Now that the first debates of the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates, courtesy of MSNBC are in the can, here are a few observations.
Firstly, I think that MSNBC takes the Democrats more seriously than the Republicans. The reason? Who they had "moderating" each debate. For the Dems, they had the A team of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. For the Republicans they had Democrat party hack Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball" on the low-rated MSNBC. Clearly, Mr. Williams asked the Democrat candidates serious questions. None really dealt with what a Democrat president will do concerning the issue of the day, the War Against Terror. Mr. Matthews thought that, in his frantic yet best school marm way that asking the Republican candidates if they believed in the theory of evolution or not was a serious question. It was a classic "gotcha" question, hoping maybe to embarrass someone like a Mitt Romney into saying no. Only three of the Republican B listers, Sen Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo raised their hand to say no. I do not think that is an important question to ask the next potential leader of the free world.
Second, the format is absolutely stifling for both parties candidates to answer a question in a reasonable, understandable time frame. Essentially, because the network let every candidate from each party on stage, they had to find a way to ask and answer within 30 seconds. None of these candidates is that good.
Third, get rid of the clearly loons from each party. For the Democrats, does anyone really think former Alaska sen Mike Gravell is a serious candidate? I mean, he was "frightened" by some of the candidates that are in the United States senate, which is almost all of them. Or Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich? Yes, he gives the anti-war Dems a near orgasm, but if he is not a one percenter at best, no one is. For the Republicans, Tom Tancredo's whole candidacy is based on illegal immigration. Yes, a serious problem that in fact is tied into the War Against Terror. But, he sounds like the white hood is tightening around his head. Also, Texas congressman Ron Paul, the libertine, er libertarian end of the GOP spectrum. He is not a serious candidate.
A lot of people think that both parties do not have the best candidates running for the highest elected office in the land. Seeing these losers makes that true and takes away from the candidates that are in the race for real and have something serious to say.
Lastly, why did any of the Republican candidates agree to do a debate conducted by MSNBC? I mean, do Democrat will do one conducted by Fox News Channel because they are "biased" to the right, as if having Chris Matthews "moderate" a Republican debate is fair and balanced!
Hopefully, as this endless political season continues and there are more debates, the next sponsor and or conductor needs to set some serious ground rules and let the candidates be able to actually answer a question, no matter how inane.