Thursday, September 27, 2012
LIFE IN THE ASSYLUM
THE "DEBATES" WILL BE CRUCIAL
As Election Day draws near [remember when we used to have an Election Day? Now, of course, we must have “early voting,” typically beginning before any “debates” have taken place, and this year almost beginning before the party conventions, and late voting, sometimes called “provisional votes,” and, of course, the obligatory post-election orgy of litigation] . . . where was I? Oh, yes . . . Election Day draws near. And we are relentlessly told that “The ‘Debates’ will be crucial.” We are told this by such reliable sources as Bill Clinton, speaking from such reliable outlets as TalkingPointsMemo.com .
We are also told this by large numbers of our elite Republican leadership, our astute conservative talking heads, pundits, and commentators, so it must be true. Thus we must prepare for these crucial events. Let’s get Gov. Romney a coach to prepare him . . . how about Ted Olson? Ted Olson might be a smart guy, but his claim to fame is that he has argued forty-some cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. For those who do not know, a Supreme Court argument will be about the case before the Court, you will answer the question you are asked, and you will stop when your limited time is up.
You will not be asked any questions about your wife, or about a remark you made six months ago at a dinner party. You are not likely to be asked any questions by Candy Crowley. Much more likely you will get questions from Justice Scalia. One looks in vain among this year’s “moderators” for a questioner like Antonin Scalia.
But this is crucial, so let’s keep getting ready. What are we looking at? The Commission on Presidential “Debates” seems to be in charge. It describes itself as a “bi-partisan” organization. It declares the location, format, and topic of each “debate,” and selects the “moderators.” The “moderators” in turn determine the questions to be asked. Nothing if not consistent, this years “moderators” are from ABC News, CBS News, CNN, & PBS News. When is the last time Brit Hume was selected as a moderator?
The October 16 “debate,” a “town meeting” format, will be at Hofstra University. Hofstra has hosted before. Washington University in St. Louis, one of the most left wing institutions in the country, has hosted three times. When is the last time a venerable institution like Hillsdale College has hosted? Our contributors to the “bi-partisan” Commission are certainly looking out for us.
The town meeting participants will be undecided voters. Has anyone reading this column heard the Howard Stern interviews with actual undecided voters? The most amazing thing about it is how indistinguishable it is from the Saturday Night Live parody. And these guys will be asking the questions on October 16.
We, as represented by our elite Republican leadership, couldn’t get rid of Newt Gingrich fast enough. Newt Gingrich, who had demonstrated an absolute mastery of handling the left-wing “moderators.” Now, having given the left everything it could possibly have wanted in four “debates,” we must sweat out these crucial events. At the very least, we should make several last minute demands:
1. Insist that every time the word “debate” or “debates” appears, including on the lavishly decorated sets, in commercial breaks, and in any TV, internet or print promotions, it must appear in scare quotes, as shown in this article.
2. Before any “moderator” can ask his or her first question, he or she must declare who he or she voted for in 2008, who he or she intends to vote for in 2012, and the amount of money he or she has contributed to the Magnificent One or any of his PACs.
3. Each moderator must agree to prevail upon his or her network to not declare the Magnificent One the winner until at least one half-hour after the end of the “debate.”
Unfortunately we will not make those or any other demands. The "debates" will be a joke. Obama will be declared the winner of three of them, Biden of the fourth. God help us all.
Posted by MO Atty