I had three reasons not to watch the CNN/YouTube GOP Debate last night:
1) The debates aren’t really debates. Debating requires two or more
people to exchange and refute ideas in a dialogue. What we have mostly
been watching are candidates giving sound bites, one after the other,
in front of a crazy backdrop of lights and TV network logos.
2) After seeing all the ridiculous antics in the first YouTube debate,
I was ready for somebody in a Chewbacca suit to ask a question about
the candidates’ positions on gender neutrality.
3) A couple of the candidates aren’t even well-known in their own
districts; they certainly aren’t going to become president. Sorry
But I ended up watching it anyways.
I thought about staying at the gym for awhile after work, but after
about 50 minutes I threw in the towel after seeing some 45 year-old
female with a fanny pack outperform me on a leg press machine.
Afterwards, I thought about going out for a dinner and a movie with my
girlfriend, but then I realized that there are no good movies out
right now (sorry, Beowulf) and I don’t actually have a girlfriend.
Then I looked around for a decent sporting event on TV, and I just
wasn’t feeling the college hoops, even though #1 UNC was playing Ohio
State. Red Sox replays from April 2004 on NESN wouldn’t qualify my
night as enjoyable either.
But like a Red Rood Inn, CNN left the light on for me. After all the
nay saying I do about that old’ cable news behemoth, she was still there to
comfort me in my boredom.
I actually enjoyed most of the debate, and it’s time to dish out some awards:
GLAD I SPENT WEDNESDAY NIGHT WATCHING CNN Awards goes to:
For creating a better debate format by designating 30 second rebuttals
to candidates who were directly mentioned in another candidate’s
answer. I believe this was much for beneficial to provide a real
atmosphere of debate, and it helped clear up the facts on certain
2) McCain and Huckabee
I thought both of these gentlemen delivered clear and positive
messages, and they were on-point the entire night. I believe they are
both men who would lead a country that we would like to be a part of,
and I think watchers would have felt the same sentiment by watching
them tonight. I also thought that they showed conviction without
sounding overly macho or superficially tough, like Romney and Giuliani
do at times.
I’m not sure how these debates affect voter behavior, but good Grok’
points to both of them tonight.
3) Another award for CNN!
One of the reasons I detest the FoxNews debates is because at least
15% of the questions are gossip headlines thrown on to the stage to
see what bizarre reaction might occur ("Hillary Clinton…."). While
cable network exec’s might like this, I think voters are bored of it
and crave some real content. Not that CNN’s content and question
selections were perfect, but overall I thought the debate focused on
real issues and Anderson Cooper did a decent job of running a smooth
GIVE ME THE PAST 5 MINUTES OF MY LIFE BACK Awards goes to:
1) That guitar intro song at the beginning of the program.
Sure it was cute and witty like most of the quasi-humorous content
that YouTube prima donnas post, but I just don’t think a silly gag
like that is appropriate at a presidential forum.
Not that we can’t have a laugh here and there, but this was a forum of
statesmen who are on the verge of possibly becoming the United States’
next Commander-in-Chief. As a Christian, I have been taught to ponder
the phrase "Would Would Jesus Do?" if I am contemplating a certain
moral or ethical situation in life. But as an American, I also think
we should think "What Would the Founding Fathers Do?" when judging a
certain political situation. I couldn’t imagine the men who sacrificed
so much to build this republic approve of having some kid with a
guitar mocking the candidates at a major public event.
And even if you dislike the party or the candidates themselves, I
think there needs to be a certain level of decorum and respect for the
tradition and importance of the office at hand. The clip belonged on
YouTube, not in front of the candidates and a national audience of
2) Giuliani and Romney Immigration Spat
Let’s face it guys: Everybody pretty much knows that neither of you
have any history of being "tough on illegal immigration". The
interchange looked pathetic; like Smartfood arguing with Doritos over
who makes the healthier stoner food, or Hillary and Obama debating
about who has more executive experience.
Since all eyes are on these two candidates at the moment, I believe it
wasn’t in their best interests to attack each other on this issue at
the moment. However, I believe immigration will be an important issue
in 2008, and positions do need to be clearly articulated by any
the air without union talent, life is only going to get better.