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  1. Matthew,
    Outstanding piece, especially when stacked up next to the David Brooks piece on the exact same topic that ran in this morning’s New York Times. Since you couldn’t know Brooks’ op-ed was coming, the comparison is all the more amusing. And there’s nothing wrong with what Brooks has to say. He makes some observations that are quite correct. But after making them he straddles the fence, in essence saying “it is what it is.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/18/opinion/18brooks.html
    You took things to the next level by opining that things would be better if we rose above the status quo.

  2. When I’ve been able to force myself to suffer through some of the “debates” I find no candiate with an indepth and studied knowledge of the national/global issues. I don’t think any of them passed history in school. In the beauty verse substance contest David Kucinich comes out on top, but the national press has deemed him too short and too ugly to deserve such a beautiful wife – so heck he couldn’t make a good Pres. And Fox News (Bush News Network) recently barred Ron Paul from a Repug. debate. I guess his ideas were too dangerous for national viewing.
    But why would you expect our candidates to be able to explain complex issues to an electorate that doesn’t know or care about what goes on in their own county let alone the rest of the world. And I don’t think in TV Clicker Nation there is enough attention span past the sound bites to be able to hang in there long enough to learn something they don’t want to hear anyway – “The truth, you can’t handle the truth”. But this is always how elections are run. In Canada it’s pretty much the same except Canadians seem to have a better world view and more of a “WE” not “ME” attitude.
    Not only does a candidate have to understand the issues they have to be able to navigate politics more. When Bush was first running for Pres. a group I was discussing the race with recognized he was an idiot but they liked the Republican stance and so hoped he had enough sense to appoint competent people to important positions – we can see how that worked.
    I still say that until we do away with the monied politician for hire system we have we will get the candidates and policies we deserve.

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