Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Debate take: It's a tie!

Sorry, folks, I couldn't come away with a winner this time. Both John McCain and Barack Obama did a better job of jabbing their opponent, which I was glad to see. That's more along the lines of what a debate should be - although poor Tom Brokaw couldn't get them reined in half the time - including the end where they blocked his view of the teleprompter!

The thing is, while they were doing a better job of actually debating - being more outspoken and such - they weren't focusing their arguments. They were like two Old West gunfighters just shooting wildly, aiming only in the general direction of their opponent without actually hitting them. Thus, neither of them met the goals that I had set out yesterday. McCain didn't do enough to rise above Obama, nor did Obama deliver the finishing stroke to put McCain away.

I know that each candidate's supporters are going to say that their candidate won - and each candidate did say and do stuff that made them look good - but just having the guts to draw your gun and shoot doesn't mean that you hit your target. I guess they'll get credit for firing their guns like Palin got credit for showing up at her debate and not losing her lunch. So as much as I wanted to always name a winner, I can't this time around.

I blame the lack of skill of debating on the current environment that seeks to sue over every little jot and tittle that doesn't meet some vague and ever shifting standard of non-offensiveness. Some call it political correctness, but it's more than just the PC crowd that does this. So as a result of this hypersensitivity, skills such as debating have become a lost art and replaced with the wild west shootout that we saw last night.

So the scoreboard so far:

Obama 1.5
Palin 1
McCain .5

There's only one more debate left. Let's hope that they make it a good one.

And I'll be off a couple of days and post again on Saturday. See you then.


This news article pretty much says what I said above, except that they give Obama the nod for the win. Well, they're wrong. ;-)


blackink said...

J.P., I dunno, man. I've almost given up on trying to objectively determine the winner of the debates. No matter what, our biases and preconceptions of the candidates will color any analysis - on that note, America needs a better class of political pundit.

John P. Araujo said...

You had said to me previously (I'll have to find the blog/entry/commentary in which this was stated) that our biases are going to get in the way anyway - which is not to suggest that objectivity will have to go out the window, but that our comments and observations are always going to be tainted by these biases/etc. We can do our best to report/comment objectively, but at the same time, we are human, and we can't forget the human element - in fact, the human element can make our reporting/commenting all the more powerful. That, I think, was the essence of what you had told me.

You’re for Obama and your blog entries reflect that. In fact, I rely on you for a lot of info that I haven’t come across before (and let me add that I’m still impressed at the frequency that you post!). So with that, I say go ahead and report on your analyses of the debates – biases included. And just because someone comments on a blog with a bias does not mean that they are wrong. In fact, nearly all blogs are going to have their biases – including mine! Blogs, blogging, and biases pretty much comes with the territory.

If we all wrote the same way – if we all reported from the same ideological or social or political side – if we all thought one way, what a boring world it would be! America, for all its faults, is best with the multitude of views and ideologies that we embody. We can have these disagreements without taking each other out, and that’s unprecedented in world history. Look how filled European history is with such violent disagreements. But here in the U.S. is where we find the concept of the “marketplace of ideas” in full flower. It’s one of the things that I love about this country.

My friend, America does not need a better class of political punditry, because it has bloggers like us. Two former Skiffers from the great state of Texas is all the political punditry that this nation needs. So I say fret no more about this, and carry on as you have been doing. We each, in our way, contribute to the great national dialogue on this election, and it's a beautiful thing.