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Debates

September 27, 2007

The MSNBC Democratic Debate just finished, and aside from my monumental disappointment in Chris Dodd for being a Red Sox fan, there was a great deal that the candidates left to be desired. The debate, to which the link provided is a synopsis posted by MSNBC, featured discussions predominantly concerning the Iraq War and healthcare. It was around those subjects that the candidates seem to be taking ballet lessons.

While some questions were answered directly and honestly, a host of questions were either skipped over, used as a pulpit by which to preach a wholly different issue, or in one notable instance, refused completely. Senator Clinton flatly refused to say whether or not Israel would be justified in attacking Iran if it found that the Iranians possessed nuclear weapons and would potentially use them on Israel. A number of other questions received similar treatment, although rarely as overtly. When the candidates did answer the question, they often devolved into ranting diatribes about “my contribution, my experience.” Either that, or they evaded the question completely, speaking of B when the question was actually about A.

What seems to be lost on the candidates is that the people who are watching the debates this early in the election are nerdy enough to spot the maneuvers and BS. People who are watching these debates don’t need the candidates experience, that is information they either already know or can look up themselves. What is important is how the candidates feel and how they would address the issues, we don’t watch the debates to see how deftly politicians can get out of answering a question they don’t want to answer and deliver a totally unrelated diatribe. They’re politicians, we’re well aware that they’re capable of such maneuvering already, it’s in their blood, or at least the blood they’ve sucked (I’m sure you don’t need an explanation on the joke of the definition of “politics”).

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