Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Wasting our time: tonight's presidential debate

Clinton, Obama, Politics, Presidential debate

 It's 45 minutes into the Democratic debate between Clinton and Obama, and not a single important question has been raised.

 Instead, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulus have continued to grill the candidates about their ministers, their faulty recollections, and their failure to wear flag pins.

Stephanopoulus, more vigorous than Gibson, actually asked whether Obama's controversial minister was as patriotic as he was. Astonishingly, Obama spent what seemed like hours attempting to answer the question in a reasonable way.

The proper response? "What on earth are you talking about? It's ridiculous to ask anyone to speculate about anyone else's patriotism. Let me tell you about what my patriotism means in terms of how I'll lead the country."

 And Clinton also spent what seemed like hours responding to the question about her blooper about ducking fire in Bosnia. She should have said "Look. I misremembered. I blew it. Let's talk about what I'll do as Commander in Chief."

 Now someone's asking Obama about a Weatherman fugitive who lived in his neighborhood when he was eight years old. And again, the candidate is responding as if it's a serious and reasonable question.

There are two issues for this campaign: the war and the economy. Time for the Democrats to take control of the issues--and the conversation. And since the media won't do it, it's time for us, the electorate, to start asking better questions--and insisting on real answers.

One more thing: regardless of party, there's not a single candidate who can properly claim to be like us. They are all richer, more privileged, better educated, and well removed from the reality of everyday life. So just stop pretending, please.




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