Blogging the Presidential Debate

27 09 2008

Let me preface this by letting you know that your favourite Baby Power Dyke has been under the weather this week and as of blogging time has a raging headache.
I want to assure you, gentle reader, that this will not affect my excitement for this event or my beer drinking abilities. That being said, my partner has invited one of our favourite couples over to watch the debate with us. (I’ll probably steal some of their more witty sayings for myself.)

So, I’m just sitting here waiting for my sushi and for the debates to come on.

Oooh! But I should tell you about the drinking game I’ve devised.

Every time Barack Obama says:

Wall Street**

We’ll take one drink.

References to Michelle or the girls is worth two drinks.

Every time John McCain says:

“Across the aisle”
Wall Street**
Out of Control**

We’ll take one drink.

References to his POW status or Vietnam is worth two drinks.

**Added during the debate.

Now, because I’ve been under the weather I’ll be drinking Heineken Light but (yes! The sushi is here!) I hope that you drank something much stronger.

Cast of Characters:
Jim Lehrer
John McCain
Barack Obama
Baby Power Dyke (BPD)
BPD’s Partner (Girlfriend)
Mrs. Couple Friend
Mr. Couple Friend
Wine & Beer!

Oh, Teddy. 😦 my thoughts are with you and your family.

Two podiums. Red carpet. Blue cyclorama.
Such attractive podiums.

Jim Lehrer is old but welcoming.

There are winners. There are rules. It’s like a Potes recap of ANTM. There are prizes. There are judges.

Barack Obama looks good. Did Michelle dress him?

McCain looks like his reanimation process didn’t quite take. And he’s wearing the wrong tie. It’s making my head spin but that could be the cold medicine mingling with the beer.

{Girlfriend and Mrs. & Mr. Couple Friend agree that the tie is bad too.
Mrs. Couple Friend: I want to know which brand of suit each candidate is wearing.
BPD: I think that it’s clear that McCain is wearing the suit that he was buried in and Obama is probably in Armani.}

Two minutes in and the decision was made to pause the TV (yay DVR!) for bathroom and WhatTheFuck breaks. So, I’ve dispensed with the time stamps.

So here we go!

Lehrer: At this very moment tonight where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?

Obama: Looking good, Jimbo. America, shit is gritty. I get it Middle Class America. We shouldn’t fuck this up. So I’m about: oversight, the possibility of tax-payers recouping from this bailout; no golden parachutes and help for home owners.

“We also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain — the theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most and somehow prosperity will trickle down,” Mr. Obama said. “It hasn’t worked, and I think that the fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake.”

In short: Dubya and John McCain fucked us. Dubya leaving the White House doesn’t mean his policies will if you elect John McCain.

McCain: (Starts off by not answering the question and flashing his wooden teeth.) (Follows that up by repeating most of what Obama said, except about the cogent criticism of the Bush Administration.) Republicans and Democrats are sitting down together (except for the House Republicans).

“This isn’t the beginning of the end of this crisis. This is the end of the beginning…”

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck break.
All: What does that mean? Is that supposed to comfort us?
BPD: “Let’s start at that the very beginning. A very good place to start.”
All: Unless you’re John McCain.
GF: Well, I guess there is an upside to living paycheck to paycheck.}

Lehrer: That’s all well and good but if you could please just answer the question, fuckers.

Obama: I’m not going to commit to anything but I’m going to sound really good doing it. P.S. I warned you all about this two years ago.

McCain: I hope to vote for the plan. And, oh yeah, everything he said. Except with a grimace!

Lehrer: Call him out, Obama!

Obama: Dude, I’ve been doing that all week.

McCain: Ditto. But uhm, about him. America rocks! Go team USA! Our best days are ahead of us.

Lehrer: Are there fundamental differences between your approach and Obama’s approach to what you would do as President in this crisis.

{BPD: Uhm, has McCain looked at Obama yet?}

McCain: Republicans came to power to change government and government changed us. Earmarking is BAD! I’ve got a pen! It’s old! I’m going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk! With this pen! This old pen! (The pen is ME. It’s a METAPHOR.)

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck break.
BPD: Why is McCain admitting that in the 26 years he’s been in Senate he was powerless to resist the pull/influence/corruption of government? How can he honestly think that we’ll believe that he’s a maverick -that he’s about reform and effecting change- if he himself was changed by government.
All: Because he doesn’t think we’re listening.
BPD: But he just said that the Republicans who’ve been running the government were the problem because they’re weak and susceptible to the whims of lobbyists and special interest groups who have very little connection to the American people at large.
GF: Remember what Rachel Maddow said about how absurd it is that people who don’t believe that government is the answer are actually the ones deeply involved in the running of our government and then she showed that clip of that fuck Ronald Reagan?
BPD: Ah. Rachel Maddow. She’s so smart.
GF: I’m just not sure what McCain is doing right now.
BPD: I wonder what Rachel Maddow thinks about this. She’s so funny and insightful. Maybe I should make a t-shirt that says WWRMD.
Mr. & Mrs. Couple Friend: Dude. Can we go back to the debate now?}

Obama: I agree about earmarks. Which is why I suspended requests for my state. Let’s be clear: McCain wants $300B in tax cuts to the wealthy. That outweighs the “pork-barrel” spending. I believe in tax cuts for the working family.

McCain: I don’t mean to go back and forth…

Lehrer: No that’s fine. {Uhm, isn’t that the nature of the debate? I know that the Presidential debates generally don’t strictly follow parliamentary procedure but still.}

McCain: You’ll have to forgive me. I’m a bit rusty on the rules. It’s been a long while since I was a pupil of Aristotle. I got D’s but still, I’m here today. He’s not. My next talking point is:

… I have fought against it my career. I have fought against it. I was called the sheriff, by the (name I can’t recall because of my failing memory) — one of the senior members of the Appropriations Committee. I didn’t win Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate (yet. But I’m hoping to start that pageant soon.).
Now, Senator Obama didn’t mention that, along with his tax cuts, he is also proposing some $800 billion in new spending on new programs. (New is bad. Old is good. I’m old! Like my pen. Look at all of my metaphors!)
Now, that’s a fundamental difference between myself and Senator Obama. I want to cut spending (on things that the Middle Class needs). I want to keep taxes low (for the Upper Class). The worst thing we could do in this economic climate is to raise (rich) people’s taxes.

Obama: (Cough. Lier! Cough). Let’s be clear: “eliminating earmarks alone is not a recipe for how we’re going to get the middle class back on track.”

Lehrer: Respond to the man, McCain. (And try to do it while looking at him.)

McCain: Blahblahblah Ireland.

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck, pee and beer break
BPD: Why is he talking about Ireland? Why was he talking about Eisenhower?
Mr. Couple Friend: He’s remembers picking on Ike when Ike was little. He’s remembering all that’s happened in his life. Every time he looks off camera he’s thinking, “I remember when this was all orange groves!”
GF: The old man is really getting pissed now. Have you noticed how he’s stammering and shaking his head like he’s having a bad trip? And, P.S. McCain, Ireland has low business taxes because it’s desperately trying to court business. People are leaving Ireland by the droves. Not a good comparison.}

McCain: Ask Barack Obama about what a “rich” person is. Ask him!

Obama: (looking straight into the camera) If you make less that $250K a year you will not get a tax increase. And, this health care credit thing of his is CRAZY.

McCain: Look at my records. My records shows that I’m a man of the people. The people I know can afford to go to the free market for their health care and would use the $5K tax rebate for a pair of shoes! I nay-sayed an energy bill that was “festooned with Christmas tree ornaments”. He didn’t.

Obama: You’re a dirty fucking lier, holmes. You poo-pooed that bill because you’re interested in another bill that’ll give the oil companies an additional $4B.

McCain: (chuckles uneasily)

Lehrer: As president as a result of a financial rescue plan: what are you going to have to give up as far as presidential priorities in order to afford the bail out?

Obama: I can’t answer that question right now because the bail out plan has not been completed yet. But here’s what’s important: energy independence; health care insurance; being able compete internationally in education; affordable higher education and rebuilding our infrastructure including broadband lines that reach into rural communities. We need to do sound structural things.

McCain: Government is out of control. We need to “reach across the aisle” to fix it. I can reach across the aisle (when I’ve had my pain meds).

{Mrs. Couple Friend: I just don’t think that he can reach! Look he can barely raise his arms!
Mr. Couple Friend: It’s the arthritis.}

McCain: We have to manage the defense spending. But defense spending is vital. I’ve saved the taxpayers $6.8B on some crazy contract. He’s so liberal, he doesn’t understand how important defense spending is. We’re in a war! I’ve been in a war! My life is a war!

Lehrer: So, no changes?

Obama: Nonononono. But really, yes. P.S. I’m NOT some crazy liberal. I’m just smart enough not to agree with Dubya. (Ba-dam chink!)

Lehrer: But something has to give. We’re in a financial crisis.

McCain: That’s why I want a spending freeze.

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck break.
All: What the fuck?!?! Spending freeze? Is he out of his mind?}

McCain: That’s right. A spending freeze on everything but defense, veterans and entitlements.

{I was confused about what McCain meant by “entitlements”. Here’s a definition. I’m willing to bet that John McCain’s understanding of entitlements is far less encompassing that his definition.}

Obama: Iraq has a surplus, let’s look at bringing the war to a close.

McCain: We need to drill. We need nuclear power. We can build jobs by building nuclear power plants.

Lehrer: Let’s try again. Are you willing to acknowledge that this financial crisis is going to affect the way you will govern?

Obama: Still can’t really answer (but I’m going to giving it a whirl and use all of my fancy talk to use up some time). “There are a wide range of things that are probably going to be delayed.” However, I plan on not shortchanging our long term needs. Health care will remain a priority.

McCain: (scoffs) Affordable health care for the people who need it. That guy’s a naive dirty socialist. (I remember when I was a leader of the 13 colonies! I invented the Senate!)

Obama: You’ve been in the senate forever. (Maybe it’s time for a fresh start.)

“John, it’s been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time who presided over this increase in spending. This orgy of spending and enormous deficits you voted for almost all of his budgets. So to stand here and after eight years and say that you’re going to lead on controlling spending and, you know, balancing our tax cuts so that they help middle class families when over the last eight years that hasn’t happened I think just is, you know, kind of hard to swallow.”

{BPD: He said “orgy” and “swallow”! Hee!}

McCain: (Heee! He said, “orgy” and “swallow”!) “I’m a maverick.” Just like Top Gun. Tom Cruise is cool! Tom Cruise would totally vote for me if he wasn’t so busy with his Science Fictionology and becoming his own superhero! Let’s pretend it’s 1986! You’re all my Goose-es!

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck break
BPD: Who calls themselves a maverick? That’s something that people say about others. Not something that people say about themselves.
Mrs. Couple Friend: I call myself a maverick of cabaret. I do it my way!
Mr. Couple Friend: McCain knew Sinatra’s mother before he was even a twinkle in her eye.}

McCain: “We are winning in Iraq. And we will come home with victory and with honor. …We will succeed and our troops will come home, and not in defeat…” Like Karate Kid 2. I am the knight who will fight in your honor! Except, of course, you know, when my conjunctivitis flares up. Or my gout. Or, when I can’t move my head because of my goiter.

Obama: Again with the crazy. I didn’t want to go to war in the first place. Bin Laden is from Afghanistan. McCain and Bush did this to us. $600B spent, 4K dead, thousands wounded and Al Qaeda is stronger than ever. We’re spending $10B a month when they have a surplus in the billions. We have to use our military wisely.

McCain: Iraq will be won by the time the next president takes office. We will only have to worry about how to get the troops home.

McCain: And… he opposed funding for troops.

Obama: I hope that you can see that these are misrepresentations, America.

(Lots of talk about Iraq. And the things is, if you’re the choir, you’ve heard is all before.)

McCain: (smirks uncomfortably) Petraeus and Bin Laden agree that Iraq is the central battle ground.

{BPD: Bin Laden. “The Enemy” is telling us where the real battle is. And McCain wants to listen to him. It’s like he’s never read the Art of War. It’s like Bin Laden just stopped counting and said, “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!”}

Lehrer: Do you think that we need more troops in Afghanistan?

Obama: Duh! Have you not been listening?

McCain: Learn your history. I know history. I lived it. It’s still happening to me right now. “If you have to do things, you have to do things.” Like change your Depends. You know, I met Alexander the Great. Last time I saw him he was knee-high to a bullfrog.

Obama: John. John. Are you, uh, here with me in the same room. Jim. Anybody? Somebody check on him. I think his hearing aide has blown.

McCain: Ronald Reagan! We were buddies. Remember how great Reagan was? He was great!

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck break
All: Retch!
BPD: The only thing that rolled downhill from Reaganomics was shit.}

McCain: Plus, I’m old. I remember old wars. I can’t pronounce the names of the countries the wars were fought in but I remember those wars.

{All: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………}

A battle of the bracelets. Obama’s bracelet totally wins.

Obama: You don’t muddle through the central front on terror.

McCain: He’s head of a subcommittee and he didn’t go to Afghanistan! I’ve been. I’m nine hundred years old, I’ve been everywhere! I invented the steam engine!

Lehrer: What is your reading of the threat from Iran?

McCain: Nuclear weapons. We cannot afford a new Holocaust. I want a League of Democracies. Like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I’m Sean Connery! Iran is bad. But I want to use my league of super heroes to try and talk Iran down. But I won’t talk to our enemies with preconditions. “I believe that we can act and act with our friends and allies.”

Obama: Uhm, haven’t I been talking about Iran since forever? We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. We need tougher sanctions. We need tough direct diplomacy. We need to talk to these leaders without preconditions.

McCain: I’ll sit down with anybody. Except, uhm, the people that I don’t like. Like Ackmedinajaad. And I refuse to learn his name because learning his name will legitimize him. And we need preconditions because if we don’t have them then we don’t have them and then what’ll we do without them? If we don’t have preconditions and sit down across the table from them and “that will legitimize their illegal behavior”.

It’s kind of like how I refuse to look at Senator Obama. If I look at him, or respond directly to him, it legitimizes the fact that he’s kicking my ass right now in this very debate about a subject that has long been touted to be my strong suit. And Reagan would never do that.

{PAUSE: WhatTheFuck and pee break.
Mr. Couple Friend: It really bothers me that he refuses to correctly pronounce Ahmadinejad’s name. The man is the President of Iran and Iran is of great concern to us.
Mrs. Couple Friend: Yeah, but I have a hard time pronouncing his name. I didn’t even know his name until just now.
BPD: But you’re not auditioning to be the Leader of the Free World.
Mr. Couple Friend: Right. If McCain is elected it is going to be his job to have conversations with this man. He should AT LEAST know how to pronounce his name. He’s going to making foreign policy and he can’t even be assed to learn the names of the players.}

Lehrer: How do you see the relationship with Russia?

Obama: Our entire Russian approach has to be evaluated. They were wrong in Georgia.

McCain: Barack Obama doesn’t understand. Gist: we’re all Georgianzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

{BPD: John McCain has been a lot of places and learned from none.}

Lehrer: Chance of an attack on the USofA?

McCain: No. But uhm, maybe? We can always use help. We won’t torture anyone else! I promise. Look at my dizzying tie and know the truth! We’re not safe. Our borders aren’t safe. Look at my tie! It’s the only thing that can protect America from the immigrants and all else that threatens us.

Obama: We’ve come a long way baby but we’ve got a long way to go. We have to go after Al Qaeda. “It is important for us to understand that the way we are perceived in the world is going to make a difference, in terms of our capacity to get cooperation and root out terrorism.” We are less respected now than we were 8 years ago. We have to work on that.

McCain: I have experience. He doesn’t. “I don’t need on the job training. I’m ready to go right now.”

Obama: We need to make America great in the eyes of the world again. It intend to do that.

McCain: Experience! Vietnam! POW!


And that’s it.

Reagan mentions: 4
Ackmedinajaad: 3 or 4

I had to give up on my tallying for the drinking game but I can attest to the fact that we all got a little tipsy.

Okay, maybe more than a little tipsy. I will admit that I got a little drunk and lax in my blogging towards the end but I did make it all of the way through the debates.

I totally give the debate to Obama.
He was poised, direct and presidential in bearing. I really responded to the way that he worked to answer each and every point that McCain raised. I loved the way that he held his ground. He made eye contact with the camera and with John McCain. He proved to us all what a great representative he will be for America once he is elected. He even gave McCain his due when it was time to give him his due which speaks far better for him than the fact that McCain never looked at Obama -not even during the handshake at the end- spoke for him.

McCain was frequently seen flustered and stumbling. He moved to quickly to anger and knee-jerk responses. The whole performance was one long, if you’re not with me, you’re against me and I think that the past eight years have shown us how ineffective that line of thought and policy is. Poor McCain, it was like his wooden teeth were loose the whole night.

This was a long post and if you got all of the way through it, I applaud you. If you have any comments that don’t make you seem like a total troll asshole, feel free to hit me up.




4 responses

27 09 2008
Janae Lighting

The approach would guarantee another showdown with Bush on the war before year’s end, putting Republicans squarely in the middle of the debate. Janae Lighting

28 09 2008
Burr Deming

Amazingly funny post. One serious point on the “quickly to anger” thing:

McCain was indeed transparently angry. I think it goes beyond the debate or even the campaign.

John McCain suffered unimaginably in service to the rest of us. When his sacrifices are denigrated or ignored by those who never endured such treatment, his anger is understandable. I believe this instance is more revealing than the debate.

28 09 2008
Baby Power Dyke

Thank you for your comment. I think that there is a point in a person’s life when they are responsible for their actions and their responses.

His past is not an excuse or a catch-all for his anger. This clip reveals that he has always been resistant to change, critique and recognizing the authority of (and treating with respect) anyone other than himself.

His past SHOULDN’T transcend his present. It should not be the sum total of who he is.
If it is, if he is fundamentally unwilling or unable to move beyond his violent past, then he is not the man for the job.

He should seek counseling not the highest office in the land.

28 09 2008
Baby Power Dyke

I think that at this point it would be unwise for the Republicans to put themselves in the middle of another debate about this unpopular war.

In order to regain ground and currency with “Main Street” they should try and separate themselves as much as possible from Bush in his lame duck period.

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