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Why these presidential debates aren't serious (Maximum style, minimum substance)
Washington Examiner ^ | 09/26/2011 | Star Parker

Posted on 09/26/2011 9:37:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The presidential debates are looking more like symptoms of our problems than they do like part of the solution. Maximum style, minimum substance. Focus on sizzle, forget about the steak.

These events are supposed to be about quality information, raising the bar, and producing a thoughtful, informed electorate. But they are being produced to provide entertainment, and we are barely getting that.

Technology doesn't take the place of substance. YouTube and real-time polling are not substitutes for thoughtful, provocative questioning.

Can it really be, after all the heat he has taken on Social Security, that Rick Perry was not pushed on how specifically how he would reform it?

Can it be, as expert after expert has laid out the long list of failures of Romneycare in Massachusetts and its unquestionable similarities to Obamacare, that Mitt Romney was not called out on his sidestepping and denials?

Can it be that, on a day where the stock market in our country dropped 3.5 percent and in China by 5 percent, that candidates were not asked what they think is wrong with the global economy?

Can it be that, when many experts agree that government meddling in housing and mortgages was central to the recent financial collapse, there has not been a single question on why Fannie and Freddie are still standing, propped up by government, and untouched?

Why, when everyone knows that Rick Santorum is a social conservative, would the question on "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military be directed at him? His answer was a surprise to no one. Why wasn't Romney the one questioned on this?

Why, instead of wasting time on stupid questions like "Who on this stage would you choose as your vice president?" would the question not be asked "Who is your favorite justice on the Supreme Court"?

Both Romney and Michele Bachmann have said they will repeal Obamacare on day one. Shouldn't someone ask what happens on day two? What would they do to fix our health care system, which clearly has problems?

With all the focus on Social Security, policy experts generally agree that the problems of Medicare are much bigger and more complex. Yet, there has not been a single question about how to reform Medicare.

But perhaps even more fundamentally, the cable sponsors of these events have failed grotesquely to bring out the fault lines that divide these Republican candidates and the Republican Party.

Where are these candidates on Roe v. Wade and the role of law in protecting unborn lives?

Where are these candidates on preservation on the integrity of traditional marriage?

With all the talk about states' rights, why are there no questions about the appropriateness of a federal court overturning a popular vote in the state of California -- Proposition 8 -- to preserve the traditional definition of marriage in their state?

Or the denial of the District of Columbia government to even allow a vote of its residents on this issue before declaring same-sex marriage legal?

Does the collapse of the traditional family in America -- something undeniably happening as we rapidly approach having half of our children born to unwed mothers -- even matter? Should candidates not be forced to weigh in on this?

The downward spiral into an exclusively technocratic discussion about the economy -- like we're all laboratory mice in a box with politicians pushing the buttons -- obfuscates key differences between these Republican candidates and the two parties.

It is a symptom of the big problems of our country that we appear incapable of having presidential debates with serious questions.

-- Examiner Columnist Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (urbancure.org). She is syndicated nationally by Scripps Howard News Service


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: debates; gop

1 posted on 09/26/2011 9:38:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

For the next debate, I propose that the candidates focus on their SOLUTIONS to the problems they already identified.

For instance, Perry says Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. OK, what does he propose to replace it with?

How does Herman Cain propose to reform Medicare?

What does Bachmann intend to do AFTER Obamacare is repealed?

We already know that there are problems, we’d like to know what SOLUTIONS these candidates propose to solve them.


2 posted on 09/26/2011 9:41:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

You mean our country might elect a guy who isn’t smart enough to run a snocone stand just because he’s a good talker?


3 posted on 09/26/2011 9:42:56 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind

Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Anyone can talk a good fight.


4 posted on 09/26/2011 9:44:23 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind
Star get's it right on the money. The debates are little more than media psyops and propaganda. Kudos to Gringrich in particular for pointing it out loud and clear.

Oh yeah, the rules:


5 posted on 09/26/2011 9:47:56 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Yes, the losers always whine when their candidate of choice doesn't do well.

Hate to break it to Star, and the rest of the Perry camp, the Debates in Oct 2012 are going to make up a lot of Independent voters minds who to vote for.

Perry implodes like he did the last three debates in the Oct 2012 debates and we are finished.

6 posted on 09/26/2011 9:48:22 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: SeekAndFind
We already know that there are problems, we’d like to know what SOLUTIONS these candidates propose to solve them.

All readily available on the various candidates websites for those willing to look for the information instead of expecting it to be spoon fed them

7 posted on 09/26/2011 9:50:04 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: blueunicorn6; Free Vulcan

Yes, the losers always whine when their candidate of choice doesn’t do well.

Hate to break it to Star, and the rest of the Perry camp, the Debates in Oct 2012 are going to make up a lot of Independent voters minds who to vote for.

Perry implodes like he did the last three debates in the Oct 2012 debates and we are finished.


8 posted on 09/26/2011 9:51:59 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: blueunicorn6
May not be able to pell it either. LOL, damn another heartless comment.
9 posted on 09/26/2011 9:52:10 AM PDT by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by Perry and his fellow democrats.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How candidates perform in the media circus, with stupid questions designed to make them jump through fiery hoops, has nothing to do with who I support. Everyone likes a show, so we have the debates, but debates tell us next to nothing about the qualities and abilities of the candidates. That said, ...Go Herman!


10 posted on 09/26/2011 9:52:24 AM PDT by pallis
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To: Free Vulcan

I think the debates are a waste of time. How can you explain complicated issues and proposals in 60 seconds? It’s nothing more than sound bites and “gotcha” moments. The internet can provide us with plenty of information about the candidates. Look how much we knew about Obama before he was elected. Voters who make up their minds based on these silly debates are the ones who voted for Obama.


11 posted on 09/26/2011 9:52:31 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Free Vulcan

...Agreed, The same thing from both parties. It’s too early for me to choose, and thanks for the pic. Parker’s looking good!!!


12 posted on 09/26/2011 9:53:39 AM PDT by gargoyle (...This looks like a good fight, deal me in...)
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To: MNJohnnie

RE: All readily available on the various candidates websites for those willing to look for the information instead of expecting it to be spoon fed them

_____________________

Not really. Where is Rick Perry’s proposed solution to Social Security (since he called in a Ponzi scheme )?

NOT HERE:

http://www.rickperry.org/issues/


13 posted on 09/26/2011 9:58:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

“For the next debate, I propose that the candidates focus on their SOLUTIONS to the problems they already identified.”


That would be great if first they had to submit a 10 page White Paper in advance and the interviewer was an expert on the subject. One minute answer replies to a subject moron is just the ticket for bullcrappers not appropriate to select a candidate for President of the United States. Let’s see the candidates developed thinking not a bunch of bytes for the moment. Cain says some never heard of 9-9-9 and wins a straw pole - does it get any worse than that for picking a President?


14 posted on 09/26/2011 9:59:29 AM PDT by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: MNJohnnie

And here’s Rick Perry’s one paragraph remark on Healthcare on his website:

http://www.rickperry.org/issues/healthcare/

_____________

If elected, Perry will repeal Obamacare – a misguided, unconstitutional and unsustainable government takeover of our health care that will undermine patient quality, increase red tape and send costs skyrocketing for taxpayers, patients and healthcare providers.

___________

THAT’s IT?


15 posted on 09/26/2011 10:00:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: ex-snook
straw pole poll
16 posted on 09/26/2011 10:04:38 AM PDT by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: ex-snook

For those who are interested in knowing about Cain’s 999 plan, he provides a broad outline ( not a 10 page White paper ). Here:

http://www.hermancain.com/999plan

I wish someone like Chris Wallace could at least READ that page and then come up with QUESTIONS and CONCERNS regarding the 999 plan.


17 posted on 09/26/2011 10:04:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind
A lot of independent voters do not start tuning into the elections until Oct 2012. The Debates are their 1st introduction to the Candidates. That is just a reality of the US Political process.

Complaining about that being unfair to some candidates does not make it any less a fact of US Presidential politics. I personally loath the Presdiental debates.

It is always controlled by some freak Leftist talking head from the US Junk Media who will do their best to throw it to the Democrat.

Even supposed "Conservative" fox news would rather ask stupid "gotcha" questions then actually bother to ask serious questions.

I would much rather have them do an individual town halls where each candidate had to answer questions from the people ala the U-Tube/Fox debate. But even then the Junk Media will be the one deciding which questions get asked.

18 posted on 09/26/2011 10:17:21 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: SeekAndFind

Are we going to have a debate every week until the election? The pundit class is loving this. You said this, defend yourself. They aren’t doing themselves any favors. Just giving the media opportunity to rip them to shreds.


19 posted on 09/26/2011 10:26:33 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (The democratic party is the greatest cargo cult in history.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Please explain to us how, in a 2 hour debate (including commercial breaks), with 9 candidates, you think you are going to get enough information when you are complaining a 2 page PDF file laying out Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is “not enough information”?


20 posted on 09/26/2011 10:27:55 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: MNJohnnie
the Debates in Oct 2012 are going to make up a lot of Independent voters minds who to vote for.

Silly, don't you read the polls, they are going to break 90% for Obama.</sarcasm>

21 posted on 09/26/2011 10:57:56 AM PDT by itsahoot (The MSM will not pick my candidate--I will still vote for Sarah Palin, even if she doesn't run.--)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin
Just giving the media opportunity to rip them to shreds.

I agree. This process just makes them all look petty and small. Too many debates too early.

22 posted on 09/26/2011 11:08:19 AM PDT by BubbaBasher ("Liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals" - Sam Adams)
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To: MNJohnnie

Hate to break it to you, but it has nothing to do with Perry. The debates were just as bad at soliciting insights and details before his entry as after.


23 posted on 09/26/2011 11:55:21 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Ryan: Obama "a pyromaniac in a field of straw men" / Andre Carson's racism goes unchecked)
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