Presidential Debate 1 (2008)–A Few More Thoughts

Here are a few more thoughts:

1. I actually liked that both candidates mentioned specific areas that they would cut from the federal budget. McCain mentioned ethanol subsidies and waste in the defense budget (which few Republicans care about). He also proposed a possible freeze in government spending, which concerns me, a recipient of federal student loans. But we’ll cross that bridge when (or if) we come to it.

Obama mentioned Medicare money going to insurance companies, as well as us giving money to Iraq when it has a surplus. My response to that depends on what the money is going for. If it’s necessary funding for our troops, then I’m for that spending. If it’s money for things that Iraq can fund itself, then we shouldn’t be shelling it out.

You don’t see such honesty from a lot of candidates. Most candidates are reluctant to specify where they would cut, since they’re afraid of alienating certain constituencies. And so they give a general answer of “I’ll cut waste.” McCain and Obama both gave that hackneyed answer, but they also listed specifics, and that’s pretty refreshing!

2. McCain said that Obama voted against funding for our troops, and Obama responded that he merely opposed a bill that lacked a timetable for withdrawal. Obama pointed out that McCain also voted against funding the troops–when that provision was part of a bill that had a timetable. Good for Obama for pointing that out! But I wonder how much this applies to leftist criticisms of Republicans as well. Liberals love to say that Mitch McConnell voted against body armor for our troops, for example. Is this true, or is there more to the story (see here)?

3. Obama looked right into the camera, whereas McCain did not. I can hear Pat Buchanan saying in the other room that Obama spoke directly to the American people. That may end up being significant!

There was something in my mind not long ago, but it vanished. Maybe it will come back to me.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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10 Responses to Presidential Debate 1 (2008)–A Few More Thoughts

  1. steph says:

    I noticed that not only did Obama look directly at the world and McCain not, at the end Obama shook McCain’s hand and looked right into his eyes with an appearance of genuine warmth whereas McCain seemed incapable of looking at him at all. Normally that is considered downright rude.

    You say “If it’s necessary funding for our troops, then I’m for that spending. If it’s money for things that Iraq can fund itself, then we shouldn’t be shelling it out.” I of course hope that any funding for troops is for their tickets home and I don’t think Iraq should be responsible for funding repair of damage, psychological and physical, which has resulted from the invaders.


  2. James Pate says:

    So does that mean you are disagreeing with Messiah Obama, Steph? He doesn’t like us giving money to Iraq when it has a surplus. Plus, we are funding Iraq’s infrastructure. That’s awfully nice of a nation you portray as mean and uncaring, is it not?


  3. steph says:

    No I don’t disagree with Obama at all. Unless he funds the troops to stay there – then I disagree with him. I don’t agree with Obama all the time at all. And it’s a little childish James to call him “messiah” when McCain appears to have the messiah complex in his announcement to fix wallstreet. And I don’t portray your “nation as mean and uncaring”. That is ridiculous James, but you are still very young.


  4. James Pate says:

    Hey, Obama’s the one who talks about slowing the waters and healing the world. If that’s not Messianic narcissism, then I don’t know what is.


  5. James Pate says:

    BTW, you act as if you never badmouth my country. Okay, name one thing you like or admire about it. And “Barack Obama” does not count.


  6. steph says:

    American art theatre and film and my American friends here and in England. Also the American Pacifist Movement and Martin Luther King, Michael Moore – and much more. It’s a pretty silly question really James, isn’t it? And McCain uses similar rhetoric – the point is the messiah label is just a reversible label to trash the other side.


  7. steph says:

    As you obviously haven’t noticed James, it isn’t America I dislike, it’s right wing politics and particularly the religious right, and imperialism.


  8. James Pate says:

    The American Pacifist Movement…you mean the one that was against us entering World War II, or the one that blew up buildings in the 1960’s-1970’s?


  9. steph says:

    You really are very childish. I admire the pacifist movement, not necessarily particular individuals who blow up buildings in its name.


  10. James Pate says:

    Well, Steph, if there’s anything about me that annoys you, you don’t have to visit my site. You said before that you have better things to do.


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