I came away from the Democratic debate reminded again (after a seven year drought) of how refreshing it is to hear people who speak with knowledge and thoughtfulness about complex issues. Sure, they were also using buzz words and spin and the shorthand of political rhetoric to some degree … but their command of facts and their thoughtfulness about the issues was clear – and in stark contrast to the shrill and slightly hysterical cacaphony that is the Republican slate of candidates.
There is a whole lot of substance among the Democrats remaining. It is reflective of the sad state our political discourse has fallen into that I feel compelled to repeat that they (with the occasional exception of Bill Richardson) spoke in complete and logical sentences and were able to use words like perpetuity and excoriate correctly in those sentences! Amazing! We actually witnessed a debate that wasn’t reduced to black and white, good and evil, us and them rhetoric from the get go. Ideas were discussed and it was occasionally necessary to use larger-than-normal words to get points across. Wow – I can only imagine the puzzled look on Bush’s face as he listened … but then again, he probably wasn’t listening – relying instead on his staff to boil it down into comprehensible bits and brief him in the morning.
It is unfortunate that after the debate the on-the-spot pundits (very much like Bush’s handlers) find it necessary to reduce it all to buzzwords again. I think last night it was change versus experience or some such construction, that the entire evening was boiled down to by our helpful commentators. Let the voters deconstruct the debate themselves! Here in the Granite State we don’t need your help to figure out what to think or what we’re seeing.