Friday, February 22, 2008

The Texas Debate Redux

Last night I asked the question...are these debates relevant?

I got a chance to skim the transcript this morning. And I wanted to give you a sense of why they are not.

First I will start with a list of question topics that were raised in the debate.

Immigration-Border Fence
Immigration-Official Language

Is Obama "all hat and no cattle"?
Did Obama plagerize Deval Patrick?
Is this the "silly season" of politics?
Is Obama ready or not?
Are you both Ready or not?
What did you do getting into Iraq how would you get us out?
What has been your most tested moment?

The line spacing break above was intentional. Of the 12 discernable topics raised by the debate panel for CNN last night 6 were fluffy or completely political in nature. Is this the way we want our debate run? CNN a once venerate name in cable news stooped to asking is your opponent "All Hat and no Cattle."

In a perversion of the usual political debate structure, these two learned, interesting, intelligent candidates were actually trying to get the debate centered back in issues. I find it troubling that our public discourse has stooped so low. The only television network that should host a debate is PBS. Jim Lehrer and the rest of the Newshour team would actually keep the conversation on topic and get these candidates drawing contrasts on issues while asking intelligent questions. Shame on CNN.

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