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A "steady hand on the tiller" is not what we saw or heard from 72 year old John McCain last night in the second of three scheduled presidential debates with Barack Obama.
From health care proposals to Pakistan, the Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, not only offered clear plans about what he would do if elected, but he also pointed out why McCain's judgment on many of those matters should be called into question.
On the troubled American economy, Obama placed the responsibility on Reagan era trickle down voodoo economics....that rewards the wealthiest in the hopes that some of that reward will eventually trickle down to the rest of us. Obama made it clear that McCain and his political party have been for deregulating everything....privatizing everything...so much so, that now, the entire house of "trust me" cards has collapsed in on itself.
On energy Obama pointed out that John McCain has voted against alternative energy bills 23 times. The Illinois Senator reminded Americans, especially those clinging to simplistic slogans like, "drill, baby, drill"...that the U.S. has only 3% of world oil reserves and yet we use 25% of the world's oil. A math problem that can't and won't be solved by drilling.
McCain scolded Obama on Iraq saying that Obama simply didn't understand.....that Obama was wrong about the "surge" and about the Russian-Georgian situation. Obama responded by saying he didn't understand alright...he didn't understand why Bush and McCain left Bin Laden and al-Qaeda as unfinished business while marching to Baghdad.
On Pakistan, McCain accused Obama of talking too loudly about attacking the northwest territories. Obama quickly reminded viewers that he never called for an attack on Pakistan, that McCain had spoken loudly singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran" and even louder still when McCain announced "next stop, Baghdad", shortly after 9-11. Obama also stated that the reason Pakistan was troublesome was because the Afghanistan job of eliminating al-Qaeda was never finished by the current GOP administration.
Is health care for Americans a privilege, a right or a responsibility? McCain said it was a responsibility....whose responsibility was never fully answered. Obama said health care was a right. Obama exposed McCain's health care plan pointing out that it would unravel employer sponsored plans, place even more people on the rolls of the uninsured, tax current health benefits and benefit insurance companies who could continue to game the system.
McCain insisted that a president Obama would raise taxes on small business. Obama responded that a very small percentage of small business owners made $250,000 or more per year and that 95% of American workers would receive a tax cut under his administration. The straight talk express, Obama quipped, must have lost a wheel. At the same time Obama pointed out that McCain's plan would hand out $300 billion in tax cuts for corporations while offering nothing for average working Americans. Something Obama said simply wasn't fair.
John McCain's time has come and gone. In these first two debates with Barack Obama, John McCain has demonstrated that his ideas are old and outdated. It's not that McCain is a bad guy....it's that McCain is not the guy to lead our country.....especially not now.
The score is Barack 2....John 0....with one debate to go.