Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate results: The Flintstones vs. The Jetsons

By J. Thomas Duffy

I gotta say, and without the valid excuse of a hearing aid problem, for about the first 30-minutes, or more, Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain looked like he was going to go down Admiral Stockdale Avenue.

He looked like a third grader, called to the front of the class to do a reading, with each question asked.

And, while Barack Obama was laying out his views and vision as to the economy, Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny, fairly often, ignored the substance of the question (or what Obama had to say), and repeatedly prattled on about spending and earmarks, like he was hitting slow pitches in a batting cage (and quite proud of himself for hitting a lot of singles).

This carried on in the area of Foreign Policy and Iraq.

Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny turned into Cranky John, swatting away the barbs and ties to the Bush Grindhouse, with attempting to belittle Obama with "You don't understand ..."

Obama's best moment, likely, came, when he showered Cranky Johnny with a litany of "You Were Wrong" about the various issues around Iraq.

Oh yeah, Obama also reminded Cranky Johnny, that the war in Iraq had been going on for near five-years - BEFORE THE SURGE - which Cranky John seemed to be staking his territory on.

Cranky John, looking to dig himself out of the hole, went not to his POW-POW-POW super ring, but bored through stories of seeing 650 soldiers re-up in Iraq (and telling him all they wanted to do was win), and how he got a bracelet from some soldier.

Obama, with all the coolness of someone who knows they are right, simply held up his wrist, and informed Cranky John that he had one also.

On the international stuff, Cranky John got all full of himself, on how Obama is going to meet with Wicked Witch of the West, and all her Flying Monkeys, without preconditions and didn't appreciate Obama pointing back to him how, 1) The Bush Grindhouse, in a reversal, adopted some diplomacy and 2) Cranky John's own advisor, Dr. Death, aka Henry Kissinger, said exactly the same thing Obama has said.

Cranky John waited until the final moment to pull out his POW-POW-POW super ring, and he only said "My Friends" once.

Both candidates exasperated moderator Jim Leher, by not answering (and he asked it four times) what they would cut out of their plans, if elected, due to the Wall Street Meltdown and Hank's Heist Plan.

In summing it up, I peg it as no knockouts, no major gaffes.

But it was The Flintstones versus The Jetsons.

While you could hear, ringing throughout the evening Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny (and Cranky John) often saying how he has been in Congress forever and he knows how to do things, over-and-over, and that came out on the Super Titles and Closed Caption as "Trust Me", while Obama articulated substantive answers, depicting vision and plans, and a commitment to restoring the country's place in the world.

If this debate was supposed to be in Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny's wheelhouse (a much over-used phrase on the cable this evening), then it's going to be all downhill in the rest of the debates.

Next up -- Palin vs. Biden (hey, hey, hey, no laughing out loud, yet).

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