Democrat debate was good for GOP
...It is interesting to see how they have mostly backed away from their calls for an immediate pullout in Iraq. It is a pretty clear sign that the anti war movement has lost its momentum and is no longer the driving force in the nomination process. As Kristol notes, they still have plenty of wackiness for Republicans to shoot at. He is moving his estimate of a 50-50 election to a two to one Republican advantage. I think that is not far off the mark. The Democrats have been trying for months to wrap the war around Republican candidates and now that it is being successfully fought they wind up having tied themselves to defeatism in the face of victory.
Here, judging from the debate, is what the 2008 Democratic nominee is likely to be for. Abroad: ensuring defeat in Iraq and permitting a nuclear Iran. At home: more illegal immigration, higher taxes, more government control of health care, and more aggressive prosecution of the war on smoking than of the war on terror. And this is only a bit of an exaggeration. Going into last night, I had no great expectations of the Democratic field. But the level of routine irresponsibility demonstrated throughout the debate was jaw-dropping. Bush may remain unpopular, and the Republican "brand" unattractive. But I believe the toughness of Giuliani, the sobriety of Thompson, the gravitas of McCain--any of these would be very difficult for the Democratic nominee to overcome.
Hillary Clinton is the only possible president among the Democrats. She did occasionally (though only occasionally) try to interject elements of seriousness into the evening. To someone like me, she's the only plausible nomineee. But that makes me wonder whether she's likely to be the nominee.She's out of sync with her party....