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Most of you are either watching some hardscrabble baseball team try and eke their way into the playoffs or you are watching the Massachusetts Senate debate.  I'm not sure how many of you are watching the Wayne Powell-Eric Cantor debate.

Perhaps you should give it a look, post-mortem.  After all, this is the first debate Eric Cantor has agreed to in TEN YEARS.

I have to say that Mr. Powell is hitting Rep. Cantor very hard and strong.  His themes are very pointed, logical and detailed.  Cantor's responses are pretty trite and rote.

Powell had some very strong things to say about why taxes on the hyper rich need to increase.  He talked in detail about the growth in economic disparity.  He launched a very detailed attack on the whole "we're helping small business" meme.

Wayne Powell is a small businessman.  In his words, "Small businessmen don't worry about regulations.  We are focused on profit.  We overcome any obstacles we need to overcome."

Cantor, on the other hand, is coming off pretty smug and smarmy.  The camera panned the audience a short time ago, just as he was insisting that he never took money from Sheldon Addleson and the heads of several audience members were shaking, "no."

The buzzsaw that Cantor is running into is that Americans generally believe that the government should do some things like help our veterans and help disadvantaged students get college loans.  Cantor cannot come up with an effective response as to why we refuses to fund those things.  He can only come up with platitudes like "we're so grateful for your military service."

Powell is unapologetic about his support for renewable energy and fighting climate change.  He was just asked a question about new coal regulations and he responded with issues of pollution and climate change....citing how polluted areas in China are that use coal.

Cantor, on the other hand, isn't really addressing the new regulations on coal, but changes the subject to natural gas and drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia.

Cantor did cite the layoffs happening among several coal companies who believe they cannot comply with new EPA regulations.  Powell countered with the fact that other nations are investing in renewable energy at rates higher than the US.  I'm not sure that's the most effective answer by either party for this critical issue to the district.

Powell is effectively countering statements by Cantor that the government could more effectively address health care issues more economically than Obamacare.  He is reminding voters that the very companies that finance Cantor's campaign would be charged more taxes under Obama's plan, so perhaps they have a stake in undermining Obamacare.

This is just a taste of the exchange.  There is supposed to be no applause, but spontaneous applause is erupting just about every time Powell speaks.  One gets the impression that this race is very highly competitive.

Watch the debate here.

Contribute to Powell's campaign here.

6:05 PM PT: Thanks for the recs!

Here's a good overview of the debate:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/...

Originally posted to suzq on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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