The Corner

Sorry Spectacle

I watched the Democratic debate last night. Wow, what an awful show. First of all, too many candidates. They should really cut it down.

Second, what a fact-free environment. John Edwards, when confronted with the fact he helped write the Patriot Act, more or less shifted his position to say that there was nothing really wrong with the act itself, it’s just that the Attorney General has absued his discretion many times. Not only is this a serious change in tune, it’s fairly detached from reality since nobody’s been able to point to any serious abuses under the Patriot Act, by Ashcroft or by anybody else.

Gephardt and Clark both dodged questions by announcing it’s outrageous to question the patriotism of those who criticize the administration. Um, that’s fine. But A) What does that have to do with anything and B) When did that actually happen?

Dean accused Kerry of using “Bush’s numbers” to say that a repeal of the Bush tax cuts would result in a tax hike for the middle class. Fortunately, Kerry was quick to respond that he was using numbers from the Brookings Institution.

Oh yeah, Edwards talked about how great his campaign was going in the classic “‘tis but a flesh wound style.”

All in all, Sharpton and Kucinich came out the best because their stature was actually elevated simply by being there. Impressively, Braun managed to stand-out as an inadequacy even in that setting. Everybody else was diminished by the spectacle. Karl Rove must have been delighted.

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