It’s somewhat school-marmish of me to even use terms like that (“tolerable” and “pleasant”) in reference to the Iowa event, but I think the source of that is, by this stage of events, that my expectations are lowered: after the Miami-Spanish-language Appeasement Experience, my expectations for these candidate debates has plummeted — at least as to the standards and conditions upon which they’ve been produced up to this point — so by the time the Iowa GOP debate occured, I just felt, well, “fine, they were pleasant enough and no one yelled at anyone else and the moderator didn’t bat her eyelashes or otherwise behave too terribly, so, well, fine…”
Which in and of itself is a low point of my expectations to have to admit (my having found the Iowa GOP Debate tolerable). It was a case of degrees and comparisons-within-a-lowered-standard-of-media-produced-“debates” and since during the Iowa production, there was no howling or yuck-yuck-yucking from Hillary involved (maybe Alan Keyes’ odd appearance at Iowa was somewhat suggestive of Hillary’s yucking), I took the Iowa production in stride as a reasonably acceptable television broadcast — at least far above what occurred in Miami — and that is, yet another lowered-standard, highly restricted and opinionated Liberal charade intended to exclude, manipulate and marginalize Republicans.
Yet in spite of that, the GOP Presidential candidates (excluding Keyes and perhaps Paul, also) handled the format as best as could be expected: pleasantly and intelligently. I objected to the Miami debate due to the “Spanish-language” nonsense, but not as to what the GOP candidates had to say at that debate — they, again, did very well that night on what issues they addressed but I agree with Tancredo that the event itself was pandering.
BUT, I did find it critical that Iowa’s Liberal media organizers opted to exclude from the debate two of the top-most significant issues of concern to most voting Conservatives — immigration/border security and national security — and I now wonder in retrospect what that moderator would have done had any one candidate among the GOP present there [omitting Alan Keyes] raised either or both issues.
My conclusion after reading many commentaries and critiques of the Iowa Liberal Media GOP production was that these Presidential candidate debates need to be wrangled out of the hands of the media, and since the media involved, so far, involved has been of the Liberal kind, there should either be a requirement that a Conservative media host a series of Presidential debates; if not, then, there should be no media allowed to produce these highly biased and Liberally claustrophobic works that so far, to date, have appeared in 2007.
My suggestion: get the GOP Presidential candidates in some venue where they’re asked issues important to Conservatives, in a realistic fashion — that’d exclude most Talking Heads right there from the Liberal media — and let the Democrat candidates be held responsible to the same audience and venue because so far, what these ongoing debates have been is extremely suppressed by the demands by Democrats for a highly modulated, Liberally biased low-ceiling series of events. It’s no wonder the Democrats won’t appear on FOX News: because they’d be out of their comfort zone of control and be asked actual questions without the network kissing their pinkies.
I’d prefer to see the GOP candidates being questioned on issues important to voting Conservatives because, so far, I’ve seen a lot of Republicans answering Democrat’s questions on Democrat’s terms.
But as to Iowa, and the moderator’s request if not demand for a “hand show,” I sure did enjoy Fred Thompson’s confrontation of that ridiculous moment. And from the sound of the audience response that followed — and a lot of comments on the internet since — a whole lot of Conservative voters did, too. The episode was quintessential Liberal media at it’s worst and Thompson at his best.
Thus, my new favorite phrase is:
Romney / Thompson / ’08.