I was impressed with the questioning of George Stephanopolous and Charlie Gibson as moderators in last night's debate. They asked the tough questions that needed to be asked. I give an A+ to ABC for such a great debate, a C on Hillary's performance and a D- on Obama's performance. If you had not seen this debate, you need to.
In my last post, I wrote the following,
Tonight is the last of the Democratic debates. I hope instead of the amity we have seen between Hillary and Obama in these last debates, we see blood in the streets. I am hoping Hillary exposes more of the vacuity that is Obama. We can only hope.
Hillary did not disappoint. Stephanopolous and Gibson were the Roman judges, and Hillary Clinton was the Roman accuser. Obama was left bloodied and wounded after he was left flagellated by his Roman accuser. This was a big win for Hillary. It was also a big win for John Mccain, and he wasn't even there.
What was revealing was not only Obama's vulnerability but the inane policies which may come to fruition if either Hillary or Obama is elected.
Relationship with Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers
I was surprised when Stephanopolous actually asked Obama about his relationship with Bill Ayers since Obama's relationship with the former terrorist has not gotten much press. Bill Ayers is an anti-war terrorist, a former member of the Weather Underground who was responsible for several terrorist bombings including the pentagon. He stated on 9/11 he never regretted setting bombs. Obama's campaign has admitted that Obama and Ayers had a friendly relationship. Video below.
Obama tried to spin his way out of it by saying his relationships shouldn't matter. It doesn't reflect on who he is or on his values. Hillary came back with a vengeance albeit polite, but Obama seemed quite uncomfortable. He even tried to compare his relationship with Ayers to that of Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn because of Coburn's views on abortion. Last I checked Coburn was not a terrorist. Coburn is just another Republican with whom Obama disagrees. How is he supposed to be the great unifier when he compares Republicans to terrorists?
Hillary did take the opportunity to bash Bush, and wanted the Republicans to apologize for the Bush years. Huh? She bashed Bush with every opportunity given to her.
Gibson pressed Obama on Reverend Wright's Comments. Obama reiterated that he had not seen his comments on youtube before they appeared on youtube in effect saying that he never saw Reverend Wright make such comments during his twenty year relationship. Of course, that comment lacked credulity. Gibson asked about how he could not have known since he had rescinded an invitation to the Reverend to deliver an invocation on the day Obama announced his attention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination because as Obama put it "Wright could get kind of rough." Gibson repeated his question when Obama seemed to skirt the question. Obama then stated,
These comments were objectionable, they're not comments I believe in…the church and the body of Wright's work and ministries were not represented by the comments that ended up on TV. And so, what I think I tried to do in the speech was speak to a broader context…there is anger in the African-American community."
He states Reverend Wright is a marine, but then again Timothy McVeigh was a decorated United States Army Soldier. So Obama's statement of Reverend Wright being a former marine is a non-sequitur.
Hillary chimed in,
"For Pastor Wright to have given his first sermon after 9/11 and to have blamed the United States for the attack, which happened in my city of New York, would have been just intolerable for me. You get to choose your pastor not your family, I would not have stayed."
Hillary also mentioned the association to Farrakhan and the church's bulletin delivered to Hamas. Hamas came out in support of Barack Obama today.
Another point for Hillary, by now you could see Obama's face starting to perspire blood. Obama kept trying to say how it doesn't matter, and it was the issues that the American people cared about. Obama wonders why we care. It has to do with character. Why Obama would even wonder why it is important should disqualify him for president. The exchange between Obama and his relationship with Wright and Ayres reminds me of a saying in Spanish, "Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres." - "Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are."
Hillary was landing so many punches against Obama, Obama finally came up with a counterpunch regarding Hillary's trip to Bosnia. Hillary then said,
I may be a lot of things but I am not dumb. I said some things that were not keeping with. I apologized for it, it was in my book. I went to Bosnia it was a war zone. There were concerns. I have gone to more than 80 countries. This gives me more advantage over McCain. I should try and get more sleep.
Of course, I don't think anyone believes that Hillary's Bosnia trip lie was because of sleep deprivation. We already know Hillary's flaws and her inclination to mendacity, but we are now finally cracking the armor of Obama that just a few weeks ago seemed impenetrable.
In addition, Hillary apologized while Obama squirmed, outright lied, and evaded the questions. For someone who was supposed to be above this kind of politics, he sure has entered the mire.
Gibson brings up the bitterness comment which Obama made in front of a San Francisco liberal elite crowd:
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations
No doubt that I can see how people have been offended. Not the first or last time I say something that's been mangled up. Let me be clear: People are going through very difficult times, even before the housing crisis
Obama continues to defend his elitist statement.
The point I was making was that when people feel like Washington's not listening to them, when they're promised year after year, decade after decade, that their economic situation is going to change, and it doesn't, then politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion. They end up feeling 'This is a place where I can find some refuge. This is something that I can count on.
Obama doesn't apologize for his statement, he defends it, so he did not mangle his words. He meant what he said.
Again Hillary moves in for the kill
I am the granddaughter of a man who was a factory worker in Scranton. Went to church. They don't "cling to religion when Washington isn't listening to them….I can see how people would be offended at taken aback."
The War in Iraq
We all know what Hillary's and Obama's stance is on the Iraq war, and their plans on leaving as soon as they get into office, but what they said last night was chilling. I believe these statements were made to please their far-left constituency and the code-pinkos.
Gibson asked both Hillary and Obama that if they were in office and the generals on the ground said if we leave Iraq, we would destabilize Iraq, would they still leave especially when General Petraeus said the steps we have so far taken are fragile and reversible. Here were their answers.
One word yes. We don't know what will happen if we withdraw. We do know what happens if we stay.
Yes - Because that is the role of the Commander in chief not the generals. We will proceed in an orderly fashion out of Iraq.
Both of them could care less on the advances we have made in Iraq, and they will disregard any recommendation from the generals in the field. True, it is ultimately the decision of the commander in chief, but this is a chilling and a frightening scenario. How they figure this will make us more secure is beyond me.
If anyone is still deluded that the middle class will not have their taxes raised under an Obama or a Hillary presidency, they only need to pay attention to what Obama and Hillary were saying during the debates.
Stephanapolous plays a video of McCain when McCain made one of his great statements playing on the title of Obama's last book, The Audacity of Hope. McCain said "They're going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year — and they have the audacity to hope you don't mind" Gibson asks Hillary if she will commit to not tax anyone making over 200K. Hillary commits, and then Gibson asks if she will raise taxes even in a slowing economy. Hillary says yes, because she does not believe it will adversely affect the economy. Hillary was against the lifting of payroll tax limits, Obama was for it.
The Heritage Foundation states:
The wealthiest 1% of taxpayers (about 1.3 million in all) already bears a disproportionate share of the tax burden. In 2005, the latest year for which IRS data is available, they earned 21% of all the adjusted gross income. But they paid a whopping 39.4% of all the income taxes. And the 13 million households who earned more than $104,000 (the wealthiest 10%, who would bear the brunt of higher Social Security payroll taxes) accounted for over 70% of Uncle Sam's take.
So, this begs the question, how are they going to pay for all their new programs. Hillary Clinton wants to establish a new cabinet position, the secretary of poverty to solve the nation's ills, and she wants to cut the crime rate in the nation by half by doubling the police force everywhere. Programs, programs, but only you rich folk will pay for it – and if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.
Now Gibson pressed further, "capital gains rate was reduced by Clinton 20 percent and by Bush 15 per cent and revenues increased each time." He then mentions 70% of people own stock of course implying that every income class pay capital gains taxes. Obama squirmed, wiggled and the blood began to drip:
Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair (my note – and that doesn't make sense or have anything to do with the middle class having to pay increased capital gains rate.)
And you can't do that for free, and you can't take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children and our grandchildren and then say that you're cutting taxes, which is essentially what John McCain has been talking about. And that is irresponsible
He tries to make it sound smart and confusing in hopes he can fool the people. Notice the phrase, "for purposes of fairness." That is a euphemism for redistribution of wealth.
Gibson then says, "But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up." Gibson, of course, ignored all his fluff. Reminds me of a math problem where the author puts in all kinds of extraneous information to see if you can extricate that which is important to solve the problem.
Obama squirms again and responds with this inane answer, "That might happen or it might not, depends what is happening on Wall Street, and on how business is going. Took McCain three times on foreclosures" Not sure how he managed to deflect his answer to foreclosures and McCain, but it didn't work. His cluelessness on the economy was evident. What did that answer even mean? We have the data, revenues go up. McCain may have joked about how he didn't understand the economy, but his economic speeches have been excellent. Obama is just plain clueless. The final answer is of course Obama plans to raise the capital gains tax and dividend tax rate, and it will affect the middle class. He was not able to squirm out of that one.
Clinton responded to the same question by saying, "I would not raise the capital gains tax rate above what we had it before 20%. I am sure against lifting the payroll tax that Obama proposes." Obama then responded, "What I have proposed is that we raise the payroll tax above 97K." Gibson was on his toes, and said, "that is a tax on people under 250K. There are a lot of people between 97 and 250. Oops! Obama was caught in his web of deceit. He then said, "That is why I said I would look at those guys in between. You can't get something for nothing." When did he say he would look at anyone - he said no taxes on the middle class. I say Bingo! – tax on the middle class and anyone else he can think of to pay for his massive programs.
This was a very revealing debate and one of the best so far in the Democratic debates. The underlying theme of the debate was that Americans are an angry and frustrated lot. It was a departure from the namby pamby kumbaya let's hold each other's hand debate the Democrats pine for. The left wing blogs were angry at the debate because of the truths it exposed. This debate revealed the empty suit that is Obama. We already know about Hillary so there was really nothing new about her. Hillary took off the gloves, and began to flagellate Obama. The blood oozed from Obama's forehead. His sainthood status has been badly damaged, and he no longer seems to ride that horse of invincibility. McCain has been delivering some good economic speeches of late, but what worries me is McCain wants to have what he calls "a respectful campaign." In the world of the left, that does not exist. They will come out with guns a blazing. Obama has substantial chinks in his armor, but will McCain take advantage of it. The jury is still out. I have been surprised at how well McCain has done on his economic speeches. I hope he does not underestimate the zeal of the Democratic Party. If he does, and if he does not do what is necessary to get elected, we will elect the most left-wing liberal to the United States Government no different than Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua. This is something the United States cannot afford.
For further analysis
The misleading statements or factual errors from the debate from www.factcheck.org
Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded.
Obama said, "I have never said that I don't wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins." Actually, he did. He said last year, "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest" because it had become "a substitute for ... true patriotism" during the run-up to the Iraq war.
Clinton claimed that applying Social Security taxes to wages above the current cap "would impose additional taxes on ... educators ... police officers, firefighters and the like." Actually, not many of them would be affected. The cap is $102,000 a year.
Obama denied his handwriting appeared on an old questionnaire that said he supported a ban on possessing a handgun, and he said he has never taken that position. Actually, his writing does appear on one of two versions of the questionnaire.
Clinton said she believes "market manipulation" is partly to blame for rising fuel prices. She offered no evidence of that. Past investigations of alleged price gouging have concluded that it’s mainly market forces that push prices up.