It’s all connected — energy and security

I wish CNN scored it more like a boxing match, rather than those weirdly compelling but still annoying dials they used on-screen at tonight’s Debate at Ole Miss. They could have scored each question as a round. I think the only 10-8 round came when Obama made the most important point of the night — and I wish people would hammer this more often, including Obama — that linked the energy crisis with the War and the economy. It came way at the end of the question about Russia, but continued on his earlier point on energy dependence and “starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel, making sure that we’re developing the fuel-efficient cars of the future right here in the United States, in Ohio and Michigan, instead of Japan and South Korea.” Obama said:

We’ve got to walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it comes to energy independence, because this is probably going to be just as vital for our economy and the pain that people are feeling at the pump — and, you know, winter’s coming and home heating oil — as it is our national security and the issue of climate change that’s so important.

I also think Obama scored well with his key economic retort to McCain’s solution of seemingly blindly slashing spending was: “The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.” Obama then cited early childhood education, as an example of something that should not be frozen (and is actually underfunded), whereas the only untouchable spending for McCain was defense and Veteran funding. You can’t argue Veteran funding, but how can you not defend early education in an era when our nation’s children, particularly in the inner cities, are merely trying to survive rather than learn?

The other important point Obama made was that we need to re-establish our World standing to get things done. Good luck with McCain’s League of Democracies — which will what, cut the UN and NATO out of the picture? Even most of the World’s Democracies don’t like us very much these days — how are we going to get France, which McCain cited, to agree with us and follow our lead on anything? It’s not the Reagan Years anymore. The World has changed. So has the World’s perception of us.

Despite McCain’s constant refrain of “Obama doesn’t understand,” his continuing lies about Obama’s position on individual taxes, and his attempt to use a “liberal-voting record” as a dirty phrase, you had to call this, at a minimum, a majority draw, with Obama winning on the third card, if not a split decision or better for Obama.

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