Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?: The Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate in SC

I had an opportunity to watch this event live today, and am watching it live right now. Since there are not major differences in the positions of the three surviving candidates, they can perhaps best be evaluated on their personalities, ability to motivate and appeal to voters, and courtesy. Hillary Clinton is digging her own grave after starting out with her solidly wonky oratorical stump rant. Obama was pulled down and sucked into her negative energy. John Edwards and John McCain's Excellent Adventure (BitchSlap '08) would seem to be the real winners at this point in the debate. While we are here, I suggest re-branding the candidates as Barry-O, Hill-Rod, and Johnnie Onwards. Organizers (like Wolfie Blitzer) should also take care to place Johnnie Onwards between Hill-Rod and Barry-O in any subsequent head-butts debates. Perhaps it's not too late to move them now; we're only an hour into the duh-bait.


If Barry-O was like a kid bouncing a rubber ball off the Clinton's house, Hill-Rod was like an angry homeowner running out on the porch with a shotgun and blasting away. But Obama hides behind a tree and starts lobbing stones! NO! It would have been the perfect opportunity to deploy a "Chill out!" moment against the Hill-Rod, which was deployed so well by a Clinton in 1992. I wonder if this account of that memorable moment (written by William Safire) is true:

According to a Clinton supporter, the Governor's wife, Hillary Clinton, took her husband aside just before a debate and told him: "If Jerry Brown goes off on some wild tangent against you, just remind him he's from California and what they say out there is chill out . Just tell him to chill out."

Sure enough, as Mr. Brown started to inveigh against the Clinton civil rights record, Mr. Clinton interrupted cheerfully with "Jerry, chill out! You're from California -- chill out. Cool off a little." That became the sound bite used on all the evening news shows the next day. Note how Governor Clinton slipped in the definition, "to cool off," so that non-Californians would understand.
A kick-box match between a slumlord punk and a corporate wal-mart bitch: that's what America needs. Take it easy or take it outside. Such a nasty campaign will only accelerate the move toward campaign robots and animatronic figures. Hill-Rod did seem to be a Hill-Bot at times during the debate. She showed her evil humanity with that big scary smile just before she stucj the knife in Barry-O. Watch out for that scary-clown smile; the knife is coming out. It's just like when John McCain says "My friend."

Maybe the assured mutual destruction of politicians roasting each other alive is a good thing: it shows what they are really made of and clears the field for something new. The primary process is like a demolition derby fought in expensive lifeboats for the entertainment of the spectators in the virtual coliseum ("Survivor!"). I still think we could use an engineer or software engineer in the race. I don't mean a businessman like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Someone like Dean Kamen or a candidate from the Free Software Foundation. Writing code is not much different from writing laws, and the USA needs a new Operating System, including a few constitutional amendments to make the selection of the president more transparent and recall and retire decrepit Supreme Court judges. I would trust a geek -- if he was properly chilled out.

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