Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CNN/YouTube: Making History in a Presidential Debate Format

So what did you think of the CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate? I thought it was a refreshingly different way for us to see these candidates, one of whom will be our next president. The debate was not framed by the same stale questions from the same old journalists. We as a people have among us some who can come up with some really interesting questions, and frame them like no journalist can imagine.

The moderator, Anderson Cooper, put twists on some of the questions and sprang those twists on other candidates. I didn’t appreciate that as much and I think it only served to confuse.

And unlike the past debates where I was well satisfied with any of the candidates, I can now differentiate between some of these people. Maybe it’s hearing them again and again, or maybe it’s hearing them talk in this first in history format.

Stick a fork in Mike Gravel, he’s done. He’s been a great one for comic relief and sticking it to the front runners, but he’s now beginning to be more of a pain than anything else. That he came out for a federal sales tax is just as regressive as you can get. He’s probably mentioned it before, but it really hit home with me last night. It’s a Republican/Libertarian idea whose time should never come. Percentage wise, as in percent of personal income, it’s the poor who would pay more of their income into this, and the rich who would pay the least.

I’m also a little concerned about Barack Obama. All energy sources should certainly NOT be on the table. Nuclear energy is not an option. We still don’t have a way to deal with nuclear waste and the laws of physics say that there won’t be any with our current state of technology. And really, this comes on the heels of an earthquake in Japan that resulted in damage to thir largest nuclear power plant and the release of radioactive water. Barack still speaks well and looks good, but now I am wondering about substance and his depth of understanding with regard to science.

And the last question pointed out something that has been obvious to me for quite some time. Each was asked to say something nice about the candidate to their left, and something not so nice. When it got to Dennis Kucinnich, who stood on the far right of the stage, he joked that there was no one further left than he, and that is quite true. Of all the candidates, Kucinnich is by far the one furthest to the left on the political spectrum. While I think America is ready for a progressive president, I don’t think they are ready for Dennis Kucinnich and he would be the one who would probably give most advantage to the Republican opponent. Don’t get me wrong, I still like him, I just have a problem with his chances of winning the election.

So I vote Yea for this format. I’d love to see how the Republican candidates will handle themselves on this set up. The last time I checked the RNC has not said whether it would sanction their debate, scheduled for September 17th. I dare them not to sanction it.

I double dog dare them.

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