Senate debate musings

*** Kennedy: “We’re in the first war in the information age.” Now I have to figure out when “the information age” started. Because we were in the war in Bosnia. We were in a war in Iraq-Kuwait. We were in Somalia. Oh, and there’s that Afghanistan thing. According to Wikipedia,

‘Information Age’ is a name given to a period after the industrial age and before the Knowledge Economy. Information Age is a term applied to the period where movement of information became faster than physical movement, more narrowly applying to the 1980s onward.

I’ll be darned.

*** OK, nobody’s paying attention to Robert Fitzgerald, so I will. If I had this guy’s poise when I was his age, I could’ve made something of myself. And now back to our debate. He’s not likely to win this race, but he’s got a heck of a political career ahead of him. Can he have it while a member of a third party?

*** New word: “Filibusting’

*** The story of Gus the freakin’ bus? C’mon, Ms. Klobuchar. That’s the one question you’ve been dying to ask an opponent?

*** I don’t think any of these candidates has been surprised by a question yet. I’m trying to think of one I’d ask if I were on the panel, aside from a few personal favorite political issues that nobody ever speaks to on a campaign. So I think I’d go with “what’s your favorite movie?” Maybe one of the candidates would answer “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” in which case, this campaign would officially be over.

*** OK, there’s a new one for my record-book. The first candidate I’ve ever heard refer us to read something in “Rolling Stone.” Reminds me of the time Bill Weld, when he was governor of Massachusetts, told us he knew all the lyrics to every “Rolling Stones” song… and then proceeded to prove it.

*** Debbie Kennedy made a beeline to the stage to stand by her husband as the debate was closing. Planned? Oh, heck, yeah. The cameras were able to capture it before going to Desperate Housewives, but I don’t know if it was enough to make the point — whatever the point was supposed to be.

Man, I’m glad I’m not a reporter having to write the story on this one. As near as I can tell, nobody scored with the “money shot,” the one line that becomes the lead on every newscast.

But I’m going to the Rolling Stone Web site now.

  • Hey, I’m a Mark Kennedy backer 100%. And I’m impressed with Robert Fitzgerald personally too. Thing is, I don’t agree with his politics. And every time he speaks about policy, I’m reminded of that. But he’s a great guy.

  • MB

    I agree with your assessment, right off the bad, that Robert Fitzgerald just nailed Kennedy to the wall with the first question, whatever gain he needed to make with his strategy on concentrating on Iraq in the last days. Kennedy blew it, and Fitz finished him off. Aklo needs to thank the IP guy. But I believe she did that thank you by giving him a soft ball question about Gus the Bus.

  • bsimon

    I enjoyed several Fitzgerald points, but I’m biased, as I’m voting for him. 1) “I don’t see the connection there, Congressman;” in response to Kennedy tying an Iraq question to crime in Minneapolis, and 2) as recounted above; regarding the Iraq debate ‘invitation.’

  • Graham Martin

    What that debate did for me was make me realize the insanity that lies within Ms. Klobuchar.

    Initially, I was all set to vote for her because she doesn’t seem nearly as underhanded as Mr. Kennedy, and I thought her positions on a number of issues generally aligned with mine. Boy was I wrong!

    She’s done a decent job of picking up on a lot of the general Democrat principles, but (in my opinion) leaves out the most important part: genuinely and generally caring about people. It is absolutely astounding to me that xenophobia is so strong in this country that even a good number of liberal democrats are voting in favor of a giant fence between us and Mexico.

    With Ms. Klobuchar revealing last night that on issues of caring for individuals she is on the same page as Mr. Kennedy, she shifted my vote from her to Mr. Fitgerald–absolutely.

    Also: does anyone know why Mr. Kennedy thinks that the Line Item Veto will be constitutional this time around when it wasn’t when passed during the Clinton era? Isn’t this just trying to make another legislative concession to the supreme ultimate power of Darth W. Vader?

  • Is there a transcript around anywhere of this?

  • Chris

    That’s the left: they’re the easiest people on earth to disillusion.

    I don’t like her stance on the fence either, nor do I like her stance on Iran or the Lebanon-Israeli conflict this summer.

    That doesn’t stop me, however, from being able to tell the difference between Kennedy and Klobuchar holding a U.S. Senate seat, or the balance of power in the Senate resting in GOP or Democratic hands.

  • Graham Martin


    Are you talking about me being easy to disillusion, or someone else? I thought this forum was about political discussion, not insulting the contributors.

    Your point also brings me to another thing I have been thinking about a lot lately, which is people being so concerned with the balance of power in various congressional bodies.

    Isn’t the point of voting to vote for the best candidate–the one who will do his or her best to listen to the constituents that elected that person, and then represent those people to the utmost in the legislative body? It seems to me that point was lost a while ago and no one has really thought about it…or at least considered it important.

    I have written to almost every candidate for whom I can vote this year, and other than the Independence Party candidates, to a one they were unable to pay enough attention to what I had to say to be able to craft a response that did not directly contradict the concern I had.

    So is representative democracy dead? All we have left to look forward to is voting for the least bad candidate?

    Shouldn’t we instead be voting for those people who will best represent us by being the best listeners and the most concerned about their constituents? If everyone voted for those people, it wouldn’t matter what the balance of power is; everyone there would be working so well that things would work out fine.