Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pre-Debate Blather

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama may be Harvard Law School grads, but you wouldn't know it based on their abysmal understanding of basic contract law. The two campaigns had signed a "memorandum of understanding" in which they decreed that Candy Crowley's moderation role would be limited to introductions and enforcing time limits. The only problem is, they didn't tell her their rules and she isn't agreeing to them. She's been going around threatening to ask follow-up questions of the candidates if they don't come clean with their citizen-subject inquisitors. And Mitt and Barry are in panic mode over this unprecedented show of journalistic independence.

Both campaigns have now appealed to the corporate-run Commission on Presidential Debates, demanding that Ms. Crowley stick to her preordained role as factotum for the staged travesty. But since you can't sign a contract enforcing conditions on a third party without that party's consent, they don't have a legal leg to stand on. Not that it really matters, of course, when you are running for president. The unitary executive job description has long been exempt from the pesky rule of law. If Candy Crowley asks a tough question on the illegality of targeted assassinations on American citizens, she could be declared a terrorist sympathizer and end up on a presidential kill list. Very theoretically, of course. The law is that dangerously and intentionally vague. A federal judge just ruled as much, before her ruling was overturned by a higher court based on a panic-stricken appeal by the White House.

The two sides did, however, deign to grant Ms. Crowley the power to shut off the microphones of audience questioners if they happen to go off-script from their pre-approved queries. Participants reportedly have been chosen from among undecided Long Islanders as determined by a Gallup poll.

And this whole canard about there being gridlock in Washington based on the insane polarity between the two sides of the Uniparty is just that -- a canard. Bipartisanship is alive and well when it comes to waging forever wars, and protecting the interests of the elites, and keeping the hoi polloi in their places. Here is the joint statement put out by the Rombama and Obamney people:

As stated in the document: “In managing the two-minute comment periods, the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new topic … The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the two-minute response period.”

The Commission on Presidential Debates, as I've previously outlined, is run by lobbyists and corporate CEOs, for lobbyists and CEOs. Until Time Magazine's Mark Helprin leaked the "gentleman's agreement" the CPD had very undemocratically refused to divulge the terms and conditions whereby predigested drivel would be spewed into the undecided living rooms of the Banana Republic States of America. The document is really kind of a yawn. Mitt and Barry, prima donnas that they are, are allowed to bring their own make-up artists. (nothing about nails ladies, though). The "green rooms" where they will hover while awaiting their big entrances will be close enough to the stage so they won't be sweating like pigs from a too-long walk into the limelight. Panning camera shots of dismayed spouses and nose-picking spawn in the audience are verboten. Each man will be allowed to bring along his own own still photographer for posterity. No Leni Riefenstahlish documentarians allowed, though. All camera angles will be flattering. The mics will be wireless so as to avoid accidents. The little tables holding their designer water will be close enough to avoid any untoward stretching or embarrassing spills.

Amazingly enough, the Debate police will ensure that neither Mitt nor Barry sneaks any electronic device, prop, or other "tangible thing" to the stage with them. Whether they will actually be frisked or body-scanned is not known, but the agreement does allow Candy Crowley to interrupt the whole shebang if she discovers either one of them cheating in any way. We can only hope. We can also hope that one of the pre-approved, "undecided" citizen questioners launches into a tirade against war, unfettered capitalism and the corruption of politics by the monied interests before the microphone is turned off. That is the only reason I'll be tuning in.


Will said...

If you don't feel like tuning in to Obama's thrilling comeback performance tonight (You just KNOW that's the script these actors received for Round 2, don't you?), there's always a good flick to catch down at the Cineplex. Here's a suggestion from our buddy, Paul Ryan:


P.S. Part 1 actually came out last year. I can't believe I missed it!


Kat said...

Can we wager on how many times we can see the word "mojo" on the D blogs tomorrow?

Or maybe make some sort of drinking game out of it?

Zee said...


I plan on taking a drink every time EITHER candidate opens his mouth tonight, unless he is responding to an unexpected follow-up from Ms. Crowley that leaves him gape-jawed and speechless.

Denis Neville said...

Drinking tonight...

“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” - Oscar Wilde

As Cheer’s Norm Peterson answered:

"Hey Norm, how's the world been treating you?"

"Like a baby treats a diaper."

Kat said...

OK-- about 15 seconds in and I gave up.
These are not questions.

Zee said...

After all the blatant lies and full field reversals by both candidates tonight, it's time to switch from Chardonnay to cheap Scotch.

spreadoption said...

In the comments above we find consensus: Might as well get drunk!

That's what we get for seeing things as they are.

Cheers, everyone!

Valerie said...

My prediction - this round will go to Obama. It is all part of the charade. The last round went to Mitt, just to scare the bots and any strays like me who might have the confidence - after Mitt's 47% comments - to vote 3rd Party. This one will go to Obama and the last one will be a draw.

It is all such a farce. All I can say is good for Candy Crowley - for saying the farce had gone too far - even for those participating in it.