of the majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.  “I’m trying to provoke a debate here, because there’s a difference between the senators and me on when we get our troops out,” Richardson said Monday night.  “I’ve been very clear: six months, but no residual forces.”  He went on to say, “Sen. Clinton has a plan that I understand is maybe 50,000 residual forces.  Our troops have become targets. ...  The diplomatic work cannot begin to heal Iraq, to protect our interests, without troops out.  Our troops have become targets. ...”

Kucinich agreed.  “Let’s get those troops home, and let’s take a stand and do it now.  Send a message to Congress now.”

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Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden reflected the phased-withdrawal view of most Senate Democrats.

Biden said: “There is not a single military man in this audience who will tell this senator he can get those troops out in six months if the order goes today.

“Let’s start telling the truth. No. 1, you take all the troops out.  You better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone where I have been seven times and shot at.  You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die, No. 1.

“So we can’t leave them there.  And it’s going to take a minimum 5,000 troops to 10,000 just to protect our civilians. ...”

Clinton said: “Joe is right.  You know, I have done extensive work on this.  And the best estimate is that we can probably move a brigade a month, if we really accelerate it, maybe a brigade and a half or two a month.  That is a lot of months. ...

“And so, with all due respect to some of my friends here—yes, we want to begin moving the troops out, but we want to do so safely, and orderly and carefully.”

Obama said, “At this point, I think we can be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. ...  We have to begin a phased withdrawal, have our combat troops out by March 31st of next year, and initiate the kind of diplomatic surge that is necessary in these surrounding regions to make sure that everybody is carrying their weight.”

It couldn’t be clearer than that.  Get out in six months or stick around for a while.  The Senate talked all night, but YouTube sharpened the differences between Democrats in two hours.

Click here to watch the full debate.


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By dhillon, July 26, 2007 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I THROUGHLY disagree with mudwollow.It’s not the Democratic party that is being controlled by coporate interests but rather the Republicans. Take for instance that Tobacco companies give a certain share of due to political parties. Out of that percentage a mere 20% is going in the hands of Demo hands while the other 80% is going to the Grand Old Party. Overall, Richardson seems to be the only clean slated individual running. The man is of Native American heritage and acts as a political analyst every time there is a debate. What this country needs is someone that can conduct themselves respectfully on a global front.

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By PaulMagillSmith, July 26, 2007 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Hey Ernest, good to see your post and that you are up on info about DU,

Actually, if you go toward the bottom of the link once you open it you will see that it is appropriate since it deals with manipulation of public perceptions through the use of & control of the media. It’s in section 3, and speaks of “Information Warfare”.

The point I was trying to make is just about anything you see on the MSM is suspect, because they have been compromised as the “fourth estate”, the fourth branch of government whose duty it is to keep the other three honest. Only the very young, foolish, or ignorant still believe the MSM work in the best interest of the public. They have their own agenda and, as has been suggested, are overly influential in controlling which way the political winds blow. The candidates are chosen by them well before the nominating conventions come to pass.

Only this administration’s complete & utter failure, and ever increasing public pressure & animosity toward it make us able to detect an increasing swing in the media from support of the extreme right’s position toward a more moderate one. Contrary to the prolonged ‘spin’ by the far right about a ‘liberal media’, that is just hogwash. Who own most of the media? Big money, right? And whose side is big money on? Right…need I say more?

What I really want to know, and despite watching literally hours & hours of the debate & pundit coverage something that was never made a big issue of, is who determined which of the 3,000 YouTube submissions were reduced to the pool of 200, and then the final questions selected from there? Don’t you think the election process can be manipulated toward certain candidates and away from others by the selection process? For one thing, in an election campaign in which $1.5 billion will be spent on political ads don’t you thimk the media will steer public opinion toward the candidates who have the most money to spend? This is why I take all this hoop-la about a ‘new’ formula for debates with a grain of salt. Now if they had a truly independent reputable un-biased organization, removed from the commercialization aspects of YouTube & CNN involved, it could be a great concept for the American people to finally be able to confront potential representatives with the questions Americans have wanted answers to for far too long. Without that it is just more political infotainment, albeit much more interesting than the straight laced formal debates of the past. A ‘slick’ production, but not as truly impromptu as I would like.

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By cann4ing, July 26, 2007 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Paul, I am not certain the link you actually posted was the link you intended to post.  It is not about media.  It pertains to the use of Depleted Uranium both defensively, as part of our armor, and offensively, as part of our munitions—an interesting topic in and of itself.

The aerial bombardments of recent conflicts, displayed so proudly by CNN and Fox News as colorful light shows, really do not involve “battles” so much as one-sided aerial slaughters.  Iraq and Kosovo have served as little more than deadly testinig grounds for new generations of weapons.  Even the ground assaults proved to be lopsided affairs due to total air supremacy and the significant technological gap in which shock and awed Iraqi troops and armor faced a devastating assault by massive numbers of armor piercing, depleted uranium rounds while one-third of the American tanks in Operation Desert Storm were shielded by DU armor that was impervious to Iraq’s conventional weapons.  Of course, the shap edge of this lopsided result has been tempered by the fact the Pentagon, through use of DU, exposed its own troops to deadly gamma radiation.  In light of the fact that somewhere between 300 and 800 tons of DU rounds, each with a half-life of 4.5 billion years, were left strewn across battlefields in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia during Gulf War I alone, one suspects that the full costs to those who served in the two Gulf Wars or who are now serving in the occupation will not be known for many years to come.

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By PaulMagillSmith, July 26, 2007 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/background.htm

Exerpt from link:

The structures of media seem corrupted top to bottom. The former president of CBS News Richard Salent said, “Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.” John Swinton, the former New York Times Chief of Staff, whom colleagues named “The Dean of His Profession”, confessed candidly before the New York Press Club: “I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to writehonest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job […] We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes.”

Although the debate & format were entertaining do you REALLY believe these were the questions most Americans want answers to, or were we manipulated once again by those who chose the questions?

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By cann4ing, July 26, 2007 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Dawn, excellent post!

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By Counselor1, July 26, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Redeploy troops to guard Iraq’s oil on its Turkey - Iran border. That’s the only way to get oil company’s investment. They can store oil for later re$ale. Our military could equitably distribute “wholesale” revenue from it, even if Iraq’s Council never accepts an oil law. Locals need revenue for jobs, rebuilding.

Redeployment involves “withdrawal.” Vague talk about withdrawal increases probability that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, while we are there, or that Turkey will invade Kurdistan. 

Redeployment gets us out of cities. Troops can help Iraqis resettle or emigrate and evacuate contractors. U.S. funding U.N. surveillance of borders allows refugee return,  reduces conflict risk. Move Iraq’s government to a US base. Other countries moved their capitals.

Congress must force Bush by funding restrictions,  before Israel or Turkey drags us into a bigger war!

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By GW=MCHammered, July 26, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Q) What happens before <u>absolutely</u> every election?

A) Promises that are seldom or never fulfilled and outright lies. So why are we here pretending (again) that things will be different this election?

Read magazine articles from the 70s and 80s and the same miseries then exist now: political corruption, lies about the economy, terrorist problems in the Middle East, education and health care agonies, on and on.

So seriously, other than perpetuating societal woes, evermore taxes, and like a cancer… itself, what does our government exist for again? Maybe The People’s only true solution is a pocket-sized iGov. ‘Cause what we got now is an iCost in every way that iSux… we deserve better.

Latest quote from the front to ponder: “Like I always say, nobody supports this war, but the soldiers are stuck in it for now.”

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By Christopher, July 26, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The questions from YouTube on the CNN/YouTube debate Monday night gave us a lively, enlightening dialogue freed from the rules and pomposity of the usual televised candidate confrontation.

Except the #1 voted YouTube question according to CommunitySpeaks was censored by CNN.

The question dealt with the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Why did CNN censor this question? I would’ve preferred a bit less “lively” and “enlightening” and a bit more representation.

I funny that way.

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By Tony Wicher, July 25, 2007 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

Re #89603 by DennisD on 7/25 at 8:24 pm

You’re funny, dude.

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By DennisD, July 25, 2007 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please just make the 08 election an American Idol episode decided by who sings the best rendition of “Money” by Pink Floyd and be done with it. The rest of the world must be laughing themselves silly watching this YouTube “debate”. What’s next for the Repubs, and appearance on WWF Wrestlemania moderated by Vince McMahon from a f**king steel cage?
The technology to drill down deep enough to find the bottom to politics in America can’t even be conceived of by mankind.

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By cyrena, July 25, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

•  I was hoping somebody would mention this idea on the debate yesterday, but no such luck.
#89420 by Tony Wicher on 7/25 at 10:32 am

Tony, on the gay marriage question, specifically on this, regarding the “religious” component…

.....“The law, however, should be secular. That is the way to keep religion pure and free in this material Kingdom that is the final manifestation of the Spirit.”....

•  I was hoping somebody would mention this idea on the debate yesterday, but no such luck.


Just wanted to say that I agree with you whole-heartedly, (the entire post)but actually, this is pretty much the same thing that Obama said, in answer to the question. Civil Unions should be honored as all civil unions are, in so far as what the STATE can bestow. (since it’s always about the State anyway). So, as long as the laws are in place and equal, for WHOMEVER wants to form a legal relationship, should be able to do it. (although I admit, I haven’t ever met a “no gender” person). I’ve met double-gendered,(not triple though), but never NO gender. (holy schmoly:). But anyway, THEM too!!! Anybody…keep it secular.

And, he said basically the same thing about it being up to the various religious dominations to decide if THEY wanted to recognize it, but the State/rule of law… WOULD.

And, that’s really no different than it’s been here with the Catholics for decades if not centuries, with their take on “divorce”, and it’s the same way other countries do it as well. You get permission from the state, as well as the church, to get married, and then acknowledgement of a divorce is required from them separately as well. Agnostics like me, don’t have a problem with that. It leaves just the rule of law as determined by the state, for me to worry about.

But, it sure has given multiple Catholics the blues. They can marry 1 time, and even divorce that same person, (with extremely severe hardships) but any subsequent marriages WILL not be recognized by the church, (at least not until the original spouse dies off.) That is…UNLESS, one can get a special dispensation, in the form of an annulment, from the Vatican. (or it’s representative). Now, if one is fortunate enough to get one of those, then, a person can be married for 30 years to the same person, (in the eyes of the church) and have 14 kids., but if an “annulment” can be granted/purchased, then it just cancels all of that out. The marriage never existed, the 14 kids revert to bastard status, and either of the original partners is free to marry again, and have that (new) union recognized (in the eyes of God) by the church.

If one cannot “afford” such a special dispensation, then one should just blow off all of that, and settle for State only recognition, of any future unions. (which works just fine…I favor minimalism anyway.)

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By GodSend, July 25, 2007 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Well, cyrena - we agree about Bush smile Paul Levy wrote some very perceptive articles about Bush and what he represents (it’s scary). For anyone interested, his website is called ‘Awaken in the Dream’ (Google it). When you get to the bottom of Levy’s analyses, you end up with the Devil (really!). Not surprisingly, that’s also where you end up when you follow the many confusing, deceptive and eons-old threads of Zionism. Israeli Zionists (worshipers in the “Synagogue of Satan”) give Bush and other Neocons their marching orders. This is not really news. What’s new is the current personification of Evil. Note the uncanny similarity to the Hitler rise to power and Nazi Germany history (SEE! it at http://novalight.org)

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By Morgan, July 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seems to be as impossible to remove 160,000 troops from Iraq in less than a year as it is to train the Iraqi Military and Police after 4 years and 12 BILLION dollars spent. Bush/Cheney simply don’t want to.  And we know what Bush doesn’t want he won’t do regardless of the cost.

Removing troops from Iraq shouldn’t be too difficult since they could transport them via highway to our “friends” in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the country that now is a democracy (?)Afghanistan.
 
If we can train our young people to fight in Iraq in 4 months why aren’t the Iraqis ready to defend themselves after 4 years….and some of the training was done by Bush’s “miracle” General Petraeus. What a group of pathetic B.S.ers running our government!!

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By cyrena, July 25, 2007 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

#89511 by GodSend on 7/25 at 3:25 pm

Godsend:, You articulated this PERFECTLY…

.....“Is Bush stupid? - YES - but deceptively stupid! He’s not merely a stupid old country boy but a thoroughly evil and deceptive country boy - one who will rip out your heart while he’s smirking at you. It’s what nasty little boys, who like to blow up frogs with firecrackers, do when they grow up!”...

This REALLY DOES explain him. He is not a hapless moron, but a very dangerous psychopath.

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By GodSend, July 25, 2007 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

There is NO WAY that the deceptive strategy to make Cheney the ‘fall guy’, evil as he is, will work! The buck stops with the President of the United States. Is Bush stupid? - YES - but deceptively stupid! He’s not merely a stupid old country boy but a thoroughly evil and deceptive country boy - one who will rip out your heart while he’s smirking at you. It’s what nasty little boys, who like to blow up frogs with firecrackers, do when they grow up!

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By Tony Wicher, July 25, 2007 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

I wasn’t too crazy about the debate, since CNN/Time-Warner selected the questions for stupidity and to avoid taboo subjects, such as Israel and impeachment. Still, I liked Edwards’ attack on corporate power, and he made a good case that he had a strong record of opposing it and defeating it in the courtroom.  I liked it when Hillary called herself a “progressive” rather than a liberal. I usually agree with Kucinich over the other candidates. but on the question of reparations for blacks in this country I actually agreed with Obama. There should be no race-based reparations program. It should be approached as a matter of remedying poverty and inequality. Such programs are reparations for past and present injustice and oppression. But there should be no laws based on race, period. That’s what it says in the Constitution. I’m a fundamentalist about this. I thought Kucinich’s support for this concept was disappointingly “doctrinaire-leftist”.

As to impeachment, I came away from the debate wondering if there is such a thing. I didn’t see any sign of it. Impeachment? What’s that? Something to do with the need to stock up on peaches, I guess.

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By NewsSophisticate, July 25, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone noticed that the Democrats did not use the word ‘homeland’ once throughout the entire debate.
I doubt the Republican debate will be the same.

Here is my article on the debate
http://newssophisticate.blogspot.com/2007/07/cnnyoutube-debate-democrats-fail-to.html

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By Dawn, July 25, 2007 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

The question I would have liked to ask is, “Which one of the presidential candidates has the guts to impeach Dick Cheney?”

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By Tonto, July 25, 2007 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Ms. Clinton, why do you think that you would be taken seriously in countries that don’t respect women?”  “Because I’ve met with leaders in all these countries before”!??

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By Tony Wicher, July 25, 2007 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

On the subject of gay marriage, I have THE right answer. On the principle of separation of church and state, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, no more and no less, we should eliminate the word “marriage” in civil law and replace it by “civil union”. Any two people (or conceivably more than two) could enter into a civil union, and would enjoy exactly the same rights whether male, female, both or neither. There could even be various degrees and types of civil union that people could choose from. This would all be completely secular and enforceable as a matter of contract law. The word “marriage” would be reserved for religion. If the Episcopal Church wants to marry gays, that is its choice as a free religion.  If the Pope says otherwise, that is the Catholic’s free choice – or at least the Pope’s, since being infallible he theoretically gets to tell Catholics what to think.  If gays who want to get married quit the Catholic Church and join the Episcopal, hurray for them and too bad for the Pope. Religion and spirituality are subjective. The word “marriage” means whatever it means to the people in involved. If they consider themselves married, as they understand this word, they are married.  It could signify to them recognition and acceptance of their union by a community, or it could signify a very deep psychological fusion of life energy that defies social approval and recognition. The law, however, should be secular. That is the way to keep religion pure and free in this material Kingdom that is the final manifestation of the Spirit.

I was hoping somebody would mention this idea on the debate yesterday, but no such luck.

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By Mudwollow, July 25, 2007 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Interesting how many are willing or even happy to vote for “the front-runners”. Déjà vu all over again.

I nominate Paris Hilton. She’s certainly got face and name recognition. She’s vacuous enough not to answer any questions. And to some she even looks better than Edwards. Paris has all the qualities of the front runners and none of the refined doubletalk.

Things are shaping up to be elections as usual. Only two candidates from the only two parties will be squirt from the corporate tube. Looks like we’ll have a Republican we hate or a Democrat we hate to choose between. And we wonder why people don’t vote.

Mike Gravel is too old. Too old for what? If that’s the criteria elect Paris.

Here is some of what Mike Gravel had to say about the latest debate charade/façade.

CNN, a subsidiary of Time Warner, is one of the five major media
outlets that control the information system of the United States.
These represent the corporate interests in America today. Again,
last night—in spite of assurances that this would not happen—they
unfairly positioned the candidates and allotted the majority of
time to showcase those who have raised the most money from hedge
funds and Wall Street bankers.

It’s unfortunate that the Democratic Party continues to be
controlled by the corporate interests that came into being with the
Clinton Administration and the Democratic Leadership Council. The
Democratic Party, established through FDR’s leadership, used to be
the party of average Americans. Today it is the party controlled by
the Wall Street bankers, who are raising most of the funds for
Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. The Wall Street bankers, the hedge
fund manipulators, and the corporate profiteers of the
military-industrial and medical-industrial complexes, which control
our government under the Bush Administration, are intent on owning
the next Democratic Administration. No longer do working-class
families figure into this equation—the traditional heart and spirit
of the Democrats.

It’s unfortunate that the Democratic Party continues to be
controlled by the corporate interests that came into being with the
Clinton Administration and the Democratic Leadership Council. The
Democratic Party, established through FDR’s leadership, used to be
the party of average Americans. Today it is the party controlled by
the Wall Street bankers, who are raising most of the funds for
Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. The Wall Street bankers, the hedge
fund manipulators, and the corporate profiteers of the
military-industrial and medical-industrial complexes, which control
our government under the Bush Administration, are intent on owning
the next Democratic Administration. No longer do working-class
families figure into this equation—the traditional heart and spirit
of the Democrats.

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By Dawn, July 25, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why should the media have the power to limit our access to the truth? Dennis Kucinich speaks the truth and CNN placed him as far from the center as possible and Anderson Cooper barely let him speak.

Let’s judge a candidate on actions instead of rhetoric. Kucinich is spending his time gathering support for HR333 - Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney. Cheney is the one man impediment to peace. He is the person that lied us into this war in the first place. He has been planning this invasion of Iraq since 1998 when he signed on to the Project for a New American Century.

The signers of that pact decided that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to U.S. access to oil in the Middle East and part of their agenda was to invade Iraq and secure the oil rights. The people who are members of this group and continue to work towards the goals of this PNAC are either presently in high positions in our government or they have been banished from their positions because of corruption or incompetence: Richard Cheney, Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Elliot Abrams, Richard Armitage, Zalmay Khalizad, Robert Zoellick, William Kristol, etc.

Google PNAC and check it out.
Cheney is personally profiting from this war through Halliburton. He is behind the most outrageous power grab by the executive office ever attempted and he has blatantly trampled on our Constitution on a daily basis from wire tapping our own citizens to institutionalizing torture and doing away with habeas corpus. CHENEY MUST BE IMPEACHED to restore our Constitution and our country to a country of laws that apply to everyone including people in the White House.

Dennis Kucinich is the only true patriot running for the office of president. It is the media that is maligning his message and belittling his impact. If any major media spokesperson would come out and say what I just said on prime time news, Dennis would be the front runner. Hillary is up to her eyeballs in corporate bribe money to keep the status quo. If Hillary came out in support of impeachment of Cheney, then I would know she is serious about ending this war.

Kucinich voted against the war and voted down each appropriations bill to fund the war that has come his way. He has a plan to get the troops out immediately. He has integrity and he knows nothing good can happen anywhere in the world from Washngton D.C. to the Sudan until Cheney is removed from office.

We can’t wait until 2008 for transparency and justice and an end to the senseless murdering going on in Iraq. History will show that the true patriots of this country are the representatives who have supported HR333. There are 14 of them. John Conyers wants to see three more representatives cosponsoring this bill before he starts impeachment proceedings. Call your congress person today and demand that they sponsor HR333. Blogging is good. Calling is effective. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

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By GW=MCHammered, July 25, 2007 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We don’t need limp celebrity debates. We need congressional viagra. Yesterday!

Hey Pelosi! Take an hour and explain exactly why impeachment is off the table. Who threatened your family? Daddy B?

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By omop, July 25, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

These so called debates seem surreal.

Realities.

1] Continued deaths in Iraq; Afghanistan. Millions of refugees. Thousands of crippled for life US miltary. Billions a month spent on surges; green zones, etc,. Continued illegal immegration into US. Continued expansion of US miltary basis in the world. And more importantly the almost complete dimunition of Constitutional Rights.

AND NO ONE HAS AS YET ASKED THE CANDIDATES SPECIFICALLY WHAT THEIR AGENDAS WOULD BE IF THEY GET ELECTED TO THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT.

A favorite of mine: Ask candidates A, B, C or O. What would be the priorities of your administration? And do you believe that your agenda reflects the desires/needs of the american voter?

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, July 25, 2007 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

The way so-called liberals bash the candidates makes it clear that Republicans get all the help they need from the left. I don’t like Kucinich, I loathe Liberatarian Ron Paul and even when Mike Gravel makes sense,  he is just too damn old. I like John Edwards and Obama with Hillary coming in a distant 3rd. If you want to make Conservative hearts go pitty-pat with joy, nominate someone like Kucinich. They know they can beat him. All that said I will vote for whatever Democratic Candidate is nominated. Another Republican in the White House will assure another Republican thug, maybe two, on the Supreme Court and I count that more important than anything else.

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By cyrena, July 25, 2007 at 1:28 am Link to this comment

#89241 by jbart on 7/24 at 6:15 pm

JBART:

I was especially impressed with this from Edwards myself:

...“I liked Edwards response that if the questions re: “black enough” or “woman enough” are questions, those people shouldn’t vote for him. Big plus, in my opinion for that retort.”...

I wasn’t surprised to hear it from him, but I was still glad that he got that in. smile.

Meantime, despite what the critics say, this was the closest to a “real” debate as we’ve had in decades. I’m not saying it was perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what we’ve had for longer than some can remember.

And no, there’s no way that any of the Republicans could handle such an open forum. NO WAY. (at least you wouldn’t hear any questions like the ones that were put forth here.)They would have all of the questions and the individuals to ask them, already cloned.)

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By cyrena, July 25, 2007 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

#89190 by CJ on 7/24 at 2:49 pm

CJ, your entire post is excellent, and brings up the bottom line:

•  ….”Perhaps all of us should come up with a plan to send to Senators Biden and Clinton, not to mention Bush and Gates. How complicated can it be? Go there, then go there, then board a plane or a boat. I don’t mean to make light of retreat, but Biden either wasn’t telling us something or insulted our intelligence.”….

You’ve pointed out exactly how NOT complicated, redeployment has to be. The Iraqis didn’t shoot at us when we went in, (I remember the first troops arriving, being stuck on that one measly dirt road into Baghdad….tanks and humvees moving at a snail’s pace, or just sort of parked in their own traffic. Not one single response from an “enemy”, since there really WEREN’T any “enemies”. Saddam’s once grand army had long ago been destroyed. And, he was bankrupt. So, it was never a contest. They met us with the equivalent of white flags. (well, that may be an exaggeration, but you get my drift). So, it was easy enough to get in, despite the fact that we weren’t actually “welcome”, even then…and that was BEFORE we destroyed their country.

So, there has been no doubt in my mind, (at least for the past 3 years) that the majority of the Iraqi population has long since wanted us OUT of their lives, (what’s left of them) and there is no question that they blame the Americans for what has become of them, and their homeland. So, I’d be willing to bet that our troops would receive NO LESS RESISTANCE in the withdrawal operation than they did when we went in.

And, you’ve got the logistics worked out. So, it really doesn’t need to take a year now, does it? As a matter of fact, we could do it even faster, and get a bunch of them out on what we used to call MAC flights. (my former employer used to do these operations back in the 70’s and early 80’s) Twice a week we operated 747’s from LAX to Manilla, full of mostly Marines and their families, but Army as well. I’d say 8 or 10 of those (flights) and that would pretty much cover everybody not already included in your plan. Now that I think about it, we could use those ships and aircraft carriers that are already in the area. Load ‘em up….head back home. Denmark just managed to airlift 200 Iraqi civilians from Iraq, so I’m real positive that it’s easily enough accomplished.

So, that brings us to your real question: Do any of these guys, REALLY want us out of Iraq? (besides Kucinich, who has made it clear that he could manage this) Because, they are otherwise lying and insulting our intelligence, or maybe they honestly believe this themselves that it has to be a long and drawn out operation. I can understand where some of these guys may be short on the real “logistics” of such an operation, because not all of them have any military experience. (Biden does) Still, they are talking about a redeployment based on political considerations, and I just don’t know how many of them are all that sincere about a total and complete withdrawal from Iraq, including a withdrawal from its politics and its oil.

And, they’re all still talking like the Iraqis are at fault, for not getting their shit together, when in fact as long as we are there, we are preventing them from doing exactly that. So, while they all keep framing the Iraq withdrawal question in terms of forcing Iraqi to take some responsibility, and make it seem like a “threat”: Oh, we’re gonna leave if you don’t do what we say; the Iraqis see it as a promise unfulfilled, because we’re still there, and they’re still dying as well, in far greater numbers than our troops even.

And, here again, Biden as well as the others, have all of these “political” plans for how to set up Iraq, and in what form of government, and they haven’t consulted with a single Iraqi, outside the green zone. (which means they haven’t talked to any of the population who ultimately must determine those things for themselves.)

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By GodSend, July 24, 2007 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

jbart:

These debates are totally meaningless! Fools on the Hill and Little Miss Sunshine are right. Any analysis as to who ‘won’ and scored ‘points’ is missing THE point: Almost all of them are Israeli shills (Kucinich excepted). I’m looking forward to a Kucinich vs Paul shootout at the OK Corral in 2008 (provided that both of them are not ‘accidented’ by Zionists on their way over there!). Paul is in real danger if he continues to rally the bipartisan youth voters - and their parents - and becomes a real threat to win the nomination wink

I’m not prepared to give the Zionists here any quarter whatsoever wink

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By jbart, July 24, 2007 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

to:
CJ on 7/24 at 2:49 pm
What your referring to is a “best case scenario”. What Biden’s referring to is the reality of the situation. There is so much B.S. to get things done in Gov’t., that a prediction of a year is, probably, optimistic. But don’t let the aim to be re-directed due to a debate on time frame. Keep the “aim” on withdrawal. Regardless of “exact” time frames. The key is to, just, “GET OUT” as soon as possible.
Re: the questions of Obama being “black enough” and Hillary being “woman enough”, I liked Edwards response that if the questions re: “black enough” or “woman enough” are questions, those people shouldn’t vote for him. Big plus, in my opinion for that retort. Gravel was, of course “right on” but, due to his fervor, still un-electable.  Kucinich is still a “ball of fire”, I love his honesty, and will place my insignificant vote for him, when the time comes to do so. Call it a “vote of rebellion”, if you must, but I consider him to be the only candidate that represents my own beliefs & thoughts.
Re; the format….I love it !!! Let’s see if the other side is willing to “wing it” and have little, or no, advannce warning/preparation of the questions to be posed to them. If nothing else, it should expose the charlatans.
Scott…you’re living in a dream world if you expect “direct” answers to “direct” questions.
To “godsend”....Please let lilzamer and the other PRO-ISRAELITES to “blog in” before you rant. Give them time to leave the “Declaration from Isael” stuff they have become “obsessed” with to join the debate (sharing of divergent views). Defending the Israeli position & actions must be an exhausting exercise. They will “chime in” as soon as they regain the ability to do so. But, until they do, we should keep the subject clear. Namely,the debate. What’s good, and works for us, and what is just more of the same.

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By little miss sunshine, July 24, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
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Isn’t it interesting how CNN visually represents the candidates? Little miss sunshine Center, Bad Ass Barak immediately right, Pretty Boy Edwards immediately left, and by order of some kind of shallow popularity contest reminiscient of the pageants and frat partys the producers of CNN must’ve been steeped in while attending their yupped up high schools, or their superficially conservative SEC universitieis, the rest lined up with Kucinich last on the right, Gravel to the left. 

That kind of visual rhetoric is not something to take lightly. Essentially CNN is non-verbally endorsing certain candidates over others…shocking!

Let the Presidential Pagaent ensue

....We need to grow up.

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By Fools on the Hill, July 24, 2007 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Neither party wanted the League of Women Voter to host the debates any more and have them ask hard and good questions.  So now we have Political Entertainment follies for the kids.

I’m not watching them any more. No feakin way!

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By CJ, July 24, 2007 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, one more thing: Did anyone notice how Chavez and Castro were classed, by Cooper but also Clinton, in particular, with Kim Jong-il? As though all three are exactly alike? Lou Dobbs too does that fairly often, most often out of hatred for Chavez. Moment was a Chomskyan case of media lumping together, as “demons,” any and ALL leaders who don’t toe the U.S. line.

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By CJ, July 24, 2007 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, my personal “favorite” moment was when Joe Biden spoke of telling the truth with reference to Iraq. According to Joe, every military person knows it will take a year to extract the U.S. military and Green-Zone civilian types. He threw in a comment about helicopters extracting those from the Green Zone. Off rooftops, apparently.

I wondered again at that point just how hard it can be to extract 160,000 or so people from one country. Why would that take a year? That number of people would fit inside the Rose Bowl, 100,000 seated, the rest standing on the field. I’ve been there when 100,000 filled the stands. 160,000 people really isn’t very many to get to one location.

Given that most Iraqis, including or especially so-called insurgents, would be glad to see our backsides, troops would not likely be prevented by those from leaving. (Oil companies would be upset, but I’m assuming personnel would not attack troops to keep them from leaving.) Maybe a few skirmishes here and there. As opposed to ongoing IEDs? And we’d be retreating, which is different from attacking, Joe. It’s about 300 miles or so from Baghdad to Umm Qasr. At worst, a couple day’s drive, two weeks marching on foot, including a whole lot of rest stops. Okay, some troops are north and west. So they’d have to ride or march first to Baghdad, where everyone would be in one place. Allow a week or two for that. Equipment would have to be moved, I guess, with most vehicles used to carry troops south (pretty much the reverse of the way they went in, which took three weeks), pulling at the same time whatever artillery and so on they might need or want to bring back. Most equipment will be left behind anyway, no matter when withdraw takes place. Not least because there’s lot’s a dough to be made in making new weapons and other useless military gadgetry.

Once gathered in Umm Qasr, troop-carriers already stationed there by that time would need only flop down gangplanks so troops can board and vehicles be driven aboard. If necessary, Green-Zone set could be driven to the airport in Baghdad to board a couple C-130 transports for no doubt difficult journey to Germany, then home. Fine, Joe, surrounded by thousands of troops also on their way out. Does Biden think anyone there is interested in Green-Zone personnel remaining, such they’d try and stop them from leaving? On the other hand, I can see how Iraqi citizens might want to take a little revenge on Green-Zone types for living the high-life INSIDE the Zone while Iraqi refugees are everywhere OUTSIDE the Zone.

So, a month? At worst? What’s Biden talking about? What truth? Unmentioned are permanent bases built and being built in Iraq, from which no troops will be sent home, and oil installations that will have be guarded. Both possibly for decades to come. But in that case, why talk about a year? Unless Joe meant 2050? That year? I don’t know what else he could have meant.

Otherwise, I’d say to him that anyone—military person or not—who says it will take a year to withdraw 160,000 or so people from one country is either not exactly competent at figuring ETAs or knows something that he (or she, in Hillary’s case) is not in fact telling us.

Perhaps all of us should come up with a plan to send to Senators Biden and Clinton, not to mention Bush and Gates. How complicated can it be? Go there, then go there, then board a plane or a boat. I don’t mean to make light of retreat, but Biden either wasn’t telling us something or insulted our intelligence.

Actual favorite moments were Gravel’s honesty re lives lost in vain in Viet Nam and Kucinich’s blistering of all but one (Gravel) of the rest of ‘em for talking about getting out of Iraq long after they voted to go in and long after having voted multiple times to fund the disaster. Who was the one on that stage least blinded by an elite-class Weltanschauung?

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By Erica, July 24, 2007 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It would have been great to hear a debate on their platform issues, especially the one on poverty. I wish the debate would have been more legitimate and sincere considering it was a chance for viewers to address issues close to their hearts. It only takes 12 billion dollars ( a small comparison to the 340 billion spent on the Iraqi war) to provide education for every kid on earth [Borgen Project]. That is a small price compared to the opportunity the U.S. has to change the quality of our society.

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By GodSend, July 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone know which of these candidates did NOT travel to Israel (to kiss their Zionist bosses’ asses) and which ones did NOT receive campaign contributions from ANY Zionist organizations (AIPAC, ZOA, ADL, etc.) or corporate Zionist donors?

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By dhillon, July 24, 2007 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politicians can never give strait yes or no answers due to the fact that corporations own them and they must portray the interests of their “friends” when confronted with a y/no question. Think about Bush and his oil friends. We could have alternate energy sources years ago.

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By robert a. davies, July 24, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A shame that our elections are phoney. If we almost never hear the positions of some of the candidates
or hear anything about some of them—how can you say this is a democracy?

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By Mstessyrue, July 24, 2007 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was very important for the presidential candidates to address the questions from YouTube and the general public.  However, thus far, most media attention has focused on the war in Iraq and recent scandals in the White House.  There are critical topics of great importance that I would like to see our candidate address in the future, especially with global poverty. As one of the nation that has pledge to fulfill the goals of Millennium Development Project, whose goal is the elimination of world hunger and poverty, this administration has not shown any substantial action to bring this fundamental problem to a stop.  According to the Borgen Project, dedicated to fighting and ending Poverty around the world, only $19 billion dollars are needed annually to stop world wide poverty, hunger and malnutrition.  However, more than $340 billion dollars has been poured into this “war on terror.”  And each year, our country has a military budge of $522 billion dollars.  It’s time for a new leader who will be addressing an issue that affects 1.2 billion people everyday worldwide.

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By bibisad, July 24, 2007 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder who selects and sanitizes the anger that people have towards all subjects. Why would they put up stupid silly questions? Make us feel goooood, that our politicos “like” each other. No, I think it is to well packaged. Kucinich and Gracel, are constently over looked. They have the true answers. They speak the truth, so the power brokers don’t want them to speak. SHAM.

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By P. T., July 24, 2007 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

The forthright candidates at the back of packs (such as Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul) are badly needed in the debates.  They provide a reality check to the front runners (with their gobs of special interest money) and the establishment media.

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By Scott, July 24, 2007 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

I notice the politicians still refused to give straight yes or no answers to straight yes or no questions.

I also noticed the moderator refused to do anything about that.

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