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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dumb and Dumberer

The Gadflyer's Paul Waldman muses on how the pundits will score the debates in his post Dumbing it Down . Here's where he gets to the point:
Our country is burdened by huge debt, the situation in Iraq has become an unadulterated clusterfuck, we are still vulnerable to terrorism, our health care system is a mess, tens of millions of Americans struggle to feed their families, and what questions do the men and women who will determine the next president think are important? Here are some examples:

* John Kerry recently appears tan. Is he too tan? If so, he should not be president.

* Will Bush get snippy in the debate? If so, people should not vote for him.

* Will Kerry’s answer to a question about Iraq include any subordinate clauses? If it does, he does not deserve to be president. If it doesn’t, he does deserve to be president.

* Will Bush say something stupid? If he doesn’t, then he should be re-elected.

* The Bush campaign will tell us that anything Kerry says represents a flip-flop. Should we believe them? If so, Kerry does not deserve to be president.

There may have been no election in American history when the policy issues were of such consequence and the nation’s press corps was so focused on trivia.