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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are debates obsolete

Did anyone see the Republican debate last night? Or, perhaps, the real question is, is there any real reason to watch these debates? Carolyn Washburn, an editor from the De Moines Register was the moderator for the evening. I only caught one of her questions and realized the whole debate was a waste of time. She asked the candidates to raise their hands if they believe (paraphrasing) "global warming is a seriuos threat and is caused by man." What? Is she serious? Can you get anymore biased than that? How is one to answer that question? What if you believe its a serious threat but not man made? Fred Thompson, wisely, from what I heard of the debate did not participate in that unless he was given a minute to answer her. She did not allow it as the candidate were only given about 15 seconds per question. So basically, if the candidates did NOT raise their hands, some in the media would use this to show how Republicans don't care about the earth yadda yadda. If they do raise their hands, they are probably doing it grudgingly as to avoid what would happen if they DIDN'T raise it.

Which leads to the more serious question of whether these sorts of debates are needed. We live in a time of sound bites. Thats all people care for anymore. They just love taking something, usually out of context and using it against a candidate when he was not given an opportunity to properly explain himself. And this is irrelevant if this is a democratic debate or a republican one. I heard a commentator on a news show say that last nights debates were the worse debates in the history of western civilization. It's a real shame. I think there should be a total restructuring of how these debates are carried out.

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