A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, April 18, 2008

Issues? What Issues?

A few nights ago, Democratic candidates Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama participated in their last debate before the Pennsylvania primary next week. Both proved they are eloquent, articulate communicators with grace under fire to spare. It also proves why these debates will never be green-lighted for a weekly series. I was hoping to hear something about their stand on major issues, but instead they were questioned regarding their recent verbal missteps, misspeakings and mishaps. I got bored after 40 minutes and switched on the Phillies, who were dealing with their own mishaps.

The criticism about the debate was widespread on the morning after: moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous blew it! They dredged up the Bosnia story against Clinton and resurrected the bitter Pennsylvanians quote against Obama. I get the feeling from the calls into the show that many other people felt the same way.

Perhaps the wrong people were debating last night. Maybe we should put the moderators on the hot seat. For example, “Mr. Gibson, what questions will you ask the candidates about the war in Iraq and explain why?” Or, “Mr. Stephanopolous, do you feel people actually give a damn about what Obama’s preacher said when they’re getting robbed at the gas pumps?” I doubt that their answers would be any more enlightening than the tabloid questions they lobbed at the candidates, but the program would have been only half as long and everyone would’ve gone to bed earlier and gotten a good nights sleep.

Of course, the moderators justified their questions with recorded sound bites from various Pennsylvanians who I dare say were bitter and cranky. One asked Clinton about her Bosnia misspeaking. She explained that already! Wasn’t that good enough for you?

A woman asked Obama why doesn’t he wear an American flag pin on his lapel like firefighters and police officers do. Okay, babe, the last time I checked it was not a Constitutional requirement that people wear their patriotism on their sleeves. The day that it does become required will be the day that the United States stops being 21st Century America and starts being 1933 Nazi Germany!

Gibson and Stephanapolous had a golden opportunity to settle the experience question once and for all: “Candidates, have you ever ruled over a sovereign nation, country or state for any period of time? Oh, by the way, Senator Clinton, ruling by marriage doesn’t count.” Naturally both candidates would answer honestly, “No”, but they would’ve used a hundred words or so to say it.

Okay, so maybe the lesson here is that there are no issues at all worth discussing. We’re just a nation interested in what he said, and what she said after he said what he said. (That last line is in tribute to the comedy team of Clark and McCullough. If you don’t know who they were, then look them up in your Funk and Wagnalls, kids. If you don’t know what a Funk and Wagnells is, then...oh, let’s forget the whole thing.)

Apparently the media believe that nobody wants to know anything about the issues. Sure, the candidates have great, grandiose plans about getting us out of Iraq, or giving every American health care coverage, but many of us don’t really understand their solutions. Or, even if we do understand, then we know that once they do get to Washington, their plans will falter and they themselves will fall flat on their face when they hit the political brick wall known as Congress.


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