Spare us another “debate” like the Republicans had Tuesday in Iowa.
Actually, I should say like the sham put on by the Des Moines Register and its editor, Carolyn Washburn. Sadly, it shed virtually no new light on any of the candidates (except for Alan Keyes, whose appearance surprised the multitudes who didn’t realize he was running for public office, again).
Washburn failed miserably to achieve her own stated purpose: a face-off to provide “some clarity” about the differences among the candidates. The major problem, of course, was the format in which Washburn laid down the rule that no one could take more than 30 seconds to answer her questions on such complex topics as economy and national security.
I can’t imagine what reason Washburn had for imposing this counter-productive rule. Repeatedly, she tried to enforce this dictate, cutting candidates off precisely at the moment when they could have plumbed their differences. Did she really think that the candidates would be more thoughtful with less time? Did she really think that such an absurd decree would inspire candidates, in a compressed amount of time, to abandon their canned answers? When it was over, the illumination of the candidates’ differences was faint, indeed.The high point came when former Sen. Fred Thompson had enough...
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