Okay - I'll confess right up front: I only watched about 10 minutes of the Republican "debate" last night in South Carolina. I wanted to be able to write about my first-hand reactions, but I couldn't do it. The kicker was when John King - after asking Newt and Paul about 3 things they'd do to help the economy - asked Romney to rebutt a comment just made by Gingrich. That is what a debate
is - a controlled discussion where participants provide their various viewpoints and counterpoints on one more subjects:
- a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
- a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.
Romney's response? (paraphrasing here): "I'll do that in a minute, but first I want to answer the question you asked them, and then I'd also like to discuss this...."
Of course - King let him run with it. That is not a debate. It is an interview/press conference. There is no control. I've seen in previous debates where candidates would start arguing with each other and the crowd cheering like it's a WWE show. The audiences, too, are disgusting, cheering the most horrendous chest-beating bumper-sticker sound bites with bloodthirsty verve. Again, the WWE metaphor seems particularly apt.
But - I suppose I should post some of the more discussion-worthy points of the debate...