Debate initial reaction

Liveblogging of the debate begins with FireDogLake, Daily Kos and Think Progress.
John McCain appears to want to keep all the old wars going AND to begin new ones! He thought the US should keep at it in Iraq. He thought that troops should be increased in Afghanistan. He was for defending Georgia against Russia, even though Georgia clearly started the fight (Obama unfortunately agreed with McCain even though he probably knows better). He even appeared to want to have Ukraine join NATO! The US is very heavily overstretched as it is. Exactly where does McCain expect to get the troops to do all this? Obviously, if the US population was willing to put up with a draft in any form, we would have seen that awhile ago.
McCain tried and tried to make the case that the "surge" in Iraq was a success and that the drop in violence owed nothing to factors that the US didn't control, but for anyone familiar with the arguments, that just didn't wash. Especially telling on that score was McCain's description of "clear, hold and build," a strategy that was tried many times, unsuccessfully, long before General Petraeus assumed command of US forces in Iraq.
McCain mentioned the former Bush policy of refusing to meet with bad international actors. Gives good summary of the idea, saying we don't wish to reward bad actors by legitimizing them (via publicly meeting them). Barack Obama correctly points out though, that the policy was a complete failure. Bush has begun to change it and even denounced John Bolton, who was very fond of that policy.
McCain's economic proposals sound a lot like Ronald Reagan's, and we all know how that "great deficit hawk" thing worked out! Deficits shot through the roof!

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