After watching the last portion of the Republican YouTube debate on CNN, I agree with radio talker Hugh Hewitt http://hughhewitt.com that this is not the way important issues of the day should be debated. It was, in a word, bizarre.
Having written that, a very important fact will not be noted in the DDBMSM. That the Republican candidates endured the inane questions and the Anderson Cooper handoffs to the candidate that he thought the general questions would hurt the most while the Democrat presidential candidates will not appear on one sponsored and questioned by the Fox News Channel. For according to the Democrat candidates, Fox News is biased to the right. And allowing a Hilary Clinton plant to not only ask a YouTube question, but continue as a member of the audience shows no bias to the left?
So, for just showing up, the Republican candidates can not say they ran away the way Democrat candidates are from Fox News.
But, that does not mean that this format, in which people submit questions via the internet is any better than having inane people like Chris Matthews of NBC do the questions.
So, some observations.
Mitt Romney is looking more and more presidential every day and may have pulled away tonight and the national numbers may finally catch up with the Iowa and New Hampshire numbers. John "F--- You" McCain looked like he could have said that several times in the debate. But, so long as he makes an issue out of how Americans treat potential terrorists and whether or not terror suspects are "tortured", Sen. "F--- You" McCain looks weaker and weaker. Ron Paul got the conspiracy question of the night about the push for a so-called North American Union. And, Mr. Paul did not disappoint by saying a lot about nothing and agreeing with the basic premise. Mike Huckabee could be the comedian in chief, and while the shtick is good now, it won't last in the long run. Duncan Hunter continues to run for Defense Secretary and his honest answer about homosexuals serving openly in the armed services may come back to haunt him. Where was Tom Tancredo? And the front-runner, Rudy Giuliani? Well, trying to stick it hard to Mr. Romney over hiring illegal aliens. But, this may have been one of Mr. Giuliani's weakest performances to date. Oh, and Fred Thompson was acting like the vice-president he may be. And, Mr. Thompson will take it if asked!
But come on, some of the questions.
Like the aforementioned one by the retired general about homosexuals openly serving in the armed forces. Had the You Boob people and CNN done some real vetting, this would have never made it to the debate. At least not from a Hilary Clinton plant. And to give this Brigadier General Kerr a chance to further his cause because he was in the audience was bad. See if this would happen in a Democrat You Boob debate.
Then there is the always pressing national issue of the old stars and bars Confederate battle flag and whether or not it should be a state flag or part of a state flag. It is an issue, but not in this debate.
And why not end this insipid debate but with a question to Mr. Giuliani as to why he cheered on the Boston Red Sox to a World Series triumph after Mr. Giuliani's beloved New York Yankees were knocked out of the playoffs?
There were few if any serious questions about the War Against Islamofacsist Terror or the events in the Iraq theatre of this war. But, the first 35 minutes were on questions about illegal immigration. Now, it is an important issue, but it is within the national security question and the War Against Islamofacsist Terror. Most of the illegal alien questions asked and "vetted" by YouTube and CNN were to make the Republican candidates all sound like the increasingly paranoid Pat Buchanan.
We have seen it all in this death march of a presidential campaign, but one thing that needs to go away for a long time is this YouTube format. It does not give the people a larger voice for it is not just anyone ask any questions and what is vetted is a freak show in and of itself. Improve the format and take it out of the hands of CNN, and maybe a real discussion about real issues will happen. Until then, it will be a freak show.