Cry Me a River

November 2, 2015

GOP debate

So it seems that the GOP presidential candidates are angry at how they were treated by the CNBC moderators and have not only cancelled their scheduled NBC debate out of protest but also laid down a set of rules and requirements that they must have met before participating in any other debates in the future.

For anyone who tuned into the CNBC GOP debate–which includes a lot of us since even we Democrats tend to watch the Republican debates (a favor rarely returned as I know few Republicans who watched the first Dem debate but, you know, tunnel-vision and excluding the other view has been documented to be more common in conservatives)–it was actually apparent that the moderators let the whole shit show go off the rails. It was by far the worst moderation of the season thus far–which shocks me and pains me somewhat to give Fox News a better review but they did actually handle their debate better.

That being said–bad moderation or not is it really professional of a presidential candidate to whine about mean questions? Or even “silly” questions? Or “hard” questions? If they can’t handle a bad exchange with the press how are they going to handle Putin, Isis or the economy? Granted, journalism should be an independent and open exchange. I really don’t think that the right-leaning CNBC was actually showing bias during the debate however. I think they were trying at times to trip the candidates up–which any journalist will do with a subject they think is being dishonest–and I think they were obviously playing off of the reality show style bickering, bluster and misdirection most of these candidates have stoked and exhibited all on their own thus far and that far too many of the viewers are seeking for the sole purpose of entertainment. The real reason the debate was a failure though was that hardly any of the asked questions were even answered. Every single time a question was asked a candidate instead took their air time to spew bully points, take pot shots at the “liberal” media and spout on about whatever they wanted to talk about except the question being asked.

The real way to “fix” the debates is to give the moderators more control–if they ask Trump (or Carson, Cruz, etc.) a question and that question is not broached within 15 seconds then the moderator should be able to cut their mic and move on to the next person. I did not see this at the Democratic debate–they actually took the time to answer the question even when their answer was painful (Chafee) and they actually engaged each other with facts and ideas.

The GOP cannot handle a quality debate because the current GOP candidates never know their position until a conservative poll or the Koch brothers tell them what their opinion is. Cruz smacks of shady untrustworthiness, Trump spews hate and ignorance at top volume, Carson follows Trump’s lead but does so in a soft-spoken manner, Christie has given up respectability to chase the Trump path as well and most often uses any speaking time to rant about “Socialism” and Hillary, Fiorina has no regard for facts or compassion and the only person on the stage within an arm’s length of respectability seems to be Rubio at this point.

The real problem with the debate is the debaters and their empty, disproved policies, their disregard of logic, fact, history and science and their devolving reality show tantrums. What has happened to this party? Seriously? Conservative didn’t always display itself in the lowest common denominator. I may not have agreed with Reagan or H.W.’s policies but at least you could take them seriously and they could debate in a world of logic and reason.


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