Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My own questions for the candidates.

Last night's Democratic presidential debate on CNN, during which questions were provided via YouTube videos, provided some half-way decent questions but yielded few substantive answers from the candidates. But I don't think the questions, filtered as usual through CNN's softball meter, hit hard enough. So I'm going to ask some questions of my own.

1.) Senator Obama, during the second Democratic debate you claimed that "there is no dispute" that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, even though a CIA draft report last November stated very clearly that there is no conclusive evidence of a nuclear weapons program in that country. You also said Iran had "admitted" to a weapons program, even though it has consistently denied such and insisted its nuclear program is for energy purposes. Given that you are running for the top executive office in the nation, and given that America has already been lied into one war over WMD that turned out to be non-existent, don't you think it's important that you get your facts straight? And when someone tries to correct you, as Representative Kucinich did that night, don't you think you ought to listen instead of brushing him off?

2.) Senators Clinton and Obama, you have both, with one notable exception, voted to fund the continuing occupation of Iraq in spite of your rhetoric of opposition. When the supplemental war funding bill came up, you both had to be shamed into voting against it by Senator Dodd, and even then you waited until the supplemental was assured of passing and you did so without any fanfare or pressure upon your Senate colleagues to vote 'no'. Why won't either of you show leadership on ending the occupation of Iraq, and why have you both voted to continue funding it?

3.) For all the candidates: What -- specifically -- do you intend to do to combat Global Warming? What do you intend to ask the American people to do as far as recycling, energy-efficiency, carpooling, public transportation, replanting forests, and other matters related to slowing the progressive warming of the climate are concerned?

4.) Again, for all the candidates: Except for Representative Kucinich and Mr. Edwards, no candidate has gone into detail about health care. What specifically do you intend to do as president to ensure affordable or universal health care for all Americans? Do NOT say we need it, that is simply a restatement of the obvious. I'm asking you what -- specifically -- you intend to do, if you are elected president, to see that all Americans have health care?

5.) For all candidates: On the subject of impeachment, polls show that nearly half of Americans want George W. Bush impeached while more than half want Dick Cheney impeached. Representative Kucinich's articles of impeachment have gained, as I type this, fourteen co-sponsors with more likely to sign on. Given the high support for impeachment, and given the high crimes, obstruction of justice and refusal to cooperate with Congressional investigations by the Bush regime, why is Kucinich the only presidential candidate willing to do his Constitutional duty to hold law-breaking executives accountable for their actions? Isn't justice for the American people and the Constitution -- not to mention a large and growing demand for it by the public -- more important than whatever risks you may perceive to your presidential ambitions by supporting impeachment?

Those are some of the questions I have for candidates. I expect only one to answer them, but we'll see.

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