The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Democratic Debate number… uh… whatever.

June 28th, 2007 · No Comments · Misc., Politics, Rants

[NOTE: I need to go back through and extract more specific quotes, as the format moved SUPER-fast and made it tough to get details down without missing the next response. I'll do that tomorrow.]

Tonight’s debate is from Howard University and is apparently all about “black issues.”

I’m not black, but I appreciate PBS still letting me tune in.

Things to look for:

Hillary bustin’ out her “soulful” southern drawl.
Barack Obama bustin’ out his best MLK drawl.
Actually, just about EVERYONE trying to seem…


You know…

Less totally rich and priveleged.

Moving on, the debate is starting!

No… wait…

We apparently have half an hour of hip and energetic banter to sit through first.

Cornell West AND Al Sharpton are on camera within the first ten minutes.

The intro from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is suspiciously biased in favor of the Dems. I wonder if the GOP version of this event will have a similarly friendly lead-in?

Wow. People LOVE Chris Dodd. Either that or they’re still screaming for Obama.

Speaking of screaming for Obama, there are a fair number of people screaming “Obama.”

Question number one references W.E.B. DuBois. “Is race a problem in the 21st century?”

Let “Panderfest 2007″ commence!

Note to Ralf: Hillary stole Marge Simpson’s necklace.

Shockingly, the Democrats are UNIFORMLY opposed to racism!

Oooh… Obama’s accent metamorphoses first with a fleeting “equali-TAY!” Can Hillary’s drawl be far behind? I give her no more than three questions before she busts out with some proper Baptist revival action.

Kucinich is so cute. He’s like a tiny fairy godmother. The next Democratic president should appoint him Secretary of Good-hearted Niceness.

Hey, Mike Gravel is still here!

Ouch. Mike opens with “yes, racism is troubling, but how about that war on drugs?!” Because, ya know, black people love drugs. He’s right about the war on drugs, but it has very little to do with this question. DAMN, was that awkward.

I just noticed that Chris Dodd has the hair of a Lego figure. A frumpy, wrinkled Lego figure. A frumpy, wrinkled Lego figure that no one is aware of.

Somehow, I completely missed everything Dodd said.

Our panel tonight, DeWayne Wickam from US Today, Michel Martin from Nightline and NPR and Ruben Navarette - the guy who isn’t black.

Question 2: “The achievement gap.”

Richardson suggests a minimum wage for teachers. He’s opened very strongly this evening. Comfortable, concise, passionate.

While Edwards speaks, Kucinich takes frantic notes. I hope he says something crazy. Or cute. Or crazily cute.

Kucinich with the first MLK reference! War, apparently, brings poverty and peace brings prosperity. Except, you know, for those fussy wars that brought prosperity to the victors. Maybe he means that wars we LOSE bring poverty?

Gravel is ON FIRE! The first big ovation of the evening goes to Mike. Gravel/Kucinich ‘08!

Aaaand Chris “Droopy Dog” Dodd puts that fire out.

Clinton starts giving us a little of the passionate gesticulation.

Question 3: “HIV/AIDs”

Richardson’s answer is AWFUL. “Bush is pretty good… we need to increase needles… penetrating… uh… minorities… b-” “Governor, that’s time.” “…”


Obama with a very strong, considerate, audience-focused answer.

Kucinich wants us to “get real” about health care.

Aubrey’s comment: “[Kucinich] looks like a midget next to Obama.”

Kucinich with the SECOND ovation of the evening!

Quote from elsewhere: “I think the Sicko premiere gave him a power-up.” Kucinich/Gravel ‘08!

And Gravel goes back to the war on drugs again.

Because, I guess… um… the war on drugs is giving black people AIDs.

Dodd says a bunch of stuff.

And Hillary KNOCKS it out of the park. STANDING ovation. She is ON tonight.

Biden courageously returns to the subject of prevention.

“I got tested for AIDs, I know Barack got tested for AIDs.”

Ooookay, Joe.

Barack with the first truly funny line of the night:

“I just wanna make clear, that I was tested with Michelle, when we were in Kenya! I just wanted to say that - publicly! I just want to make perfectly clear what’s going on!”

Moderately homophobic, but still funny.

Question 4: “Shouldn’t we tax those evil rich people some more?”

You suck, Ruben.

I am now going to snooze through these answers.

Whoa. I lied! Gravel with a Libertarian tax plan. Gravel/Paul ‘08!


Quote from elsewhere:

“Clinton: ‘Re-elect me!’ I should take a drink when she says basically that.”

Biden actually seems depressed tonight. No inflection, no fire. C’mon Joe, we need some CRAZY out of ya!

Richardson: “I’m almost finished.”

Tavis Smiley: “Yes, you are.”


Question 5: “Racial inequality in the justice system.”

Kucinich opposes the death penalty. Very nice.

Gravel manages to avoid talking about drugs for a moment and gives a decent answer (”Dear black people, don’t trust us to help, take over power.”)


Biden is just DEAD on the mic tonight. He’s like a drunk, elderly John Kerry. But less energetic.

Question 6: “Some random thing about Katrina and displacement.”

She’s basically implying that the UN human rights rules about internally displaced populations somehow apply to HURRICANES. Don’t get me wrong, Bush botched Katrina (as did all of his predecessors going back to Nixon - the last person who DIDN’T put a random stooge in charge of FEMA - but this is just a goddamn stupid question.

Question 7: “Is outsourcing a problem?”

Gravel goes first! No, it’s not a problem. Taxes, unfair trade agreements and meddling with corporations is. I think Mike Gravel IS Ron Paul.





Maybe that’s what’s making Biden seem so sleepy.

Everyone but Gravel hates outsourcing. Blah.

Kucinich will cancel NAFTA and the WTO (cue cheering). I actually think he might be winning tonight. MADNESS!

Last question: “Darfur.”

We’re starting with Dodd. Dull, yes, but that means we’re going to FINISH with Gravel.

Oh, HELL YES. This just got good.

Clinton - either the US or NATO needs to intervene. She prefers NATO. And she CLEARLY understands the issue and SCREAMS at us to make sure we do too.

Biden - “We don’t need to wait to get out of Iraq to regain our moral authority.” Possibly the line of the night. Joe’s starting to wake up and yell! Aaaand he’s cut off by Tavis.

Ah well.

Richardson still wants to fight genocide by… uh… boycotting the Olympics. What? And he refuses to be cut off by Tavis. HE. OPPOSES. RAPE AND GENOCIDE.

Edwards - His solution to Darfur is funding schools all over the world. LAME.

Obama - Don’t just look at Africa AFTER tragedies occur. A DAMN fine answer. Probably what Edwards was trying (but failed) to get at.

Tavis is only giving Kucinich and Gravel fifteen seconds? BULLSHIT.

“If this country had oil, this admin would be occupying it now.” Kucinich with ANOTHER ovation! Of course, Sudan DOES have oil, but hey, hating Bush is the critical part.

Gravel… with a dead mic.

AAAAND the awesome final statement I hoped for:

“The President must have moral judgment. Most of the people on this stage lack moral judgment.”

Oh, hell YES.

Tonight’s winners:

Kucinich and 1/2 of Mike Gravel.

Tonight’s losers:

Joe Biden, John Edwards and the other 1/2 of Mike Gravel.

And performances tonight, in order from best to worst:



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