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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why I Didn't Watch The O'Donnell-Coons Debate

Because any debate moderated by the MSM is going to be a game of gotcha directed at the Republican candidate.  I just can't stand to watch these things anymore.

And so it appears I was right.  Jim Geraghty, who was no Christine O'Donnell fan during the primaries and immediate aftermath, puts it this way, Did Delawareans Just Endure the Worst-Moderated Debate Ever?
The moderators were pretty awful. Both [Wolf] Blitzer [of CNN]and the local reporter seemed hell bent on… well, the metaphor burning a witch comes to mind.

Yes, Christine O’Donnell has a lot of quirks, a lot of questionable decisions in her past and a lot of evasive answers about those bad decisions. But it was pretty clear that neither moderator was all that interested in holding Coons’ feet to the fire or interested in what he had to say at all. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the better of the two, was hell-bent on pinning down O’Donnell’s view on evolution. And he was the better of the two. This was the moderators’ chance to play hardball with their designated Villain Du Jour, and the fact that CNN aired much of this debate live illustrates that the MSM doesn’t just want to see O’Donnell beaten; they want to see her… well, metaphorically burned at the stake in the town square for her audacity.

Look, you read this site. You know I’m not a fan of Christine O’Donnell. But she deserved better than this, and so did the voters. This was supposed to be a debate, not a show trial.
Debates should be important events.  But like so much else, the mainstream media simply uses it as an opportunity to shape the field.

The big gotcha moment last night?  O'Donnell was at a loss to cite a Supreme Court decision "of late" with which she disagreed.  When Blitzer mentioned Roe v. Wade, O'Donnell corrected him that that was not "recent."  How pathetic, for the questioners and lawyer-bloggers making a big deal about it.  I guess only lawyers who follow Supreme Court case law are eligible for the Senate.

(added)  The question of dissatisfaction with Supreme Court decisions "of late" was particularly bad.  For conservatives, decisions by the Roberts Court "of late" have been, for the most part, acceptable.  The Kelo case, from 2005 (pre-Roberts), is being cited as something O'Donnell should have known, but that really is inside the law stuff.  Coons didn't exactly exhibit legal scholarship by citing the Citizens United case, considering that for the last several months the case has been the rallying cry of the left.

I realize O'Donnell has an uphill struggle.  But if the choice were between someone who wanted to destroy the country by rubber-stamping Barack Obama's agenda but knows Supreme Court precedent, or a nominee who responded as any normally informed person would to a vague question, I'll take normal.

Related Post:
Memo to the Right: "The Lombardi Rule" Is In Effect

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  1. I agree with the Professor's observation here. Why in the nine hells a Conservative candidate IN THIS DAY AND AGE is allowed by their people to go sit and deflect questions from the Liberal candidate AND the 'moderators' is beyond me.
    If I were running, I'd tell the moderator team to go to hell. NO WAY would Wolf Blitzer hammer me with hard questions and my opponent with softballs. I'd bring MY guy on to ask questions. Like, and I'm serious about this - Professor Jacobson. Because I know he'll ask me hard but not ridiculous questions. And he'll do the same to the person running against me.

  2. I should watch CNN from time to time just to see what the Dems are up to. But, it purely the propaganda arm of the DNC.

    Second, I detest Blitzer to my toenails. He epitomizes the sneering liberal.

    Problem is--if you are the challenger, you are fighting the power of incumbency. Yes, the debate format will be setup to kill the conservative--camera angles, questions, etc. But, you have to get the exposure. The card deck is fixed, but your only choice is to not play.

  3. @Rich - I certainly agree she has to participate, but it's hard to stomach how these things are handled.

  4. Another piece of information that should be taken into account when nominating a candidate. How likely is he/she to be targeted and unfairly obliterated by the MSM?

  5. The issue, I think, is that if you have moderators who aren't neutral, you end up with "Gotcha" questions that derail the whole election, which I definitely think is working against O'Donnell.

    Thoughts on evolution and recent court decisions? These stuff tend left because, like Professor said, the only court case of interest right now is on the Left side, and as for evolution, a Liberal can easily go, "I'm all for teaching evolution because I believe in Science!" and get applause. A Conservative has to go, "It's a complicated issue, and I believe a lot of people use evolution to push a more atheistic view of the universe, which I don't believe naturally follows. I prefer to believe in Intelligent Design which gives God a place in the universe, even though of course believing that God is behind evolution is something that could never be proved by Science and should perhaps be taught separately."

    And I've put myself to sleep explaining a Conservative take on the issue. Next question, please.

  6. It seems that O'Donnell held her own, and then some, notwithstanding the unfair treatment. Hopefully she'll receive a decent jump in the polls and at least move to within single digits.

  7. William,

    Actually, the right answer would be something like: "if you really knew science, and not only believe it, you would acknowledge that creation and evolution don't go against each other."

    The response to that would be, in short versions, a "why?" or a less polite "this is is stupid!".

    Anyway, there will be always an opening to explain that creation must not be taken literally, but as a story written in mythical language to express an experience about an order that is given to men, that its beyond our responsability, but we still must act in order to be attuned to it. This order is recognized by physicists and mathematicians (otherwise their calculous would be impossible), or even ecologists, when they say that men must act in a way that doesn't inbalance nature.

    The last part, by the way, is just to wound badly the left-environmental argument.


  8. The more I see of Chris Coons, the more I wonder how any American could vote for him and than complain about Washington raising taxes.
    The Democrats could raise taxes 100% and take every dime any American has and Chris Coons would not be satisfied.

    No one should vote for Chris Coons.

  9. How is Kelo "inside the law stuff"? Not only is that case the rallying cry for those that support property rights, but it led to numerous state amendments regarding eminent domain.

    If not Kelo, how about Gonzales v. Raich? Planned Parenthood v. Casey? (I'd think that case would be recent enough.)

    I know you like O'Donnell, but enough with explaining away her ignorance of the issues.

  10. Smug little twit up there.

    Yes, Kelso *is* inside the law stuff, because "eminent domain" is an obscure tenet to laymen and the Kelo decision was hardly a hot topic in the mainstream news world. I've being following politics since 1999 pretty close, and I never heard of the Kelo decision until I read about on a blog in 2008. I follow many other blogs and Kelo does not come up on most and on those that it does come up on the blogger assumes that we all know the background and only talks about its effects on New London, not the legalese behind it. So get over yourself guy and think before you mouth off on what you think people should know or not.

    And here is my problem with Jim. He has defended RINO's from far more serious charges and with more merit, yet he has apparently swallowed the idiotic lefty created stereotype of O'Donnell as 'quirky.' Give me a break.

    What quirks? Dabbling into witchcraft in high school as a form of rebellion? That's not a quirk, that is being a typical teenager. Speaking out against masturbation and sexual immorality? That's what Christians are supposed to do. And I agree with her stance on both. But I guess in Jim's beltway land, being a principled Christian would be considered an embarrassing "quirk."

    What questionable decisions? If he is talking about the lawsuit, anybody who has looked into it has said that her argument had merit, the people she worked for wanted to "put her in her place" and she fought back. Nothing questionable about that.

    As for her not explaining her "questionable decisions" well enough...huh? I've seen her speeches and appearances since winning the primary and she is a very articulate and intelligent person and has more than explained and countered the "quirky" and 'questionable decision' accusations/nonsense that have been hurled at her.

    Sorry Jim, but by swallowing the lefty meme against her, you have exposed that their is something very wrong with you, your trenchant criticism of the "debate" format notwithstanding.

    And hey, Outside the Beltway guy, Palin has not had a 'deer in the headlights' moment and never will. So kiss off.

  11. FZ:

    Sorry, but maybe you need to follow the news a little bit closer. If you want a recommendation of a blog that covers legal issues, see volokh.com. See also scotusblog.com.

    Heaven forbid we actually demand our prospective representatives (or those that have been involved in issues relating to public policy) have an understanding about the SCOTUS decisions that shape our daily lives.

  12. "Wolf, things have not worked out as well as you had hoped."

    What happens when "Wolf" is under fire:


  13. "If you really knew science, and not only believed it."

    That's a good one, Paulo. I'll remember that.

  14. I would think that a Tea Party "return to the constitution" fundamentalist would have a slightly better idea of where the Supreme Court has supposedly strayed from the constitution.