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Town Hall Debate Reaction

Health Care Reform is the New Gay Marriage

Morgan Warners | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Morgan Warners

Gay marriage and our increasingly obvious interconnectedness present threats to traditions and ways of doing things that many of us think should change. In that regard, health reform is the new gay marriage.

The Tyranny of the Tantrum

Terrance Heath | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Terrance Heath

What we're seeing from the health care town halls and what we've seen from the "birthers" is essentially what I call the Tyranny of the Tantrum, which many parents encounter during the "terrible twos."

It's Not Over Until You've Tried These Six Things, Mr. President

Rob Warmowski | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Rob Warmowski

Notice that the insurance industry-funded opposition to reform is well-managed enough to not send shouters and swastika sign-wavers to the town halls you are scheduled to appear at.

Bullies Delight in Town Hall and Center

Carol Smaldino | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Carol Smaldino

We have witnessed a spate of violent bullying and psychological assault, moods of hostility and derision which have stooped to levels that defy any clear intention to act for the greater good.

From Fear to Faith

Jim Lichtman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Jim Lichtman

This is not about the pros and cons of the health care debate. That's politics. This is about the ethics of a "debate" which has deteriorated into an Us vs. Them shouting match.

Macaca Day 2009: From George Allen to Claire McCaskill, Video Trackers to Town Haters

Dan Manatt | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Dan Manatt

Town Halls -- perhaps they should be renamed "Town Hates" -- have become the front lines of an anti-government revolt by various groups, including health care reform opponents.

McCain Fizzles as Obama Sizzles

Michael Carmichael | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Michael Carmichael

In the course of the debate, McCain was outclassed, outgunned and outrun, time and time and time again. Obama's performance was so commanding that he barely noticed a petulant McCain.

"That Won": Twitter's Wit on the Second Presidential Debate

Nick Douglas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Nick Douglas

My God, does he realize how much gas it will take to drive to the moon?! — michael

Knowing What You Don't Know

Jon Raymond | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Jon Raymond

Last night's debate came close to a Donald Rumsfeld press conference: "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know..."

Profiles in Cowardice

Dave Winer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Dave Winer

It's time to back off the precipice, Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain.

The Answer We Needed to Hear

Howard Schweber | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Howard Schweber

Obama's answer to the first question of the night was fine -- anodyne, uninspiring, reasonable, and utterly uninspiring.

McCain Calls Obama "That One"

Maggie Van Ostrand | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Maggie Van Ostrand

If the people of this nation cannot tell the difference between presidential behavior and a sick and angry little man, then we're in more trouble than we are with Bush. Get a grip John. You're boring.

Echoes of Kennedy-Nixon, Clinton-Dole

Terrence McNally | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Terrence McNally

We all know about the difference between the responses of those who listened to the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on the radio versus those who watched it on television. I did both last night and the same was true.

"That One" Wins

Nancy Snow | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Nancy Snow

Obama has erased lingering doubts that he is ready for the Prime Time Presidency, while McCain raised more doubts that he has the energy or interest in the job.

Why does John McCain hate planetariums?

Phil Plait | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Phil Plait

Planetaria show us the beauty and grandeur of the Universe, and shouldn't be cynically relegated to being a political bludgeon used to score cheap points.

Not a Whole Lot of "Town," and Other Town Hall Debate Reactions

Paul Reiser | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Paul Reiser

Well, for a town-hall meeting, I sure didn't see a whole lot of 'town." A couple dozen of over-lit, under-whelmed people who got free tickets. As a comic, I have to say, that really looked like a tough house.

Is John McCain Really Our Friend?

Erica Jong | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Erica Jong

Why are these debates so incredibly boring? Is it McCain telling us constantly he is our friend while he grimaces in a way that is friendly to no one? Or is it Obama keeping his cool despite all the idiotic lies and provocations?

Obama's Missed Opportunity on Health Care at the Debate

Bryan Young | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Bryan Young

Obama missed an opportunity to explain that the health of our nation's citizens cannot be held hostage to a corporate profit motive.

Worse Than "That One"

Cenk Uygur | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Cenk Uygur

For me, the more worrisome moment of the debate came when McCain told a young, black questioner, "You've probably never heard of Fannie Mae."

A 'Terrible' Debate Performance By Brokaw and Organizers

Greg Mitchell | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Greg Mitchell

This was supposed to be the "domestic policy" debate. Yet there we were once again talking about raids on Pakistan and defending Israel. Brokaw and the organizers let down the American public.

The Winner of Debate II? "That One"

Arianna Huffington | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Arianna Huffington

At the end of the debate, Brokaw asked McCain to get out of the way of his Teleprompter. He might as well have been speaking on behalf of the future: Senator McCain can you please get out of the way so we can get on with it?

That One?!

Bob Cesca | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Bob Cesca

They say that Sen. McCain's strong suit is the town hall debate. If this was, in fact, Sen. McCain's strength, he might as well go home. Sorry... homes.

The Subliminal Slam-Dunk

Mary Lyon | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Mary Lyon

The body language and other nonverbals put Obama decisively over the top, because it said more about the character issue for the two candidates and their wives than anyone's verbiage.

From "The One" To "That One": John McCain And (Not) Reaching Across Party Lines

Steven G. Brant | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Steven G. Brant

Sen. McCain failed big time in that most basic principle of bipartisan leadership: attributing inherent worth to his equal from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

"My Friends," It's Over

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Joseph A. Palermo

It was clear tonight that Barack Obama has a far superior understanding of the moving parts of government and American society than John McCain ever had.