Tonight On The Randi Rhodes Show


The first Presidential debate Friday was a contrast in substance and style. Obama brought both. McCain was a nasty lying troll with no solutions.
Obama was thoughtful and prepared. Addressing mistakes that were made and presenting his vision for the future, calmly and decisively. McCain was a nasty lying troll who saw no future without war. Who advocates for the continuation of the massive redistribution of wealth that has marked the past 8 years.

Obama was consensus builder who agreed with what he could and then peeled off to point out that McCain and Bush consistently chose the wrong path. Obama had clean reasoning and sound solutions for moving out of these policies.

McCain lied often and cowardly avoided looking Obama in the eye. McCain’s belligerent tone belied his “belief” in the American “worker”.

Obama showed you who he is. A man of principal, judgment and intellect with a steady calm hand in the face of anything. A man who came from nothing and went all the way.

McCain showed you who he is. A knee jerk decision maker with poor judgment in need of a swift kick in the pants. A spoiled brat.

McCain used his travels on Congressional junkets as a substitute for real judgment. I’ve been to Iraq, I’ve been to Georgia, and I’ve been to Afghanistan.” And still he gets it wrong. Oh well.

McCain of course was in the unenviable position of having to defend his choices over the past eight years. Voting with Bush for 8 years 90% of the time produced THIS MESS. McCain would either have to defend where we are by saying it’s a good spot for Americans to be in or attack Obama by misrepresenting his voting record and judgment calls which proved to be right.

Obama’s burden was to call out the lies and to begin explaining that his policies didn’t have a prayer of even being considered in the Republican controlled Congress. Obama had to explain that Democrats couldn’t get a hearing or a piece of legislation out so he had to vote for or against the Bush Policies. Compromise when he could get something we wanted or needed, and stand in defiance most other times. It’s hard to be on the defensive and seem Presidential, but Obama managed to do it in an effortless way.

Last weeks’ Economic Meltdown found McCain in denial, and confused about what to do. First declaring the fundamentals of Economy are strong, then saying the American worker is ‘’THE FUNDAMENTAL” then saying this was a crisis not seen since 1929. Then he grandstanded and suspended his campaign for all of 48 hours. Trying to portray himself as the only person who could solve the crisis he had a large part in creating,

The “Maverick” had to rush off to Washington to save the day, but McCain didn’t even do that much. McCain actually stayed in New York to do an interview with Katie Couric when he was booked on Letterman, lied to Letterman, and booked himself into a 5 Star NY Hotel for the night. The next morning did he jet off to Washington? No he did not. He went to speak at The Clinton Global Initiative where he gave a political speech about not being political. And finally in the most political move of all McCain had his photo op with The President. Throughout the week there was nothing constructive coming from McCain. The reports from the White House meeting indicated that McCain sat silent for 40 minutes and then went out to dinner with Joe Lieberman who he wishes was his VP candidate. Even making that decision was too much for McCain, so the party picked for him, one Sarah Palin.

McCain chose drama over problem solving.

In the arena of Foreign Policy where the media has declared McCain some kind of expert McCain could only point to the “surge” as his one accomplishment. But the surge is over Senator. Now what? McCain offers nothing but continued occupation of Iraq.

Al Qaeda is still free to plot and fight and take new territory. No one imagined in 2003 that in 2008 we would be occupying Iraq, and that a newly emboldened Iran would emerge from all this effort. Well, I shouldn’t say no one could imagine that. Obama did. I did. You did.

But that was the turf John McCain had to defend. And he couldn’t, so he made stuff up and called Obama “naive” and unprepared.

Obama pointed out once again that the surge wouldn’t have been necessary had we not invaded. That tax cuts in a time of war are unconscionable, that our Vets are suffering as are their families. Obama looked McCain in the eye with confidence when he told McCain how often he’d been wrong and that the failed policy of preemptive war was costing us dearly.

But what we learned most of all in the past few days is that the Republican Party has offered us a certifiable Drama Queen who lies whenever it suits him. A man who can not defend the very policies he voted for over and over and over. A man with a trigger hair temper. A character bereft of any substance who instead demands the world pay attention to him moment by moment, rather than judgment by judgment. A man who believes he takes care of Veterans but doesn’t. A man who thought we could “muddle through” Afghanistan. A man who’s only solution is to start another war abroad and here at home, give more Tax Cuts to Corporations and the wealthiest among us.

McCain was over-scripted and clumsy.

Obama was faced with debating a liar. Not easy. But he was gracious, finding morsels of agreement in McCains assertions and then giving real examples of how McCain has been wrong and will be wrong as President of the United States. Obama was diplomatic, generous and statesmanlike. Obama was in a word PRESIDENTIAL.


Here’s what Kissinger said during the CNN forum with other secretaries of state at George Washington University:

“Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it. And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level so that we — we know we’re dealing with authentic,” Kissinger said.
“At a very high level right out of the box?” asked moderator Frank Sesno.

“Initially, yes,” Kissinger said. “And I always believed that the best way to begin a negotiation is to tell the other side exactly what you have in mind and what you are — what the outcome is that you’re trying to achieve so that they have something that they can react to. Now, the permanent members of the Security Council, plus Japan and Germany, have all said nuclear weapons in Iran are unacceptable. They’ve never explained what they mean by this. So if we go into a negotiation, we ought to have a clear understanding of what is it we’re trying to prevent. What is it going to do if we can’t achieve what we’re talking about?”

Kissinger then added, “But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations. We ought, however, to be very clear about the content of negotiations and work it out with other countries and with our own government.”

I voted not to send the Marines to Lebanon
McCain entered Congress in 1983. The Marines were sent to Lebanon in 1982
Washington Post Fact Checker blog: McCain “Seriously Misstated” Lebanon Vote. “McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.” [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

The $42,000 lie
Washington Post: McCain Repeats Lie That Obama Voted To Raise Taxes on Anyone Making More Than $42,000. “John McCain claimed that Obama voted in the Senate to raise taxes on anyone making more than $42,000 a year. This is misleading on several levels. The vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years. In fact, Obama has said that he will continue the Bush tax cuts for middle and low-income taxpayers. He says that he will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest tax-payers.” [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

Voting against the Troops
AP: McCain Repeats Troop Funding Lie. MCCAIN: McCain said Obama voted to cut off money for the troops in Iraq. THE FACTS: Despite opposing the war, Obama has, with one exception, voted for Iraq troop financing. In 2007, he voted against a troop funding bill because it did not contain language calling for a troop withdrawal. The Illinois senator backed another bill that had such language – and money for the troops.” [AP, 9/26/08:]
Homework for Monday, September 29, 2008

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