Tuesday, October 7

The pre-approved debate

On the "town hall" debate between Senators McCain and Obama: Wow, those were horrible questions. Those were NOT questions from human beings (except for, perhaps, the one about whether health care is a commodity, which, not surprisingly, neither of the candidates answered). Those were questions that surely, in one way or another, made a tortuous route through the hands of party operatives. I don't know how these questions were selected, wheedled down, and packaged for public voicing, and if anyone has any light to shed on that, please comment below, but this "town meeting" was more smoke and mirrors from the "Presidential Debate Committee" and another lost opportunity for the American public.

Update 1: Democracy Now! reported that all questions were "pre-approved." The host, Amy Goodman, also picked out the one "real" question that I highlighted in the paragraph above, written just as the debate ended. Goodman also noted that, although, like McCain, Obama dodged the question about "commodifying health care," he did remark later that health care "should be a right for every American." I note that between "is a right" and "should be a right" can easily slip many millions of Americans-without-health-care. It's plenty dainty to say what "should be a right;" but saying that health care IS a right is the only honest way to approach the issue. It's too bad that Obama's answer was also apparently pre-approved.

Update 2: Associated Press writer Philip Elliott reports that, "Tom Brokaw of NBC, the moderator, screened their questions and also chose others that had been submitted online." So, the party influence was not perhaps hands-on, but this is hardly a sign of democratic health. Tom Brokaw is another furrowed-brow showmaster-masquerading-as-a-journalist. Who in their right mind could expect a tough question, let alone a glimmer of light, or a capacity for feeling, from dud-on-arrival Brokaw? This doubles the shame of the process. Not only do we have our democratic process to mourn, we also have the state of journalism to execrate.

Can you imagine questions such as the following? Warning: you are about to enter the Realm of the Politically Unthinkable.

What will you do to alleviate the suffering the Palestinians, who have seen their land and water supply taken, divided up, and parceled off for consumption by the State of Israel?

The American Society of International Law Newsletter, March-April 2004, maintains that,"the invasion (of Iraq) was both illegal and illegitimate." Do you agree with the majority of legal scholars who have studied the matter, that the so-called war in Iraq was undertaken by the Bush administration both illegally and illegitimately, and, if not, why not?

And I could go on, but I think my point has been made. This was a duping of the American public. There should have been a boycotting of the entire damn event.