Debating ‘de’ issues……………



By Tony Walther

I blog even though I have more pressing matters to take care of, because, well, I have more pressing matters to take care of and I’d rather blog.

Three presidential debates and one VP debate have been set and ABC has been left out, reportedly because of “gotcha style” journalism tactics used by two of their talking heads in one of the Democratic primary debates last April.

Whatever, I hope this time around, the candidates get the center stage and not the moderators.

Probably a person would do just as well to ignore the campaigning between now and the debates. Nothing too serious has been brought up in some time, despite the fact we have some of the most serious issues confronting us in a lifetime.

Of course, how the candidates handle themselves or how they are handled out of the stump may be somewhat informative.

The presidential debates are set for: Sept. 26 (PBS), Oct. 7 (NBC), and Oct. 15 (CBS). And the VP debate is Oct. 2 (PBS).

I thought blogger Jon Stolz had an interesting reaction to that ABC debate back in April (I got this via The Huffington Post):

“The excuse from the pundits stepping up to defend ABC is, that well, we’ve had 20 debates and we’ve gone over all of the issues, and people don’t want to hear it anymore. Oh, really? I don’t remember any debate where we talked seriously about when it is proper and not proper to deploy the military. Are we going to continue preemption and nation building? Is there any situation where that might be called for? I haven’t heard that question asked in a debate. Have we talked about the GI Bill in the debates? What other benefits for veterans would they increase or decrease and by what amounts?”

Of course the big issues on nearly everyone’s mind now are the cost of fuel, the economy (to include the housing/mortgage crisis), and the war and they are all really intertwined.

I’ll probably have my mind made up before the debates (if I don’t already), but to see how each candidate handles the questions certainly will help confirm that decision.

And then there is always the third option, voting for a third choice. That never seems appealing or practical, because it is virtually impossible to win the presidency unless you are a Republican or a Democrat and you have raised millions and millions of dollars and you have started early. So if you vote for a third choice, you essentially are giving your vote by default to someone you really don’t want to see in the White House.

And I don’t know where this fits in, but it would be interesting to see the Republican, John McCain, in the White House with a Democratic majority and even an increased veto-proof majority. Of course California has often chosen to have Republican governors and predominantly Democratic legislatures and the result is constant gridlock. Some folks actually prefer gridlock because it prevents a lot of new laws.

And in reference to blogger Stolz’s comments and questions, I recall that Bush Jr. (I like to call him), originally campaigned against nation building, criticizing the previous Clinton administration for trying to do so in God forsaken places such as Haiti. Then he goes and tries to nation build like crazy in Iraq, certainly another God forsaken place (my apologies to God). And preemption.  Are we to foresee every possible, imaginable threat around the world and preemptively go to war? That will certainly tie us up for awhile.

And now, I have more pressing matters. Thanks for reading.

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