To tell you the truth, I didn't watch any of the debates. I sat through about 20 minutes of the one Chris Matthews and The Politico moderated and gave up on the format. It's stilted and stupid. You don't learn much about the candidates, certainly not more than you can learn from following their statements on the campaign trail. I continue to think the more efficient use of such forums would be to simply give each candidate an equal amount of time to speak continously on whatever they want the electorate to know about them and call it a day.
Nonetheless, if we're going to engage in this theater, then participation would seem to be required for any "serious" candidate. Certainly that was the position of the GOP apologists when the Democratic Party refused to appear in the Fox News sponsored ambush. They couldn't spew their derision of the Dems' alleged cowardice fast enough. So what is a good rabid rightwinger to do when their guys chicken out of answering questions directly from the voters?
Well, if you're Hugh Hewitt you dismiss the format as nonsensical. Candidates shouldn't be forced to respond directly to the people. They should only respond to serious journalists like himself and maybe to voter questions handpicked by the likes of the equally impartial Politico. You know the Drudge kissing, "political analysts," who have spent three months and counting, obsessing over John Edwards haircut and allowed for such timely and relevant questions as "would you amend the constitution to let Arnold Schwarzenegger run for president" during the debate they sponsored. I know that was at the top of my list of concerns on platform positions.
Maybe the candidates should only agree to appear on such serious programs "moderated" by such a fine journalist like O'Reilly who cuts the mike of a guest and calls her a liar when she told the easily verifiable truth about his hateful commenters.
Oddly, the only winger who gets it is the conservative Patrick Ruffini.
This is a big mistake. The Democrats are afraid to answer questions from Big Bad Fox News Anchors, and the Republicans are afraid to answer questions from regular people. Which is worse?
It's stuff like this that will set the GOP back an election cycle or more on the Internet. No matter the snazzy Web features and YouTube videos they may put up, if they're fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of interacting with real people online, what's the point?
Exactly right. The GOPers clearly don't understand the dynamics of the on-line community. They don't just get to post their own self-serving monologues and call it a day. To paraphase a much over-used slogan -- it's about the conversation, stupid.
I would say more but Josh Marshall sums it up perfectly.
I'm not sure whether the resistance is rooted is the profound feebleness of the current GOP field or the fact that the current Bush Republican party is so beholden to a worldview based on denial and suppression of evidence that exposure to unpredictable questions presents too great a danger. But if they can't face Youtube how can they defeat the terrorists?Good question. I can hardly wait for the GOP to cluck back an answer.