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I guess I’m sorry that I missed this debate [1].  As a matter of informing voters, it seems to have been the same waste of time that debates always are, but as political theater it will be remembered for a long time to come.  Clinton stated (correctly [2], as it happens) that Obama’s claim of continuous, unbroken opposition to the war was false.  Obama insisted, as some of us [3] argued earlier, that his remarks about Reagan were not meant as an endorsement of Reagan’s policies, which should have been obvious to everyone.  Then there was loose talk of corporate lawyering and slumlords.  Then Edwards hit Obama [4] on his numerous “present” votes.  Despite the much more conventional one-on-one nomination fight that is developing on their side, the Democrats seem poised to commit self-immolation than the GOP if they keep doing what they’ve been doing the last few weeks.

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2 Comments To "Self-Immolation"

#1 Comment By OldNewEngland On January 21, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

Funny, I think the combativeness will thicken their hides, sharpen their claws, and generally give them a nice taste for blood. The GOP primaries haven’t been an easy ride, granted, and they’ll likely only get tougher and dirtier. But still, the Democratic race is ten times worse, and rapidly descending to a gloves-off street fight. Tonight’s debate was like a Jerry Springer episode, and it sounded as if it’d be clap- and laugh-tracked like a Seinfeld episode. Who knows where it’ll go from here. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Whether it’s Obama or HRC, the Dem nominee in 2008 won’t be easily shell-shocked, which is typically what destroys liberal candidacies, from Kerry on back.

Remember what Hemingway wrote: “Strong at the broken places.”

#2 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On January 22, 2008 @ 4:37 am

I saw the last half or so. What struck me is how they kept trying to play nice, and how many opportunities they lost to go after one another, as well as how shallow their analysis of Iraq was and how fraudulent their riffs about poverty were.

My 16-year-old was on my case for saying “bull****” too loud and too often.

Democrats are generally better at recovering from donnybrooks than the GOP. Too many in the GOP were raised in circles where the mantra is, “It’s rude to raise your voice, dear.”