This is definately off topic for me on this blog, but I can't resist. With the last presidential debate coming up, I propose they format it differently. But, let me digress a moment.
My understanding of debate is that each team, if you will, picks a different side of a subject and presents an argument in support of their side and a rebuttal of the other side's argument. I am trying to find where this exists in any political debate where answers are never answers but are deflections, attempts to defame the record of the other side and dilute any true argument on the merits of the core issues.
So, I propose we get rid of the debate format, and have it set up like this:
Each candidate gets to be both the plaintiff and defendant for each question in turn. And they are directly, then cross examined by a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney for each question.
They are never allowed to respond to the "testimony" of the other candidate, but must state their case via examination by the attorneys on the question at hand.
Time limits would still be imposed, and would be enforced.
I can see it now:
Senator Obama, is it a fact that you voted no for the "save the pink pygmie salamanders bill" in 2006?
Yes or no, Senator.
Senator McCain, is it true you voted against alternative energy bills 5 times in your career in Washintion?
Let me put that in perspectiive.
Yes or no, Senator.
Senator Obama, can you explain to the American people exactly what your economic plan is for bringing the country out of the current crisis?
Well, blah blah, and blah and we have to blah, blah.
Senator Obama, does your plan include raising taxes on businesses?
Yes it does.
And what percentage would the new tax rate be?
Um, well that is to be determined.
So you don't know what rate you plan to tax business?
That hasn't been decided at this point. We will need to perform studies and..
Senator Obama, would it be fair to say, you have no idea how much you plan to raise taxes on business?
No, I don't think so.
So, you do know how much you will raise taxes on business then?
I didn't say that...
That's right Senator, you DIDN'T say that did you? You said you have no idea.
I said we need to study the issue more.
Isn't that just a way to cover up the fact that you don't know?
I'm not covering up anything.
So you are willing to admit then that you don't know what the tax rate will be?
Yes, Um No, I don't know what the tax rate will be.
So would it be fair to say Senator that you can't predict with any accuracy the effect of a tax rate increase on business in the US and on the economy since you don't have a number for the rate yet?
Yes, it would.
Thank you Senator. No, further questions on this topic.
Senator McCain, You have repeatedly said in statements to the public that you would lower taxes. Is that a fair representation of your statements?
Yes, it is.
Senator McCain, considering the current deficit, and the just announced 850 billion dollar bailout, how do you propose that it makes any sense to cut taxes and still bring down the deficit?
Well, I have said many times that cutting business taxes is the only way to encourage investment by companies in areas that will create jobs.
Senator McCain, can you tell us exactly how many jobs will be created based on each percentage you lower taxes for business?
Well, we haven't gotten to that level of detail at this point.
So, Senator, the answer is you don't know. Is that correct?
We have good indicators that lowering taxes on business creates jobs.
How many jobs would that be in your plan Senator?
We are still working on the projections at this point.
So, you don't know then. Is that correct?
Thank you Senator. No further questions on this topic.
Now wouldn't that be a lot more fun than watching the candidate always resort to, "well he voted on this, blah blah, and he said this, blah blah.
How about some real answers to some real questions?
How about taking some responsibility for their actions and just getting on with it?
How about showing some real leadership for a change?