Thursday, June 28, 2007

Democrats Debate on PBS: Eloquent But Not Much Debate

The best moment of tonight's Democratic Presidential Debate on PBS came at the very beginning, as all candidates were eloguent in their outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision today permitting racial segregation in college residential housing. A half-century after the High Court, under Republican Earl Warren, ended segregation in the schools, today's Supreme Court Republican majority is working hard to undo it. I've been saying since 2000, when the Supreme Court stopped the recount on Florida, that the long range results of that benighted court decision would be to continue the benighted majority on the Court.

It was very fitting, then, that the debate took place at Howard University, the historic African-American university in Washington, DC.

Otherwise, the debate was so collegial as to be boring. Important issues such as the high rates of AIDS in African-American women were also raised, but just about every candidate agreed wholeheartedly with every other candidate's replies. Edwards, Hillary, and Obama were especially powerful on the health issues, but this kind of party unity made for dull television. Well, there are more important things in this world than riveting debates on TV.

Even humor was a little scarce tonight. The highlights in that domain were Obama clarifying Biden's remark that the two were tested for AIDS - Obama explaining that he had been tested with his wife, Michelle, not with Biden - and a jab at poor Paris Hilton and her media exposure by debate moderator Tavis Smiley, picked up by Hillary.

Lots more debating on television. In the end, of course, the real debate will be not between Democrats or between Republicans, but from Democrats versus the party that brought us this retrograde Supreme Court decision today.
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