Hillary Clinton

Democratic Debate VII: The Theomachy at the Thomas and Mack Center

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The Democrats debate again tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. Wolf Blitzer moderates.

Before the debate begins, it's already over: Lou Dobbs is mulling a presidential bid.

8:00: We're going to meet the candidates one by one!

8:04: And now we're going to talk to our team of pundits! And next we're going to sit back and whittle with Rick Sanchez, while you watch!

8:05: A man in white hair runs on stage and I fear that Mike Gravel has broken Bruce Banner-like past the security dogs. No, it's just some debate organizer.

8:09: Oh, I forgot: This Wolf Blitzer Thanksgiving Special features a debate with the Democratic candidates. Hillary opens with a joke: "This pants suit, it's asbestos." So it's poisonous? And you expect your pants to be fire?

8:10: Obama attacks and I've noticed that when he gets nervous doing so he says "as I travel the state" or "as I travel this country"–hey, I don't want to be saying this, but the people are in need and they beseech it from me.

8:11: Hillary finally attacks and million laptops glow with the sound of reporters cliche-ing. Mine, too! She's decided to attack his leadership over… not the Kyl Amendment, which I expected, but health care. His health care plan is somewhat lacking.

8:12: Obama argues that it is not, in fact, lacking.

8:14: A heckler rattles Obama as he tries to wrap up his answer: He wants to make health care cheaper, she wants to force people to buy expensive coverage.

8:15: Shut up, John Edwards.

8:16: "Shut up, John Edwards," says Hillary. (I'm paraphrasing.) "We need to put forward a positive agenda for America" by kneecapping pretty boys.

8:19: This might be because I'm from Delaware, but I adore Joe Biden's "wiseass statesman" persona. He mocks Blitzer when he calls on him: "Oooh, please, don't make me talk!" He argues that he will fix our foreign policy with his awesome experience and telephone-dialing skills, and then Blitzer cuts him off. "Oh, you're right."

8:21: Why did CNN import Jerry Springer's audience to this? I'm as digusted by John Edwards as the next carbon-base life form, but I don't need Nevadans grunting at him.

8:24: Chris Dodd slaps around Edwards, who doesn't understand that Americans want to know whether Washington is looking out for them. I was wondering whether Chris Dodd was thinking about me: Now I know!

8:25: Blitzer asks if everyone will support the eventual nominee after the gridlocked Democratic Convention nominates Lou Doggs. "Is that a planted question?" jokes Edwards. No one laughs, because John Edwards is awful.

8:28: Obama gets an immigration question, which he should be vulnerable on, since he's for drivers licenses. He'll "get tough on the border." Why hasn't anyone thought of this?

8:30: As the conspiracists hoped, Blitzer is saving Hillary's ass. He asks everyone about illegal alien licenses and they dish out the same poisonous gruel that Hillary did last time. No one can say "yes" or "no." Except for Hillary, who says "no" and smiles like she just took your house in a poker game.

8:35: For the first time in a long time, an education question: Merit pay. Chris Dodd… oh, hell, I'm trying to pay attention to the issue, but Dodd pivots to hitting No Child Left Behind and actually says "kids are 1/10 of the population but they're 100 percent of our future!"

8:37: Kucinich has to think about an issue he disagrees with unions on: Drilling in Alaska. Indeed, why do it when we can power our schools with dilithium crystals.

8:39: I actually like it better when the Democrats use the education rounds to swing over to their top issues. When they hungrily talk about the ways they'll micromanage rural schools, I get queasy.

8:42: Biden talks to people. Does he dick around and joke with Musharaff the way he does with Blitzer? All of a sudden I'm for tapping international calls.

8:44: Biden: "I'm sorry for answering the question. I know you're not supposed to answer the question." We get it. You have testicles.

8:45: Richardson will prioritize our values over our… security? That's no way to run for vice president.

8:47: The Onion sends out an article called "Americans Announce They're Dropping Out Of Presidential Race," with this graphic. I dig it.

8:49: Obama ricochets off Richardson's Pakistan answer, saying human rights and security are complementary

8:51: What 9/11 is to Rudy, "the Bush administration" (as in "it's the Bush administration's fault") is to Hillary. It's a safety blanket to drape over the base voters who don't trust her.

8:54: Richardson's just melting into incoherence: We need to defend human rights everywhere but Iraq isn't worth one American life? What, and Darfur is?

8:56: A very pissy Dennis Kucinich defends "strength through peace."

8:58: Campbell Brown: "As a magical elf, what do you think we should do about poisoned Chinese toys?"

9:00: Edwards: "All those trade deals I used to support were actually totally awful. But I can fix it!"

9:02: Clinton's a little more honest about trade.

9:04: Dodd's angry about it, probably because we're not trading with Cuba.

9:05: Obama shows off a little and says we need to rip off Japan's Chinese goods-inspection policy.

9:07: Obama wants nuclear power as "part of our energy mix." In a Democratic primary, that's still pretty bold.

9:09: Richardson wants to… turn Yucca Mountain into a national laboratory. I guess?

9:11: Hillary Clinton has a bunch of canned lines about gender and goddamn it she's going to use them all.

9:12: She's not playing the gender card, but wouldn't it be great to have a woman president? Give it up! Woo! USA! USA!

9:20: We're back with questions from central casting Democratic voters ordinary people. Iraq's up first.

9:24: I miss Biden's answer, but I'm going to guess he'll talk to people and it'll be awesome.

9:26: Hillary on Iran: "I've tried to oppose a rush to war." By doing… what? By blaming Bush for screwing it up.

9:28: Ugh, more Edwards. We can stop an Iran War with a surge of backbones.

9:30: Remember Obama's answer from the YouTube debate about meeting with fiendish foreign leaders? He's still owning it, using it as evidence that he'll fix our Middle East policy.

9:34: Heroes Health Card? The hell?

9:36: OK, he's oilier than an Alaskan beach, but Edwards has a good riff on torture: "I can't believe we're having a debate in America about what kind of torture we'll have."

9:38: Biden gets up after Kucinich blames the PATRIOT Act for profiling and demands Congress attack the White House with torches and trebuchets. "Nothing in the PATRIOT Act allows profiling." Kucinich looks like someone stole his lollipop.

9:44: I'm checking other blogs and Ben Smith is right about why the drivers license issue, functionally kaput, is still so dangerous: the Dobbs of the world have linked illegal immigration with Snidely Whiplashes sneaking nukes over the border.

9:48: Thank you, Tim Russert, for another Social Security round. (He keeps needling the Democrats about this, they keep generating mistakes that the other candidates to attack.) Clinton and Obama basically agree (bi-partisan commission, no privatization) in a combative-yet-dull manner until Obama whacks her for saying he'd raise taxes on the "middle class." That's something Mitt Romney would say, you awful woman!

9:54: Commercial's over, and we're on SCOTUS nominees.

9:56: Hnh, Biden stomps some dirt on Robert Bork's grave. He wants SCOTUS judges who've lived life, not who "want an intellectual feast." Remember that?

9:58: Ramesh Ponnuru nails Biden and Kucinich pretty good here. Kucinich really has zero credibility on abortion.

10:00: We're entering the third hour with a question about how Democrats will bring us together. Obama will convene a permanent multinational something-something. God, I wish Mike Gravel was here to answer it.

10:06: Biden really makes mincemeat out of the dopey unity question: Everybody hates Bush and GOP foreign policy already, and everybody loves Joe Biden. "Folks, this isn't going to be that hard."

10:09: And with the stupidest question ever asked by anyone, we're out!

It's over! Who won?

The American people lost, but you knew that. I'm with Matt Yglesias: It's incredibly frustrating watching smart people like Wolf Blitzer pretend drivers licenses for illegal immigrants are going to take up the first 99 days of the next president's term. Or, for that matter, pretend that an answer of multiple syllables from Barack Obama was a debate-losing gaffe. Hillary Clinton's people have a lot to spin, but I think they're asking for a mulligan for botching the last debate.

So, Edwards lost. We saw a real-life example of what's happening in Iowa when he pounced on Hillary (including one real dud of a joke about her planted questions) and the zoo-ish audience booed him. It's almost too bad: Insofar as he's interesting at all, it's because he's making a sustained critique of Hillary Clinton and the kind of administration she'd run. He's simply not credible making that critique, though, and getting ever less so.

Clinton
and Obama both won. If the opening of the debate and the Social Security section set the tone of the race, it's one of the more substantive frontrunner-insurgent match-ups in a while. Neither's attacking the other one personally, both have subtly different domestic policies and slightly more disparite foreign policies, and all of that stuff gets hashed out. Clinton's still got the better spinners, though: No one with a regular command of English could confuse her incoherent answer on drivers licenses with Obama's "Yes, here's why" answer. (I guess you're not allowed to say "but" in debates?) Neither one comes away with a clip that networks and Republicans can pound again and again vis-a-vis the last debate's license answer. Both look like they can handle an eventual Republican nominee.

Oh, Jesus, did Bill Richardson ever lose. There's so much I like about him but he's compensating for a stall in the polls by promising crazy things that he couldn't achieve if somebody chucked Aladdin's lamp in his lap.

Some other guys did okay.

NEXT: Outlaw Coke — And Pepsi, Sprite, and Orange Crush Too

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  1. Softballs for Hillary Blitzer….if you know whats good for you. Nice little Cable News Network ya got there. Be a shame if something happens to it. How’s your cat Wolf? Heard it was missing.

  2. “The real action in Las Vegas Thursday night won’t be at the high-dollar tables along the Strip.”

    Yes it will.

  3. Clearly Blitzer will prove himself to a be a lightweight if he fails to ask the candidates any questions about CatholicImmigration.

    It would also be nice if there were some questions about the TransContinentalRailroad that is being financed by PapalGold. Perhaps to send millions of IrishCatholic settlers to the western territories?

    I wonder if Reason would like to have a EuropeanPrince as our ruler under the planned UniversalMonarchy?

  4. “The real action in Las Vegas Thursday night won’t be at the high-dollar tables along the Strip.”

    Yes it will.

    No, it won’t.

  5. > The Theomachy at the Thomas and Mack Center

    Nice.

  6. Viva Las Vegas: The Libertarian Paradise.

    Elvis Presley
    ZZ Top

  7. When you say ‘The Democrats’, shouldn’t that be ‘Some Democrats’?

  8. Oooooooooooh – they’re bringing them on set one at a time, like the Talking Heads.

    Who’s going to be wearing the big suit?

  9. “Good to see you Wolf, please don’t Russert me.”

  10. 8:05: A man in white hair runs on stage and I fear that Mike Gravel has broken Bruce Banner-like past the security dogs.

    Shirtless with tattered purple jeans?

  11. This is why having debates in large sports arenas is a terrible idea.

  12. Did Joe Biden just wink at the audience? (shudders)

  13. …they’re bringing them on set one at a time, like the Talking Heads. …Who’s going to be wearing the big suit?

    Hillary’s got the arm chopping dance down. Also, if she gets elected, the imperial presidency will be same as it ever was… same as it ever was

  14. If they were to hold a text-in vote to see who won the debate John Edwards, I bet Ron Paul wins it 🙂

  15. Wolf, they found your cat over in Virginia.

  16. I do not watch CNN much and have never seen Lou Dobbs. Other than his stance against evil orange pickers and home builders what are his views? Is he mostly (modern) liberal other than that? Or is he pretty much a strait line conservative?

  17. Did Biden and Richardson just pound?

  18. Biden must be glad standing where Kucinich should have been.

  19. Any question a Democrat doesn’t feel like answering is “divisive” and “a wedge issue.”

  20. John, could you stop making divisive statements?

  21. Teachers are overpaid Governor Richardson!

  22. I went to CNN.com to find the live debate coverage, but found out something else from the headlines: Barry Bonds has been indicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

    Carry on.

  23. Hmmm. Democratic debates are even more depressing than Republican ones. Why do I torment myself in watching.

  24. Is Biden suggesting engineers and teachers be equally paid?

  25. Menopause hit campbell brown like truck full of rosie o’donnell

  26. Hil-Dog: Bush Bad!!! 9-11!

  27. Dennis: Hello! Hello! Elf over here!

  28. hello.. HELLO?? I’M BAKING COOKIES OVER HERE!!!

  29. Is anyone else watching this in high definition? The candidates and the moderators look like the walking, talking dead. I mean they seriously look like corpses up there.

    I don’t think I can watch this anymore.

  30. Richardson said he wasn’t going to do a body count, and then says that 3,800 troops had died.

  31. Wait. Did Dennis just say that the democrats could stop funding the war? I thought they couldn’t do that… where did I hear that?

  32. If most voters are watching this on HD, Obama wins. He’s the only one who looks under 150 years old. My stomach is turning. Someone should come up with a drinking game based on the number of eye wrinkles that show up in HD.

    I have to change the channel.

  33. Why does Edwards take shots at Latin America trade agreements but won’t answer the question on China?

  34. Edwards looks like the coroner just powdered up his face and slapped some rouge on him, like a 19th century cowboy killed in a gunfight and prepared for a funeral. Awesome; my DVR just switched to “The Office.”

  35. Trade Timeout?!? Does Trade have to wear a Dunce Cap?

  36. Does Hillary have lipstick on her teeth?

  37. Smart trade policy.
    Smart tax policy
    Smart healthcare policy
    Smart federal childcare for working mothers
    Smart free scrape jobs when your b/f turns out to be an asshole.
    Smart comparable worth pay for women.

    I’m voting for Hillary!

  38. Unless Bill Richardson has the power to bend the laws of physics, he’s full of crap on nuclear waste disposal.

  39. Questions from voters?

    C’mon drug legalization questions!

  40. Yeah, Bill Richardson looks like fucking Noriega in HD. I keep thinking someone is going to leap out of the crowd and grate cheese on his face.

  41. See, this is why I “watch” all the debates here at H&R. Why on earth would I subject myself to the added torture of audio/video when you masochists are willing to suffer it for me?

    I, for one, need no eye bleach.

  42. Wait a second. I was in the military, and this kid who has served three tours in Iraq isn’t smart enough to know to take his fucking hat off while indoors? That’s is totally drilled into your head in basic training.

  43. Hopefully a medical marihuana question comes up.

  44. Before the debate begins, it’s already over: Lou Dobbs is mulling a presidential bid.

    The good news is that he’d probably be on TV less.

  45. “Heroes Health Card”? I like Richardson, but hello new entitlement. Do I really need to bitchslap him and tell him that military service is a contract, and you can’t change the rules of the contract after it has been fulfilled?

  46. John-David-
    Not watching right now; is he under arms and/or carrying the colors?

    Alternatively, if its a large indoor arena, it sometimes can be considered ‘outside’, like the hanger deck of a carrier.

  47. Kucinich on the Patriot Act: “That’s because I read it.”

    ZING!

  48. Kolohe,

    I was once part of a program (Buckeye Boy’s State) run by the American Legion. Those old vets were real pricks about the wearing of head cover while indoors. And this debate is definitely indoors.

  49. I call it Los(t) Wages!

  50. Christopher Dodd hablan espa?ol muy bueno.

  51. I just started watching a few minutes ago, and CNN has already broadcast one unverified claim and one lie.

    For the love of all that’s holy, please go to campaign appearances, ask real questions, and then upload the response. Let’s cut CNN out of the equation.

  52. I just started watching a few minutes ago, and CNN has already broadcast one unverified claim and one lie.

    For the love of all that’s holy, please go to campaign appearances, ask real questions, and then upload the response. Let’s cut CNN out of the equation.

  53. Allow me to state for the record that everyone that is *shudder* “represented* by Kucinich does not fscking like him…

    I’m getting to the point I would probably vote for a head of lettuce over him…

    Nephilium… in Kucinich’s district…

  54. Nephilium,

    I’m quite familiar with Kucinich, from here in Cleveland South (aka Akron). His district would be better represented by a vacancy, although for the most part nobody would be able to tell the difference.

    I still like him better than most of the people in the debate right now, though.

  55. Kucinich: I will unite the nation by being being really liberal on abortion and sex ed, cause those aren’t controversial or anything.

  56. And how did choosing Supreme Court candidates on “life experience” become considered “liberal” for political signaling purposes rather than just “stupid”?


  57. 9:44: I’m checking other blogs and Ben Smith is right about why the drivers license issue, functionally kaput, is still so dangerous: the Dobbs of the world have linked illegal immigration with Snidely Whiplashes sneaking nukes over the border.

    8 of the 9/11 hijackers were registered to vote.
    Wonder who they would vote for if they hadn’t crashed into those buildings?

  58. Really, the thing that sucks about his debate is that, more than any other one I’ve watched so far (and I’ve missed a few), this seems to be nothing more than a beauty pageant.

  59. P.J. used to call Kucinich the Boy Mayor of Cleveland. Apt, I thought, but I’m not from Cleveland.

    I hope Hillary promises pie. I like pie.

  60. OK I’m off the debate NOTORIOUS is starting on TCM

  61. BTW, I’m ashamed for saying this, but right now Hillary is a GILF. No botox comments need to be made.

  62. bored lib,

    Notorious is Hitchcock’s first masterpiece. Good choice.

    And Ingrid Bergman is hot.

  63. I hope Hillary promises pie. I like pie.

    If I’m elected president, we’ll have comprehensive pie reform so that every American can have pie!

  64. Hillary likes blood-diamonds.

  65. I’m okay with pie reform, so long as I get vouchers to buy my pie from Costa Rica if I want.

  66. Only if the people of Costa Rica accept our labor standards, health standards, outlaw smoking, and distribute free condoms to every child

  67. When people talk about how politics is “divisive” and how they want a politician that will “unify” everyone, what are they actually talking about? Authoritarianism? Or do they just want everyone to magically agree with them?

  68. 8 of the 9/11 hijackers were registered to vote.

    I thought this was an urban legend that popped up like a week ago and was quickly shot down.

  69. I’m beginning to wonder why the DNC even bothers with a primary.

  70. “Liar, Liar, pantsuit on fire”
    “No they’re not, they’re asbestos! My lies are contained!

  71. Before the debate begins, it’s already over: Lou Dobbs is mulling a presidential bid.

    Gawd I hope so! That would get all of the conspiracy nuts out of the Paul campaign and over into his…

  72. It’s incredibly frustrating watching smart people like Wolf Blitzer pretend drivers licenses for illegal immigrants are going to take up the first 99 days of the next president’s term.

    Well, since you have a hard time understanding this, let me help you. Imagine for a moment that you’re a law abiding American citizen. You more or less follow the rules, pay your taxes, etc. (I realize this is a stretch, but work with me here.)

    Now, imagine you see some well-off jerk of a politician get on TV and tell you that the government should turn a blind eye to criminals, or even reward them, instead of punishing them. If that doesn’t piss you off, it’s because you just can’t wrap your mind around the idea of being someone who respects the law, and expects others to respect it too.

    Every single illegal immigrant / “undocumented worker” here in the US is a criminal. They may very well be criminals who are helping the US, it may very well be that US immigration policy is utterly idiotic and that they should have been able to get here legally. Neither of those things change the fact that those people are criminals, and that they violated the law by coming here.

    When a politician announces support for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, what (s)he’s saying is (s)he doesn’t respect the law, and doesn’t respect the people who do care about the law and about being law abiding citizens. When a pontificator like you bashes people for caring about the subject, it says the same thing.

    Unfortunately for you, and for those politicians, the voters who care about this greatly outnumber the ones who don’t. Esp. in the “flyover country” states where the 2008 Presidential election will be decided.

    You don’t have to agree with those people. But your total inability or unwillingness to understand their position marks you as either an idiot, or a jerk.

  73. Is there anywhere on the Internets that I can watch the whole thing? This bothers me, that I can’t find it easily, that the whole video isn’t the first result I get… so… is it out there? Help!

  74. David,

    I really pity you for sitting through the Democratic debates.

  75. andyd —

    cnn is replaying it right now.

  76. Every single illegal immigrant / “undocumented worker” here in the US is a criminal. They may very well be criminals who are helping the US, it may very well be that US immigration policy is utterly idiotic and that they should have been able to get here legally. Neither of those things change the fact that those people are criminals, and that they violated the law by coming here.

    Interesting. Until they cross the border, they are subject to the laws governing the country they are in (e.g., Mexico). As soon as they do, they are subject to Untied States law. I know of no law making the act of being in the Untied States a criminal violation.

    Well, ok, there are such laws, like the fact that my mother has to renew her green card every few years (because, even though she’s been in this country for over 40 years she refuses to become a citizen), but c’mon. You want to argue law and order, just say you want Rudy McRomney for president. Being in the country, and working, does not constitute committing an act that rises to the level of criminality.

  77. sixstring… like, on TV… well, that’s a waste of time… I want it on demand, at my beckon call, on youtube, or some video service… maybe iTunes?… I don’t want to be at the call of TV, I want my video when I want to watch/listen to it. This ain’t difficult on the internet, is it?

  78. Whoa. I did not mean to misspell “United” twice that way. Sorry.

  79. Yup. No fast-forwarding to the sex scenes.

  80. Actually, (1) Being in the United States without authorization is not, technically speaking, a “crime.” (2) Crossing a border illegally is a misdemeanor. So I guess I understand the outrage, given our general policy of denying driver’s licenses to people who commit misdemeanors. Oh, wait…

  81. The only reason I can think of to call illegal immigrants criminals is to try to blur the distinction between serious crimes like murder and crossing the border without a stamp on a piece of paper. If you think illegal immigration causes harm to society then explain why instead of just throwing out a loaded term.

  82. Since I don’t think drivers licenses are Lawful, unless you are for hire, and I don’t think immigration quotas are lawful, unless passed by a state, I guess I would have a hard time answering that question, just like Obama.

    I guess I would have to say–privatize the roads,and let the private owners say who is qualified to drive on them; keep them public and enforce the constitution so that taxpayers can use what they pay for without any stinking licenses. Let the workers in, end welfare for everyone.

  83. Greg:
    Every single illegal immigrant / “undocumented worker” here in the US is a criminal. They may very well be criminals who are helping the US, it may very well be that US immigration policy is utterly idiotic and that they should have been able to get here legally. Neither of those things change the fact that those people are criminals, and that they violated the law by coming here.

    Question: so do you support strict adherence to, say, speed limits on the highways and Interstates?

    Bet you don’t. And why should you? I can guarantee that you’re just as illegal as Juan and Pedro. You just haven’t got caught yet. Like Juan and Pedro.

  84. So I guess I understand the outrage, given our general policy of denying driver’s licenses to people who commit misdemeanors

    (caveat, i may be missing the connotation of the ‘oh wait’ that followed the above)

    Well, if you achieve a threshold of misdemeanors like driving too fast, lacking insurance, running red lights, etc. you will have your driver’s license revoked, right? If you show up to the DMV with enough flags on your record, they won’t just simply ignore them , correct?

  85. Oh great, Mr. “Your Tears Are So Yummy And Sweet” agrees with me. Time to rethink my position…

  86. Rho-
    But if a cop does happen to catch me going 56 mph in a 55, I will be annoyed at the ticket, but realize that it is justified, because that’s what the law is. Likewise, I won’t expect him just ignore any speeder that he happens to see, unless he has something that is more important at that time. Likewise, I would not expect a government offical, who *only* job is to be issuing the driver’s licenses, to simply ignore the fact that the person in front of them is not eligible to obtain one.

  87. Well, if you achieve a threshold of misdemeanors like driving too fast, lacking insurance, running red lights, etc. you will have your driver’s license revoked, right?

    Of course, those are all driving-related misdemeanors. They don’t late your license away for the non-driving ones.

  88. “They don’t take,” that is.

  89. Oh shit. Why am I liking Edwards? And don’t his handlers know that you can’t wear a royal tie with a navy suit?

  90. More and more I’m starting to view appeals to the rule of law as a shield thrown up by people who don’t want to stand up to injustice. Looks more and more like “national sovereignty” to my eyes.

    If laws are just, the rule of law will be broadly upheld. If average folks stop respecting the law, it is a sign that the law has gone bad, not the people. There’s nothing magical about the directives of government; broadly acknowledged values are what holds society together while laws codify how “legitimate” force will be used to enforce them.

    The idea that any breach of the law is in some vague way socially detrimental doesn’t make sense to me. How is it socially beneficial to submit to injustice? What benefit can be had by obeying a law that is against the values it is supposed to uphold?

    Justice, to my mind, comes before the law.

  91. They don’t late your license away for the non-driving ones.

    For the most part. But in Illinois for example, they’ll take it away for perjury and making fake Id’s. In South Dakota , you can have it revoked for being behind in child support.

  92. Rho wrote,

    Question: so do you support strict adherence to, say, speed limits on the highways and Interstates?

    Bet you don’t. And why should you? I can guarantee that you’re just as illegal as Juan and Pedro. You just haven’t got caught yet. Like Juan and Pedro.

    Gee, I wonder, what’s the punishment for speeding? What’s the punishment (at least the one on the books) for being in this country illegally?

    A politician who was publicly in favor of keeping the speeding laws on the books, but eliminating all punishments for politically approved people, wouldn’t remain in office for long.

    No?

    The same goes for politicians who favor not punishing people who are here illegally.

    If you show up at the DMV, or any other government office, and say “hey, I’m here illegally, but I want you to give me a driver’s license anyway”, the proper response is “you’re here illegally? Well, then, we’re going to enforce the law and kick you out of the country.”

    Not “oh, you’re here illegally? That’s nice. Let’s see how we can help you.”

  93. Julian Sanchez:

    If you go to the DMV while there’s a warrant out for your arrest (even for a misdemeanor), and try to renew your driver’s license, I bet they won’t let you do it. And if they DO let you do it, it’s because they screwed up, not because they have a policy of giving out services to such people.

    Once you’ve been punished for your misdemeanor, then they’ll help you.

    Gee, I wonder, what’s the punishment for being here illegally? Could it be “getting kicked out of the country?” Why yes, I think it is. So that would mean that, unlike in the case of an American Citizen committing a misdemeanor, once you’ve been punished for your crime of coming here (or staying here) illegally, you won’t be eligible for a driver’s license.

    Gee, imagine that. That would make the two situations entirely different.

    John David:
    > 60% of American voters don’t like giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. If you want to argue that all those people should vote Republican, don’t expect me to argue with you.

  94. As an aside, I think this would have made a great instructional video staring the late great Troy McClure.

  95. Wow, I finally caught the end of the debate on the re-run. That was indeed the dumbest question since “your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?”

  96. Julian Sanchez: leaving aside an argument over the definition of “crime” as well as a recent court decision, #2 (“Crossing a border illegally is a misdemeanor”) is not always correct; it can be a felony (for instance: azstarnet.com/sn/border/209530).

    And, those IAs who work may be contributing to their employers committing crimes, they may be contributing to those who transport or shelter them committing crimes, and of course there’s always IdentityTheft. Needless to say all the businesses and politicians that are corrupted by all that illegally-earned money.

    I’m sure you’ll mention all that next time.

    While we’re awaiting, here are no less than *five* things wrong about Obama’s answer other than the fact that giving DLs to IAs is the wrong thing to do.

  97. I see the PapalAgent ChrisKelly has commented on this thread.

    Question: Isn’t it true that the AustrianPrinces are funding organizations with CatholicLinks?

    Isn’t it also true that the CatholicBishops are opposed to our RepublicanConstitution?

    Isn’t it also true that the TranscontinentalRailroad is being funeded by PapalGold?

    IrishCatholicImmigration is the first step the EuropeanPrinces are taking in the formation of their UniversalMonarchy.

    I wonder if an IrishCatholic like ChrisKelly could have ForeignLinks.

  98. OK, he’s oilier than an Alaskan beach

    Did Biden’s Bork reference put you in a nostalgic mood, David? You could have said “oilier than San Francisco Bay”.

  99. And, those IAs who work may be contributing to their employers committing crimes, they may be contributing to those who transport or shelter them committing crimes, and of course there’s always IdentityTheft.

    What fucking bullshit. To the extent that identity theft is happening among immigrants, Lonewacko, it’s the dumbass laws you support that encourage it. If they could get green cards and work here legally, they wouldn’t need to steal identities.

  100. Best debate review I ever read.

  101. John-David | November 15, 2007, 9:36pm | #
    “Heroes Health Card”? I like Richardson, but hello new entitlement. Do I really need to bitchslap him and tell him that military service is a contract, and you can’t change the rules of the contract after it has been fulfilled?

    The term “contract,” when used to describe the thing you sign when you join the service, is a misnomer. Congress reserves the right to change the terms whenever they feel like it. (Don’t believe me? Read page 2 of the enlistment contract)

    Joining the military means signing onto an agreement that one party (the government) can change at any time.

    Usually, this means that the government will screw the enlistee out of a benefit, or force the enlistee to stick around a lot longer.

  102. On mythical American citizens who indiscriminantly respect all laws at every level of the United States, my try:

    Some laws correspond roughly to actual law, and some are directives or regulation backed by force. A legislator can simply be wrong on the former:

    1. Senator, this bill of yours would set the penalties for trespassing well above the penalties for murder. You fail. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

    2. Congressman, you’ve a wonderfully traditionalist, utilitarian argument for decriminalizing the rape of childless women over 20– however, those women own their own bodies. You err like the man arguing that 123…2 is a prime number.

    On the latter– well, it makes sense that Congress can put any strings they like on money they give to institutions, for instance, and so force sexual integration of schools or prohibit the teaching of Anarchist Theory or whatever other catches their interest. It’s fine and good to argue anyway against these strings, but you’re already the woman in the parable who admitted she’d have sex for $1mil, haggling about the price.

    No, I don’t know what ‘actual law’ means.

  103. Christ, Weigel, your fixation of John Edwards is starting to sound vaguely erotic. You don’t have a secret crush on him, do you?

  104. Quote the parts that strike you as erotic?

  105. The way Hillary has flip flopped on the illegal immigrants drivers’ licence issue really irks me. It really illustrates what a phony politician she is.

    Off the subject: Happy 100th birthday today, Oklahoma.

  106. God, CNN sucks.

    First of all, why does Lou Dobbs get an hour to rant about Meshicans and Chinamen before the Democratic debate?

    And then, right out of the gate, the very first question is about what someone said about what Hillary said blah blah blah.

    So then Hillary and Barack Obama snipe at each other for a little while, and then, lo and behold, they get into an argument about the merits of different health care plans.

    Thanks goodness Wold Blitzer was around, to steer the conversation back to “Senator Edwards, what do you think about what the media said about what someone said about what Hillary said?”

  107. Nemo Ignotus,

    I read it, and it looks a lot like the same contract I signed many years ago. I still don’t see anything about healthcare, either pro or con, in that contract.

  108. Now, imagine you see some well-off jerk of a politician get on TV and tell you that the government should turn a blind eye to criminals, or even reward them, instead of punishing them. If that doesn’t piss you off, it’s because you just can’t wrap your mind around the idea of being someone who respects the law, and expects others to respect it too.

    Whenever someone talks about the Underground Railroad, it must really burn your britches…

  109. Actually, (1) Being in the United States without authorization is not, technically speaking, a “crime.” (2) Crossing a border illegally is a misdemeanor.

    For many (most? who knows?) illegals, they need to break other laws on a regular basis in order to stay in the country and hold a job. They need fake ID, fake Social Security numbers, they need to lie on their I-9s, etc. Its an ongoing fraudulent enterprise, so I wouldn’t minimize the laws they need to break in order to maintain a continued presence here.

  110. God, CNN sucks.

    Oh, and you can log my Weekly Agreement With Joe.

  111. Two agreements, RC. Having people here without legal status does compel them to engage in all sorts of shady, black-market dealings just to go thtrough life, and that is a dangerous situation.

    Sizeable black markets are dangerous – that, and not people speaking Spanish in the grocery store and giving Lou Dobbs viewers tummy aches – is why we need immigration reform.

    By all means, people, minimize the “cultural” arguments against illegal immigration, but the existance of a 12 million strong black market in human trafficking really is a problem.

  112. On enlistment contracts:
    I do not think there has been a case in American history where veteran’s benefits have been reduced by law for existing veterans.(stop-loss, by definition, is technically not a change in veteran’s benefits) On the contrary, there seems to be large political agitation about ten years after every war, from the civil war to vietnam, to dramatically increase the veterans benefits. Now, the efficacy of how the benefits are actually implemented and distributed, through the varying degree of competence of the VA has indeed fluctuated, but IIRC they have never been reduced by statute.

    (do not read anything in the above on whether or not it is good policy to alter veteran’s benefits in either direction, or whether or nor stop loss is a good idea)

  113. BrianTerrel | November 16, 2007, 12:41am |

    Well said. I agree.

  114. John,

    I don’t see anything about health care in there, either, but your initial complaint was that a contract was a contract, and you couldn’t change it after the fact…which is not true when the “contract” one signs is the militay enlistment “contract.”

  115. My dad was a disparite foreigner, but my mom married him anyway. (I just had to say it.)

  116. Two agreements, RC.

    I guess I can take next week off, then.

  117. I hope that’s not too much of a hardship.

  118. Wolf Blitzer let Hillary land blows without response. The first question Hillary got from Campbell Brown was about the “politics of parsing,” a phrase that John Edwards has used. Clinton filibustered.

    Instead of exercising his moderator’s discretion to follow-up on Clinton, Wolf focused on Obama to get his reply. What reply is Obama supposed to have to a criticism of Hillary Clinton that John Edwards made and Hillary Clinton failed to respond to? (And who doesn’t know what “triangulation” means?)

    There are two proper follow-ups in that situation: 1. Follow-up with Clinton to pin her down; or 2. Follow-up with Edwards about the “politics of parsing.”

    Given a pass, Hillary then responded to Obama’s answer by mischaracterizing his health care plan. Obama responded to that mischaracterization. Hillary went again, distorting things just like her critics say she does. When Obama tried to respond to the direct attack, Wolf tried to shut him down and move on to Edwards. Kucinich says, “Hey, there’s a debate here.”

    Dennis was right. Showing where the fault lines are is one thing. It is something else to ignore a real debate in real time that America needs to hear so you can to stick to your moderator’s script and centrist media frames. That’s disgusting.

    Then Wolf moved to Edwards, who noted that Clinton obscures her positions, without mentioning health care. Wolf saw that as a personal attack on Clinton, so he gave Clinton time to respond. In her rebuttal, Clinton accused Edwards of slinging mud from the Republican playbook and then said — because Edwards had brought up health care — that Edwards wasn’t for universal health care in 2004. Get that? Edwards never mentioned health care. Unless Clinton is so old and stupid that she confused Barack Obama for John Edwards in the heat of the moment, she had a scripted attack on Edwards that she deployed too early. She didn’t “punch back”. She delivered a pre-written attack line at Wolf Blitzer’s prompting. Then, Wolf waved off John Edwards — who had never raised the issue of health care and who had just been accused of slinging mud from the Republican playbook, a personal charge if ever there were one — and directed a completely different question to Joe Biden. Huh?

  119. MikeP drooled

    Whenever someone talks about the Underground Railroad, it must really burn your britches…

    You know, that would make perfect sense if immigration laws were the moral equivalent of slavery.

    So, is that your position Mike, or are you just a complete and utter idiot?

    Greg

  120. Greg,

    Interesting… Nothing I quoted from your comments mentions immigration.

    But if you want, I can do this…

    When a politician announces support for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens harboring fugitive slaves, what (s)he’s saying is (s)he doesn’t respect the law, and doesn’t respect the people who do care about the law and about being law abiding citizens. When a pontificator like you bashes people for caring about the subject, it says the same thing.

    For the record, I find slavery morally worse than the restriction of free migration and labor.

  121. Since you brought up moral distinctions that apparently allow one to ignore your edicts about respecting the law…

    Just how morally wrong must a law be before one is allowed to violate it?

    And why do you not think that immigration law is already past that point for those who argue against it?

  122. Shit! So I guess there’s nobody on these vast Internets with the entire debate videos? Hell, I can get South Park, every single episode, for free, on the Internet. But I can’t get a fucking video of a presidential debate? WTF? I can get brief soundbites… I can get lots of asshat commentary. But not the full video, the full debate, the actual footage of a presidential debate? Shit!, the world is over.

  123. At least Dobbs had enough of an open mind to realize the perils of free trade. Alot of folks suffer from “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up”. 30+ years of chronic trade deficits are the reality of a dysfunctional trade policy.

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