Yesterday on FoxNews, Fred Barnes said he saw “nothing new” at yesterday’s Democratic debate. I wonder if he and I watched the same two hours. For I learned a great deal.
I learned: Wesley Clark has been in the race “only nine days.” Thanks! I thought it was ten.
I learned: John F. Kerry so wants to be thought of as John F. Kennedy that he’s even imitating his speech: “The 10 percent bracket wasn’t George Bush’s idear. It was our idear.”
I learned: Democrat focus groups have found that “shooting gallery” is a stronger term than “quagmire.” According to John Edwards, “we have young men and women in a shooting gallery over” in Iraq. Carol Moseley Braun concurred: “I stand with the mothers of the young men and women who are in the desert in Iraq and who right now are in the shooting gallery without even sufficient supplies to sustain themselves.”
I learned: The Democrats have some interesting economic theories. Bob Graham says that “I believe in the rather radical idea that if you want to create jobs, you create jobs.” According to Howard Dean, John Kerry’s “friend in Barrington got laid off because of the enormous tax cuts and no money coming to the states.” John Edwards disparages cutting the “capital gains tax, the dividends tax, the estate tax” and wants to help the middle class so we can “expand the investor class in America.” Dennis Kucinich thinks there is a “connection between the rising deficit and the war in Iraq” and wants the government to be “putting money again into health care, into education, into job creation.”
I learned: Dick Gephardt has a “tick.” He’s still proud that his dad was “Teamster and a milk truck driver.”
I learned: Dennis Kucinich is a silly socialist. No, wait, I already knew that.
I learned: Carol Moseley Braun is hard of hearing. After ten minutes of the term “$87 billion” being kicked around like a hacky sack in a circle of college co-eds, she claimed that President Bush is “not answering the question now” on the cost of rebuilding Iraq.
I learned: Joe Lieberman is whistling past the graveyard. He stated, “The debate going on between us is really a debate about whether we want to take the Democratic party back to where it was before Bill Clinton transformed it in 1992, or whether we want to take it forward.” He said that mere minutes after Al Sharpton delivered the best applause line of the day when he calmed Wesley Clark by saying “don’t be defensive about just joining the party. Welcome to the party. It’s better to be a new Democrat that’s a real Democrat, than a lot of old Democrats up here that have been acting like Republicans all along.”
I learned: General Clark needs to be dubbed “Slick Wesley.” Like Clinton, Clark has a gift for answering the question by not answering the question. On whether he’d approve the President’s request for $87 billion ,”Congress needs to really go after this figure…There are dozens of questions to be asked on this.” On whether lower capital gains and dividend taxes help the economy, he replied: “I think that what we need to do in this economy is go back and look at our overall position for a deficit…We’re faced with a very serious deficit problem.” Perhaps there is a reason so many of Clinton’s supporters are lining up behind the General.
I learned: Most of the other Democrats seemed to have an intuitive sense of this. Only Kucinich took a shot at Clark. All of the others acted as though they didn’t want to give Slick Wesley any additional airtime.
Finally, I learned that no matter what the polls say at present, President Bush still is the odds on favorite to win in 2004.