Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Democrats: Demand Post-Debate Fact-Checks

Apparently the Newtenator wants 3-hour-long Lincoln-Douglas style debates.

(We used to call that debate style "LD" because it was slow...har har. The rap on LD was that it was basically just a chat, in which rhetorical stuff rather than incisive arguments, won. (In retrospect, the type of debate we did, NDT, was the utterest crap (too?); we just talked really fast, adopted a demeanor intended to convey the impression that we were really smart, and spewed out evidence, much of it largely unrelated to the point at issue. (Some teams prepared two long, Rube-Goldberg-esque arguments, and used them against every plan; every plan was said to either increase or decrease economic activity. Either increasing or decreasing economic activity was said to INEVITABLY LEAD TO "GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR" (actual quote). The bit I remember was: a better economy leads to eating more meat, which leads to deforestation of the rain forest, which leads to environmental disaster, which leads to competition for resources, which leads to GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR. People used to say this shit with a straight face. (Whew! Lucky our level of economic activity was perfectly balanced at the only level that could possibly avoid GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR...) When this shit showed up, I quit debate. Suddenly the rotten corruption of the activity became clear to me, thank God..) People actually used to scream and spew spit during their presentations...and this was considered just dandy. I met some of the most intellectually dishonest and screwed-up people I've ever met in college debate, including people who admitted to simply making up evidence... But I digress... Ahem...)

Here's what the Dems need to insist on: independent, post-debate fact-checks. Of course a big chunk of conservatives now insist that everything that is not tailor-made to have a conservative bias has a liberal bias...up to and including Wikipedia and Snopes.com...so the committed (and need-to-be-committed) among them will likely not care about genuinely independent and objective fact-checking...but (a) it still matters, and (b) many other folks will care.


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