The presidential debates are a sham. Please.
They are nothing more than a synchronized press conference that should be completely demoralizing to anyone who cares about the free exchange of ideas, dialogue, and democracy.
As a trained and certified Political Scientist with a bent for Institutionalism, it's taken me several years to really come around and agree with the radicals (at least that was the pose) with whom I o I went to grad school who would invoke Chomsky and argue ad nauseum about the sorry state of our much vaunted democracy. But the writing is sooo on the wall. The brazeness of the Bush Regime is without compare. They are like the the Homer Simpson of politics, actually saying the things that previously we only thought the Power Elite thunk.
And that John Kerry looks like a loser. Let's be clear, I want him elected. I want the GOP out of power. Kerry's not a savior but we currently have Captain Hazelwood at the helm and I'll take anyone else, even the ineptgalley cook.
So, back to the debates. How in the hell is it a debate when (a)
Embarassingly, the Seattle Time (via the WA Post) published this craptacular article on the "rules of engagement" without ever mentioning the rules which are pertinent to the alleged debate. To be clear: all the questions are known in advance, no followup questions are allowed to scrutinize the prepared soundbites and zingers, and the candidates have agreed not to ask each other any questions. Debate? No way. The OpenDebates.com folks are on the case.
Update: IN a show of incredible spine, the networks are apparently balking at the camera angle requirements . . . no mention of the actual terms governing the debate . . . while Rome burns we fiddle.
Update: : Wonkette's debate drinking game