[Debate tonight from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (ET) on MSNBC. Join us tonight for our usual lively discussion of the debate.]
There is a Democratic Party debate tonight. Hillary will represent the Democratic Party and its values at the debate.
As regular readers know we have made the argument that MSNBC and NBC are already at war with the Hillary Clinton campaign and therefore Hillary should NOT participlate in NBC or MSNBC debates.
Our counsel against enabling NBC/MSNBC was not taken. The debate will take place tonight in Ohio at Cleveland State University as scheduled.
In the past few days Hillary has been drawing clearer contrasts with the flim flam man.
On health care Hillary has been drawing the distinction between her Universal health care plan in which every American is covered and Obama’s plan which leaves out 15 million Americans. The argument for Hillary to make is not one of detail distinctions but rather the broader argument that, like Social Security, the only way for a universal health care plan to work is for everyone to participate in the plan. Americans understand the concept of universal participation in risks and costs. The Hillary plan is the “unity” plan in which we are all in it together. That is the argument which must be made.
On leadership Hillary has drawn the line clearly linking Obama (whose Senate mentor was Joe Lieberman) style “leadership” and history to George Bush:
Over the past seven years, we’ve seen what happens when the president presents the American people with a series of false choices and then is indifferent about the consequences: force versus diplomacy, unilateralism versus multilateralism, hard power versus soft. We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security. We can’t let that happen again. America has already taken that chance— one time too many. [snip]
One thing the American people can be sure of, I will not broadcast threats of unilateral military action against a country like Pakistan just to demonstrate that I am tough enough for the job. We have to change our tone and change our course. [snip]
Senator Obama, meanwhile, represents another choice. He wavers from seeming to believe that mediation and meetings without preconditions can solve the world’s most intractable problems. To advocating rash unilateral military action without cooperation from our allies in the most sensitive region of the world.
Electing a president should not be an either/or proposition when it comes to national security. We need a president who knows how to deploy both the olive branch and the arrows, who will be ready to act swiftly and decisively in a crisis, who will pursue strategic demands of hard diplomacy to re-establish moral authority and our leadership. In this moment of peril and promise, we need a president who is tested and ready, who can draw on years of real world experience working on many of the issues that we now confront, who knows when to stand ones ground and when to seek common ground, who has the strength and fortitude to meet the challenges head on without fear and without sowing fear.
Another overarching theme that should be bought to the public attention is that Obama is never there when you need him. Whether on his “present” votes, skipping out on the Kyle-Lieberman vote, the contradictions between the Obama rhetoric and the Obama vote history which substitutes words for action, or Obama’s failure to represent his constitutents as a State Senator, Obama is never there when you need him.
Obama’s talk of unity and divisive activity will likely not be explored tonight. Obama’s exploitation of anti-gay bigotry in South Carolina and willingness to pit African-Americans against Gay Americans for his own political benefit will likely not be explored. Young voters will not be informed of Obama’s dirty dealings against Gay Americans.
The moderators will surely not ask Obama about the pending Rezko trial and the daily revelations as the trial approaches. Be sure that the latest news on the Rezko front will never arise in the MSNBC debate, even as Republicans and McCain sharpen their knives and forks:
The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.
A company related to Mr Auchi, who has a conviction for corruption in France, registered the loan to Mr Obama’s bagman Antoin “Tony” Rezko on May 23 2005. Mr Auchi says the loan, through the Panamanian company Fintrade Services SA, was for $3.5 million.
Three weeks later, Mr Obama bought a house on the city’s South Side while Mr Rezko’s wife bought the garden plot next door from the same seller on the same day, June 15.
Mr Obama says he never used Mrs Rezko’s still-empty lot, which could only be accessed through his property. But he admits he paid his gardener to mow the lawn.
Mrs Rezko, whose husband was widely known to be under investigation at the time, went on to sell a 10-foot strip of her property to Mr Obama seven months later so he could enjoy a bigger garden.
Mr Obama now admits his involvement in this land deal was a “boneheaded mistake”.
Mrs Rezko’s purchase and sale of the land to Mr Obama raises many unanswered questions.
It is unclear how Mrs Rezko could have afforded the downpayment of $125,000 and a $500,000 mortgage for the original $625,000 purchase of the garden plot at 5050 South Greenwood Ave.
In a sworn statement a year later, Mrs Rezko said she got by on a salary of $37,000 and had $35,000 assets. Mr Rezko told a court he had “no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations.”
Mrs Rezko, whose husband goes on trial on unrelated corruption charges in Chicago on March 3, refused to answer questions to The Times.
Like the emperor in the fairy tale, this Big Media Messiah has no clothes. But you won’t hear that on MSNBC tonight. There will be no questions about the Obama bubble and the flim flammery he represents so well.