This article pretty much sums up my frustration with the dueling infomercials last night mistakenly sold to the public as a debate.
In February, during a CNN-sponsored Republican primary debate, nearly all the candidates ignored a question put to them by John King. It’s an old trick. He had asked each of them to come up with an example of a misconception voters might hold about his candidacy. Rather than answer, most went straight to some favored talking point on America’s greatness or President Obama’s failures, reading from the teleprompters in their heads. When King finally called Mitt Romney on this, reminding him of the original question, Romney shot back: “You know, you get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want. Fair enough?”
Both parties do this. But moderators need to break this dodgeball tradition. The answer to Romney’s question needs to be “no.
Ed Brayton’s post from last night also captured it beautifully.
Well I was wrong about one thing. I predicted that Democrats would think Obama won and Republicans would think Romney won. But the Democrats seem mostly to agree that Obama did very badly. I could only watch about 10 or 15 minutes of it before it became absolutely obvious that the format was terrible and Lehrer was so far out of his depth he might as well have been in an ocean trench. As usual, lots of lies and empty rhetoric and no one calling them out for it or challenging anything. Is this really the way we pick our leaders? Because it’s fucking ridiculous.