I listened to the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama last night and, from looking around, see that there’s quite a bit of umbrage at it in the Left Blogosphere this morning. I found the event banal, as all of these events have been.
There were a small number of interesting points which I suspect will go unnoted in the din. First, Sens. Clinton and Obama used different definitions of the middle class in answer to Charlie Gibson’s attempt to extract from them a no new taxes on the middle class from them. Hillary Clinton defined the middle class as families earning an income lower than $250,000, a definition with which I’d agree. Basically, that’s all but the top 1% of income earners. Sen. Obama’s definition was families earning an income below $75,000. I think that’s an extremely narrow definition. It doesn’t even include all of the fourth quintile who to me are obviously middle class.
Sen. Obama also spent a great deal of time emphasizing fairness. Can someone provide me a succinct definition of the word? Equality is easy to understand. Fairness seems a little more slippery. Is it From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs? Is it just another word for expediency? Or is one of those words like pornography and we’ll know it when we see it?
The other point that I found very interesting is that neither candidate would commit to removing our troops from Iraq. That’s precisely what I’d expect and what I’ve been saying. However, if removing our troops from Iraq is the most important issue to you, a deal-breaker, I don’t see how you can conscientiously vote for any of the three candidates left standing.
Joe Gandelman, as usual, has a roundup of blogospheric reaction.