The Great Non-Debate

by alphamonkey on January 16, 2008 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

I don’t know about you, but I gotta say: Yesterday’s MacWorld Keynote was a big bag of meh. Granted, I’m fairly ambivalent about Apple anyway, but already some of the more overly-excitable gadget heads in my sphere have some weird delusion that the Apple TV set-top is going to be a Netflix killer. In your dreams.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the things that have been taking up too much of my brainspace:

Dennis Kucinich takes the judiciary route to be included in yesterdays’ Democratic Presidential debate, only to be barred via appeal by the Nevada Supreme Court. Personally I find it ridiculous that any candidate still in the running could be barred from participating, as that’s what an election season is supposed to be about: providing voters the opportunity to decide for themselves. Does Kucinich have a chance in hell of snagging the nomination? Of course not, but it’s beneficial to have voices from outside the established mainstream pushing candidates to better define and explain their own positions.

Democratic Debate

This (along with Ron Paul’s* exclusion from the Fox News debates) is yet another stinging reminder of how much we (being the populace) lost when the League of Women voters divested themselves of their control of the presidential debate system in 1988. It’s a little scary how stunningly accurate their press release regarding the matter remains:

The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.

Currently the debates are overseen by the Commission on Presidential Debates (which was founded in 1987 by joint effort from the Democratic and Republican party), an entity that acts far more like a publicist for the parties than an independent agency with any kind of transparency. Indeed, during the 2000 election season a rule was put down stating that a candidate was only eligible for inclusion if they had a minimum of 15% support level across five national polls, which effectively destroys any opportunity for 3rd or independent party candidates to share a platform with the two party front-runners.

That, my friends, is why we’re left with presidential debates of the caliber that could be outshone by any high school debate team. Rather than honest debate (backed and furthered by difficult and specific lines of questioning from an independent moderator), we’re left with a group press conference that’s less informative than even the most softball post-game locker room session. We’ve wasted away any opportunity we might have had to benefit from an open and spirited exchange of ideas and policies for what amounts to nothing more than a talking-points echo chamber, and that makes me very sad.

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  • brindlefarter

    “…the answers to tough questions.”

    Shit, you can’t seriously think that before 1988 presidential debates weren’t “scripted” to one degree or another. I mean, you’re bleatings on this blog prove how vacuous and frighteningly uninformed and ignorant you truly are about politics and general world and particularly US history. You seem to think that if “the people” were allowed to ask questions instead of some stuffy elitist news person that they would ask truly tough questions.

    Uh huh, sure.

    Funny how you seem to have forgotten the you-tube debates from a few months back. You know, the ones where every jackhole with a vid/phone/web cam could put together a smarmy/snarky/gee look how clever and smart I truly am it’s all about me vid for the various candidates. Remember the snowman asking the question about global warming? here’s a link to show how pukeinducingly awful it all was: It’s people like you that are directly responsible for the last 7+ years in the United States. It’s people like you who gave the Democrats back the majority in both houses of congress and what have the Democrats done with that mandate? Continued to get fucked in the ass by Cheney while sucking on Bush’s cock.

    Way to fucking go. You certainly are proud of yourself.

  • .alphamonkey.

    I think it’s time you switched away from Anger Cola to something a little less exciting for your blood.

    For one, I’m curious how you extrapolated the idea that I wanted ‘the people’ to be the ones asking the questions. The YouTube debate was an atrocious farce, and an embarrassing one at that. What I would like to see is debate moderation taken away from guys like Wolf Blitzer and his ilk, and given to someone who’s journalistic career isn’t hinged on having access to those same candidates, or at least someone whose idea of a hard-hitting interview isn’t a softball followed by a whiffle ball.

    But mostly I’m just curious as to why you, Enslaved By Ducks (who can’t seem to figure out that changing your alias doesn’t hide the fact that you post from the same college IP range everytime), keep coming back to this site for more of your particularly innane brand of trolling. You know, the same one that’s made tracking your various online identities a hobby among bemused site admins.

  • Just Plain Bob

    Wolf Blitzer’s calling this debate in favor of Alpha.

  • brindlefarter

    Way to completely fail at the tired old “bait and switch,” but then Commies who hate the United States like you have that shit ingrained in your DNA.

    I’m really intrigued by what you consider to not be a softball question, mainly because it proves once again how utterly ignorant you truly are about US and world politics and events. No matter how “tough” the question is, the candidates will all manage to not answer it while seeming to answer it while also managing to work in some of their regular talking points. And it’s not like this is anything new, it’s been going on in political debates for well over 100 years, the biggest difference is that these days candidates do pre-debate debates in front of focus groups. But it’s not like any of this is secret information, in fact anyone with even a modicum of political education knows this shit. It’s basic politics.

    As to what I can and can’t figure out or why I keep coming back to a particular site, your not knowing the answers just cements your complete ignorance and idiocy. Must be tough to still be wearing diapers over the age of 20, eh?

    Thought so.

  • .alphamonkey.

    Sorry, you already blew it, Ducks.

  • elkciN

    I’m just posting here to say that Enslaved by Ducks is still my favorite person.

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