Author Topic: Democratic Party Debates  (Read 2356 times)

D.W.

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Democratic Party Debates
« on: February 08, 2016, 09:35:36 AM »
So bit late on the topic, but anyone have any thoughts about the last debate for the Democratic candidates?  I thought Bernie was doing pretty well right up until foreign policy.  Everyone kinda expects him to lose ground here but harping on (brought it up multiple times) his vote against the Iraq war, seemed like a poor move to me.  Worse, he didn't explain at all WHY he voted that way.  It just came across as, "I told you so!"  As someone who really likes Bernie and his campaign goals, this bothered me a lot. 

So after wasting most of his opening on foreign policy he did get around to addressing the topic and it wasn't bad, I guess.

Hilary's staff convinced her that repetition is king and the overall theme was "I'll get things done, that other guy won't".  Not a bad message but the delivery seemed a bit blunt.  I'm not sure how she should fend off Bernie while at the same time courting his supporters, but this debate seemed to me, not the way to go about it.  She made a lot of sense but I can't help but think that the die hard Bernie supporters will see her as the Disney villain, out to stop their hero, rather than one of two champions prepared to fight for them.

AI Wessex

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 11:33:58 AM »
I didn't watch it, but that doesn't mean I can't have an opinion about it.  I understand your point about Bernie's Iraq vote on the Authorization, but it seems self-evidently obvious that people who had sufficient reservations about it were right.  All anyone has to do at this point is mention that they had enough to be opposed to it. 

I will say that we now talk about the Senate resolution as a vote for war, but it was supposedly a precursor to any action, meant as a last resort if diplomacy and submission to UN sanctions were ineffective.  That may have been a wink-and-nod distinction at the time, but when faced with outright rejection of war under any circumstances and a vote that would support it under the right conditions, it's not perfectly clear cut.  I would personally have still voted against if they had let me, but most Senators had to consider the possibility with different priorities.  I think if you went back and reviewed the discussions from that time you'd find that most Democrats who voted for the resolution had similar reservations and concerns.  Fewer Republicans did.

In the end it was more than deceptive, since the Bush Administration was lobbying with false information and ultimatums against the Senators themselves.  They were manipulated and coerced by the Administration's fixed agenda to go to war.

D.W.

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 11:52:42 AM »
All good points but if you are going to bring up that you voted against the tide, you should explain WHY.  Particularly in the debates it could illustrate his overall tendencies towards foreign policy.  If he could sufficiently explain why it was a wiser move or what he saw that the others didn't, that would also be compelling.

The absence of any of the above makes it seem like he flipped a coin and WOW looky there!  I was right, it WAS a bad idea!  His vote COULD be a positive and COULD differentiate him from Hillary.  I don't think his presentation allowed for that result though.

Oh and I did like the mostly classy way they dodged the moderator's question about taking on the other as a running mate. 

Pete at Home

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 01:32:02 PM »
I didn't watch it, but that doesn't mean I can't have an opinion about it.

AI Wessex

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 01:45:05 PM »
Immune to irony, in this case of the self-deprecating sort?  I watched clips of the "highlights" and read reviews and reports by MSM news outlets, as well as left and right leaning blogs.  Even so, I only replied to DW's specific issue about Sanders' vote on the Authorization and whether he needs to reveal how he arrived at his decision for how to vote, not on the content of the debate, itself.  You wouldn't need to have watched the debate to have an opinion about that.

Pete at Home

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 02:19:35 PM »
  You wouldn't need to have watched the debate to have an opinion about that.

Agreed.  I didn't watch it either, and I have an opinion about it.  And I'm going to keep it to myself.

D.W.

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 02:37:07 PM »
Full disclosure.  I read the transcripts...

Nobody cared enough to watch I guess.   :(

Pete at Home

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 02:46:54 PM »
I cared.  I watched the first.  Disappointed that I missed the second.  Was nursing a sick lover.  But I suspect that like Al, viewing the second debate would have done little against my confirmation biases.  That's why I reposted Al's statement.  Basic agreement and self-irony.

Fenring

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 03:19:37 PM »
I watched all the debates until a couple of weeks ago, when I couldn't keep up with it any more. They began to simply repeat everything they'd said before anyhow, and I've got a decent sense of the candidates by now. I didn't watch the Dem debate in question but I have an opinion on it too :)

My opinion is that any subsequent debates will more or less be oriented towards reaching out to audience members that haven't made up their mind yet or seen the other debates. Anyone who's watched the other debates - nothing new to see here. This could change if some breaking issues open up to discuss, but I can't see how Hillary or Bernie could say something they haven't already said countless times before at this point.

D.W.

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 03:26:42 PM »
It's not the message that I see needing to change.  Well other than someone needs to tell Bernie he needs to have better answers / sound more confident on foreign policy.  If he has a difference in opinion on how things are handled he should say it.  If he's on the same page as Hilary there is nothing wrong with saying that.  Hell I'd go so far as to suggest that if he got the nomination he would like to come to her for advice in that field.

And Hilary I think needs to remember that she can't afford to alienate Bernie's supporters.  If she gets the nomination she needs to scoop them up and keep running.

So ya, it's got to be largely about the undecided but I think lack of turn out is a more serious issue for the Democratic side than the Republican.  Maybe that's just Democratic brand paranoia?

Fenring

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 03:45:02 PM »
Turnout is always an issue, which is why it's so interesting that young voters are coming out in droves for Bernie, and that he had massive showings at his rallies. I think this is similar to what happened in Obama's first election, but here it's different because it's in the wake of Occupy and that crowd sees him as an agent of change. I don't think Hillary will motivate people to come out and vote who normally don't (which Obama did the first time), whereas Bernie has the potential to increase voter turnout. That, I suppose, is another thing he can win through these debates, although it'll probably be a bigger issue for him should he win the nomination.

As far as foreign policy goes it's kind of crazy. On the one hand this is the area most affected directly by a President's personal views, and therefore in some sense is one of the most important areas to say something important. On the other hand I believe that most relevant data regarding foreign affairs is kept from the public, which leaves a campaigning politician in a peculiar place. Either they can admit that they're not privy to classified intelligence and can't make a clear statement of intent until they're briefed (which would be ridiculously honest but would be torn to shreds by their opponents that claim that there is no 'secret intelligence') or else they can simply make bold statements about foreign policy despite being outright ignorant about vast amounts of privileged information that they can't access. Even worse, what classified information they do have access to can't be disclosed to the public and therefore any campaign statements based solely on that must probably remain unspoken. Hillary is a bit outside of this dilemma since I think she has the insider scoop on a lot of things, which means that her obfuscations will be informed in such a way that she won't be called on them by someone who 'knows better.' For Bernie, though, this is sticky, since Hillary blatantly has had higher security clearance than him and besides which has sources of her own. He can't just make fancy claims about what to do in Syria when he knows Hillary could potentially call him on it with insider info. The best course for him is to do what he's doing, which is to outline general principles of conduct without getting too specific. He's made it pretty clear, for instance, that the "Assad must go" plan should NOT be a priority, and yet he hasn't come right out and said that that whole narrative is BS and needs to end. He's left himself the option of make more specific decisions down the road. Certainly if he were to get the Dem nomination I'm sure Obama would meet with him again and the DNC would make sure he's armed to the teeth with information to win the Presidency. Until then they're not on his side and will support Hillary's bid, and so Bernie's on his own in terms of access to intelligence.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 03:47:53 PM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Democratic Party Debates
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 06:17:25 PM »
Quote
But I suspect that like Al, viewing the second debate would have done little against my confirmation biases.
I don't watch because they suck up a lot of time and most of what happens is irrelevant or complete bull*censored*.  I'm leaning Hillary but willing to support Bernie if he gets the nod. I still have more to learn about what differentiates them, though, which is why I follow up with video excerpts and written summaries and reviews.