The first 63 minutes of this debate, that's one hour and three minutes for those scoring at home, were all questions about non-issues that have sprung up over the past month or so. "Elitist" comments, sniper fire, "electability*," and flag pins. The last time I sat in front of this screen and typed about the political discourse in this country, I complained that our system of picking a leader for this country would soon turn into American Idol. I may have been wrong. At least on American Idol, the three moron "moderators" constantly bring the discussion back to the core question "can you #*@%ing sing?" Neither of the moderators for the Philly debate seemed too interested in coming back to what the core question in a presidential debate should be: "how are you going to #*@%ing run the country?"
The frustrating thing is that, by all accounts, Obama and Clinton just stood there and let it run this way for 63 minutes, never once calling out these questions for the utter useless distractions that they were.
Yet neither candidate had the courage to ask the moderators to turn to those far more important issues. But some in the crowd did -- booing Gibson near the end.
The only bright spot is that maybe, just maybe, the boos from the crowd point to a desire from the American people for a substantial debate from those whom we are being asked to allow to lead this country. Or maybe it's just that the crowd completely bought into this drivel and were booing because there wasn't a question about how unconvincingly Clinton sipped from her shot of Crown Royal.
UPDATE: Here's a little something from Media Matters that further expresses how ridiculous this debate was and gives a transcript so you can appreciate just how awful the questions really were.
*By the way, the word "electability" (which isn't actually a real word) should be scratched from the English language - or at least from the Democratic party's lexicon - after the massive dropping of the ball in 2004. We had a completely inept and completely beatable George the W.(who wasn't really even elected in the first place) in the middle of a giant mess that he made in Iraq and poised to be a one term president. All we had to do was field a candidate that people could get behind. Instead, "electability" became the buzzword and we ended up with the "safe" pick of John Kerry. That worked out really well, didn't it?