Hillary Sends In a Ringer

"Undecided questioner" really means "Democrat hack."

Wednesday's CNN/YouTube Republican primary debate covered some interesting ground, and had some amusing moments.  It also included some head-scratchers, leading to an amazing revelation.

Partway through the debate, a retired general asked the following question of the candidates: "Why [do] you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians?"  After they'd all had a shot at it, the general summed up that "With all due respect, I did not get an answer from the candidates. American men and women in the military are professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians. ... Today, don't ask, don't tell is destructive to our military policy."

Hmm.  That doesn't sound like a question; that sounds more like a statement from a person who already has formed their opinion and wouldn't have been satisfied with any answer the candidates could have given, other than agreeing with him.

Shortly after the debate, it was discovered that this particular general is not just an ordinary voter.  In fact, he is a co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's National Military Veterans group; an ex-member of Kerry's National Veterans Steering Committee; and indeed, has previously appeared on the CNNfn channel arguing against the military's current "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexuals.  In other words, he's a political operative.

Having been put on the scent, the blogosphere discovered that this was only the tip of the iceberg.  The debate questioners included a "Concerned Undecided Young Person" who is a dedicated John Edwards supporter; a "Concerned Undecided Log Cabin [homosexual] Republican" who is a declared Obama supporter; and a "Concerned Undecided Mom" who is a staunch union activist, and member of the United Steelworkers union which publicly supports John Edwards.

There is little if any chance that any of these folks will vote for the Republican nominee, much less in the Republican primary.

So what gives?  We could go on about media bias and CNN's famous liberal slant, but that's old news.  In the mid 90s, CNN stood for Clinton News Network.  The debate on CNN's political preference has long been settled.  So it comes as no surprise that they ignore hatchet-job questioners.  Of course CNN isn't going to care about that sort of thing.

The real question is, should we?  The candidates for the Republican nomination wish to run against the Democratic nominee, and eventually to be President, going up again such world leaders as Ahmadinejad, Castro, and Chavez.  Surely it's a legitimate test of their qualifications that they be able to gracefully and intelligently respond to even the most loaded questions.

In fact, what would be a more revealing sort of question?  One from a generally friendly person who mostly agrees with many of the candidate's positions?  Or a loaded, aggressive question from a sworn enemy?

The best, and doubtless most interesting, sort of debate, would be one in which the Democratic nominees themselves could submit questions for the Republican nominees.  Of course, they'd need to be edited and vetted so they at least made sense, and did not become grandstanding in and of themselves.

But what's wrong with a Democrat asking Republicans how they plan to fix the mess in Iraq?  What they intend to do about the cost of healthcare?  What solutions they proffer for our collapsing public schools?  Both the questions, and the answers, would be most revealing.

And then, it would be the turn of Republican candidates to present questions to the Dems.  And that really would be worth watching.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

I was just saying the same thing to a friend.  Forget the regular questions and moderators.  We should have all the candidates from one party sit at a round table with no audience; just taped for TV.  And they are presented with questions from candidates from the other party.  Take the gloves off and go out at!

November 29, 2007 4:08 PM
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