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Between McCain channeling her on HOLC and Obama channeling her on health care and energy, and the fact that she’s goddamned Hillary Rodham Clinton, I declare the junior Senator from New York the winner of last night’s presidential debate.

Those yahoos on the stage? Mere pretenders to the throne.

edit: Heh. masslib seems to agree with me. Mindmeld!

Here’s a little roundup of my weekend reading; first, via PunkAssBlog:

Worst part of the whole debate:

Jim Lehrer’s first question: “Gentlemen, at this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?”

(Candidates each speak for several minutes, demonstrating remarkable ability to discuss their tax and spending platforms without once touching on the financial recovery plan.)

Jim Lehrer’s next question: “All right, let’s go back to my question. How do you all stand on the recovery plan? And talk to each other about it. We’ve got five minutes. We can negotiate a deal right here.”

(Candidates further demonstrate ability to say nothing to the point and also refuse, even when point-blank instructed by Lehrer, to speak to each other.)

Jim Lehrer’s next try: “All right, let’s go to the next lead question, which is essentially following up on this same subject. And you get two minutes to begin with, Senator McCain. And using your word “fundamental,” are there fundamental differences between your approach and Senator Obama’s approach to what you would do as president to lead this country out of the financial crisis?”

(Candidates argue about the differences between their tax and spending platforms. Neither apparently has any idea that we are even having a financial crisis.)

Over at the NYTimes, Krugman asks, “Where are the grown-ups?

So the grown-up thing is to do something to rescue the financial system. The big question is, are there any grown-ups around — and will they be able to take charge?

Via Gawker, Stewart and Colbert pontificate on the state of national discourse:

Can any [politician] break through this mess?
STEWART: I worry that those people are there, but we won’t recognize them — or we’ll destroy them so thoroughly that their voice won’t be heard. I just imagine Lincoln out there, and people throwing the gay stuff at him. ”And what about depression running in his family?”

Emphasis mine. I don’t know about Lincoln, but I certainly think we have an FDR for the 21st century kicking around, and she’s hiding in plain sight – though no one’s listening to her. Well, some are:

Unlike the current leadership of the Democratic Party, who are simply bouncing off the Bush proposal like pinballs, accepting the basic terms of the deal and trying to beef up some goodies to help with the November election, Hillary is presenting a vision of what a Democratic economic plan should do. It is not pandering for votes though it is very aware of the needs of constituents found from rural backwaters to Manhattan skyscapers. She may have details wrong, but it is not for lack of trying. It is a commitment to use power to make institutions serve public good before private greed.

This is and is not a different person than I saw this time last year when the primary contests revved up. Hillary has always been someone willing to dare to do great things, but the primaries -brutal, rigged, stacked against her as a person in a way I have never seen in 30 years of politics – appear to have scoured her clean of any hesitancy or defensiveness that formerly attended her attempts at great works. Maybe it was seeing the people who needed her to be their advocate. Maybe it was understanding the depth of respect and trust so many of us have in her after the decades of public abuse. Maybe it was knowing that there is nothing for her to lose by simply doing what is right.

Whatever the reason, there is a clear and unwavering voice who makes clear the difference between those who want to play politics and those who want to use it for the public good. It is a political philosophy comfortable with making life better and more secure for ordinary people.

(Rumour has it that, now, that doomed bill is headed to the Senate. If true, here’s hoping HRC can get her hands on a louder mic. Fingers crossed.)

No postiness for awhile – I was away all weekend for an event in my hometown, and halfway through the weekend, my only two-year-old Vaio went kaput for the second time – and this time it wasn’t under warranty. After hearing that parts and labour would likely cost upwards of $300, I decided to cut my losses, and not an hour ago, I purchased zees, a Studio 17 from Dell:

Shiny!

Shiny!

In red.

Shexay!

Shexay!

As a bonus with my purchase, I got a deal on a Creative Zen media player, which is – I think – the mobile-video device I’ve been looking for forever:

So teeny!

So teeny!

Mama likes her toys. Yes, she does.

But lots of stuff happened this weekend/early this week! And I don’t want it to pass by unnoticed. And so, what Astraea and Melissa said.

Via Melissa McEwan (as per usual), Clinton chats with the Philadelphia Gay News, where she said stuff like:

Even states that have civil unions, domestic partnerships or even marriage laws are running into roadblocks with the federal government when it comes to federal benefits and privileges. …And we will try to eliminate all of that discrimination. I think we will have a good argument, ironically, because I think we can say, look, the states are making determinations about extending rights to same-sex couples in various forms and the federal government should recognize that and should extend the same access to federal benefits across the board. I will very much work to achieve that.

She also talked about how LGBT kids are at risk, and how she wishes to make global gay rights a part of foreign policy.

And, I agree with Shakes – this is the part that got me:

At the end of the interview, PGN asked her if she would still speak with them if she becomes the Democratic nominee. Hillary replied: “Absolutely, and I’ll speak to you as president.”

Rock the FUCK on. But as usual, I have complete faith in the American people to dismiss a wonderful candidate for bullshit reasons, only to have their great candidate SwiftBoated in the final moments, and oh, hello President McCain.

(Oh, and btw, this is the sort of example that crops up that illustrates why it drives me UP THE WALL when Hillary gets painted with the brush of Bill’s stuff, such as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, because she was married to him when he enacted it, and people start screeching that if she wants to claim that she has political experience in Washington she has to take responsibility for everything he did. Like, I’m sorry this has to be spelled out, but… they are different people. I remember when I was dating a So-Called Liberal White Dude and he went on some rant about what a fabulous idea it would be if Canada made military service compulsory because it would, like, “engender patriotism” or some such bullshit, and I was all, “Um, no, compulsory military service goes against the basic tenets of a free democracy based on the rights of the individual as it compels citizens to sacrifice their bodily integrity for the state against their will” and he was all “Switzerland and Israel are democracies and THEY do it!” and I was all “Well, Switzerland was a politically neutral state surrounded by nations that were incessantly warring around their borders and Israel is a Jewish state surrounded by rabid anti-Zionists, so they’re sort of special circumstances and are not the norm in any way”, and he was all “WELL I THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA BECAUSE PEOPLE TAKE THEIR FREEDOM FOR GRANTED” and I was all “WELL THAT’S FABULOUS EXCEPT THAT GOVERNMENTS CAN’T TAKE PEOPLE’S FREEDOMS AWAY FROM THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT GODDAMN GRATEFUL ENOUGH, WE ARE NOT FASCISTS NOR COMMUNISTS!” and, anyway, my point is that two adults can disagree on certain policy matters, though ultimately the guy who’s wearing the “I’m President, Ask Me How!” pin is the one who gets to make the final policy decisions – but it doesn’t mean that he didn’t discuss it with her, or talk to her about how he managed to get the policies past Congress, etc. Therefore I don’t find it at all hard to accept both that Hillary claims experience as the First Lady, but that she didn’t agree with everything her husband did, because I believe in two things: 1) women have independent agency, and that 2) not only did she get a front-row seat, and did more in the role of First Lady than all before her (or since), but I also value so-called “soft” diplomacy – the kind that First Ladies engage in – as an integral part of the political process and not to be dismissed just because women do it.

But maybe that’s just me.)

PS: “Barack Obama and John McCain declined to be interviewed.”