Thursday, January 26, 2012

Newt Gingrich is an Idiot
3-Hour Debate Edition

What a moron. Debates are for people who don't understand the issues anyway, and who think they can do so by watching a 90-minute-or-so, staged rhetorical contest. (Not that I don't watch them, because I do.) No one with two neurons to rub together and who gives the matter any thought can possibly think that a 3-hour debate is a good idea. It would be little more than an endurance contest for both the participants and the audience.

This is just another dumb-guy-who-thinks-he's-smart idea from Newt. Apparently this is part of his fantasy that he is a serious thinker, and Obama is not, and that he'll show these things by besting the President at the podium. Oh, Newt will have a certain advantage, as blowhards and bullshitters always do in debates. But Obama will shred him on substance, obviously. Newt is simply fighting out of his intellectual weight class against Obama. But a bombastic bullshitter of his caliber is a dangerous opponent in such a contest. Debates are about entertainment, not inquiry, and that is, indeed, Newt's territory.

Instead of debates, what we should have are documents or videos prepared by the candidates' teams, in which each team gets a certain number of words or minutes to present challenges and answer them. This would allow each side to craft its best response, marshal all the relevant facts, appeal to experts and so forth. A document or video of this kind would be extremely informative, and would minimize the effectiveness of bullshitting.


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