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Update: I know this is the millionth diary about the debate today, but I was just compelled to write about it. I see the "complaint campaign" as important to the Democrats in the fall. Why? If we fight an issues-based campaign, it will benefit Democrats who definitely have the issues on their side. McSame will only win by distracting us with this patriotism bullshit. By creating a backlash now against frivolous debates now, we are adding a major negative to any decision by the moderators to ask such ridiculous questions in the fall.

To ABC:

I watched the Democratic debate last night and was embarrassed for ABC. I can understand sending one question to each candidate about electability issues -- Obama, how do you respond to criticism that you aren't patriotic? or Clinton, how do you respond to criticism that you are dishonest? -- but the debate really crossed the line by spending an entire hour asking each candidate repeatedly about specific, isolated and meaningless gaffes.

As a voter, and I know I'm not alone here, I care about issues like the Bear Sterns bailout, gigantic ice shelfs breaking off in the arctic, and the future of the U.N, to name a few. However, due to the overwhelming focus on meta-campaign issues, real policy issues like those mentioned above were expelled from the conversation. How is this justified?

Is it because these issues will be brought up in the general election, so we should air them now? Well here's a newsflash: bittergate, wrightgate, and bosniagate only became issues because the media, eating out of the hands of strategists from the campaigns, relentlessly reported these issues to death despite their relative irrelevance. In case one believes these issues are relevant, one can be disproven simply by looking at the poll after poll showing little movement after these heavily-reported gaffes.

So here's my proposal: instead of playing "gotcha" by mentioning some professor who sat on a charitable board with a candidate (who also happened to say some radical things in the 1960's when said candidate was a child), why don't you play "gotcha" by bringing up scholarly journal articles that challenge the candidates position on the issues? Or by more frequently mentioning statistics -- like returns from the capital gains tax -- that challenge candidate positions? Then we could see how thoughtful and articulate the candidates are, in an exciting format, without exposing the audience to the tabloid garbage that took place last night.

Originally posted to Tetris on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips appreciated (11+ / 0-)
    I know its like the 100th diary on this today, but I had to vent and wrote the letter anyway.

    Obama/Richardson '08! *Richardson as VP (1) latinos, (2) SW states, (3) foreign policy exp, (4) exec exp

    by Tetris on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:37:42 PM PDT

  •  Don't you get it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tetris

    that takes work. And working hard is George Bush's job, not theirs. Its more fun to play got ya! Go read a blog and find lots of info and do a debate that is meaningless.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:43:02 PM PDT

  •  Listen, what Obama got is only a fraction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tetris

    of what he is going to get in the run-up to the GE. Here, he had a chance to defend himself. With the smear campaigns, he won't.

    Obama could take it all last night. If you start feeling now he was unfairly treated, what are you going to think when the GE comes around?

    That was a test for Obama and he passed it. The guy is really tough. He needs to be if he is is to go through this thing. Complaining about it is not the right answer. Working for him, fighting for him is.

    Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

    by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:44:19 PM PDT

    •  I'm not complaining about Obama's treatment! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Tetris

      I'm complaining about the treatment the American people got from the moderators. Very different thing.
      Obama did just fine. But we did not get to hear the candidates answer hard questions on real issues, so we could get a better feel for how versed they are on the issues.
      Also it is harder to fight someone of your own party and I applaud Obama's restraint. I have no doubt he will fight hard against McCain and we will win.

      •  my sentiments too! (0+ / 0-)

        Obama/Richardson '08! *Richardson as VP (1) latinos, (2) SW states, (3) foreign policy exp, (4) exec exp

        by Tetris on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:06:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

        I couldn't agree more. But that is not going to change. We are not going to hear about issues. The Repugs don't want us to talk about issues, because on issues we win.

        They are going to follow what we saw on ABC. What are we going to do about it? Complaining won't do. It ain't gonna change a thing.

        Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

        by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:33:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't count him " Easy " In The Gemeral . (0+ / 0-)
      •  I wouldn't either (0+ / 0-)

        But he will need all the help he can get. And reaching out to the Clintonites is the first step. The Repugs won't care at all about whether what they say is true or not.

        They just won't give a shit. It's for us to stop trusting that everything will be fine or that the attacks are unfair and so they will stop.

        The question is: what are we going to do about it?

        Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

        by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:37:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  FYI: ABC's complaint lines are jammed nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tetris, ArtfromMI

    You're my kind of stupid.

    by SteamPunkX on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:49:19 PM PDT

  •  Whatever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tetris

    ABC did, it's nothing to what will come in the fall. The focus should drift from complaining about it to geeting together with the Clintonites and start fighting the Repugs together.

    I have seen increasing numbers of Clintonites coming around. Let's seize the opportunity to get together with them and start preparing the fight against the Repugs.

    Believe me, we have seen nothing yet.

    Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

    by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 03:56:04 PM PDT

    •  Dems Will .... (0+ / 0-)

      unite with Barack in the general . This shit won't fly much after June . The Repugs wouldn't want to waste time shooting themselves in the foot as did Hillary .We  (the Democrats ) will make the issues of the dire straits of this Country the main focal point of this election . If Obama gets the nomination you will see a hoard of fence riders and Conservative crossovers flocking to the movement .

      •  Are we sure they will unite? (0+ / 0-)

        I've seen a few Clintonites coming around today. Some of them were in a fighting mood, others weren't.

        Maybe they thought Barack had a tough time and they wanted to make fun of us.

        Or maybe, just maybe, they saw the Repugs doing to Barack what they perceive (for whatever reason) to be what has happened to Hillary in the past.

        I say we do our utmost to reach out to them and make sure that we will be a united party in the fall.

        The response I saw towards the Clintonites wasn't particularly encouraging in that direction.

        Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

        by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:42:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fairy Tale

      I actually see complaint campaigns like this as facilitating our fight in the fall. If we fight an issues-based campaign, it will benefit Democrats who definitely have the issues on their side. McSame will only win by distracting us with this patriotism bullshit. By creating a backlash now against frivolous debates now, we are adding a major negative to any decision by the moderators to ask such ridiculous questions in the fall.

      Obama/Richardson '08! *Richardson as VP (1) latinos, (2) SW states, (3) foreign policy exp, (4) exec exp

      by Tetris on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (0+ / 0-)

        Underestimating our opponents would surely be our downfall. And complaining about the attacks we receive is surely underestimating them: it's like believing complaining will actually stop them from attacking us.

        Help defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright!

        by Fairy Tale on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 04:45:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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