"Debate" - Sound-bite Circus

The democrat prez-hopefuls went at it again at yet another "debate" (euphemism for sound-bite circus) the other night, this one in behalf of convincing union members of their competence in providing two cars in every garage (okay, three or four, who's counting?) and caviar at dinner every night. It provided some of the best entertainment around, furnishing all kinds of heat (unneeded right now) but the same amount of light as usual – zilch.

One of the funnier features had to do with the candidates trying to explain why their campaigns had begun so much earlier than usual. They've been at it for months, but the election is still a year and four months away. I think it was Biden who said that it's because the country is in such bad shape that people just had to start getting ready to save it…or something like that, notwithstanding the fact that neither he nor anyone else can do anything until 2009.

Biden, of course, announced his candidacy last year, a full two years ahead of the witching hour, although he's been running ever since 1987. He got sidetracked in 1988 account plagiarizing some Irish politician's speech and has had rough sledding since then. The actual reason, of course, lies in the fact that opportunists believe in the old adage about the early bird getting the "worm," interpreted "cash" in the world of the campaign. For Biden (maybe the sharpest of the candidates), the worm has been and is beyond his grasp. The glamour kids – Clinton, Obama, Edwards (the $400 haircuts) – are chirping up the cash – or is that "slurping" it up?

Edwards said in the debate that one should not look to the cover of Fortune Magazine to see his face…maybe because that's where glamour-girl Hillary appeared the other day. Actually, the remark made no sense at all, not unusual for the rich lawyer. Ironically, after letting Hillary go on and on about NAFTA, Olberman informed the other candidates that they would have 30 seconds to state their positions on just whether or not NAFTA should be continued or dropped, whereupon Richardson lashed out at union-busting lawyers, government, of course, with Edwards looking on. Richardson looked silly because lawyers practically own the Democrat Party.

Hillary didn't mention that hubby Bill is the culprit who signed the NAFTA agreement and praised it to the high heavens. Ironically, the candidates, instead of answering the question, chewed on the subject regarding how they would "fix" it, except Kucinich, who actually answered the question by saying he would inform the presidents of Canada and Mexico that NAFTA was dead, I believe, during the first week he was in office. This brought down the house since what he said was what the unionists wanted to hear, and the other candidates just had to grin and bear it. Honesty can be so cruel. It's doubtful that a prez can just abrogate a treaty, but it was great theater.

Some of the most amazing statements (and crazy, as well) came forth from the candidates when they had to do with what's heard during every election cycle – putting America back to work, creating more jobs, etc. This was supposed to play well with the union members – only 12% of the work force now – but they had to be smart enough to know that between 12 and 20 million illegals are in this country now precisely because there is now what is accepted as full employment, and that if the illegals were deported there wouldn't be enough people to run the economy here.

Or…if the illegals were deported, the folks on the dole who are able to work would just have to get out and get with it. Ironically, the democrats – helped by George Bush – make up the faction that's trying to legalize the illegal immigrants and thus help them take American jobs and, of course, put the country that's already at work back to work…again. In any case, the tiresome rhetoric about putting the country back to work is just that – tiresome. Whether in the blue- or white-collar sectors, the nation needs workers now. These workers are either here or they aren't, so the candidates should make some judgments about how to handle the dicey immigrant situation, not just spew campaign blather about putting the country back to work, when it's already hard at work…except for Congress, of course, which is taking a month or so off. Five of these vacationing Congress-people were in this debate.

The high point of the evening was when Hillary, playing to the mostly male crowd (at least presumably) as their kind of prez, said that she was "their Girl." Egad! This is a presidential campaign?