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Democratic Debate Wrap-up

The three frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination clashed pointedly over their approaches to ending the war in Iraq in the second televised debate of the 2008 campaign.

The signature exchange of the event was initiated by former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). Edwards acknowledged he had made a mistake by voting for the 2002 use-of-force resolution, but pivoted to note he has sought to lead on the issue since admitting his error -- drawing a direct contrast with the leadership that Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) have shown on the war.

"There is a difference between leading and following," said Edwards, pointing to his early support for a bill that would defund the war in Iraq by a date certain. He called last week's Senate vote to do just that a "moment of truth." He credited Clinton and Obama with casting "the right vote" in favor of the bill, but criticized them for remaining quiet on how they intended to vote during the floor debate. "Senators Clinton and Sen. Obama did not say anything about how they were going to vote," but instead "went quietly to the floor of the Senate and cast the right vote."

Obama, who has largely avoided any direct confrontations with his opponents to date, shot back a sharp retort. "You are about four and half years late on leadership on this issue," Obama said to Edwards.

That exchange typified a debate that centered on Iraq and saw the eight candidates engage one another more than they had in their first gathering in South Carolina last month.

Edwards repeatedly sought to cast himself as the most pro-active and progressive when it came to war policy and the broader war on terror. He refused to back down from his recent statement that the global war on terror was nothing more than a "bumper sticker," adding: "What this global war on terror bumper sticker was intended to do was for George Bush to justify everything he did."

Clinton disagreed with that position, noting that she represented New York in the Senate before, during and after Sept. 11, 2001. "I have seen first hand the terrible damage that can be inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists," she said. "I believe we are safer than we were [but] we are not yet safe enough."

The debate, which took place at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, spanned two hours although the vast majority of the action took place in the first 60 minutes. In addition to Clinton, Obama and Edwards, Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Joe Biden (Del.) as well as Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) appeared at the debate.

The discussion was largely controlled by the Big 3, however, who fielded questions on a number of foreign policy matters (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan) and a handful of domestic concerns like health care and veterans' benefits. Biden occasionally broke through the clutter but the other second-tier candidates struggled to distinguish themselves.

Tune into The Fix tomorrow for a look at the winners and losers from tonight's debate. And don't forget -- we are in New Hampshire all the way through Tuesday night's Republican debate.

VIDEO | (Courtesy CNN)

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 3, 2007; 9:44 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: 2nd Democratic Debate: Winners and Losers

Comments

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Posted by: rgxliohj tmqscg | June 21, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I find it funny to see Edwards try to push 2 people smarter than himself into a corner...

http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/368371

Posted by: Matthew | June 13, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Edwards wasn't as uninformed as he usually is but he still comes across at being a very ineffective bully...Look at him during the Iraq strategy discussion and how he tries to push not one, but two people SMARTER than him into a corner...

http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/368371

Posted by: Matthew | June 13, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Radical Left:
I happen to mostly agree with you on Kucinich. What he says doesn't seem kooky at all. Maybe it's because America is sooooo much more conservative than other Western democracies that he's on the fringes. But he'd be fairly mainstream in a country like Germany or Sweden.

Posted by: Aussie view | June 6, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I happen to mostly agree with you on Kucinich. What he says doesn't seem kooky at all. Maybe it's because America is sooooo much more conservative than other Western democracies that he's on the fringes. But he'd be fairly mainstream in a country like Germany or Sweden.

Posted by: Radical Left | June 6, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The Republican debate of June 4th was superb. Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans actually speak their minds.
Hillary, Edwards, and Obama look like children compared to the Republican field. From an intellectual standpoint, the
Republicans far out do the "tripple failure" that is Hillary, Edwards, Obama.

Posted by: Ames Tiedeman | June 6, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I am a former Republican, who is just disgusted at the way Bush has destroyed our party, not to mention our country. I am a Conservative and found the whole field of candidates, both Republican and Democratic, a disgusting mess, so i decided to look at the off the radar candidates and check them out. Well, i have found MY candidate. I "almost" jumped on the Fred Thompson bandwagon, out of disgust, but i am glad i did not. EVERYONE, please go to Google, type in Ron Paul and go to the Wikipedia link. Then READ it all and "if" you are someone, like me, who feels NOW is the time, possibly the only time, in OUR lives to, SAVE AMERICA, then get on the RON PAUL BANDWAGON!!! I am in my 50's and i have NEVER donated to a Presidential Candidate, BUT, i just did, to Ron Paul. Where has he been all my life!!! IF we have the SENSE, as a Party ( i have decided to get back on the Republican Elephant, for as long as Ron Paul is still in the race ) to nominate Ron Paul, "we", the real blue collar, working, everyday Americans, both Republicans and Democrats alike, may just have a chance to salvage the damaged ship, which is now, America. If Ron Paul is the Republican Candidate we can, once again, have a "good" choice for President, rather than the lesser of "Two Evil's" choice, we have had for so many election cycles. I am now "stoked" again about the Presidential race! I signed up to volunteer for Ron Paul's campaign and could not be more excited about it! Finally, a canidate of integrity, a man who vote's "HIS" conscience and is "man" enough to live with the consequences. Ron Paul, a politician that does what's right, instead of pulling a poll or sticking his finger into the wind or Flip-floping when the tide turn's on him. I think any intelligent discussion on Iraq, or Foreign policy, has to include Ron Paul. WE "grassroots" Americans, have got to, go get out his message because the News Media and the Beltway Insiders refuse to!!!! The Big Wigs in the Lobbyist Controlled "Bush" Republican Party don't want the "Word" to get out, that there is actually an "Honest" Republican and an "Honorable" Man in the race!!! Please read his Bio, BEFORE, dismissing, what i, have had to say, thank you all.

Posted by: TheJones | June 6, 2007 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Hillary sounded like a leader and acted presidential,She didnt hesitate on answers and defended the position of the the debaters. Go Hillary!!

Posted by: sue | June 5, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

HILLARY AS THE BEST OF ALL OF THEM. SHE PROVED IT AGAIN LAST NIGT AND WILL RPROVE AGAIN AND AGAIN ALL THE COMING MONTHS. WE VOTE HILLARY. YAY!!!!!

Posted by: Daisy Rodriguez - NY | June 4, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

As the weeks and months go by we see Hillary Clinton as being the most qualified and dignified to be our next President.

She really impressed me and my friends last night and many of us thought we would support Sen. Obama but not anymore. We still love Sen. Obama with all our hearts - he's a treasure - but maybe a little more experience would help him.

We would love it if Hillary was President and Obama was Vice President. That would be pretty darned wonderful for our country and for the world.

Posted by: Helen B. & friends | June 4, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards just keeps screwing up. He seems to have NO clue about how to run a campaign, and he has reached the point of saturation on getting any traction on his insisting that he is moral and honest and the others are not.

He would make a horrible President and I hope to heaven that the American people don't elevate him any more than he has already been elevated -- which judging from all polls is not very high.

What a self-righteous man he is.

Posted by: Sam in Iowa | June 4, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

My name is Jim Parker and I was a Democratic candidate for US Congress in Ohio's 2nd District in 2005 (special) and 2006 (primary).

If we ever want to solve the healthcare financing problems of our country, we need to get some people into the United States Congress who understand the intricate details of healthcare financing. It is one thing to say that we have a problem. It is another, completely different and much more complex thing to offer a realistic solution.

Since 2005, I have been proposing an expansion of the existing Medicare system from age 65 down to age 55 without raising taxes. We should allow every business in America, large or small, corporate or home-based to purchase healthcare coverage for the older employees in their workforce directly from the United States Medicare program. The program is already administered by third party fiscal intermediaries. A claim can be processed by Medicare up to $0.20 per claim cheaper than any private sector insurance company can process the same claim. This would take a giant chunk of the profits out of the health insurance industry. It would give an immediate cost savings to every sinlge business in America. (Those same businesses create the jobs that are so very much needed by so many people.) And it would allow the Medicare program to be saved before the Medicare Trust Fund becomes insolvent in less than 10 years.

Interestingly, one candidate, in the most recent Democratic primary debate, even if for a mere second made a comment that we should expand the Medicare program down to age 55. I know this is possible. I know it will work and I will support any candidate who is smart enough, and who cares enough to make this happen.

I publicly challenged Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (OH-02) to adopt my idea and she has, instead, chosen to ignore it. By doing so, she is ignoring one of the most important economic issues of our times.

I might run again for Congress in a few years. The next time I run, I plan to win an election for the 650,000 people who live and work and raise their families in Southern Ohio. For now, I hope that the candidate who does win the next Presidential election has enough sense to at least look at and consider my idea. Sounds like Bill Richardson has some inclination about what I am talking about. Somebody, earlier in this post, referred to him as the most intelligent candidate in the Democratic primary. I don't believe that he is going to win the priamry, given the current poll results. But even if he does not win, maybe he can become the voice of saving Medicare for the American middle class and the baby boom generation of America.

Spread the word friends, if we can build enough momentum behind the idea of expanding Medicare from age 65 to age 55 without raising taxes, we will be instrumental in causing the most significant change in the financing of American healthcare in our lifetime. We need to save Medicare or it eventually will be gone. The time is now.

Thank You.

Jim PARKER
Future Democratic Candidate for US Congress
Southern Ohio - 2nd District
(Against Jean Schmidt)

http://www.JimPARKER4ad.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Jim Parker - Ohio 2nd District | June 4, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Just looked at the .url, JD - thank you.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Just looked at the .url, JD - thank you.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Their on-stage performance showed once again their indebtedness to the Elaine Marie Benes School of Arm-Waving ... with the exception of "Howlin' Harry" (Mike Gravel), who showed once again why he's a former senator! If the Move-Onners have a Tancredo-Dobbs Wallbanger wing, Mike's got their vote! And the Senatrix still needs ankles and Edwards still parts his hair on the wrong side.

Posted by: Philip V. Riggio | June 4, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

zouk, rush hannity o'reilly coulter fox news.

None of the right lies. They don't propogate. If they are wrong they always admit it.

I'm I lying now. YEs. I'm sorry I am a republican. I don't know what's truth and what's a lie anymore

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Honesty and intellect are in very short supply on the Lib left.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

drindle says:

"What the courts have done, regardless of who appointed them, is say that Padilla can be used as precedent, to allow the president to illegally contravene the Constitution and deprive ANY American of the writ of habeas corpus and due process."

Its the courts duty to say what the Constitution says. Judges appointed by Presidents from both parties have rejected your argument, because you are wrong, drindle.

To the extent that your ideological conclusions about the law are contrary to what the courts say the law actually is, you should revise your false ideological conclusions. That is what you would do if your were intellectually honest.

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark, read this

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/CustomsToday/2005/March/ntc.xml

dated, and current state of the art is classified, but gives you an idea of some of the out-of-the-box stuff the feds are doing.

Again, don't confuse me for some W shill. I am more unhappy with him than happy, and wouldn't vote for him I dont think. However, if we can't be honest about the good stuff his admin as done (and drindl, we HAVEN'T BEEN ATTACKED again), then honest debate is unattainable.

And KOZ: 'Lib moonbats'? Sorry, couldn't find that in wikipedia.

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Since I left this thread this morning there seem to have been two useful moments.

1] JD is a port contractor and says that port security is enhanced since 2001 - I accept his assertion and expect that he can back it up, in a longer forum. I have heard a lecture by a Coast Guard Captain who makes a similar point.

2] Razor and Bokonon have had a fair discourse about the Patriot Act and FISA.

I can add some legal history to the electronic surveillance issue - as a matter of Constitutional theory, all incoming [from other nations] messages, including mail, can be searched without warrant as a matter of national sovereignty and border security. The problem with email is that it is so close to instantaneous and so easily bounced that its point of origin is often impossible to determine in real time.

This issue is being addressed, quietly, by Spector and Leahy as well as Rockefeller and Robertson. In the house, Hunter and Harman were addressing the issue - Harman, now having lost authority in a Pelosi moment, incurred Pelosi's wrath by saying the surveillance by "Echelon" was unlawful, but Harman was willing to give the Administration a pass on it until the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees in both houses had developed a statute that would, in fact, deal with the technological incapacity of FISA to address email.

Razor, this is a tough issue, legally because everyone wants NSA to intercept foreign plots, and the law is not able to address this without very careful amending.
They ARE still working on it - but, thankfully, NOT in bloviating public committee hearings.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Clinton=Bush. She will follow the same policies because she is gettign paid by the same people. Beware of the yale plan. Avery scary time in America when treason is not only legal but incouraged. Look at the yale grads. Do you see any connections? I know people iwll say "ooohh dean and kerry have nothing to do with this." They had conveinant screw ups at just the right time for conservatives. Sell-out's facists traitors. The people now know. Therefore, their time is almost up. Selling out this country to line your own pockets, regardless of party, are up

"All U.S. presidents since 1989 have been Yale graduates, namely George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton (who attended the University's Law School along with his wife, New York Senator Hillary Clinton), and George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney, (although he did not graduate). Many of the 2004 presidential candidates attended Yale: Bush, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and Joe Lieberman.

Other Yale-educated presidents were William Howard Taft (B.A.) and Gerald Ford (LL.B). Alumni also include several Supreme Court justices, including current Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Wolf Blitzer was a pain! His hypothetical questions revealed his biases. His strolling in front of candidates he wanted to cut off was offensive.He is so full of himself, that he even repeated the questions from the "guest" reporters. The format of Hillary in the middle gave her the spotlight for the entire time. Someone needs to moderate without an ego and an agenda. And every 10 minutes, the candidates should change podiums,like musical chairs, and be allowed to question each other about the one topic the audience chooses as the most important to them...not to Wolf!

Posted by: H.J. Shorter, MD | June 4, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice if it really WAS a debate? The media's notion of asking a question of only three candidates makes me feel like I am watching the Dating Game. And how dare they choose which three. No wonder people have never heard of the so-called second tier candidates.

Or what about giving each candidate five minutes to explain their position on five topics, like the Iraq, terrorism, the economy, healthcare and immigration (or the environment). I know, I know - wishful thinking.

Posted by: Anndeegh | June 4, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: Seriously, fella, you have way too much time on your hands and you take yourself way too seriously. I suggest intensive therapy.

Dr. Melfi has an opening now.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 4, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, lets hope that hillary's nothing can turn this train around if she gets elected.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

JD, you must accept that the Lib moonbats on this site believe they know more about everything than anyone else does, simply from reading this and other lefty blogs and cerimoniously listening to Olbermann and "all things considered". but when challenged on anything substantial the response is typically:

as mommy late bringing your lunch down to the basement today, making her widdle zouky-wouky all cranky?

This Mike person is probably the stupidest and most useless person to ever visit this blog. And that's saying a lot. But then, he's a republican.

Now, unlike razorback, JD and zouk, who seem to get either unemployment or welfare and can afford to hang here all day, I have work to do.

nice to see KOZ gets access to a computer during his 12-8 shift at Mickey D's

CNN is not 'liberal' they attack dems constantly. CNN is right-leaning, same as all corporate media."

this is the intellectual level of the Dem primary voters. It explains a lot. What would you have to do to get them on your side. Ask around the playground for an answer.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Like Mike said, what has she done besides vote in the senate? We already got the answer to our question. "Nothing"

Posted by: Kyle | June 4, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is definitely president material. In fact, she is the only one I can see as a president.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Mike should run for president. He has probably done more than Hillary.

Posted by: larwod | June 4, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

drindl, if you think I was calling you a liar, fine. What I said was, that I know a lot more about port security than you do. Because I'm a contractor working on that very thing, and you're a middle-aged woman techical editor living in Upstate NY.

You want to argue with that?

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

zouk for someone who throws insults nonstop, you have a pretty thin skin. was mommy late bringing your lunch down to the basement today, making her widdle zouky-wouky all cranky?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 4, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Josh.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yep, the democrates and hillary have done just exactly that, nothing.

Posted by: Josh | June 4, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mike and Kyle - what you have to contribute is, exactly nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Mike is right. The answer to our question is "Nothing".

Posted by: Kyle | June 4, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Well guys, I guess that's it, !!!Nothing!!!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

zouk talking about 'anti-intellectualism' is one funny spectacle. Just this alone is precious:

'We actual thinking people will continue to ignore moonbats and cowards.'

He scribbles an illiterate, juvenile screed, then talks about how 'Libs' are the 'party of non thinkers and illiterates.' The most unintentionally hilarious blogger I have ever seen.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Kyle, you might be waiting for a while.

Posted by: tmbvc | June 4, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I see the extreme anti-intellectualism of ignorant coward and loudon voter have attempted to hijack the conversation again today with their juvenile, flaming rants and insults. If this is what you have to offer, I suggest you head over to Kos and post, they are just like you over there. We actual thinking people will continue to ignore moonbats and cowards.

I almost laughed myself silly when informed that it is not necessary to read english to vote. how do you spell Hillary in spanish? this must fall easily in line with Lib mores since you clearly don't need to even think clearly to be a member of that constituency. Libs, the party of non thinkers and illiterates, as this blog clearly demonstrates.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I also think Mike has made a great point. Resume vs. Resume, Romney has what it takes.

Posted by: tmbvc | June 4, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Mike has got it right. I'm also waiting to here something, anything.

Posted by: Kyle | June 4, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Biden was the clear winner - very commanding of International issues and showed courage in his vote for the supplemental - and I agree with him that they need to have 90 min debates focused on one issue.

Clinton was impressive, and was a very close second.

Obama and Richardson lost this round. Both babbled a lot - and for all of Richardson's credentials, he never got past reading his resume to us. Obama lacks a resume - and a grasp of the issues - nice rhetoric on English only though.

Your readers are correct though - the mainstream press is intent on making this a three way race - and not giving Biden-Dodd-Richardson equal time. What a shame - all three are far better than Obama, who is clearly out of his league.

Posted by: Chris | June 4, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

This Mike person is probably the stupidest and most useless person to ever visit this blog. And that's saying a lot. But then, he's a republican.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

'On April 3, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court decision upholding the federal government's detention of Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomber" accused of being an al Qaeda operative. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the Court not to hear the case. The Supreme Court neither declared the case moot nor vacated the lower court decision on mootness grounds, even though Padilla, a U.S. citizen, is no longer being held as an "enemy combatant" -- Padilla was recently released from military custody and turned over to civilian authorities to face trial in connection with largely-unrelated charges.

As a result of the Supreme Court not taking any action to declare the case moot, the appeals court decision in the government's favor remains standing and can serve as a precedent in future enemy combatant cases.'

The Washington Legal Foundation, btw, is a far-right foundation funded by corporations and gilded-age family scions like Richard Mellon Scaife. What the courts have done, regardless of who appointed them, is say that Padilla can be used as precedent, to allow the president to illegally contravene the Constitution and deprive ANY American of the writ of habeas corpus and due process.

Thanks for calling me a liar, JD -- I know you're such a big fan of 'civil discourse'. Now, unlike razorback, JD and zouk, who seem to get either unemployment or welfare and can afford to hang here all day, I have work to do.

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Nothing!!!!!!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

To the poster who calls himself "Mike" -

Those of us who do not have time to engage in an ongoing dialogue on this page are usually just looking for information; arguments "for" or "against" a certain candidate. I myself am from Georgia, and I am not as familiar with Mr. Romney as some of you others seem to be. I have to tell you that your scrambled presentation, and the disrespect with which you address others, have made it much less likely that I will support your candidate in the GOP primary. You are doing Romney, and yourself, no favors, son. If you really want to be useful to a cause, you have to think about what you say and how you say it.

Posted by: family values? | June 4, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Do nothing cavemen/cavewoman anyway!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, koz. It seems the only difference between these libs is whether to send Carter or Bill Clinton as "roving ambassador"...gak. and let's not forget their unanimous agreement to get rid of "Don't ask, don't tell" ...what liberal pandering that is! and Biden declares General Pace is "just flat wrong!"

Rushing to the left has reached a new extreme this time.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 4, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That's what I thought! Nothing!!!!!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Still listening, Mike? Still nothing? Don't worry... I'm sure the mothership will get back to you eventually. In the meantime, it's time for your shots.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Listening.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Proud, mny thoughts on dodd exactly - a historical tutorial on every subject to establish background. then when the minute is up, beg for additional time to respond to the actual question.

I am still waiting for anyone in the press to ask these bozos what is the expected outcome of surrendering in Iraq? total war, regional war, terror cells, peace breaks out? We go back in to rescue them after we surrender in Darfur?

so let's assume that the war goes well, the troops are drawn down, exactly as planned long ago by bush, and the Dems have no other talking points, other than trying to take credit for the whole thing - they were for the war before they were against it before they forced the president to wise up before they won it. hillary, contact your writers, this one is going to need some creativity.

then the Libs will have to find another foreign country to surrender to - say N Korea again. send in Jimmy. Or there is still Iran who would appreciate capitulation again - send in Jimmy. Perhaps we could elevate syria again and allow them to become dominant in Lebanon or expand further - we have already sent the surrender envoy - Generallissima Pelosi. they probably already have her home number.

then the only issue left is how much free health care to give out. and how much oil profit to confiscate. why stop at oil. any company that makes more than inflation level profits is gouging and should be shut down and prosecuted.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

One of the interesting aspects of the Democratic race is the candidates that voice the consensus position of the American public are marginal within the Party.

I believe this is epitomized by Kucinich.

Americans want less war in general, universal health care, and an immediate end to the war. That's Kucinich.

So, it's interesting that he is a marginal figure in the race. I wonder if the fact that he is presented as marginal by the media, and has the diminutive stature of a marginal figure explains it.

If the debate transcript were presented to Americans who did not watch and without names attached to the quotes, I suspect Kucinich would read like the man that best captures the hearts and minds of the public.

It's a good thing he's in the race so the other candidates are forced to address his position. He sort of plays the Ralph Nader role -- voice of common sense and reason within the progressive movement.

Even his stance on Bin Laden is basic good humanistic sense, and dare I say basic Christian, pro-life. Assassination invites retaliation and accomplishes nothing.

Amazing that this answer is viewed as kooky. It's amazing first because it is a pragmatic and rational view, and second because it is fundamentally Christian in a nation that claims to be 80% Christian.

How did we get to the point that what is basic good sense is politically kooky and relegates one to the radical fringe in these primary spectacles?

Posted by: Radical left | June 4, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

zouk says "the more we hear, the less we like."

and you know? he's right. in fact, i have that exact reaction each time i read something of his.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Still listening! Sure is quiet! Hope hillary can get more than this done if she becomes pres..

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

JD, stop criticizing ad hominem attacks. Without being able to refer to "ignoRANT coward," "dirty Harry," "(various adjectives) Libs," and others, I would have nothing of substance to say. when you start to pick apart language you are playing the Libs' game, resorting to "facts," "discussion," "respect for someone else's point of view." That's like asking Rudy to run as the family values candidate! or the anti-abortion candidate! Wait a minute...

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Mike, you appear to be the caveman, tiny brain.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you are so good at making sure your writing is soooooo perfect. As far as I know only one cavewoman is running. Maybe if we all type our words perfectly that will fix all of our problems.......

Still want to hear what the cavewoman has done! I'm listening!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Razorback,

The Padilla story did not end there. Check out:

http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/056396R1.P.pdf

Posted by: DTM | June 4, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Mike, when you get self described Bush hater (Bokonon) and drindle described knuckled dragging constitution hating drooler (me) agreeing, it should give you pause.

You say:

"Governor Romney saved Massachusetts and you might as well accept that."

Saved it from what? The previous Republican administrations in MA (Cellucci, Weld)?

Governors do not manage their state's economies. Federal decisions have more impact, and private sector decisions have the biggest impact of all. Just compare total federal taxes/spending in MA with MA state spending and taxes. We have a national economy. When governor's of any party tout their economic record, its all spin.

We know you love Mitt, but this is a tough crowd. You are going to have to move beyond his press releases to make any progress here.

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Razor, you're trying to debate with someone who doesn't want to debate - drindl only wants to call names and shout lefty extremist talking points, many of which are untrue.

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike - just saw this one, sorry. You said "tell what the cavemen/cavewoman have done..." In addition to the errors noted earlier, you failed to pluralize "cavewoman." The plural ("more than one") form is "cavewomen." Notice the spelling change? "Cavewomen." Have a great day!

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

They got a chance when all eight candidates were asked what their top priority would be for their first 100 days in office.

• Edwards: "travel the world" and "re-establish America's moral authority."

"I have been cooped up here in Iowa for over three years and need to get to a Paris salon for a makeover ASAP."

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton's negative ratings have been rising since her campaign began. Before she started, she logged in at 58 percent positive and 40 percent negative according to Gallup.

In the most recent Gallup poll, she came in at 45 percent positive and 51 percent negative.

the more we hear, the less we like.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And again the cavemen and cavewoman have done nothing!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

drindle, the problem with your little theory is that José Padilla (born October 18, 1970), is a United States citizen of Puerto Rican[1] origin, GOT HIS DAY IN COURT. He argued all that you argued. Guess what? HE LOST.

"United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Jose PADILLA, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
C.T. HANFT, U.S.N. Commander, Consolidated Naval Brig., Respondent-Appellant....

No. 05-6396.

Background: Petitioner, a U.S. citizen detained in military custody without trial after being designated by the President as an "enemy combatant" presenting a continuing, present and grave danger to the U.S., petitioned for writ of habeas corpus. The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, 2005 WL 465691, Henry F. Floyd, J., ruled that detainee had to be either criminally charged or released. Government appealed.

Holding: The Court of Appeals, Luttig, Circuit Judge, held that President possessed authority, pursuant to Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), to detain enemy combatant.

Reversed by published opinion. Judge LUTTIG wrote the opinion for the Court, in which Judge MICHAEL and Judge TRAXLER joined."

Judge Micheal is a Clinton Appointee.

Padilla got his day in Court and he lost. How does that trample the Constitution?

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi again, Mike:

I'm confused by your response to what I said, in that you don't seem to address anything contained in it. Instead, you say:

"Bokonon, tell what the cavemen/cavewoman have done besides put little check marks on a piece of paper thats going to turn this mess around."

Wow. That's pretty unclear.
First of all, you need to say "Tell ME," as "tell" by itself is either a poker term or the last name of a Swiss archer.
Next, "besides put" should be "besides putTING" in order to agree with the rest of the sentence - or even better, "besides HAVING put."
And you need a comma after "paper" in order to separate the ideas "put little check marks on a piece of paper" and "going to turn this mess around." (It would be even clearer if you used a different word order, but I won't go there - you can figure it out for yourself.)
Finally, "that's" (meaning "that" + "is") requires an apostrophe before the "s."

I have to tell you, though, that Geico aside, "cavemen" have not existed for thousands and thousands of years. Next time, do a little research.

"Governor Romney saved Massachusetts and you might as well accept that."

But the great thing about a discussion is that I don't have to, especially when you refuse to discuss what I think are valid reasons to criticize Mitt's performance in MA.
Here's one I didn't mention earlier: of his 4 year term, he really only spent 3 in Massachusetts. Most of his last year in office was spent on the road shilling for the GOP - leading up to, I might add, their worst showing at the polls in at least 10 years. (He did return when one of the Big Dig tunnels fell and killed that woman - had a Mike Dukakis moment with his hard hat in the tunnel, then promptly left the state again.)

"I'm so glad you get all your imformation from the local news because they sure know what they are talking about."

Actually, I get most of my information from on-line newspapers (NY and LA Times, Post, Tribune, etc.) and NPR. No Drudge, no Fox, nothing partisan / religiously affiliated. You should try it!

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

nice to see KOZ gets access to a computer during his 12-8 shift at Mickey D's

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 4, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the cave people sure are quiet!

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

To the Dodd-whiners out there...He got only 4 questions in the frist hour because he won't answer the friggin' questions!!!! I've never seen anyone bloviate and expoind in grand senatorial fashion around each question more than this guy. He only proved himself to be electable as World's Most Pompous Windbag last night.

Blitzer did a fair job of sticking to the rules, one of which was that they had to answer the questions or else get cut off. I'd give him a B overall as moderator.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 4, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

In terms of rating the candidates, Edwards has the worst night. Sure in style he's great, and he should be given his years in the courtroom. The lawyers on the stage are the best debaters, no doubt about that.

However, we focus too much on the debating stlye of the candidates and can overlook their actual statements. Look at the two main points Edwards made last night. He's one of the top candidates in the race, yet set himself up for substantial trouble down the road for two reasons:

1. Most Americans - including Democrats - do not (and will never) believe that the war on terror is just a bumper sticker slogan.

2. Criticizing Obama and Clinton that they didn't speak out strongly before they voted the way Edwards advocated comes off as contrived. So what, it's their actual vote that counts. It's not a substantive criticism, particularly coming from someone that voted for the war.

These arguments make Edwards appear less credible as a leader and risks seeing his poll numbers drop.

For disclosure purposes I'm supporting Richardson - who needs further work on his presentation skills. I thought though that as the evening went on he did better in his performance. Richardson is more suited to the conversational format.

On the substance of his comments, he did fine. Richardson nailed the question on the VA benefits (and Obama stuck out), spoke the most about LGBT rights, was the only candidate to raise education as an issue and showed sound judgment (as opposed to Biden) in refusing to support U.S. military intervention in Sudan.

It bothered my that Blitzer spent so much time with Edwards, Clinton and Obama on the issue of the night, Iraq, and then would interrupt Richardson and other candidates when they gave their answers.

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy | June 4, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon says "-Bush has shown time and again that if he doesn't like a law, he feels free to ignore it through the use of "signing statements" which say, more or less, "This law only applies when I say it does, and it is only valid under the circumstances under which I decide it is valid."

To the extent that Bush has flexibility, its given to him by Congress, which can take it away.

All of this is subject to review by the Courts, and very little of what Bush and Congress have done has been set aside by the courts.

These are almost always political questions which involve what the law should be, rather than legal questions about whether someone dispises or ignores the Constitution. In our system the Court decides when the Constitution has been ingnored or dispised.

Also, I would be very suprised if the articles you recall relate to warrantless wiretaps by NSA, as opposed to other sorts of background checks, use of informants, and other law enforcement tactics. Use your time as you see fit, although i know drindle would enjoy it very much if you were to suprise me.

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk ...right on time... right on schedule with the exact same talking points and attacks on dems he posts every single day. every single day the exact same drivel. i have never seen such a simple mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

'José Padilla (born October 18, 1970), is a United States citizen of Puerto Rican[1] origin, accused of being a terrorist by the United States government. He was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002, and was detained as a material witness until June 9, 2002, when President Bush designated him an illegal enemy combatant and transferred him to a military prison, arguing that he was thereby not entitled to the protection of United States law. '

And you razor, will predictably say, 'oh but after what he did, or was going to do' --all we know is what the Bush administration SAID he did -- and really, how credible are they? We don't know what he did, since he hasn't had a chance to de3fend himself. He may well be a scum, but he is a US citizen.

As far as we know, he never actually harmed anyone. PERHAPS he had the intent of doing so, but is intent a crime? Was there ever really proof of that intent anyway? How would we know? And is he any worse than say, a Jeffrey Daimler or any child murderer? Yet they are given their right to due process. That's all I'm asking for. What the Constitution calls for.

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

View from the other side without all the fawning:
It is clear that the Dems represent a completely different take on the future of america then the Rs do. If you want higher taxes, bigger government, a weak foreign policy and a stunted economy, vote D. they all agree on this.

hillary can't answer a question until she has come up with a pallatable answer. consider her war vote answer - created five days later to mostly conform to some gathered facts. but Edwards pinned her down on this, why not announce it ahead of time with the reason? and now she has created a storyline for her reason for voting for use of force - to get inspectors back in. this is the first I heard this reason. i wonder how much research and polling went into finding that excuse?

Edwards, who I personally think has no business running this country, made himself look very good last night for the first time.

Obama is still all seething goo with no actual substance. all hope, no reality.

I found it interesting that I claimed last week that they all thought alike and then the pundits said so right before the debate and then they did indeed agree on just about everything.

I can't wait for Rudy, Mccain or Mitt to ask Hillary some really hard questions - like how does one purchase higher quality at higher volume for less money? this must be Demonomics because even shifty edwards called them out on it.

Overall, a bunch of expensive, empty promises from the party that can't pass a law, despite fealty to the big government, socialist model.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

These cavemen/cavewoman don't have a clue or the experience it is going to take to get our country back on track. The guy that can take this mess that we are in and take it apart and analyze it and put it back together again better than anyone is Mitt Romney. He has made a career out of turning things around. In the private sector he saved business after business, as governor he turned around a huge mess in Massachusetts (which is where I lived when he was governor), saved the 2002 winter Olympics which was about to come apart at the seams. Senators vote (wow that's tough) that won't change Washington or prepare them to do much, actors act (that won't help turn things around). We need someone like Mitt Romney to turn this train around and get-er done. None of the other candidates have spent their entire careers turning things around like governor Romney. America will lose out if we don't take advantage of Mr. Romney's expertise.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Drindle:

The law is what the law is. Its all in writing. If provisions of the patriot act which by the language of the act are only applicable to terrorists, then a drug dealer can argue to the court that he should not be convicted and, if convicted, he/she can appeal. How does following the written law violate the rule of law?

Perhaps you should research what the law is, rather than basing your opinions on what you think the law is?

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Razorback, you say:

"Note that he did NOT say that Bush's belief cannot be reconciled with the LAW, as stated by the Constitution, the Congress and the Supreme Court. That is because the Supreme Court has recognized a distinction between citizens and non-citizens in the application of the law."

-In the application of SOME ASPECTS of the law, you mean. It seems to me that what we are discussing here are human rights. It would be curious if such a religious president were to believe that only AMERICANS were "endowed by (their) Creator" with such rights.

With regard to electronic surveillance, the information is either from a NY Times article or NPR News. I think the latter but I'm not sure... anyway, it had to do with a review of how the surveillance program had been used, and yes, it has been used on Americans not connected with Islam or international terrorism. (Or even terrorism of any kind.) If you would like, I can keep looking for the source of my info - as i have time, which is in short supply today - and get back to you.

You conclude by saying:
"Finally, the reason what Bush has done is not totalitarianism is because Congress can change the law."

-Bush has shown time and again that if he doesn't like a law, he feels free to ignore it through the use of "signing statements" which say, more or less, "This law only applies when I say it does, and it is only valid under the circumstances under which I decide it is valid." With a Republican Congress looking the other way (most of them, most of the time), he did pretty much as he pleased, with minimal checks and balances. With a Democratic Congress, there is a great deal more oversight, but I still think he regards Congress (and the Supreme Court, for that matter) as obstacles in his path, to be circumvented however possible. Partisanship aside - really! - I believe that his presidency has been bad for democracy in America. nb - I was equally opposed to Reagan and Bush's dad, but NEVER felt this way about either of them.

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon, tell what the cavemen/cavewoman have done besides put little check marks on a piece of paper thats going to turn this mess around. Governor Romney saved Massachusetts and you might as well accept that. I'm so glad you get all your imformation from the local news because they sure know what they are talking about.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Drindle, you keep saying you wont respond, but you can't help yourself, there you go again.

drindle says:

"Any American can be declared an 'enemy combatant' and detained indefinitely without being charged, without being told why, without access to an attorney. You think this is just fine. I think it is appaling and the worst attack on Constitutional rights, possibly ever in the history of this country."

You make up ridiculous lies. I have always noted the difference in citizens and non-citizens for purposes of determining the extent of rights under the law. My belief is consistent with long standing Supreme Court precedent.

The following is a quote of a concurring judicial opinion that gives a decent history on this issue:

"RANDOLPH, Circuit Judge, concurring in the judgment.
I believe the district court had jurisdiction over Munaf's habeas corpus petition. The critical considerations are that Munaf is an American citizen and that he is held by American forces overseas. Hirota v. MacArthur, 338 U.S. 197, 69 S.Ct. 197, 93 L.Ed. 1902 (1948) (per curiam), in which the habeas petitioners were Japanese citizens held in Japan, therefore does not apply. There is a longstanding jurisdictional distinction between citizens and aliens detained outside the sovereign territory of the United States. In Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763, 781, 70 S.Ct. 936, 94 L.Ed. 1255 (1950), decided two years after Hirota, the Court held that it lacked jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus for German prisoners held by the United States in Germany. But the Court stated that its holding did not apply to American citizens, to whom the "Court long ago extended habeas corpus" when they were held outside the United States. See id. at 769-70, 70 S.Ct. 936 (citing Chin Yow v. United States, 208 U.S. 8, 28 S.Ct. 201, 52 L.Ed. 369 (1908)).

It is hardly surprising then that eight of the nine Justices in Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466, 124 S.Ct. 2686, 159 L.Ed.2d 548 (2004), explicitly agreed that American citizens held by American officials overseas could invoke habeas jurisdiction."

Lets get rational: 1) Marbury v. Madison says that the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the constitution and 2) my views are consistent with the distinction between citizens and non citizens recognized by the court and 3) I agree with the result in each of the court decisions cited above and 4) every post I have ever made on this blog has been consistent with that view and 5) since my view is and always has been consistent with what the Supreme Court says the Constitution says an accusation that I hate the Constitution is at best ignorant and illinformed and at worst dishonest and malicious.

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House:

"We must ensure that the legal tools provided are not abused, and indeed, that they do not undermine the very foundation our country was built upon."

"I strongly believe the Patriot Act was not created to be used in crimes unrelated to terrorism."

"Recent reports, including one from the General Accounting Office, however indicate that the Patriot Act has been employed in investigations unconnected to terrorism or national security.

In our battle against those that detest our free society, we cannot sacrifice any of the pillars our nation stands upon, namely respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.'

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House:

"We must ensure that the legal tools provided are not abused, and indeed, that they do not undermine the very foundation our country was built upon."

"I strongly believe the Patriot Act was not created to be used in crimes unrelated to terrorism."

"Recent reports, including one from the General Accounting Office, however indicate that the Patriot Act has been employed in investigations unconnected to terrorism or national security.

In our battle against those that detest our free society, we cannot sacrifice any of the pillars our nation stands upon, namely respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.'

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

And Pombo and Sensenbrenner:

'Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA-11) ("Feedback to the state of the union address," Contra Costa Times, 1/24/2004)

"I think Congress will spend more time debating the Patriot Act, or any reauthorization of the Patriot Act. We passed it originally in a time of crisis. I have concerns about provisions in the Patriot Act, particularly when it comes to protecting the privacy of the average American citizen."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee ("Inside Politics," Washington Times, 1/23/2004)

Mr. Sensenbrenner, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said "over my dead body" will the act be reauthorized without undergoing thorough re-examination in hearings held by the House.'

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Mike, I assume you work for the Romney campaign. Whatever... but I LIVE in Massachusetts, a state now thankfully Romney-free, and while I know I won't change your mind, I can at least try to keep you from changing anyone else's. Nothing personal, understand, you're just wrong.

You say:
"The guy that can take this mess that we are in and take it apart and analyze it and put it back together again better than anyone is Mitt Romney."

-Let's see. He inherited a state in which, although most voters are Democrats, Republicans had held the governor's seat since 1990 (two terms for Bill Weld, whose coattails elected his lieutenant governor Paul Cellucci, who left to become ambassador to Canada and turned over the chair to HIS lieutenant governor Jane Swift, who chose not to seek re-election after some bullying from your boy Mitt, who got in the race after learning the Joe Kennedy - who would have beaten him easily - did not plan to run as the Democratic nominee) - but post-Mitt, we are glad to have a Democrat back in charge in the State House. The "mess" in Massachusetts, therefore, was not a partisan issue, but rather a reflection of the national downturn post-09.11.

"He has made a career out of turning things around."

-Like, for example, his positions on gun control, same sex marriage, and reproductive choice. As a MA voter, I can tell you for sure that he either subscribed to or had no problem with the "liberal" position on each, both when he ran for the Senate - and lost, in 1994 - and during his campaign for governor. He promised to be a "better friend" to the gay community than his opponent, and to respect legal precedent on gun control and reproductive choice. Now that he is courting the Christian right, you see Romney 2.0. As with others, of course, he has the right to change his mind, but to do so at such a convenient moment and with such blatantly obvious motivation indicates that he doesn't have a great deal of respect for the voters whom he is asking to swallow his conversion hook line + sinker.

"In the private sector he saved business after business,"

-Yes, he is a good businessman, but he would not be our first president with an MBA. That distinction belongs to George W. Bush. This time, I think we need a leader who cares primarily about people and society rather than balance sheets... not that Bush has been so good at that, either! But we're not talking about Bush.

"as governor he turned around a huge mess in Massachusetts (which is where I lived when he was governor)"

-Me too. As a matter of fact, I still do. If you keep up with local news, you know that what Romney advertised as a surplus turned out to be tricky accounting, and Gov. Patrick took office to find that it was actually a $1.5 BILLION (with a "b") deficit. His claim to have "turned around" Massachusetts is a crock of you know what.

"saved the 2002 winter Olympics which was about to come apart at the seams"

-I know I speak for many when I say that my lack of interest in Romney's performance at the 2002 Olympics is exceeded only by my belief that although he may have performed adequately in his role (I honestly don't remember - like most of the rest of the world, I had other things on my mind at the time) it says nothing about his ability to be president.

"Senators vote (wow that's tough)"

-Actually, given the importance both of the decisions they have to make and the constituencies they have to serve, I would imagine it is pretty tough. What do you do for a living?

"actors act"

-You seem to have a clear, if basic, understanding of careers. Good for you!

"We need someone like Mitt Romney to turn this train around and get-er done. None of the other candidates have spent their entire careers turning things around like governor Romney."

-see above in re: the relevance or lack thereof of the 2002 Olympics, the $1.5 billion deficit surprise, the convenient morality, the pandering to the Christian right and did I mention the $1.5 billion deficit. He sure got 'er done for Massachusetts.

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'll let Bob Barr speak for me...

'Bob Barr, former Republican member of Congress ("Patriot Act divides Bush loyalists," Washington Times, 4/5/2004)

"The Fourth Amendment is a nuisance to the administration, but the amendment protects citizens and legal immigrants from the government's monitoring them whenever it wants, without stating a cause -- because when that happens, it's the end of personal liberty."

"I don't care if there are no examples so far. We can't say we'll let government have these unconstitutional powers in the Patriot Act because they will never use them.They absolutely will. Besides, who knows how many times the government has used them? They're SECRET searches."

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon knows how to duck in anticipation of a swing. He says:

"Respectfully, I do not see how Bush's belief can be reconciled with the (modern) Western legal tradition..."

Note that he did NOT say that Bush's belief cannot be reconciled with the LAW, as stated by the Constitution, the Congress and the Supreme Court.

That is because the Supreme Court has recognized a distinction between citizens and non-citizens in the application of the law.

Unlike some of the psuedo lawyers who talk about the Constitution, Bokonon actually has studied and thought about things, as opposed to ranting.

Bokonon also says:

"Electronic surveillance is something with which I have a huge problem, in part because it allows the government to presume the guilt of certain people or groups of people - many of whom, we now find out, were Bush's ideological opponents (e.g. environmentalists, protesters at the 2004 GOP convention) but in no way associated with Al Qaeda or other foreign extremist groups."

I would be curious to see evidence that warrantless searches were conducted on anyone in the manner that you suggest. My understanding of the warrentless surveillance is that in ALL the calls one of the parties was overseas.

The following article is a very detailed legal analysis of the warrantless search issue. See page 11 for the distinction made by courts regarding foreign intelligence purposes and domestic criminal investigation.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/m010506.pdf

Finally, the reason what Bush has done is not totalitarianism is because Congress can change the law. Sen Specter had something going, and I am not sure where that ended. I do no that no major efforts along these lines have been made since the D's retook Congress.

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If someone ignores, degrades and tramples on the Constitution, as Bush has done, as you applaud, and when the Constitution represents what this country stands for, then what i said is not an attack. It's siimply the truth.

Americans no longer enjoy the right of habeas corpus. the most basic human right, recognized since 1254 in the Magna Carta. Any American can be declared an 'enemy combatant' and detained indefinitely without being charged, without being told why, without access to an attorney. You think this is just fine. I think it is appaling and the worst attack on Constitutional rights, possibly ever in the history of this country.


Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Jake, why is it good that Hillary moved to "a random state" and won the Senate seat? Isn't that unethical? Many states have residency laws describing who can run for office. I'm not familiar with New York's laws, so I can't say whether Hillary violated them. And obviously New York's voters didn't mind that Hillary wasn't a New York resident. But why do you keep trumpeting her unethical carpetbagging as a great accomplishment?

Posted by: Blarg | June 4, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hillary looked presidential and at the same time very chill. She's in driver's seat. As long as she executes these debates without any huge mistakes, she wins. I believe that is why the pundits crowned her the debate winner. Was she the most compelling of the night? No. However, she delivered a solid performance and none of the others did well enough to knock her off. As a result, she won the night. Pretty simple I think. By the way, her campaining skills are way underestimated. Again, I need to invoke New York 2000... when she moved to a completely random state, chatted up the locals, and won their Senate seat.

I'm thinking a HRC-Wes Clark ticket is going to be pretty strong.

Posted by: Jake | June 4, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The other day I tried to spice up a boring post by talking about the balance of public health and civil liberties, which is in the news because of the TB traveller. The New England Journal of Medicine think that this is a legitimate topic.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/346/17/1337.pdf

Drindle said "Why do you make such childish equivocations?" and "But you have made it very clear, razorback, that you despise the Constituion. You want to take away our rights and liberties." and "You hate everything this country stands for."

Yet because I point out the contradiction in her views that Bush is overreacting to the terrorism threat while also saying Bush is doing nothing, I am now deemed "rude, ignorant and beligerent. You don't want to discuss, you want to call me names and rant."

A rant is when you don't discuss and issue. Rude ignorant and beligerent is when you say someone despises the Constitution and everthing this country stands for.

So drindle, rude and beligerent is only ok when YOU do it?

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Razorback, I hate Bush too, so I can perhaps comment on your questions to drindl. Here goes:

-You ask,
"So drindle, which of your contradictory theories is true?"

-I do not speak for drindl, but I do not think the theories described below are necessarily contradictory, depending on their interpretation / application.

"1. That Bush hates the constitution and is running roughshod over it by aggressively denying suspects their rights in order to prevent terrorism?"

-I don't think it is necessary to believe that Bush hates the constitution in order to think that he is not abiding by its precepts. He "hates" ("disagrees with," "does not acknowledge") some of its prescribed limitations on executive power, and feels - in accordance with his "unitary executive" theory - that he has the right to selectively refuse apply its ptinciples. I - and, I assume drindl - disagree.
For example, Bush feels that he can revoke the "certain inalienable rights" with which we were supposedly "endowed by our Creator" in the case of those who are not U.S. citizens, or those (non-citizens AND citizens) who have been either delared - without trial - or judged by a military tribunal (which denies them the right of habeas corpus) to be "enemy combatants." Respectfully, I do not see how Bush's belief can be reconciled with the (modern) Western legal tradition, and I think its interesting that a conservative Christian with such supposed respect for the Founding Fathers would set himself up as an authority capable of rescinding rights with which we are "endowed by our Creator." Who does he think he is?

"2. That 'This administration has made no serious effort to prevent terrorism.'

If he is making no serious effort, then the patriot act is no serious effort. nothing. Electronic surveillance is no serious effort."

-Here you have a better point. I believe that some provisions of the Patriot Act have improved our security, but only to a certain extent. So I guess I believe that Bush believes he is making a serious effort, but as was true at the beginning of the Iraq war, I believe that Bush is not always open to those who provide him with information that is not in line with what he believes. Electronic surveillance is something with which I have a huge problem, in part because it allows the government to presume the guilt of certain people or groups of people - many of whom, we now find out, were Bush's ideological opponents (e.g. environmentalists, protesters at the 2004 GOP convention) but in no way associated with Al Qaeda or other foreign extremist groups. This is inexcusable and unconstitutional, not to mention setting a dangerous precedent for how divisive issues are dealt with in our country. There is - and was before Bush began this program - a legal structure (FISA) developed to allow the president flexibility in such situations while still remaining within the law. The fact that Bush chose to go outside it says to me that he knew that he would be unable to justify some of his action in court, and did not feel that he even had to try. That, my friend, is totalitarianism.

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

These cavemen/cavewoman don't have a clue or the experience it is going to take to get our country back on track. The guy that can take this mess that we are in and take it apart and analyze it and put it back together again better than anyone is Mitt Romney. He has made a career out of turning things around. In the private sector he saved business after business, as governor he turned around a huge mess in Massachusetts (which is where I lived when he was governor), saved the 2002 winter Olympics which was about to come apart at the seams. Senators vote (wow that's tough) that won't change Washington or prepare them to do much, actors act (that won't help turn things around). We need someone like Mitt Romney to turn this train around and get-er done. None of the other candidates have spent their entire careers turning things around like governor Romney. America will lose out if we don't take advantage of Mr. Romney's expertise.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

'DeLay, in turn, blasted Gingrich right back.

"The Schiavo case was one of my proudest moments in Congress," Tom DeLay [said].... In [his] book, DeLay criticizes Gingrich for, among other things, conducting an affair with a Capitol Hill employee during the 1998 impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. (The woman later became Gingrich's third wife.) "Yes, I don't think that Newt could set a high moral standard, a high moral tone, during that moment," DeLay said. "You can't do that if you're keeping secrets about your own adulterous affairs." He added that the impeachment trial was another of his "proudest moments." The difference between his own adultery and Gingrich's, he said, "is that I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference." He added, "Also, I had returned to Christ and repented my sins by that time."

In fact, DeLay speaks of Gingrich with undisguised contempt. "He's got this new shtick now -- 'solutions,' he calls it, like government is the new solution. Government isn't the solution; it's the problem." DeLay smiled. "Did you see that he had a love match with John Kerry on global warming?" he said. "That's not going to help him with the Presidential race."

If it sounds to you like the GOP is coming apart at the seams, well, we're on the same page.

I guess Bush succeeded in being a "uniter, not a divider" about as well as he succeeeded in everything else.

And I really enjoy it when they start talking about the 'difference between my adultery and his'

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

That New Yorker story on the implosion of the GOP is the gift that keeps on giving:

'President Bush has presided over a Republican Party in "collapse," and Karl Rove's strategy in the 2004 presidential election was "maniacally dumb" for focusing so heavily on the conservative base.

The words, perhaps, of Howard Dean, the Democratic national chairman? Or John Edwards? Nancy Pelosi, maybe?

None of the above.

That harsh assessment of the president and his chief political adviser is being offered rather by former Representative Newt Gingrich, who engineered the Republicans' Congressional election victory of 1994 and went on to become speaker of the House.

Indeed, Gingrich unloads on his party in the interview with The New Yorker.

"Let me be clear: twenty-eight-per-cent approval of the President, losing every closely contested Senate seat except one, every one that involved an incumbent -- that's a collapse," he explains. "I mean, look at the Northeast. You can't be a governing national party and write off entire regions."

What's more, Gingrich directly blames Rove for running a 2004 campaign that left Bush with no political capital. By running a relentlessly negative campaign, Rove/Bush had no real mandate for any policies or agenda. "All he proved was that the anti-Kerry vote was bigger than the anti-Bush vote," Gingrich said. He continued, "The Bush people deliberately could not bring themselves to wage a campaign of choice" -- of ideology, of suggesting that Kerry was "to the left of Ted Kennedy" -- and chose instead to attack Kerry's war record.

Gingrich also blasts Tom DeLay-led Republicans in the 109th for what's called the "second-order effect of base mobilization" (by motivating the base, a party suffers by alienating everyone else). This was particularly true, Gingrich says, when DeLay intervened in the Terri Schiavo matter, which appalled "America's natural majority."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

They're ALL U.S. Senators. Hey, WTF (Where's Their Filibuster)? And Kucinich?

Posted by: Vic Anderson | June 4, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish troops shelled a border area in northern Iraq early Sunday in an attack on Kurdish rebels based there, an Iraqi Kurdish leader said.

Posted by: predictable | June 4, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh I see, JD, only you know what's going on. Frankly, I'm tired of reading your oh-so-predictable knee-jerk, talking point posts. Feel free to ignore me, and I'll do the same to you.

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

'Or was this just another I hate Bush rant intended to be free of rational thought?'

See this is all you know how to do, razorback. Attack like a pit bull. You and zouk and all your other thought clones. I have no desire to engage in a conversation with you, because you are rude, ignorant and beligerent. You don't want to discuss, you want to call me names and rant. So it's a pointless waste of time -- and you clearly have lots of it to waste.

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Bob Ramos said, "He let Osama/Clinton/Edwards dominate the debate "

um....I'm guessing you meant Obama....

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

drindl, it's getting really tiring reading stuff from you. You tend to post about things you know nothing about, thereby really emabarrasing yourself.

You say that the Administration has made no effort to prevent terrorism? On Sept 12 2001, if someone told you that we wouldn't get hit for at least another 6 years, would you have taken that deal? For goodness sake, we just nabbed another group over the weekend at JFK airport, not to mention Ft Dix, Sears Tower, etc. For all the problems I have with W (and it's a long list, starting with immigration), at least the Fed Govt has done a great job protecting the country, so far.

As for the ports, I'm pretty sure you don't know what DHS is doing to protect them. Since my company is a major contractor to CBP and TSA and I'm familiar w/the projects, I do. Suffice to say, you're wrong.

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's the head of the republican party in Arkansas:

"At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country," Milligan said."

Bring it on, he says, hoping for more terrorist attacks on this country, out of sheer partisanship. Has the republican party gone insane?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think there is some danger in evaluating the candidates as if the debate were a competition rather than an exchange of ideas. Mark in Austin, I liked what you said about Obama having the ability to find common ground for discussion, and that being a good thing. I don't expect to see too much of that in the next year or so.

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Republcians excoriating the Democratic field for refusing to debate on Fox say stuff like, "If you can't face the bad boys of Fox News, how can you face the bad boys of Iraq or Iran?" That's very cute, but it misses the point entirely. What the Democrats are saying is that unlike George W. Bush they aren't dumb enough to legitimize the enemy's propaganda. By pretending that Fox is a news network instead of the official house organ of the Republican Party the Democrats would be doing what Bush has done with al Qaeda --- behaving with such predictable idiocy that it inspires the other side's recruiting.

Furthermore, it's a waste of time. FOX is a partisan Republican network and the Democrats are trying to get Democratic primary votes (who do not and will not watch FOX for any reason.) They might as well be holding the debate in Dick Cheney's office.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

So drindle, which of your contradictory theories is true?

1. That Bush hates the constitution and is running roughshod over it by aggressively denying suspects their rights in order to prevent terrorism? OR

2. That "This administration has made no serious effort to prevent terrorism."

If he is making no serious effort, then the patriot act is no serious effort. nothing. Electronic surveillance is no serious effort.

Or was this just another I hate Bush rant intended to be free of rational thought?

Posted by: Razorback | June 4, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Wolf Blitzer is a complete hack. Why he even has a job is beyond me.

Posted by: Sally | June 4, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

JimD once again has thoughtful analysis.

I can already see the ads with Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale being morphed into John Edwards.

I again say people need to give Biden a closer look.

Posted by: Democratic Nole | June 4, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Wolf Blizer did a very poor job of being a moderator. He let Osama/Clinton/Edwards dominate the debate and would not give fair time to the other five candidates. I expect that from FoxNews but not from CNN. If I were one of the five, I would demand a different moderator and ground rules that would mandate equal treatment for all of the candidates.

Posted by: Bob Ramos | June 4, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you on that, Mark in Austin. Bill Clinton did some of those things with Americorps. But the bush admiinistration cut funding. I think that, for the most party, republicans aren't interested in governing at all, because they don't believe the concept of government. They really have become a party of anarchists, who believe in nothing but the stock market. Look at the R posters who come on here -- all they do is attack Dems and defend privatization.

So I sincerely doubt that they would volunteer to do ANYTHING, because they have become totally focused on individual profits over the future of our country.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"CHICAGO -- The American interrogator was afraid. Of what and why, he couldn't say. He was riding the L train in Chicago, and his throat was closing.

In Iraq, when Tony Lagouranis interrogated suspects, fear was his friend, his weapon. He saw it seep, dark and shameful, through the crotch of a man's pants as a dog closed in, barking. He smelled it in prisoners' sweat, a smoky odor, like a pot of lentils burning. He had touched fear, too, felt it in their fingers, their chilled skin trembling.

But on this evening, Lagouranis was back in Illinois, taking the train to a bar. His girlfriend thought he was a hero. His best friend hung out with him, watching reruns of "Hawaii Five-O." And yet he felt afraid.

"I tortured people," said Lagouranis, 37, who was a military intelligence specialist in Iraq from January 2004 until January 2005. "You have to twist your mind up so much to justify doing that."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, I am assuming that when you say "Yes, but its true..." that you agree with Jim D that the Rs will posterize Edwards with it if he is the D candidate, which I think is a given like night following day.

Your defense of Edwards' "sound bite" was far superior to the sound bite itself. But the Dems find it difficult to talk about real border and port security because it gets confused with the illegal alien debate. And I agree with you that border and port security is the first line defense against Jihadists. Richardson hinted at it when he said that he needed his National Guard troops back to help on the border.

I believe a D or R who calls for national volunteer service that includes service in the Border Patrol, the National Guard, and the INS and Customs Service will be able to use the initiative as a card in the defense against Jihadists, the immigration debate, and as a college initiative program for the middle class. Win, win, win. Throw in the National Park Service and Head Start and you can tie it to early childhood development and conservation, as well, but the first three are the biggies.

What do you think?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

'In recent weeks, the money that Americans ship abroad in such vast quantities for merchandise and petroleum has been washing back onto our shores in new ways. General Electric recently sold its plastics unit to Saudi Basic Industries Corp, which is 70 percent owned by the Saudi government, for $11.6 billion. On May 20, the private-equity firm Blackstone Group announced that China's State Investment Company was buying a 15 percent stake for $3 billion.'

..and these are the kind of companies whose lobbyists are allowed to write our laws. This is what republican control of our govenment has done -- sold us out to the highest foreign bidders.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards won the night.

Posted by: Patricia Barry | June 4, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards won the night.

Posted by: Patricia Barry | June 4, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The NY Times are showing their bias for Hilary and cowardice by shutting down the commentary on the debate.

This would be why the Post holds the #1 position in being the most viable news source in print.

Posted by: ooeat0meoo | June 4, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

'In an interview, he said that while military planners had expected to make greater gains by now, that has not been possible in large part because Iraqi police and army units, which were expected to handle basic security tasks, like manning checkpoints and conducting patrols, have not provided all the forces promised, and have performed poorly.'

Exactly what happened in Vietnam. Our forces were supposed to 'stand down' when theirs 'stood up'. Except what they did instead was run away and refuse to fight. That was 'vietnamization' remember, anyone? It was a total failure, after years and years and years and a black hole for taxpayer money. Just like now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but it's true, JimD, and you know it. This administration has made no serious effort to prevent terrorism. There has been no attempt to improve security at our ports or borders, no sanctions against the states where terrorists actually come from -- like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Instead, US taxpayer money is being funneled into the pockets of republican contractors and our soliders are being used as a private protection force for oil companies. All Bush and Chneey have done is create more terrorists. They're the best friends bin Ladin ever had.

Posted by: drindl | June 4, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

JimD -

I posted my reactions-to-the-reactions at 8:55A.

I wonder what you thought of the criticism Obama took for not being "confrontational".

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Credit to Pete posting in the NY Times Caucus comments:

He suggested a good ticket would be Edwards/Gore

That would be a winner, they are both phenominal leaders. Only, I don't know if Gore would take up the position of the White House #2 man, again.

Posted by: ooeat0meoo | June 4, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

'Violence has diminished in many areas, but it is especially chronic in mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods in western Baghdad, several senior officers said.'

And why is that? Because it's a CIVIL WAR. The Shia have been waiting to take back control since the SEVENTH CENTURY. People in this country have no idea what we have gotten ourselves into.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

When John Edwards referred to the war on terror as a "bumper sticker", he sunk any chance he had of being elected if he is the nominee. The Republicans must be salivating over the attack ads they could develop based on that statement.

Posted by: JimD in FL | June 4, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

'BAGHDAD, June 3 -- Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city's neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.

The American assessment, completed in late May, found that American and Iraqi forces were able to "protect the population" and "maintain physical influence over" only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods.'

So that means we need about three times as many troops as we have over there -- just to protect Baghdad. And of course, as we learned last week from the US ambassador, the plan is to stay in Iraq for 'decades.'

So I guess you gopies, all you folks who believe this war is 'essential', you'll be volunteering now, right? Do I seen any hands? No? what a surprise.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

When I read Fix threads the day after a primary debate, I understand why Ds run left and Rs run right in the primaries.

One candidate last night called for reducing our already weakened armed forces and for federalized national health care. He demonstrated no understanding of the international laws of piracy and confused Bin Laden with a head of state.

Yet, on a post-primary weblog, he draws support.

I will surely be as stunned by favorable reactions to R right wing views on Wednesday morning.

I also am surprised by one particular reaction the pundits had - that Sen. Obama avoided confrontation, to his detriment. I, a moderate
attorney who represents management of small businesses, am always impressed with skilled negotiators who find common ground for the purpose of problem solving. Obama demonstrates that skill to me, and I recognize it as a favorable, on two levels. First, it demonstrates the understanding of someone else's position. Second, it provides a basis for moving forward.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 4, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Not to worry folks, my local NBC station announced last night that "Hillary did not do any harm to reduce her substantial lead in the polls" Its so obvious the media is determined to force H. Clinton on us whether we like her or not. I thought John Edwards did very well in this "debate" and Obama did better in this debate than he did in the first debate. Also, Dodd did well, but it seemed an eternity before Dodd was asked a question. H. Clinton showed her usual carefully packaged persona in the debate.
The MSM will tell us though that its all about Hillary's performance. Chris Mathews is likely stomping at the bit now to get on the air and fawn all over Hillary's performance.

Posted by: janet | June 4, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

CNN is not 'liberal' they attack dems constantly. CNN is right-leaning, same as all corporate media.

Posted by: Cassandra | June 4, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Kucinich is the best, but out of the leading candidates Edwards has to be the winner. His "I was wrong" on Iraq sounded remarkably genuine.

I always favoured Obama because he initially opposed the war, which Edwards initially supported. But Obama now plans to maintain the occupation of Iraq.

I can't believe that many of the same people who blast democrats for failing to use Congress to force an end to the occupation are apparently willing to give Obama a free pass to continue the occupation when he controls the PRESIDENCY?

Clinton essentially defended the Bush narrative on Iraq and blamed the Iraqi people for the war's failure. That is completely unacceptable and I'm amazed that people tolerate it.

I can only conclude that Hillary supporters are so wrapped up in their domestic obsessions that they simply don't care about foreign policy. The woman is to the right of Genghis Khan.

Posted by: OD | June 4, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

The turning point was when Hillary spoke up about the hypothetical questions on two occasions and the others appeared grateful/thankful to her from their looks. Edwards lost ground by his attack on Hillary and Obama.

Posted by: lylepink | June 4, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Why no mention of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)?

He is the only candidate who has been against the illegal war and occupation of Iraq since the very beginning.

Kucinich is the only candidate who fought against and voted against the illegal war and occupation since the very beginning.

Kucinich is the only candidate who spoke at the Peace Marches held in Washington D.C.

Kucinich is the only candidate who has gotten it right from the very begininng.

Kucinich has bigger balls than all of the other candidates put together. His Department of Peace makes better sense than all of the other ideas coming from all of the other candidates put together, including the Republican candidates.

But if you can't vote for Kucinich for those very important reasons, than vote for Kucinich because he has the best looking wife!

Posted by: KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA | June 4, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Check back for winners and loosers? They all looked like a bunch of cardboard cutouts with sound chips. Sad to see such intellect and leadership potential so carefully choreographed. What I want are candidates real enought to let us see who they are!

Posted by: LDM | June 4, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Edwards comes out swinging, while he isn't the clear winner at the moment he was sharp and on target.

- As the article and many here have pointed out, Hilary and Obama lacked the leadership on the Iraq funding bill. They failed to communicate to a weary public on a war that most people want to end.

- Edwards took the rug from under Hilary in a sly fashion." It appears most people missed it. People are sooooo sick of politicians saying that they are going to provide 'Universal Healthcare', we are going to change the way we do energy in America, we are going to strangthen the middle class with tax cuts for the middle class, that is not the truth, and we need to be honest with them about that. "

((The above an exact quote from John Edwards from last night's debate))

(That was the uppercut to Hilary to her lies all through her husband's Presidency. Because the TRUTH IS Hilary and Bill sung us all a tune about the wonders of Universal Healthcare and then stripped Medicare after collecting millions in campaign funding from the insurance industry, the pharmacutical corporations, and the AMA for both the '92 and '96 Presidential runs.)

Thank you John Edwards for dragging Hilary to the mat on that one!

- Obama followed up Edwards' attack on the Healthcare Clintononmics with, agreement to much of the Edwards Universal Healthcare plans. Obama varied in a way seemed to have less of a government hands-on approach.

(we should lock these two in a room for a week to come up with something that works in the middle of what they each intend)

Here's the kicker...

THE BOTTOM LINE of last night's debate:

Hilary doesn't have a Healthcare plan, as of yet!

Q: Why doesn't Hilary have a plan, yet?

Reason: She should have a plan in spades with all she has done on this topic.

A: If she says she has a plan, then the healthcare lobbyists are less likely to throw 10's if not 100's of millions of dollars at her for pushing their plan, the corporate plan.

MORE REASON: She and Bill are not fundraising genius'. They just know how to make the most out of an idea. They play their cards at the right moment to cash in. It is no mystery that the middle-class and below middle-class voters are the losers in this game.

That is TRUTH!

Posted by: ooeat0meoo | June 4, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

3495 american DEAD in Iraq as of yesterday -who will be the last to die for a lie

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Nissl, Richardson did about as bad as could have; he might as well have broken out a Nazi flag and started waving it around, for all the good he did himself. Mixing up the wounded soldier/VA question (it was the question asker's son, not her husband...) is absolutely unacceptable.

As for WC's lament that the big 3 got most of the questions, I noticed that too. Obviously, there's only a limited amount of time CNN has, so they want to focus on those who are running for something more than VP (or Secretary of Commerce...) Still, not a very liberal or egalitarian approach for CNN to take, which is suprising!

Posted by: JD | June 4, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Aussie view,

The conventional wisdom is that some 80+% of the primary voters actually make their final decision in the last few weeks before voting, and that the results in the earliest primaries are important factors in later primaries. So, I don't think we are in the position yet to pick likely nominees in either party based on polling.

Indeed, I think the debate last night more or less confirmed that the candidates are still in the first phase (building their infrastructure, including monetary support, rather than actively campaigning to take votes from each other). Edwards did seem to be a bit more aggressive in attacking the other candidates early on, but then seemed to retreat to a more neutral stance as the night wore on. And Clinton was doing everything she could to diminish her differences with the other candidates, a sort of anti-campaigning which makes sense for her at this stage.

So, I don't think we will get a better sense of the dynamics in the Democratic field until the gloves come off and the candidates really start going after each other. And that probably won't happen for months, although at some point Edwards in particular might have to make a move since he is behind where he should be right now. But I just don't know if it is in his nature to do that.

Posted by: DTM | June 4, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

This issue won't affect a lot of people's vote, but Biden has been a demagogic point man in the war against marijuana, taking it to the insane point of opposing medical marijuana. I've always been an automatic vote for the Democrats (i.e., against the Repubs) but I go on vacation if they nominate this extreme supporter of alcohol supremacist bigotry instead of someone just averagely prejudiced against marijuana users.

Posted by: newageblues | June 4, 2007 6:57 AM | Report abuse

As Judge wrote in another thread:
"This WashingtonPost/ABC News poll was just published this morning, June 3rd. It is extensive. Hillary is way out ahead of the others.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_060307.html

Hillary will very likely be our nominee.
Poor John Edwards is now polling in the single digit range. He's down to 8!!!!"

Hillary will likely be the nominee, but some very good numbers for Gore there for a guy who's not running. Run Al Run!

Posted by: Aussie view | June 4, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Yea, Ole John Edwards is going to restore the USA's integrity around the world. Why, he can't even find it in his big ole heart to meet his neighbors in NC or he's too scared to appear on Fox News because they might ask him a question he doesn't like. Seems to me everybody wants to come and live here, we can't be that bad. Go get em Johnny....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, nothing changed my mind. I will still be voting for Clinton in the primary but will be happy to vote for any Democrat.
I have no problem with Clinton's Iraq vote, as I also blamed George Bush for lying us ALL into war. Interesting, my first candidate in 2004 was Bob Graham because he was so smart about the Iraq intel and then Obama mentioned Graham's vote. However, I'll note that none of these candidates took Graham very seriously in 2004.
I thought Obama did the best, and would be happy for him to be the candidate.
I like Edwards' ideas as much as anyone's but I don't like his style.
I'm not sure why Biden needs to yell.
Kucinich is spot-on but the country's not ready for him yet.
Dodd is a nice guy, OK.
I think Richardson actually hurt himself.
I can't take Gravel seriously; well and good for those of you who can.
Final conclusion: Clinton still doing well.

Posted by: Jan | June 4, 2007 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is all wrong. He thinks that because he's no longer in Congress, because he no longer has to make tough decisions that affect the nation, that he can just sit in the back and lob rhetorical bombs from the peanut gallery and cruise to the top. Bad form.

Posted by: Brendan | June 4, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that this artical is called "The Fix". Notice how it focuses on Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. Go back to the debate and look at the time each candidate was given. The same "Corperate Media" who gave us the Iraq war and mushroom clouds without any questions, is now giving us "The Frontrunners". Remember NO votes have been cast yet. These same frontrunners had that title in the media months ago even before any candidate declared how much money they raised. So which came first the chicken or the egg? We know that the cia goes into foreign countries to use the media to control elections. Would you know it if you were being manipulated? Take healthcare for instance. While Obama, Clinton, Edwards and some others now call their health plan "universal healthcare" they all still support the same system that we have. Only Kucinich is calling for a not for profit (true healthcare for all) plan. Only Kucinich is calling for an end to the war in Iraq. The others are playing word games to make you think that they are against it. I know you don't want to believe it. I know you don't want to feel like you've been misled...but you are. DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE LIES! WATCH HOW THEY VOTE! AND FOR GOD SAKES FOLLOW THE MONEY! And, when you wake up, give Kucinich another look.

Posted by: WC | June 4, 2007 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Gee - Carville said Clinton won the debate...what a shock...

Posted by: Aussie view | June 4, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I wrote a two-page analysis about the contrasting leadership styles about a week ago. Edwards apparently came to exactly the same conclusion I did and used it as the signature event of the debate!

Here's what I wrote:

http://www.skirsch.com/politics/president/comparison.htm

Posted by: Steve Kirsch | June 4, 2007 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I wrote a two-page analysis about the contrasting leadership styles about a week ago. Edwards apparently came to exactly the same conclusion I did and used it as the signature event of the debate!

Here's what I wrote:

http://www.skirsch.com/politics/president/comparison.htm

Posted by: Steve Kirsch | June 4, 2007 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Edwards won in that he was able to reach some voters with quick outlines of his plans. They are too detailed for a forum like this debate, but at least now people know they exist.

He came across as strong and focused.

Hillary seemed slick and rehearsed. And patronizing.

Dodd did better than before; he seemed focused as well.

Biden was a little scary, but I'm pretty sure all that bluster was for show and to be sure no one was getting bored.

Obama, either deliberately or on purpose, kept missing the point. For example, when challenged by Edwards on his lack of leadership on the recent funding bill, he brought up that he (Obama) was a leader 4.5 years ago and implied that Edwards wasn't. Edwards has admitted that he made a mistake back then, but he never abdicated his leadership. He was always forthright about how he was voting and why. Obama, on the other hand, quietly and at the last minute voted against the funding bill because he is worried it will be held against him in the general election. It is similar to what he did on abortion bills in the IL legislature by not voting yes or no. That is not leadership. Especially on something as important as standing up to the White House to bring our troops home from Iraq.

Obama also compared mandatory auto insurance to the mandatory health insurance in Edwards' plan.

It is not like mandatory auto insurance where low income folks have to choose between obeying the law and finding a way to work because they can't afford the auto insurance premiums.

The difference, of course, is that Edwards' plan subsidizes the insurance premiums on a sliding scale or provides gov. insurance outright. All that is required is that they enroll.

Posted by: Laura H | June 4, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Edwards won in that he was able to reach some voters with quick outlines of his plans. They are too detailed for a forum like this debate, but at least now people know they exist.

He came across as strong and focused.

Hillary seemed slick and rehearsed. And patronizing.

Dodd did better than before; he seemed focused as well.

Biden was a little scary, but I'm pretty sure all that bluster was for show and to be sure no one was getting bored.

Obama, either deliberately or on purpose, kept missing the point. For example, when challenged by Edwards on his lack of leadership on the recent funding bill, he brought up that he (Obama) was a leader 4.5 years ago and implied that Edwards wasn't. Edwards has admitted that he made a mistake back then, but he never abdicated his leadership. He was always forthright about how he was voting and why. Obama, on the other hand, quietly and at the last minute voted against the funding bill because he is worried it will be held against him in the general election. It is similar to what he did on abortion bills in the IL legislature by not voting yes or no. That is not leadership. Especially on something as important as standing up to the White House to bring our troops home from Iraq.

Obama also compared mandatory auto insurance to the mandatory health insurance in Edwards' plan.

It is not like mandatory auto insurance where low income folks have to choose between obeying the law and finding a way to work because they can't afford the auto insurance premiums.

The difference, of course, is that Edwards' plan subsidizes the insurance premiums on a sliding scale or provides gov. insurance outright. All that is required is that they enroll.

Posted by: Laura H | June 4, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I shut the debate off disappointed. First, I was annoyed that the 3 front-runners got most of the talking time. Then, they squabble about the funding bill that passed -- instead of pointing out that GWB vetoed funding the troops. Maybe, Kucinich made that point, but if he did, I missed it. Then Richardson didn't challenge Wolf Blitzer's (really GWB's) premise about leaving Iraq to genocide. Disappointed.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | June 4, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

While I didn't like the format of the MSNBC debate as much, I thought Chris Matthews did a much better job of calling the candidates on their BS.

Another debate wasted because Wolf Blitzer wouldn't do a strong follow up on the candidates' BS.

Posted by: MBW | June 4, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

The real losers of tonight's debate were the audience members.

Instead of asking truly probing questions, Wolf Blitzer/CNN just lobbed a bunch of softballs that allowed the candidates to rattle of part of their stump speeches. In short, the debate was mostly spent rehashing positions that are already well known....and too short on probing the details and inconsistencies.

I got SO TIRED of hearing the candidates say *when* they would get us out of Iraq when the question was really HOW? It's Wolf Blitzer's just to hold them accountable for crap like that, and he did not.

We know that ALL of the Democrats want to get us out of Iraq, so WHY ISN"T SOMEONE MAKING THEM EXPLAIN HOW??? That's where the real distinctions between the candidates will come in.

Posted by: MBW | June 4, 2007 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I felt that Obama's retort to Edwards that he (Edwards) was four and a half years late in being against the Iraq war was cute, clever in the moment, but evasive. The point Edwards' raised was about Obaman's leadership as he is now a voting Senator and running for President. I was so glad to hear Edwards call both Obama and Clinton on this behavior. Their silence and then change of position was strange and disturbing.

Obama was vague on what he called "Universal" Health care, saying that he would "figure something out" for some portion of the uninsured. He avoided a clear response on immigration in a similar fashion.

Posted by: dali | June 4, 2007 1:06 AM | Report abuse

So basically, everyone thinks his or her candidate won, right? Did any of you change your minds after watching?

Posted by: Bokonon | June 4, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama won the first hour, with his retort to Edwards on being against the war from the beginning and Hillary blundering (in a Dem primary) by saying we're safer now than we were before 9/11 (despite Iraq).

In the second hour, Hillary came on stronger, but so many of her best moments had to do with comparing Bill's presidency to GWB's presidency (e.g., balancing the budget, using diplomacy, etc.). Maybe that's what people are looking for, but personally, I don't want a continuation of the Bush-Clinton double dynasty.

Posted by: PBS | June 4, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

This went pretty well for the top three, with Edwards trying to make his move, and this could help or hurt depending on how folks fell about him. The big loser was Wolfe Blitzer.

Posted by: lylepink | June 3, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I was impressed by Biden's passion. I don't know that he'll get traction from it in the long run but he has my admiration for being the genuine article -- a Democrat who cares about injustice and suffering. Edwards & Kucinich have that passion but I didn't see it tonight. Hillary was stateswomanlike - I thought her answers were realistic. While in theory a Democratic president with a Democratic congress should be able to do anything, the Clinton/Clinton attempt at healthcare proved that there's more to changing policy than just winning the election. She seems to have learned a lesson from that.

I want to like Bill Richardson, but he seemed nervous, and he screwed up on the question a woman asked about her military son's medical care. He talked about her *husband* Ouch! Our First Diplomat can't make mistakes like that. He'll be meeting with heads of state from other countries, most of whom have to be counting down the seconds until Dumbya leaves office.

Posted by: Amy | June 3, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Give Biden credit for raising his voice and cutting to the chase. I just wish he (among others) spoke more about alternative transportation.

Whoever directed the debate from the CNN control room did a lousy job. There were constant issues with the microphones and the roving cameraman were nothing but a huge distraction. Nobody needed to see a special camera angle of Wolf Blitzer talking. It just looked shaky and unfocused.

And enough with the hand raising, already. Jeez. It's just a debate, CNN.

Posted by: jojo | June 3, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Edwards definitely took control of the dedate. Hillary and Obama seemed to be playing it safe, which may work for a national audience, but for the activists in New Hampshire and Iowa, probably won't.
Obama also seemed a little out of his depth on the healthcare questions.

Posted by: AJ | June 3, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

oh my

Posted by: davis | June 3, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

From the New York Times: "In early February, Clinton told the Democratic National Committee that she would end the war in Iraq when she became president." Nixon ran for President in 1968 using the same sorry line. It took Nixon another four long and very bad years after he was elected before he pulled the combat troops. Are we going to fooled again?

Posted by: Katman | June 3, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought Biden was the most direct and presidential. The media has a stranglehold on wanting a Clinton-Obama horserace. Street Sense (Biden) is going to come from the back of the pack along the rail and take them both down the homestretch. You watch.

Posted by: drphil | June 3, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought Biden was the most direct and presidential. The media has a stranglehold on wanting a Clinton-Obama horserace. Street Sense (Biden) is going to come from the back of the pack along the rail and take them both down the homestretch. You watch.

Posted by: drphil | June 3, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought Biden was the most direct and presidential. The media has a stranglehold on wanting a Clinton-Obama horserace. Street Sense (Biden) is going to come from the back of the pack along the rail and take them both down the homestretch. You watch.

Posted by: drphil | June 3, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for the winners and losers but my guess would be Hillary probably won. The debate only focused on the big three. Edwards was a bit too hawkish but might need to be elected. Obama just didn't do that much. Nobody got hurt that bad and it was a more lively debate but Clinton kept her compusure well and I think came out on top. Biden was noticeable too but I don't know if it helped or hurt him.

Posted by: zach | June 3, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Edwards gained mega points for calling out Clinton and Obama. Can't wait to see the left wing blogs in the morning.

Some good debate analysis (besides CC's)
http://political-buzz.com/?p=215

Posted by: matt | June 3, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Odd: not a word above about immigration matters, nor a meta discussion of why Wolf would ask such a stupid question about the English language when the Senate has proposed a hugely unpopular bill that would flood the U.S. with both new legal and illegal immigrants and could have a net retirement cost of over $2.5 trillion. It's certainly odd that Wolf didn't ask about that, nor is Cillizza apparently going to call him on not asking about it.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 3, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

mountain man,

Obama's proposed regulatory mechanism for the private insurance market is called the "National Health Insurance Exchange." Last I knew it was not clear if insurance companies would be required to participate in this market, but employers would be required to contribute to either this market or to a public plan alternative. Accordingly, it would be difficult for major insurance companies to avoid abiding by the NHIE's rules (since they would be cutting themselves out of a huge part of the market, the employer-funded part).

Posted by: DTM | June 3, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I wrote this on the other thread: Sen. Biden just has more thoughtful foreign policy ideas than the others in either party, and his direct answer on Darfur was impressive.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 3, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, I would agree that if anyone "won" this debate, it was Biden.

Posted by: DTM | June 3, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama's healthcare plan is pie in the sky. He says he will force health insurance companies to save money and pass that savings on to consumers. Are we in China? Is he going to take these private companies over and force them to do this? Why has no one called hom out on this?

Posted by: mountain man | June 3, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I am personally offended that CNN as well as the other networks have decided that the only people worth listening to are Clinton, Obama, and Edwards when I haven't been able to see how the other candidates respond to questions. Biden, Dodd, Richardson and Ravel had to fight to get a word in edgewise. Even Kucinich got more questions than these "second tier" candidates got. For what its worth, I think Biden did really well and as of right now, has my support.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | June 3, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary sounded very strong and focused. I think her response to the 2002 vote made sense and was the right thing to do.

Obama just seemed to ramble on and on, not really sure what his message is at all.

Posted by: mountain man | June 3, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

To me the winner of this debate is Joe Biden. In second place is Chris Dodd. Biden does the best when it comes to give straight answers that are less focus group oriented. He showed passion and was articulate. Dodd also impressed me. It's too bad that he didn't get more time to speak.

Edwards I think did himself a disservice tonight. In my opinion he is not good when he has to go into attack mode. He and Obama spent too much time in a direct exchanges with each other. I was impressed with Hillary (who I am usually not). She appeared strong and confident.

Richardson did ok. He is just not as good in these formal settings as the informal ones. It's unfortunate because he is clearly the most qualified candidate on either side.

Gravel and Kucinich in my opinion are a waste of time in these debates. Neither is a running a serious campaign and therefore takes away from more substantive discussion.

Posted by: Democratic Nole | June 3, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Clinton will keep getting the "win" from the talking heads until she either strangles a puppy to death on stage or loses her #1 ranking in the polls.

Posted by: DTM | June 3, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hillary looked impressive but is still just riding Bill's coattails. Edwards just looks so slick and rich and polished and smooth it's kind of creepy. His answer to the question about what he would do in his first 100 days as president was pathetic: he would trot the globe to restore America's moral leadership. Really? That's the most important thing to accomplish as president?
I thought Obama was clearly the most impressive, the most reassuring and comforting and presidential sounding. He was direct and pointed in his answers, without sounding arrogant like Edwards. Unless something changes drastically, Obama has my vote in the primary.

Posted by: Laurie | June 3, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

These debates will hopefully get better once the wheat has been separated from the chaff. Despite it being much more substantive than the first debate, this round was still pretty superficial and boring. I'm surprised CNN's talking heads are gifting Clinton with the win (or, maybe not surprised, since many of them are probably angling for advisor spots come general election time), because I found her to be kind of meh. Not bad, but meh. I thought Obama did better than the first debate. Still had more "uh-ing" and "um-ing" than one would like, and a little too evasive on a few questions, but definitely better. Edwards just screamed "I'm number three!" Biden just screamed. And the rest, please get them off the stage.

Posted by: anonpolijunkie | June 3, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I second Katman's sentiments...

John Edwards has proven that he has the courage and command to restore integrity to the United States of America.

Hilary is somewhere between the Goldwater Girl she used to be and the neo-con of today. She is non-commital and is for the corpopations.

Posted by: ooeat0meoo | June 3, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I liked Edwards being strong and straight answers. Some of the others didn't really answer their question.

Posted by: dk | June 3, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Edwards was bold to call out the differences. He has great presidential potential...no, he has it now, on leadership around the world.

Posted by: Benny | June 3, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is a dolt but she has Murdock as a big supporter so the talking heads will try to market her like a bad movie.

Posted by: Hollywood | June 3, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I thought the big three all did pretty well. Clinton a bit too focus-grouped, Edwards a bit smarmy, Obama doing a bit of rambling.

Interesting to see some passion from Biden. I guess a lot of people are praising Dodd's performance.

Richardson seemed totally out of his league.

Posted by: Nissl | June 3, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching some talking heads praise Clinton's performance, and I suspect Chris will happily jump on that bandwagon (or, rather, just stay comfortably in his place on that bandwagon).

But at some point Chris and Co will have to wake up to the fact that Clinton just keeps digging herself into a deeper and deeper hole on Iraq.

Posted by: DTM | June 3, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I would be fine with any of the democratic candidates besides hillary clinton/gravel/kucinich but I would have to say that Obama seems to be the candidate with the ideas and charisma that would actually allow him to get things passed if he is elected. I still can't figure out one position Hillary Clinton has and it is starting to remind of John Kerry too much. Sometimes I think the Democractic Party picks its leaders like a high school election by basing it solely on popularity within the group.

Posted by: Dave | June 3, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

They look like they are all on Hollywood Squares. I'll take Edwards for the win.

Posted by: Katman | June 3, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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