Iowa's GOP "Debate"
I'm almost done watching today's version starring the Democrats. Thank gawd I had the good sense to tape the danged thing so that I can watch it in bits and pieces. Quite frankly, I can only stand so much before I'm overcome with disgust.
The format, identical to yesterday's and all the "debates" to date, aren't real debates. They've been designed solely to generate sound bytes. Nothing more. And there was nothing speshul in today's: everybody said the exact same thing as the other one did, which is the exact same thing they've all been saying from the start.
Increase the taxes on the rich! (Obama says $75,000 a year qualifies.)Too bad Kucinich wasn't allowed to participate in this one. He's at least have livened it up a bit.
I taped yesterday's GOP debate, too, and also found myself stopping that one repeatedly. But it was to replay certain segments. Some more than once.
WASHBURN (moderator): ...I want to take on a new issue. I would like to see a show of hands. How many of you believe global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity?Washburn then let only the GOP candidates who'd indicated a positive reponse to her question speak.
THOMPSON: (I'm not into hand-sign games today. Crosstalk with moderator. -- ed.) You want to give me a minute to answer that?
WASHBURN: No, I don't.
THOMPSON: Well, then I'm not going to answer it.
(APPLAUSE) (from several candidates,too, while some asked for 30 seconds to respond. -- ed.)
THOMPSON: You want a show of hands. I'm not giving it to you.
WASHBURN: ...I agreed with all the responses, but Fred's stood alone. He began:
American 15-year-olds ranked behind 16 other countries in a recent assessment of science literacy. What educational standards does the U.S. need to adopt or improve to compete in the global economy? And what will you do to move us toward those standards? And what's your timetable?
THOMPSON: The question was, what's the biggest impediment to education?Later still:
WASHBURN: What is the biggest obstacle standing in the way and how would you address it?
THOMPSON: The biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is the National Educational Association, the NEA.
I read time and time again, every time someone wants to inject a little choice into the equation for the benefit of the kids, inject a little freedom, inject a little competition, because we're not exactly doing that well because of the things that you pointed out earlier, the NEA is there to oppose it and bring in millions and millions of dollars to go on television and work and scare people and misrepresent the situation on the ground.
WASHBURN: Senator Thompson, you've expressed doubts that the recent report on Iran's nuclear capabilities is accurate. As president, how would you decide when to disagree with available intelligence and then what would you do?Throughout the "debate" Mitt sounded, as usual, perfectly scripted and completely rehearsed. Rudy seemed almost a bit . . . uh, timid, as if afraid somebody was going to bring up something ugly. Several times I thought Huckabee was going to call everyone to prayer, and McCain seemingly turned on his handy-dandy tape recorder, saying the same things he's been saying during every single "debate." And as far as I know, NOBODY has yet discovered why the hell Alan Keyes was even there.
THOMPSON: Now, that's probably the most important question that's been asked today.
The pundits and talking heads have been proclaiming Mitt the winner. In MY most humble opinion they're wrong.
In saying enough of these games, the winner -- on our behalf -- was Fred.
Pam links with Political Thursday.
And, I went back and cleaned up some of my typos.