Hillary Pilloried

The latest democrat “debate,” sponsored by MSNBC and held in Philadelphia, had its moments for hilarity, not the least reason being that after 17 minutes neither Kucinich nor Richardson had received a question from the interlocutors (term used purposely, since the intrepid news-people vie with the candidates for their share of the glory). A good part of this clambake was seen in this corner, but two hours – no way, especially since the patented speeches have already been heard enough.

The long knives were out for Cinderhill by the seven…no, make that six…dwarves, since Gravel was not invited to the dance. That was a shame, since he would have added his usual spice to the chaos, such as when – in the debate before the homosexuals, lesbians bisexuals, trans-genders, and those who just wonder – he allowed that homosexuals make the better soldiers.

Senator Dodd even perpetrated upon an unsuspecting audience (and in polite company) the absolutely unmentionable fact that Senator Clinton should not get the nomination because she is simply unelectable. A huge gasp shook the studio, as he said 50% of the citizens have already insisted that they will not vote for her. Chauvinism is alive and well in the Senate these days. Since in today’s Quinnipiac, Zogby, IA, NH, and SC polls, he trails Clinton by between 44 and 47 points, he seems rather unelectable himself, and even Kucinich is in better shape. Of course, he can say anything, since he obviously has nothing to lose.

Without using the “L” word, the chauvinistic men accused Clinton of…well, lying, just as she accused General Petraeus of that right to his face the other day in an august Senate hearing, after which Senator Biden, the exalted committee chairman, agreed with her in an interview with Slate. Apparently, he didn’t have the guts to do it at the hearing, speaking of which, Hillary gave as good as she got, though her pronouncements might be somewhat as Obama said, to wit, fashioned to fit the time and place.

John Edwards, well-coifed as usual (haircut costs not mentioned, though), allowed that Clinton’s pre-Primary talk was not the same as would be her pre-Election talk, in other words, moving from primary-mode to general election-mode. His shtick was that he would say the same thing the same way – with the same haircut and manicure? – no matter when or where. He stood by his previous statement that Clinton engaged in doubletalk, defined in the dictionary as “language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.” Egad! Should one suppose he thinks it actually doesn’t take a village to raise a child?

Richardson rather passionately outlined his bona fides, especially with reference to North Korea, with which he claimed to have parleyed (unofficially, of course) on nuclear-bomb matters, but didn’t mention that his efforts in 2003 went for naught since the North Koreans apparently were not impressed and went right on trying to make the bomb. He mentioned that he got the North Koreans to release six American bodies from the Korean War era, but one wonders about that, especially since Jesse Jackson managed to bring some folks back alive from somewhere or other. Lots of nations will do most anything to embarrass most U.S. administrations.

Senator Biden made it clear that while Senator Clinton, as first lady, was meeting with foreign dignitaries he was actually dealing with them, thus being superior to her in the matter of foreign relations. Since he was never secretary of state or a diplomat, one wonders about that, but so be it if the senator believes it. Biden also made it clear that Giuliani is the most under-qualified person to run for president since George Bush, so that narrowed the field rather drastically, only three year’s worth at this point.

Kucinich admitted to having seen a UFO but made it clear that President Carter has seen a UFO…so that makes everything hunky-dory in the vital area of outer-space programs. Carter said he, while fishing, no less, was once attacked by a giant rabbit, but that’s for another debate. When asked if he thought there was life after death, Obama demurred by claiming that he knows there’s life before death – well, okay, a bit of a paraphrase there. Occurring during the week of Halloween gave the whole shooting-match the honor (or derisions) it deserved.

Of course, the debates can be hazardous to a candidate’s health. The interlocutors – Russert and Williams – had the nasty habit of reading quotes to candidates and asking if they still stood behind what they had said somewhere else. Hillary did have a problem with this, but, face it, all candidates have a problem when confronted with something they’ve said. In fact, even people have that problem – little joke there, sorry.

This was the eighth (count ’em) debate for the dems, and the primaries are months away. They’re great for the network icons, though, who get their 15 minutes of fame in trying to outfox the candidates. One still remembers Chris Matthews in his sideshow debate, wherein he pranced back and forth and stared the poor wannabes in the face. Great theater! Lots of heat…less light.