POST DEBATE ANALYSIS
Debates are probably not the best way to choose a President, but they are here to stay. While the ability to convince is an important skill for a president and a vice president, good skills of argument can mask extreme weaknesses of position. I think John McCain held his own, but he had SO many opportunities to deliver a punch that would have had major effect but chose to pull his punches. Why I do not know.
At least he did one of the suggestions I (and I'm sure many others) sent to him which was to bring up the fact that the Democrats have controlled congress the last two years. Boxers usually do not win a boxing match with a single punch. It takes a furious flurry of them - he should have led with that and then noted how this entire financial meltdown happened under the watch of the Democratic congress which resisted all calls to take action to avert it. He should have given a quickie civics lesson since a lot of people think the President runs everything. We have three branches of government. The Congress controls spending. He then could have decked Obama by noting that Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the House played politics with the bailout and then the Democratic-controlled Senate put over 150 BILLION dollars of spending on top of the $750,000,000, taking advantage of a national crisis to get funding they never could have gotten otherwise.
When Obama mentioned tax cuts, McCain should have asked him why he voted for EVERY tax increase and EVERY spending bill that ever came his way in the Senate. Why should Americans believe that you will act any differently once in office?
A lot of talk centered around Joe the plumber. His is actually a microbusiness. The Small Business Administration defines small businesses as including car dealers up to $27 million a year, many businesses with up to 100 employees. Your proposed new taxes, Mr. Obama, will be more than the profit margins of many of these critical companies where 80% of Americans work. Despite our economic problems, our unemployment has been relatively low. These companies will have to either raise prices, which will mean more jobs lost to foreign competition or more jobs lost due to insane tax policies. And then you will use those taxes to make more government jobs which often produce nothing! We got off this treadmill before with 20 million new jobs under Reagan. It is plain dumb to try what has never worked before in our country.
Speaking of jobs, we all want to see alternative energy sources. But look, I live in Arizona, in the heart of the sunbelt, and we are poised to become the "Persian Gulf" of solar. This won't work in the Pacific Northwest or other areas with heavy cloud cover. Wind works well in Oklahoma and in other wind tunnel area. Oil and natural gas is in abundance in Alaska and off our shores. We can and must have coordinated energy grids better using our nation's vast resources. Where I depart from you, Senator, is that all this does not happen overnight, and simply pouring billions into government programs to find solutions where there is no significant energy expertise makes little sense when we can incentivize our energy companies to drill offshore and develop alternatives. Private enterprise understands energy and has the expertise and resources to do it in a way that responds to the markets. Remember the Yugo? Americans do not want impractical and uncomfortable vehicles which some group of bureaucrats decides is good for them. GM has had great success with the hybrid Tahoe which meets the needs of many active American families in an efficient manner. In America, it must not be we/them" or "either/or" but "both/and".
On abortion, John McCain should have said "Talk is cheap, Barack. You are a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act which removes ALL restrictions ANYWHERE on abortion and forces taxpayers to fund what they know to be wrong." The LA Times says only 4% of Americans believe in totally unrestricted abortion, so over 9 out of 10 of those who say they plan to vote for you don't agree with you on that. There are severe differences in morality here, and my position reflects the huge advances in knowledge since Roe v. Wade was decided - they knew almost nothing about the pain that pre-born infants feel. You say you are against torture. All abortion, and especially partial birth abortion is truly torture and the American people need to know why you want torture against innocent preborn infants to be legal while working a bit aggressively against terrorists should be avoided at all costs.
You keep talking about the economy, but you don't seem to understand that morality and the economy are linked. Nations which fail to protect the vulnerable and those who refuse to have moral absolutes in every area of life have never succeeded. America has been successful because we combined moral goodness with economic freedom. We have worked to correct our glaring moral weaknesses of the past such as slavery and the unequal treatment of women. But many have been going backwards with ultra-violent movies and video games - the producers of which, almost universally support YOUR campaign. Many are trying to change the most fundamental relationship in the world - marriage - seeking to redefine it at their whim. These moral relativists are all in your corner, and you can keep their votes. What the undecided's should consider, though, it that you want to appoint judges who have NO moral absolutes, and who view our constitution as outdated and worthy of being changed by those who like to legislate from the bench. Not ALL change is good! Some CHANGE would be disastrous!
On the tone of the campaign, there have been unprecedented attacks on Sarah Palin that would be hate crimes. Many of your supporters have engaged in extreme vitriol about her that is baseless to anyone who has a brain. When they talked about her being gang-raped in New York, you were silent. While we are at it, you are silent about a lot. You are silent on your relationship with the Marxist Pedophile Frank Davis. You are silent about your cooperation with Bill Ayres in terms of trying to radicalize education. You are silent about how your campaign almost perfectly has mirrored Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" seeking a quiet socialist revolution. You are silent about the fact that you heard a racist sermon the first time you went to Jeremiah Wright's church. I could go on about Rashid Khali of the PLO who obviously believes that what Jesse Jackson said about lowering our support for Israel no matter what you say. And Louis Farrakhan would say "Amen" to that. Where there is smoke, there is fire, and someone with all the associations you have with shady and questionable characters makes me wonder how you would have sufficient judgment to decide which world leaders we can trust.
There is lots more, but you get the idea. If only... Oh well, maybe they will run some tougher ads... And some tougher speeches...