Why Do We Do This?

Could somebody remind me why we have these Presidential debates? I don’t think they talk about anything we’ve not heard before. I’m pretty sure we all know where the candidates stand. At this point, most everybody has their mind made up. If you don’t, the debates aren’t the best place to get your information. The best you can hope for is see which candidate makes a bigger fool out of themselves by stating something you know is not true, or contradicting something they said two weeks ago.

Of course the candidates could always be total jerks to the moderator, and show everybody just how unwilling they are to stick to agreed upon rules; always a good sign.

This is pretty much what happened. Moderator Jim Lehrer pretty much got run over by both candidates. Yes, we got to watch Candidates Gone Wild last night, so if you decided not to watch “that political crap” last night, you missed out. It was like an episode of Judge Judy, but in an alternative world where Judith Sheindlin sat behind the podium making faint, plaintive noises while the plaintiff and the defendant talked over her. Both candidates, Obama and Romney simply ignored his attempts to try and keep responses within their time frame.

Not only that, but they were pretty damn rude, too. It was like listening to children arguing with their mother. At one point, Lehrer tried to end a segment of the debate, only to have Romney tell him “Jim, the President began this segment, so I think I get the last word.”. Yeah, take that, mom! He also made sure to mention he was going to de-fund PBS. Yes. I’m sure that is a huge part of your deficit cutting plan, and definitely worth mentioning in front of a former employee of PBS.  Of course, not to be outdone, Obama told Lehrer “No, I think I had 5 seconds before you interrupted me.” when about to run over his 2 minute period. Obama then proceeded to finish a lengthy answer. Sorry, didn’t see that stop-watch you had under your podium. Who is the mod to tell you how much time you have?

I’m sure it is hard to moderate a debate. I don’t fault Lehrer. After all, the dude has moderated 12 of them pretty successfully, and the guy did come out of retirement to do this one. But we’re talking about 2012, baby. We’re all extremists now, and we don’t have time for pleasantries in the midst of a civil-cold war.


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