Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Debates

Which I missed entirely. The Great YouTube Debate has passed and I read about it in the papers this morning.

The tone of the press coverage is godawful condescending. "Cute little natives, see how GOOD they are at diving for a quarter?" But that's ok. The questions seem to be considerably better and more challenging than the tripe that Official Punditry offers during a debate.

One thing I noticed. One of the questioners asked, "Would you do the job of President for $5.45 an hour?" Everyone but Dodd said, "yes."

1) We should hold them to it.

2) The right answer, you morons, is "Nope. NOBODY should have to work for $5.45 an hour."

That was a gopher ball just waiting to be hit, and every one of them missed it.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript.

See the comments for RSDaniel telling me that my characterization wasn't completely fair.

2 comments:

RSDaniel said...

When I followed the link, I couldn't find the specific moment to which you refer. (I probably could if I took more time.) But I think they did a little better than you indicate.

My memory may be faulty, but I seem to recall one of the candidates saying that we should be talking about a living wage rather than a minimum wage. Another, Sen Obama, I think, pointed out that they (the candidates) could afford to live on the minimum wage because they had already done pretty well, by which he meant that to say they could was meaningless. Someone else said that, yes, they could do it if they also had a good part time job.

Not to be argumentative, but I just thought they did a little better.

Iggy said...

Why would you not want to be argumentative?

Actually, your memory is correct, at least as far as Obama. Here's the transcript, which I'll add to the post.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2007-07-19-debate-transcript_N.htm?csp=34

Here's the exchange:

QUESTION: Hi. I'm Cecilla Smith. And I'm Asanti Wilkins. And we're from Pennsylvania, and my question is to all the candidates, and it's regarding the national minimum wage. Congress seems to never have a problem when it comes time to give themselves a raise. But when it came time to increase the minimum wage, they had a problem. My question to the candidates: If you're elected to serve, would you be willing to do this service for the next four years and be paid the national minimum wage?

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: So, it's pretty simple, yes or no. Minimum wage, by the way, goes up tomorrow to $6.55. In 2009, it will be $7.25.

Senator Gravel, would you work for the minimum wage?

GRAVEL: Oh, yes, I would, but I would say that we don't need a minimum wage; we need a living wage. We don't have that in this country because of what they passed.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Dodd, would you work for the minimum wage?

DODD: I have two young daughters who I'm trying to educate them. I don't think I could live on the minimum wage, but I'm a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10 to give people a chance out there to be able to provide for their families.

COOPER: Senator Edwards?

DODD: That's leadership in the country.

COOPER: Senator Edwards?

EDWARDS: Yes.

COOPER: Yes.

Senator Clinton?

CLINTON: Sure.

Senator Obama?

OBAMA: Well, we can afford to work for the minimum wage because most folks on this stage have a lot of money. It's the folks...

(APPLAUSE)

... on that screen who deserve — you're doing all right, Chris, compared to, I promise you, the folks who are on that screen.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

DODD: Not that well, I'll tell you, Barack.

OBAMA: I mean, we don't have — we don't have Mitt Romney money, but...

(LAUGHTER)

But we could afford to do it for a few years. Most folks can't. And that's why we've got to fight and advocate for...

COOPER: Governor — Governor Richardson, yes?

RICHARDSON: Yes, I would.

COOPER: OK.

Senator Biden?

BIDEN: I don't have Barack Obama money either.

(LAUGHTER)

My net worth is $70,000 to $150,000. That's what happens you get elected at 29. I couldn't afford to stay in the Congress for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, I'd do it.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Congressman Kucinich?

KUCINICH: Anderson, I live in the same house I purchased in 1971 for $22,500. I think we need to increase the minimum wage and so all my neighbors can get an increase in their wages.

COOPER: So would you work for it?

KUCINICH: I would.

COOPER: OK.

KUCINICH: But I wouldn't want to...

COOPER: By the way, you'd all get overtime, too. So don't worry about that.

(LAUGHTER)