Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Debate Withdrawal: Politics – vs – Policies

A mid-week rant!

Obviously I wasn’t much of a business major because I can’t tell whether this primary season is over-marketed, over-merchandised, over-booked, or over-sold. It is definitely over-done. That’s majorly true as far as the debates are concerned.

I am no longer debating with myself about watching any more debates. I am done. These vacuous events are totally without any socially redeeming qualities. Moderators are more like prize fight managers, bent on evoking from the participants fighting words – snarky little video clips and sound bites to feed the frenzy of the next day’s news cycle. The candidates are hip: their handlers have schooled them into thoroughly cautionary tales and threads. I’m not about to blow 90 minutes of time in the hopes of witnessing a campaign-significant gotcha falling out on stage and making history. I’d rather risk the time watching a Bush Q-and-A. Those are much more fertile intervals for gotcha’s.

The second reason for boycotting debates, is that they are not informative. They are designed not to be informative. If they were intended otherwise, there would be no reason for them to exclude candidates who still wish to campaign for nominations. I am speaking of Senator Mike Gravel and Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. These three all have something to say, and are much better at framing questions for the real, ‘top tier’ contenders than the poor excuses for neutral interlocutors we have. Not for nothing are these referees called ‘moderators’. When anyone of these above-named clear-eyed, plain-spoken true progressives is on the stage, the stuffed suits have no place or way to hide except by waiting for the next moderated question.

Well, some people might be saying that Paul is a retrogressive, but I think he is a breath of fresh air - by GOP standards, anyways.

When these three are present, the live studio and TV audiences are educated as to (A) what the real issues behind present policies are, and as to (B), the distance from which the top contending candidates are from grappling with our nation’s present circumstances. But that’s not the way the National Committees wish it to be. The Republicans don’t want to see Bush’s clusterfuck of invasion and occupation aired out; the Democrats don’t want to have their cruise control on Iraq challenged.

As a result, our troops are sentenced to a decade-long slow-bleed destiny in Iraq. We have these well-spoken and well-dressed gladiators paraded in front of our teevees so that these fake debates bread and circuses keep our minds away from the debacles of neglect in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraqistan. FUBAR is what it is.

If Trophy Wife and I want to be entertained, we’ll go with NetFlix.

7 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Bob Keller said...

Excellent Rant!!!

You are so incredibly correct. The very format of the debates, mutually agreed upon by the candidates "handlers," insures no in depth answers, no real comparisons, no discussion of problems or policies, and no give and take between candidates.

1/17/2008 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/17/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

I was suppose to be already out the door and on the road early this morning for the coast for the same reasons you listed but the weather had delayed me. Joe Cool and I plan to avoid politics all weekend but with my damn luck I will probably walk right into old Mitt, Mike, Rudy, or Fred. McCain gets treated so bad down here by serious wackos I have to cut him some slack for that and his service to the country. All the others turn my stomach to varying degrees. My brother, his wife, and my kids will give a toast to you and Trophy wife as we eat seafood in Murrells Inlet friday night. See ya Tuesday

1/17/2008 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Pink Liberty said...

I guess Kucinich was out because NBC appealed? I'm pretty sure he won a straw poll at a California debate I went to the other night. The candidates were represented by campaign staff or volunteers. Hillary had the rep with the most status in the campaign, Edwards had an actress and Kucinich had a city councilman; Gavel and Obama had volunteers. I hate that Kucinich hasn't become more viable, but I think that's partly his own fault and that's that (look at Huckabee). He didn't do very well in Michigan and Edwards and Obama were not on the ballot (he did better than Gravel, though). We're left with the candidates that the mainstream media likes...but quite honestly, any one of them is better than any single Republican running. And that's the important thing. I think Obama's the only mostly honest (yet still imperfect) one there.

1/17/2008 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buckeye said...

1/17/2008 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Thanks, C.W. You make it clear that Dennis Kucinich won the debate. You make it clear that NetFlix was my best choice for the evening.

1/18/2008 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Excluding Kucinich at this early stage - before Super Tuesday - is a disgrace.

The three "televised" candidates keep saying that they are more alike than different. All the more reason to have a Kucinich up there.

Let's have some diversity of opinion!

1/22/2008 06:43:00 AM  

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