mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Some thoughts on the final debate..

I had a friend of mine and his brother over to watch the last debate (and kill two Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizzas).

I thought that McCain did pretty well. But he didn't do anything spectacular, anything that's going to turn the race around (although I did like his "I'm not George Bush. If you wanted to run against George Bush, you should have run 4 years ago" line).

Do I think the current administration caused the current financial crisis? No. And I don't think the dems, or evil greedy bankers, or anyone else caused it. There are two reasons for the crash. First of all, the mortgage crisis was pretty much impossible to have prevented, because it would have been political suicide for anyone to get up and say that they want to prevent poor people from owning houses. Secondly, I think banks made bad estimates of risk and failed to take into account "black swan" events.

Anyway, thoughts on the debate:

-McCain did make a good comment at the beginning about how people who are paying their mortgage want to know how bailing out people who didn't helps them, and said it would keep housing prices up and would keep people from living next to a vacant foreclosed house.

- I wish they didn't have that giant part where they debated who was more negative. Personally, I think that the whole "the McCain campaign has gone negative while the Obama campaign is hearts and rainbows" is media bullshit - both campaigns are negative, because that is what gets people's attention. But in a campaign where Obmama can't go 5 minutes without talking about "8 more years of the same" and where McCain has told town-hall meeting goers to not be scared of Obama and that he's a good family man, I think it's ridiculous to say McCain is significantly more negative.

- Ayers - I think that it's bad that Obama doesn't see to have a problem with the dude,and I think it's a fair criticism. But I think it's become obvious that I'm the only one who feels that way, and it wasn't worth spending that much time on.

- I think McCain did a decent job of spinning Obama as pro-government, and CNN undecided graphs seemed to be at least someone positive on it. I'm a small-government guy, so I was glad to see McCain sticking up for free trade, for low taxes, low corporate taxes, ect. I would love to see McCain point out when Obama talked about ExxonMobil's profits, how many normal people own stock through 401k's in companies like ExxonMobil. But I'm not sure that would have worked in the debate.

- I always find debates on abortion kind of odd, in that both sides seem to go to the extreme - Democratic politicians seem to want abortions for everyone, Republicans want bans on them no matter what. I feel like most Americans are somewhere in between - at least wanting to see them as rare, and not having problems with things like parental notification or partial-birth bans, but not wanting a total ban even in the case of rape or health issues. This always makes debates on things like supreme court justices and abortion in general kind of weird - it's like people taking extreme positions on things most people are someone in the middle of.

- I thought the moderator did a good job - aside from the negativity question. There weren't any annoying "what is your biggest weakness" questions, and no Brokaw-like cutting people off.

- I liked that McCain pointed out that a Democratic congress and a Democrat as President is a bad combination. I think it's a valid point, and more and more I'm starting to think that a stalemate is the best possible scenario for government. I'm not sure if I feel it enough that I could ever see myself voting for Democrat to create that, but I think it might make some center/independents think of it as a way to tip their votes.

Anyway, I thought McCain did well, but the fact is that people see the economy as doing badly, and want to punish the party that's in office. Which means it's unlikely that there is anything McCain can turn it around. My biggest hope is that the Republicans are able to turn around in another 2 or 4 years.


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