Saturday, September 27, 2008

First 2008 Presidential Debate Review

So we have a genuine financial crisis on our hands. Contrary to what you may have heard, it has less to do with deregulation and "greedy capitalists on Wall Street" and a lot more to do with the fact that the government was more or less forcing banks to give loans to people that the banks knew wouldn't be able to pay them back. The Federal Reserve during the Clinton Administration threatened to sue banks that wouldn't consider welfare or unemployment payments as valid income when applying for mortgages. President Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Cuomo (a man John McCain suggested during an interview with 60 Minutes could potentially be part of a McCain Administration) investigated Fannie Mae for racial discrimination and proposed that half of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low-to-moderate income borrowers by 2001.

So yeah, I'm not really surprised to see both parties trying to shift blame away from themselves toward "rich Wall Street fat-cats," which it seems no one likes, but it really is the government's fault. The solution? A $700 billion bailout that both candidates seem to agree on. So you might think that both candidates can put aside partisan differences and work together on this matter, and at the debate they might focus on presenting their ideas in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

Aw, who am I kidding? No one really thought that.

And the fact is, the debate could best summed up as follows.

Obama: Evil greedy men caused this mess, so the government needs to take control of everything.

McCain: Yes they did, and the government does need to fix this. But you love big government, and I don't.

Obama: No, you're wrong.

McCain: Nuh-un. You're wrong.

Repeat the last two lines for about an hour and a half. Basically, what we got from the debate is that McCain thinks Obama is an ultra-leftist who will stop at nothing until the government controls every aspect of our lives, and Obama thinks that McCain is full of shit when he talks about being a maverick and is more or less the second coming of George Bush. In other words, we didn't get anything out of the debate that we didn't get from all those stupid campaign commercials we can't seem to avoid with the new fall lineup.

All this just serves to remind me that we really are picking the lesser of two evils here. I mean, I'll be honest, I'm a Republican, but McCain was really my last choice during the primaries. Meanwhile, on the other side, while I was no fan of Hillary I figured a President Hillary do as little as possible and cover her ass. Instead, we get a liberal who pretends to be a conservative, and guy who's greatest achievement prior to running for President was voting "present" something like 800 times. Combined, they've turned the debate into a bitchy little cat fight.

2012 can't come fast enough.

Final Score: F

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