Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (aka CNN Republican debate) – Updated with video

I’m currently watching the CNN/Politico Republican debate, and it is disgustingly biased. Romney and McCain are being allowed to run free, bickering like children rather than discussing real policy, while Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are essentially being ignored. I understand the latter two candidates are not polling as high, but given that this election is an ongoing process, it would be nice to hear them given a chance to talk.

Following the link at the bottom of the TV screen, I went to CNN’s politics site to give my feedback. I posted my comment 30 minutes ago, and while comments have been approved all around mine, mine is still “awaiting moderation.” So I’m not sure if my comment will be censored (i.e. never posted) or not, but thank goodness for the blogosphere, where my speech can be free in all it’s glory. Here was my comment:

January 30, 2008 8:57 pm ET

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“It’s amazing that with only 4 candidates on stage, the moderators still manage to all but ignore Ron Paul. It’s like some sick political circus – if it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny. It’s no longer shocking at this point, and indeed I expect Paul to be pushed to the side during debates because that has occurred at almost every single Republican forum up to this point.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse, though, Anderson Cooper cuts him off in the middle of his response regarding Supreme Court Justice nominations…while of course letting the other candidates finish their responses. I don’t know whether this was Cooper’s decision, or the decision of some producer or executive, but it is shameful. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with a candidate’s position, the point of a debate is to give them time to expand upon their views and policy ideas. If you’re not going to let him talk, why invite him to sit on the stage?”

Perhaps I should clarify that I am not a conspiracy theorist, and I do not own a tin-foil hat nor stock up on food awaiting the end of the world. I’m a 25 year old medical student who was raised in an independent/moderately conservative household. I have friends, I do fun things in my spare time, I volunteer in my community…in short, I am a “normal” person, whatever that means. And it is obvious to me either (1) the media has written Ron Paul off and doesn’t think he deserves time in the debate, but they feel forced to invite him due to his successful fundraising (though of course still free to ignore both him and Huckabee), or (2) the general public is too stupid and thus doesn’t understand when Paul discusses the Austrian business cycle, so CNN doesn’t want to bother their pretty heads with actual thought, and prefers to serve up the Presidential equivalent of a WWF match instead of a debate.

Plus, as I was writing this and the debate was wrapping up, Anderson Cooper discussed his views on the debate, saying it was “heavy on policy.” If I had been drinking milk, it would have squirted out of my nose. There was almost no policy being discussed there…instead it was rambling, arguing, and pandering. If I took my blood pressure right now, I’m sure it would be through the roof, because having to watch this take place really pisses me off. The fact that I care this much means that our government has way too much power and influence over my life. When a clip is put up on youtube of Ron Paul’s awesome response on Iraq (the only decent chance he got to speak), I will post it here. In the meantime, enjoy my rant…feel free to add your own rant about the sad state of American politics, in both the Republican and Democratic parties. We need to take our country back, instead of letting greedy politicians and their big-corporation lobbyists run the world.

One last rant – Politico.com offered a chance over the past few days for web surfers to post their own questions for the debate or vote on other questions (you can still go to their site to vote for the Democrat’s questions). I spent a good hour going through those questions trying to vote on good ones that would get to the heart of policy, while giving all of the candidates a chance to answer. I can’t see what the top 10 questions are now since the debate is done, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t use any of them. Seriously…what was the point of even letting people submit and vote for questions? Grrrr…

~ Lily

Update:

A video containing the entire 7 minutes and 55 seconds Ron Paul was allowed to speak during the debate (which was around 90 minutes). At the 3 minute mark is where he gets cut off by Anderson Cooper (I love how Paul rolls his eyes at this). Around 3:20 is his response to keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years – he draws applause three times during his answer.

Paul’s points (and let me know if this sounds crazy to you):

  • Both Romney and McCain agree on foreign policy and are only arguing about technicalities, rather than discussing real issues and differences
  • Republicans were elected in 1952 to stop the war in Korea, and in 1962 were elected to stop the war in Vietnam
  • How many men are Republicans willing to let die for a cause that has nothing to do with national security? Specifically
    • the fact that Iraq had no Al Quada members (until we went in)
    • Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 (the suicide bombers were from Saudi Arabia, and here on legal visas)
    • Iraq was not a threat to our national security – they never committed aggression (no preemptive strike, and we were lead in there based on lies that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction”)
    • The war is unconstitutional – it was never declared by Congress as it is supposed to (as laid out in our Constitution), and is thus ILLEGAL

Boy, those sound like the most bat-shit crazy ideas I’ve ever heard…thank you CNN for protecting my fragile mind from such dangerous words (note excessive sarcasm). I would also add that the war in Iraq is not just killing American men and women, but many more Iraqis – most of whom are innocent. Something tells me “100 years” McCain could care less about such “trivial” details.

4 Comments

  1. Commenter said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Dear Lily,

    Excellent blog. I enjoy your writing style. If I had been drinking milk when I read your milk reference it would have come out my nose.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. lostloveletters said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Wow Lily – are you my long lost twin? You just wrote what I feel AND I was also at CNN sending in my comment and my comments are ALSO still awaiting moderation – I happen to be a strong Ron Paul supporter due to my recent self education in basic economics – I had to keep myself from practically throwing up in regards to the biased nature of this CNN debate and it kkills me when the other guys smirk at Paul when he is speaking nothing but educated and truthful answers. I am 30, a young professional who is nowhere near racist or crazy, but since I support Paul that is pretty much what the media likes making people believe and after reading some of the CNN posts, there are still alot of folks out there who believe that supporting Ron Paul automatically makes us kooky. It’s a tough uphill battle to try and open other peoples eyes to what is going on, but being called crazy everyday is a small price to pay for saving my future (b/c the way I see it now, we are pretty screwed without Ron Paul). Thanks for your blog post – and I am praying to God that you are a Ron Paul supporter…

  3. lostloveletters said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    P.S. Just checked back in regards to the 2 comments I posted on CNN and guess what – they were removed and never posted… my posts were educated, non-offensive and straightforward… I am literally baffled and quite frightened by this blatant censorship! How many other posts like mine were nixed???

  4. Bill Jacobson said,

    January 30, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    My comment seems to be in “moderation limbo” also. I wrote at CNN:

    January 30, 2008 8:58 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Why did they even invite Ron Paul to participate? The moderators seem to be going out of their way to not let him say anything. “You will have a chance in two more questions” they say, and Ron Paul was cut off. I counted four questions go by and he wasn’t given an opportunity to speak. It seems downright rude. If they planned to only allow McCain and Romney to speak, why not just invite those two?

    Of course it never got better.

    From primaries we learn in excruciating detail the percentage leads and lags of the various candidates. Debates should operate as if the slate is wiped clean. By virtue of being invited, all candidates should be treated equally and with respect. If debates are nothing more than reflections of current polling, than what mechanism do we have left for measuring the value of our candidates and identifying and lifting up the diamonds in the rough? This feedback loop that gives only the frontrunners time to speak simply helps us recognize that we are once again in a position where we will be voting for the person that disgusts us just a bit less.


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