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Tonight I watched the Democratic debate and was pleasantly surprised. The point of the CNN/You-Tube debates was to get more direct participation in the debate process. Boy…that was an understatement! Kudos to Anderson Cooper, who really held the candidates’ feet to the fire over some of those issues. I feel like I have MUCH better understanding of the differences between the candidates. Yeah…there was plenty of George Bush attacks, which was to be expected, but you did see the clash between the candidates…whether they pointed it out themselves or Sen. Mike Gravel called them out on it.😉

That said, here are some quick thoughts on some of the candidates and the issues, and a few warnings to the Republicans.

Joe Biden gets it on Iraq. It would take us a full year to pull out. He has the balls to say it. Hillary and Barak don’t…and they are willing to spew the rhetoric just to appease their lefty anti-war voters. Intelligent and educated voters who understand how things work who also oppose the war should vote for Biden. Sustainable operational withdrawal timelines are NOT political “games”, like too many Americans think…and too many Senators as well.

Bill Richardsen gets it on the gays. He supports total equality for marriage. Obama and Clinton double-talked. They both want and need the gay vote (and more importantly the gay money), but are afraid of alienating “traditional values” voters. Two weeks ago, Edwards’ wife publicly broke w/ John and came out in support of gay marriage. Edwards turned that lemon into some great lemonade when he broke wide open his hang-ups… and in the process shows what the rest of the candidates won’t. I give him kudos for that. He’s struggling with the issue. I want to see my candidates struggle with issues, because most of America is struggling with this issue too. Americans aren’t comfortable with gay marriage. Back in the 1950’s America also wasn’t comfortable with integration…and in the 1930’s America wasn’t comfortable with inter-racial marriage. And the pastor who called out Edwards on using his religion as an excuse to continue discrimination only highlighted that point. And Edwards responded VERY well.

Republicans: Take a note from Edwards – it’s OK to have faith and have convictions, but it’s NOT OK to oppress others with your faith and convictions. That’s basically the mainstream of America right now. The James Dobson/Jerry Falwell model of “if this is what I believe, then everybody else should live by it too” model is not mainstream…nor is it right.

Obama looks forward…Clinton looks behind. When I practice yoga, if I look too far ahead, I fall over. If I look too far behind, I fall over. Candidates – look at the here in now…plan for the future, use the past as a guide, all in the best hopes of making the current society a better place.

I like Chris Dodd and Biden…they get that statecraft and policy are fine instruments…Hillary kinda gets it…Obama and Kucinich just use it as a blunt club. I literally almost had an orgasm when I heard the word “statecraft” and “nation-building” used.

I’m not even going to get into the discussion on health care. The whole debate can be summarized in two words: socialized medicine (mascaraing as “universal coverage”). Makes me want to vomit. Yeah…we have a federally run health-care system…its called the VA and Medicare…and we see how well THAT works. More on that another time.

Chris Dodd – I like the idea of national service. I think America has lost a lot a sense of commitment to our values and morals that make us a nation. I would have seriously considered a career in the military…or even just a limited amount of service for a few years to give something back to the nation that has provided me so much (but I can’t because I’m gay). Hillary said that we need to get young people back into public service. They only way its going to happen is if its mandatory – because volunteerism has to compete against Nintendo, and civics isn’t a very well taught subject in schools today as we all know.

If a Dem was going to win, who could I live with? Dodd or Biden.

Former US Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK is an angry man, but totally called out the candidates on their special interest habits. He needs to calm down and stop yelling.

Richardson was unhinged…and divulged the most…and did the best. I feel like I know him better…and I think that’s what counts.

The point of this debate was to provide a more interactive forum for voters to communicate their concerns to the candidates and have them respond. The point of this debate was achieved, and I think we’re going to see more of this. I’m really looking forward to the Republican Debate on September 19th in St. Petersburg, FL.

One warning to the Republicans – I’m not a “Kool-Aid” drinker, and I don’t believe that either Party has a lock on leadership in this country. The Democrats, in all of their idiocy and double talk, are MUCH more in touch with the immediate emotions of this nation. And if the Republican Party doesn’t pull itself out of the hole (aka: the years of 2004-2006) in the next few months and come up with a real platform beyond hating gay people, brown people, and invading Iran, than we’re going to be MAJORLY screwed with Democratic majorities in the House, Senate and a ‘tax-my-big-white-ass-to-heaven’ Democrat in the Whitehouse.

Republican Party – I’m putting you on notice. Get it together – NOW.