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(USA Today)   Moderators for the Presidential and VP debates have been announced. Two debate veterans and two rookies will be doing their best to keep the candidates on topic   ( content.usatoday.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Candy Crowley, VP debate, CNN, human beings, Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, Martha Raddatz, NewsHour  
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2115 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Aug 2012 at 2:56 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-08-13 04:34:28 PM  
2 votes:

simplicimus: incendi: Party Boy: Limeys do a better job of that.

I would love it if we adopted something similar to "the Prime Minister's Questions" here for the President to answer to the Senate. It'd be too much of a ruckus to do it in the House.

I enjoy watching the Prime Minister's Questions, even though most of the time I have no idea what's being discussed. We could do that in the senate, but what would be the large book the President consults?

The thing is, the Prime Minister is a member of Parliament, while the President is not a member of Congress. In the Us, the President and Congress are co-equal; having him called to the carpet by Congress, especially on a regular basis, is saying Congress is his boss, which is not how the system works. The PM, while holding much of the executive power in Britain, is still part of Parliament, and having him answer to his colleagues is perfectly in line with his place in the legislative part of the British government.

Also, in the Westminster system, the PM is (usually) a sort of theoretical dictator. His party (or coalition) holds a majority of seats in Parliament, and his people hold most of the ministerships. In theory, he can pass what he wants, when he wants, and no power can do anything about it (especially now that Lords has had what balls it had left lopped off). Tradition and fear of voter reprisals tends to keep this in check, but the questioning also serves a purpose by making the PM have to explain himself. the panto mummery of it all is because they all realize this is a form of public shaming to keep the PM in check, and that he could - in theory - just ramrod everything he wants through by main force and/or have the opposition purged from Parliament (looking at you, Pride). So he makes a big deal of being magnanimous enough to take it, his supporters and opponents cheer, boo, and hiss at the appropriate times and in the appropriate manner for their sides, people get to air grievances (real and imagined), and Britain continues their weird little dance of governmental Calvinball (which I admit has generally tottered along reasonably well - though you do wonder at a system where the main check on tyranny is that no one has been a complete evil bastard yet).
2012-08-13 03:39:33 PM  
2 votes:

Coco LaFemme: "President Obama, why did you campaign in 2008 as a liberal, when you never governed as one the last four years?"

He didn't. He ran as a moderate Republican. It was McCain and the news media who sold the notion that he was the liberalest liberal who ever libbed.
2012-08-13 11:35:26 AM  
2 votes:
Moderators for the Presidential and VP debates entertainment shows have been announced. Two debate circus performance veterans and two rookies will be doing their best to keep the candidates on topic pre-approved talking points

2012-08-14 03:28:59 AM  
1 vote:

imontheinternet: I wouldn't mind seeing a debate with two hyper-partisan moderators, one for each candidate. Let Keith Olbermann ask Romney questions, while Sean Hannity asks Obama questions. It wouldn't exactly be the model of decorum, but it would certainly reflect the modern political landscape quite well.

The best evidence of the terminal degradation of political discourse in this country is the idea that only "hyper-partisans" can ask tough, specific questions. The best moderator neither panders to a candidate nor attempts to speak for the candidate's opponent. It would be more informative if the moderator were to challenge Romney from the right (on the similarities between his and Obama's healthcare reforms, or how much of his work on behalf of the Salt Lake City Olympics involved lobbying for what the Tea Party would consider pork-barrel spending--federal money for Salt Lake City's light rail line and luxury student housing at the University of Utah, for instance), then turn to Obama and ask him about the human rights aspects of our drone warfare in Yemen and Pakistan, backed up with verified numbers of civilian casualties. Then let Obama challenge Romney from the left and Romney challenge Obama from the right in their rebuttals.

One question I would love somebody to ask both candidates is what they plan to do to reverse the alarming rise in suicides among active and returning servicemen over the last decade. Is the government devoting enough resources to veterans' psychiatric treatment? Are multiple tours of duty by "volunteer" soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan proving so mentally unbearable that it will be necessary to institute a draft if we wish to maintain our military presence in the region?

Somehow, I doubt that question will come up.
2012-08-13 07:42:11 PM  
1 vote:

Party Boy: Just in case anyone isn't aware of this
[1988] The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates...because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.

Republicans today would boycott debates run by women voters, just like women voters are going to boycott Republicans at the polls.
2012-08-13 04:07:36 PM  
1 vote:
A Presidential debate moderated by Fareed Zakaria would be fascinating.
2012-08-13 03:52:25 PM  
1 vote:

Coco LaFemme: "President Obama, why did you campaign in 2008 as a liberal, when you never governed as one the last four years?"

Obama never campaigned as an extreme liberal; he ran as a mainstream Democrat.

Now, McCain and Palin accused him of being the most liberal lib that ever libbed, but that's not what he was saying at the time. If you were listening to them as opposed Obama that's not Obama's fault.
2012-08-13 03:45:04 PM  
1 vote:
We just need a moderator equipped with a laptop googling the answers and also a "Bullshiat Klaxon" to blow every time someone lies.

Better yet, have a panel of people googling. Saves time.
2012-08-13 03:11:50 PM  
1 vote:

Coco LaFemme: "President Obama, why did you campaign in 2008 as a liberal

Obama campaigned as a liberal in 2008?
2012-08-13 01:35:28 PM  
1 vote:

NewportBarGuy: I'd prefer this woman:


Alas, Jim Lehrer kinda trumps on seniority, and two of the four being from PBS would raise too many eyebrows. It would be wonderful, however.

For the giggle value, I hope Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will try and push for an additional co-moderated debate on Comedy Central. Maybe be evil and simply book both Romeny and Obama for an interview in the same time slot, then do a gotcha on them....
2012-08-13 01:02:30 PM  
1 vote:

Party Boy: To be fair, I feel that way about most TV news personalities.

I'd prefer this woman:

i50.tinypic.comView Full Size

"Yeah, you want to go ahead and run that sh*storm of a word salad by me again? I'm pretty sure that's not what I asked you."

2012-08-13 12:09:56 PM  
1 vote:

Party Boy: Lehrer and Schieffer?

Not too shabby.

I like them both, but I'd prefer to see David Gregory in there as well. It looks like he's going to be in that slot (MTP) for quite some time and he's going to need to get into the fray at some point. However, I assume they'll want to keep him away from the debates in case he asks a tough question and the handlers boycott appearances on his show.

It's tough, they want to maintain access by being "nice" to the politicians... Though, that leaves us with these kind of weak questioners that won't press hard enough to answer the question.

I miss Sam Donaldson being a total dick to all parties in his interviews. Sometimes, that's exactly what we need.
2012-08-13 12:05:07 PM  
1 vote:

Party Boy: kronicfeld: will be doing their best to keep the candidates on topic

Sorry, when in the recent history of alternating soapboxes debates has a moderator actually done this?

Limeys do a better job of that.

It would be nice if we could have a debate where candidates addressed each other and challenged their opponent's statements rather than just ignoring actual topics and saying whatever they feel like for their allotted time.
2012-08-13 11:42:52 AM  
1 vote:
bunch of pro-obama libs again. if i were romney, i'd not even bother participating in the debates. ratio of questions about Bain versus about Fast and Furious will be about 10 to 0.
2012-08-13 11:42:48 AM  
1 vote:

Sybarite: Call me when they go back to being actual debates run by an independent body rather than carefully managed stage show the RNC and DNC agree to put on every four years.

Let them ask questions of each other. And possibly give them each one free punch.
2012-08-13 11:30:30 AM  
1 vote:
Call me when they go back to being actual debates run by an independent body rather than carefully managed stage show the RNC and DNC agree to put on every four years.
2012-08-13 11:26:46 AM  
1 vote:
Lehrer and Schieffer?

Not too shabby.
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