Shandrew (shandrew) wrote,

debate takeaways

I'm amazed by this debate, because i can't imagine the average voter could get anything out of it. Foreign policy is so distant from most people; how do they judge what's better?

McCain's disparagement of greed and the SEC is an embarrassment. Greed, i.e. doing what's best for you, is the fundamental force behind corporations, wall street, banking, and investing. It's really the only thing you can count on people as a whole to do. The one-sentence reason our economic system has been so successful is that it is structured such that being greedy optimizes the outcome for consumers--basic econ 101. Problems arise when that structure breaks down. The current administration has completely failed at this, failing to properly regulate mortgages, lowering interest rates, creating the housing price bubble, and failing to take action years ago when it was apparent that the foreclosure mess was looming. The administration created the conditions which allowed this to happen, and it may end up in history as the biggest black mark on Bush (well, after 9/11. And Iraq). He's given free markets a bad name.

[And making money easier to borrow is not how you make housing more affordable. Lower prices make housing more affordable. It pisses me off every time the media and politicians claim falling housing prices as a bad thing. I'm tempted to buy property simply because so much of government is focused around propping up housing prices.]

Among legislators, talking about "you voted for X" or "you voted against Y" in a debate is nearly pointless. Legislation is a process of compromise; many laws are multi-part behemoths, and can't be distilled into one word.

I can't believe they wasted fifteen minutes talking about what "preconditions" meant.

Obama talks like an academic. I appreciate it, but how does this fly in the rest of the country?

Suitcase nukes? I thought those were a myth (as in, real chain reaction nuke, not dirty bomb). Searching around has some sources that say they are myths, especially regarding the Russian guy who claimed that a hundred suitcase nukes were unaccounted for, but wikipedia pointed me towards the Davy Crockett, a 51-pound fission bomb deployed by the US. So, it doesn't seem like there's any technological reason why they don't exist. Heck, cut a pound off of that and it won't even incur overweight baggage charges.

[another rant about conflating transportation fuel and electricity deleted]

Overall, I'd say Lehrer was the big winner in this debate. I think these two presidential candidates are by far the best that we've had since Clinton.

[obligatory-i-have-been-trolled: Could you imagine Palin answering the questions that came from this debate? Kudos to Obama for avoiding mention of the troll vp candidate]
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