Ann put up an introductory post and then liveblogged it along with her readers in the comments. I thought that was ingenious. Once I decided to play along, I tuned in to the silly thing on CNN. I think I lasted through about four questions before I wandered off to watch some of my favorite scenes from The Road to Bali for the umpteenth time. Bob and Bing were infinitely better than that creepy metrosexual, Anderson Cooper. (Incidentally, is he a woman?)
Here's my take on the debate.
1. CNN, completely mystified by anything to the right of Noam Chomsky, picked questions that played to a caricature of conservatives. "Why do you hate Mexicans? Why do you hate Muslims? Do you believe every word of the Bible?"
Here are some analogous questions for the Democrats.
If the goal was really to help voters make a decision, then the Republicans got awful questions. Of course, the whole format isn't designed to do anything other than create brief, content-free conflict on a stage because...
2. No one works like this in real life. Can you imagine a CEO walking into a meeting and finding out the topic only after he has sat down? I can just see President Fred Thompson's agenda put together by CNN.
0800-0830: Review why you hate Mexicans.
0830-0930: Exchange 30-second insults with others over randomly chosen subjects.
0930-1030: Read the Bible and plan your theocratic takeover of the world.
There's no way a voter can get a sense of the philosophical foundations of the candidates when they have at most 90 seconds to answer and the question comes out of left field. For me, there are really only five topics worth hearing about from the candidates.
- The Islamofascists both in terror cells and host nations want to kill us all and are trying to obtain nuclear weapons. What should we do?
- The nation will be bankrupted by transfer payment obligations in about 20 years. What should we do?
- As Senator Edwards says, there really are two Americas, the rich and the poor. What's the cause and what should we do?
- Describe the cost-benefits trade offs for illegal immigration. What should we do about it?
- Developing nations like China are poisoning the globe with pollution. It's affecting us in a variety of ways. What should we do?