American in Spain

First Donkey Debate

April 27, 2007

I watched the first debate in South Carolina over the internet this morning. I thought I'd post a few thoughts here. The problem with our democratic system, and why no one trusts politicians and no one likes the either of the two choices they are ultimately faced with on election day is that, in trying to appeal to voters on both sides of an important issue, the candidates have to ride the fence in the middle and say contradictory statements. Conservative voters will ultimately find the two final candidates to be too liberal, and liberal voters will ultimately find the two candidates to be too conservative.

Hillary and Barack are already shifting too close to the middle for my tastes. Dennis Kucinich, who, I'm a little embarrassed to admit, I had never seen speak until today, said almost exactly what I would want my chosen candidate to say. One statement of his particularly stuck with me for its clarity and power over the other candidates:

I think it's inconsistent to tell the American people that you oppose the war and, yet, you continue to vote to fund the war. Because every time you vote to fund the war, you're reauthorizing the war all over again.

Please re-read that at least once more. You can't say that you're upset that your child is obese, and then obey him when he tells you to bring him a bag of potato chips without getting up from his video game console. Well, you can, but you'd be lying. Actions don't lie. And in the case of congressmen (I'm sorry Hillary, but "congresspeople" just sounds silly), it's your votes that don't lie. The fact that Kucinich has never voted for the war, even back in 2002, when we were all duped by the "faulty intelligence". That wins him some points in my book.

One quick complaint about this chart that I found on this article from the San Diego Tribune (it was the top on my Google News page):

Candidate Chart

The plus and minus rows are pretty stupid and sound unprofessional. But my real complaint is the "Celebrity donors" row. WHO CARES!??! Do people really decide to vote for who Jerry Springer, Tom Hanks, or Don Henley are endorsing? That seems pretty sad to me.

Now, how much which corporations are donating to each campaign would be much more interesting, mainly because it would help measure bias in news coverage.

That's all for now. Comments more than welcome.