Monday, August 18, 2008

stupid questions

You shouldn't feel bad if you missed all those debates between Obama and Clinton. Scott Horton at Harper's explains, using a memo generated by the Clinton campaign, that those debates contained literally zero substance:
As the authors noted in reviewing some 352 questions asked in 17 debates that involved Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign through January, not a single question was asked about the actual operation of the machinery of government.

Almost all the questions that the candidates fielded were either "puff" or "gotcha" questions. Horton provides perhaps the ultimate example of the latter at the beginning of his post. :
In 1988, the decisive moment in the presidential campaign may have come when CNN’s Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis this question, opening one of the Bush-Dukakis debates: “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?”

Needless to say, the response Dukakis provided didn't do him any good.

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