"Get Off My White House Lawn!"
Just have enough time for a few quick impressions but last night's debate hit me as a mixed success.
Apparently, McCain's handlers pulled him aside after the first debate and said, "Look, John: Tonight you came across like Dred Scott's master when you finally caught up to your slave. Lighten up, will ya?"
Still, when he wasn't stiffly shuffling around in the background like a nursing home resident trying to find his room while Obama was trying to talk, McCain hardly ever passed up an opportunity to stick out his left elbow, grip that microphone like Bob Dole with his pen and attack Obama when asked a question.
He tried to appear jocular, even joking about needing to use his health coverage to get a hair transplant (Joe Biden, can you feel his pain?). But it was obvious that McCain was trying unsuccessfully to hide that bullwhip behind his back.
While Obama was, typically, urbane, polished and well-informed, McCain kept doddering around the stage and complaining about us spending $700,000,000,000 overseas annually on countries that hate us. #1, it's closer to $39,000,000,000 (our biggest "ally", Israel, gets three billion a year). #2, well, gee, John, any theories as to why they hate us?
Early in the debate, Obama mentioned that AIG executives spent $440,000 on a retreat just days after their bailout loan, proving that old habits die hard, and called for the firing of those executives and the return of that money.
Still Obama failed miserably in trying to present Iran as a threat. Gas prices plunging from offshore drilling will likely happen sooner than Iran getting nuclear weapons. So what if they went from 0 centrifuges to 4000? You need those aluminum tubes to enrich uranium whether you're making nuclear bombs or nuclear power strictly for energy. It also gives me the dry heaves when Obama sounds like McCain and every other damned politician on the Beltway when sucking up to Israel. If they're such staunch allies, then why are they letting us fight their proxy wars for them and why did they get belligerent when we fretted and chewed our fingernails while they were bombing the shit out of southern Lebanon almost 2 1/2 years ago? And why are we paying them three billion dollars a year to further their terrorist activities?
Obama was clearly the winner, much more in command of the facts than McCain but saying he had a better grasp of the facts than McCain is like praising a leper for having eight or nine fingers.