The Public Eye

printed 10/09/2020

It might have been mentioned before that I don’t watch political debates, because I don’t want to get whiplash trying to follow a discussion that produces more errant volleys than chimps playing tennis.

The moderators, no matter how practiced and knowledgeable they might be, ask one direct question and receive in return answers that seem to have been transmitted back to earth from Mars.

Question: What do you think about climate change and sea level rise?

Answer: Yes. Our position is rotate your tires, chew your food, close cover before striking, and, more importantly, lather, rinse, repeat.”

Question: And your rebuttal candidate two?

Answer: As I was saying earlier, we believe in the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, giving proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Moderator: Thank you both for being direct and to the point.

As I have observed previously, listening to a debate between practiced politicians is like wearing a thong in a snowstorm: you expect to be exposed to critical elements, but instead find yourself going numb in the end.

I did watch five minutes or so of the vice-presidential debates Wednesday, but parked that idea when a question about the age of the presidential candidates — both of whom are old enough to wax nostalgic about the Rise of the Age of Mammals — veered off into the unknown to avoid the question.

I’m not sure, but I think Pence replied with a detailed explanation of the Infield Fly Rule, while Harris expounded on why birds of a feather flock together.

Maybe that’s a small exaggeration employed to make a point, but it’s no worse than some of the crazy assertions made by the participants.

Pence, for instance, kept harping on what he said was Biden’s pledge to eliminate fracking, which means nothing whatsoever to me, since to frack or not to frack would seem to be a private matter between consenting adults.

Harris, meanwhile, repeatedly brought up health care, even when the question was about, say, fracking: “Let me say this — Suppose you were a fracking worker who fracked his back and needed corrective surgery. Under our plan …”

What?

The thing is, unless the debate moderator has the ability to force straight answers out of the participants, there’s no point in having a debate.

Moderator: Please answer the question … I said please answer the question! I’m going to ask you one last time … don’t make me activate your shock collar.

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