The Democrats had their first primary debate last Thursday (4/26/07), making it the earliest Presidential contest debate ever. Now I am not going to debate voting's permissibility. That needs to be referred to the Islamic scholars. Here, I am just sharing my personal take on the political process, which will select the next President of this country.
As a prelude, I would like to mention Dr. Andrew Tanenbaum, who has been running an informative website since 2004, which carries information on candidates or potential candidates. For those of you in the IT field, you may know Dr. Andrew Tanenbaum as the author of textbooks on Computer Networks and Operating System.
Now back to the Democrats' primary debate (transcript can be found here): If I had to describe the debate in two words, it would be “Bush Bashing”. And personally speaking, I consider all these 'gem moments'! Just six years ago, Americans dared not raise a voice against the President who had 93% approval rating. And those who did had their voices considered treasonous and un-patriotic. Subhan-Allāh! Allāh has brought so much humiliation to Bush within such a short amount of time that even his own party is distancing itself from him and even for them, it is becoming all the rage to bash their leader.
Besides the Bush-Bash, here are other observations on the candidates:
- Hillary Clinton, wife of former president Bill Clinton, current senator from state of New York looked surprisingly presidential. Though I do not agree with many of her policies, I have to admit that she spoke with confidence, conviction and displayed political agility. This is in contrast to her speech during the 2004 DNC (Democratic National Convention), at which point she was lacking in all these areas. If elected President, Clinton insisted that she would get America out of Iraq. But, no timetable. On the issue of healthcare, she may be prone to weakness, based on her past failings in her healthcare revamp projects during her husband's administration. On the other hand, she may have learned from her mistakes, and may end up creating an acceptable, practical universal healthcare system in America. On gun rights, she was reasonable to suggest that we do not want to infringe upon the rights granted under the Second Amendment, but at the same, she wants to do a better job of keeping guns out of hands of criminals and insane people. We all know where Democrats stand on abortion so that's a mute point. And like many others, she is pro-Israel, and pro-AIPAC.
- Senator Barack Obama, first potential black president, disappointed me. He was ok in his speech though he stumbled a few times. What bothered me most was his comment about Palestine. He was asked if he stands by his recent comment that, “No one is suffering more than Palestinian people.” He replied what he really meant (of course) that, “No body has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel, to renounce violence and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region. Israel has been one of our most important allies around the world. It's the only established democracy in the Middle East.” Dude, get a life, Israel a democracy? Please read work of Norman G. Finkelstein, specially “Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism And The Abuse Of History”. On other issues he sounded like Hillary.
- Former South Carolina Senator John Edwards, son of mill worker (perhaps he should put that on his name tag as well since he can't say it enough times) stated that he was proud of what his father accomplished for him, so that one day John can afford to have $400 haircut. On the positive side, he has apologized publicly for his vote to authorize Iraq war. And you know what; he does have lot of Southern charm, so he may do well in South if he ends up becoming the Nominee.
- Senator Christopher Dodd, who? Lets move on
- Senator Joseph Biden, was relatively quite, given that he has gotten into trouble for putting his foot in his mouth not long ago.
- Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico is the type of candidate that were the White House a private Corporation, which wanted to hire the most qualified and experienced candidate, then he would be it. He is serving his second term as Governor of New Mexico; in the past, he has served in Congress and was former President Clinton's Energy Secretary. He was also ambassador to UN, and has negotiated with many foreign leaders. His debate skills were decent; it seems though that these debates revolve more around front runners or controversial figures. As you may have figured out, my personal preference for the Democratic Nominee would be Bill Richardson.
- Finally I am going to lump two candidates together, Ohio representative Dennis Kucinich, and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. Both are outspoken, very principled in their stances, were always against the Iraq war, and very progressive. Kucinich, is the most pro-Palestinian candidate you will find among the Democrats. Both of them, in my estimation, did great in the debates. However, unfortunate it may be, the perception is that they are not electable, and it causes people to ignore them even if they like them. As an asides, Kucinich is trying to get Dick Cheney impeached in Congress (Godspeed to you!).
If you watched the debate or have some other comments on the 2008 Presidential elections, then feel free to share your thoughts and comments. It has been few days, so I might have forgotten some important points. Also credit where credit's due… the apt terminology “Indecision 2008” is taken straight from who else other than Jon Stewart from the Daily Show.
The preceeding analysis was written by our guest-writer, Hassan Mushtaq, who is an underground political junkie.