Friday, September 26, 2008

Foreign Policy Debate

It will likely be called a draw, this presidential debate we witnessed this evening. And draw is what I do while digesting debates. I study their faces and draw until I get one good likeness of each (admittedly McCain's ears are a bit large but I drew them while he kept saying the word "earmark"). My drawings made Obama the winner.

My sketchbook ended up with two baseball cards. I began adding words as I sketched. For instance, McCain said "I know" defiantly numerous times while Obama tends to mumble the conversational "y'know" before saying anti-McCain things, and these ended up on their cards.

However, as they kept talking I found myself writing above McCain "I'm your dad. I supported you. And now I will act like I can tell you what to do forever." (For the record, my dad does not have that attitude...that is another sort of dad McCain sounded like.) I wrote the word "pork barrel" on his chest, I couldn't help it after he said it so many times. Across the top of his card I wrote what seemed to be his saying for the evening "You just don't understand." Or more accurately, "Senator Obama" (as though he wasn't standing right there) "just doesn't understand."

I wrote "I am earnest and responsible" across Obama's chest. I wrote "I am your professor, and I will work very, very hard," above his head. I wrote "I just want to make this point" across the top of his card.

I listened as McCain said his personal anecdotes and squinted at his notes. I saw him nearly derail talking about veterans. I heard Obama say sharp things like "take them out" and "kill him." I noted that McCain made anti-other country remarks numerous times and that Obama was polite to the moderator and his opponent. I thought McCain is better at speaking to Joe Citizen in less contrived way than George W but that he wasn't winning in Normal vs. Smart Guy mode the way Bush could bumble around and still come out ahead against earnest smart guy Gore in a debate. I think it's because McCain is too enmeshed in his world and when he referenced obscure things or people or deals, Obama then explained them.

In summary, looking at the top of each card I wrote my analysis. Above "You just don't understand" I wrote "REACT." Above "I just want to make this point," I wrote ACT. I believe in choosing a president, ACT would win over REACT. So I felt Obama did a bit better in the debate.

However, I was startled by the ineffective discussions about energy. I have been able to list the names of various kinds of alternative energy since I was about 12. I'm glad they can to. Could we be more useful in our discussions? And truly: I don't understand how in this day and perilous position we are in as a planet a discussion of foreign policy did not include how we will work with the global community to work on global warming. (And I was confused by how someone could be for nuclear power with safe disposal of the waste. We don't have safe disposal of nuclear waste.) And what the hell was McCain thinking referencing Reagan's ludicrous Star Wars plan in the talks about missiles. That didn't seem very wise.

Oh I drew a third, worse picture. It's is of our dear moderator. It simply says, "I look pained by my position." They should use him on Excedrin commercials.



At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Cool way to analyze it.

I had the same reaction to the inattention to global warming -- and based on the abysmal job the same crew of moderators did in 2004, I doubt we'll see anything better in the remaining three debates.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

I want to see the drawings...


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