Monday, July 23, 2007

Post CNN/YouTube Debate Comments

That debate was aggressive! There were a lot of questions that are things that people talk about, like the man who asked Hillary Clinton about two families running the country for 20 years, that people rarely get asked to their face.

Too many similar questions on Iraq. I know we're democrats but I would have rather seen a greater selection of topics.

Some of the videos were very good. But the “funny” videos mostly made me cringe. Any video with anyone singing. The snowman one about global warming. It's a little like it was "America's Got Talent" night.

I can't blame the video makers, but CNN which was ultimate gatekeeper here. So what exactly was their criteria? How about some transparency in the selection process or was it just the big black box that spits out YouTube video questions at random?

It seemed to me there were a lot of questions which were framed as if a Republican was asking the question. “Will you raise taxes like the way every Democrat usually does.” The gun owner who called his assault rifle his “child.”

I don’t mind that, Republicans are citizens who vote. Checking people’s party registration isn’t the way to handle citizen questions.

But it does make me wonder if now I can ask an abortion question Kitty Dukakis-style to the Republicans.

Something like “If your daughter/niece was raped, would you tell her she can’t have emergency contraception? Would you tell her she can’t get an abortion if she found herself pregnant?”


Anonymous said...

I don't think you have to worry about abortion questions at the GOP debates. Guiliani and Romney have both been deservedly grilled on the issue, and McCain was in 2000. Thompson will be for sure once he joins in the fray, considering his lobbying past.

As a Republican, I would welcome your phraseology. If it were me, I would be able to hit it out of the park, given my constituency. I will admit, however, that someone like Romney, whom I like, might have some difficulty with it.

Jim in Cleveland

NewsCat said...

Romney is the person I most want to hear from too. But he doesn't have daughters, only sons. I assume though he must have a niece somewhere. I should check on that first :-)

Guiliani's response might be interesting as well. Who even KNOWS if Thompson is going to be in the race officially by the time of the debate. I don't care about McCain's response. The guy's toast.

Basically I'm asking about two separate issues and some candidates support one or the other. The issue is the availability of emergency contraception (and tangentially do they consider it an abortificant...which medically it's not but some people think it is) and what will their "answer" be when asked about keeping abortion legal or making it illegal.

Welcome back Jim...I'm glad to see you again :-)

Anonymous said...

Newscat, what does it matter if Romney has a son or daughter? This is moral relativism--something that is wrong for someone else is okay for me, and vice versa. I was once grilled by a co-worker who told me that once I had a daughter, I would feel differently about abortion. Well, now I have a daughter, and I feel just as strong about it. I saw the ultrasound, and seeing her at 20 weeks, I could not imagine that it would be legal or moral to end her life.

I would answer your question one of two ways: if I were Romney or Guiliani, I would stress that the important thing isn't whether I support life or choice, but whether I support strict constructionist judges or bench legislators. If I am president, the way I affect the issue the greatest is by my judicial appointments, and Roe is terrible case law whether you are pro or anti abortion.

If I were Thompson, I think I would ask the age of my hypethetical daughter. If she is of age, I cannot tell my daughter what to do. If she wants the emergency "contraception," what can I do to stop it? I would also answer it this way--the way I would have raised my daughter, I would hope she would make the right choice (what I mean is that she knows what my views are, and know the arguments against getting the abortion). But regardless, I would tell her that she needed to consider how she would feel in a year or five or ten years. Life is difficult, and taking the easier route is not always the best route.

Incidentally, I do read your blog all the time, but I don't feel very strongly about your cat pictures, so I don't often comment. ;) What I like about your blog is that you provide insights, especially on abortion, that are opposite of mine. You obviously hold firm to your beliefs, but you are able to listen to the other side with respect.

Jim in Cleveland

NewsCat said...

I'm glad you write Jim even though we disagree. It's good for me to hear/read your thoughts and on some level to have a coversation with someone who's opinion on abortion is different. We probably won't ever convince each other of the other's arguments but sometimes its helpful to recognize the logic behind them.

Anyways, I typically don't support the personalizing of such questions, precisely because politicians will say something like "well I don't set policy based on what happens to me" or they give an answer that doesn't reflect the reality. The Kitty Dukakis-death penalty example is notorious which is why I was thinking about it.

But I disagree with you about the sense that if you were President Thompson (or Romney, etc) that your *adult* daughter's ability to take/get emergency contraception is beyond your ability to impact. Emergency Contraception is legal but in many cases across the country has been made difficult to obtain. Even making hospitals required to offer EC to rape victims is an issue that a president can effect.

It's a whole issue and I'd like to probe the candidates' responses but one has to be concise in their words in asking these questions.

The abortion side of the question though is also about probing. If they come back with answers about judges and whatnot...that still a response I want to hear. I don't like using only the sympathic rape victim to ask a point, but it does make me realize that if you have someone who says "well I'm against abortion in all cases (except life of mother)," what are you going to theoretically be saying to a rape victim? Of course a president isn't going to be directly saying anything to a rape victim who cannot obtain an abortion. But they might (theoretically) have to say something to a person they know about "why they support such a policy." That's why I feel it's acceptable to make this a personal inquiry. Not "what would you tell a theoretical rape victim who can't obtain an abortion due to your parties." What would you say to a member of your own family? Do you think that what you would say to your daughter or your niece would be as comforting as what you are telling the non-relative via your policies?