indeed, insist that you allow our candidates for public office to engage in real direct debate. The current format, with moderators asking questions that are neither penetrating nor profound, simply doesn’t allow the public to hear any level of scrutiny of the many claims and counterclaims hurled during these joint statements that masquerade as debate.
I only heard most of tonight’s debate on the radio-which is a first as I’ve grown up in the TV era. The better angels of my nature (and yes, they do exist) cause be to describe Chet's radio performance as uncertain or shaky and Jim to have been far more perpared to govern but a different format could have been a massacre. The moderator/question format allows no real detailed analysis of any issue or claim. The questions require little more than a recitation of the short tag line for that issue. You’ve got to give Jim credit-he at least tried to critique some of Chet’s more preposterous claims/implications-but the format basically limits the candidate to the thumb nail posture.
This is merciful for the Chet Culver’s of the world-Jim Nussle would have eaten him alive in true Lincoln Douglas format. Chet’s plans are, as we know, mostly ludicrous and his historical performance in office is abysmal. Chet's not a bad or evil man, quite the opposite; he appears to be a sincere liberal who wants to help those he perceives as downtrodden. Unfortunately for mankind, the liberals’ perceptions of reality frequently take flights of fancy into the true purple haze of Woody Guthrie’s Depression Era America. The problem with the current “debate” format is the lack of what we debate geeks call “clash” allows the Chet Culvers to simply emote without any accountability to fact or logic.
Of course, liberals simply will not engage in such debates, not even on their own blogs which are mostly carefully screened, and far too many of our folks duck the format as well; although I expect the Nussle ’06 team would salivate for the opportunity. Does anyone think the current level of political discourse couldn’t use some degree of elevation and accountability?
Now, as my loyal readers know, the Dems won’t debate me ‘cause I do believe in clash, but I’ve found a potential protagonist. A character with the handle of Noneed4thneed was out on Krusty tonight and asked if we are kidding about the six point Republican message stickers we sell over at the Polk GOP. Well, Noneed, we’re not. Now if you would care to debate the six points, true Lincoln Douglas style, then rest assured that I’ll be your huckleberry because that’s just my game.