November 04, 2003


i half-heartedly listened to tonight's democratic debate in boston on cnn radio (in glorious 16kbps mono, whee!). at this point, until people start to drop out and the candidates can actually flesh out their answers without having to worry about the all-dreaded buzzer after a minute, the rest of these debates seem a bit pointless.

well, for me, anyway. since i've watched or listened to every single one so far, i know all of the talking points. i know what the candidates are going to say. i know who is probably going to take a shot at the frontrunner. i'm happy they're having this many, because that gives people a better chance of catching these things, but for a political junkie like myself, there aren't really any surprises.

like the whole dean confederate flag issue. non-issue, i should say, since he actually used that line earlier this year in a speech where he also defended affirmative action. and so the (predictible) attacks came. his whole point was that the gop's southern strategy (eg. race-baiting) had garnered absolutely nothing for those working families at which it was aimed. his big problem in his rebuttal was to give his 'come together' soundbite without stating that he thought the confederate flag was a deplorable symbol. he did, after like the third go-around, and i think he was a bit taken aback that he was even being asked if he thought that or not.

all's fair in politics, natch.

i remember seeing him give that speech on cspan (i think it was the big ass dnc event) and going, 'uh-oh, confedate flag, wah?' and then everybody clapped. and i was relieved, since it was apparent then that people understood what he was saying and not, 'oh, good lord, he's a racist!'

but, of course tonight, they took the soundbite and ran with it, out of context. and dean really should have been quicker to respond, which is where his bruce banner persona tends to fumble. he wants to keep everything more toned down, not do a lou ferigno, so he meanders a bit, and people are just going to jump right back in. by the time he actually says that he doesn't support the confederate flag, there's already been a couple of 'i know you're not a bigot, howard, but...' lines thrown about.

i was surprised he used the line the first time, and it seems that the people it would turn off most (besides other contenders for the crown and their supporters looking for a cheap shot) would be... white southerners who don't want to be stereotyped with their less than reputable cousins. that, too, misses the point he was trying to get across, but in this day of repeated soundbites in the echo chamber, it wasn't exactly the most politically savvy language to use.

points off to dean, though, for using an old shamen song for his 30-second campaign ad. and don't even think about using 'move any mountain' for anything.

and who knew clark liked outkast?

Posted by kilgore at November 4, 2003 10:05 PM | TrackBack
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