Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Delaware Witch Trials

I must tell you I have really come to detest politics. Our "Party Trumps Principles" method of campaigning and promoting candidates is disheartening and distasteful. And now that the main stream media has abandoned even the appearance of objectivity, elections simply make me sad.

Therefore, even though I was simultaneously amused and outraged by the Delaware Debate between Democrat Chris Coons and the Wiccan, errr... i mean Republican Christine O'Donnell, I wasn't going to waste my time writing a blog post expressing my disappointment in the debate.

As I watched the debate (available below), I was following the comments by fellow observers on Twitter. The always brilliant
Hunter Campbell captured the essence of the debate in well under the 140 character limit with this synopsis of the calibre of the questioning:

Wolf Blitzer: Ms. O'Donnell. Name all the elements
of the periodic table in reverse atomic number order.
Mr. Coons. Spell "cat".

Jim Geraghty, writing over at The National Review Online also captured the essence of the debate succinctly:

"The moderators were pretty awful. Both Blitzer and the local reporter seemed hell bent on… well, the metaphor burning a witch comes to mind."

Geraghty elaborated and, I think, understood the reality of the debate:

"Yes, Christine O’Donnell has a lot of quirks, a lot of questionable decisions in her past and a lot of evasive answers about those bad decisions. But it was pretty clear that neither moderator was all that interested in holding Coons’ feet to the fire or interested in what he had to say at all. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the better of the two, was hell-bent on pinning down O’Donnell’s view on evolution. And he was the better of the two."

"This was the moderators’ chance to play hardball with their designated Villain Du Jour, and the fact that CNN aired much of this debate live illustrates that the MSM doesn’t just want to see O’Donnell beaten; they want to see her… well, metaphorically burned at the stake in the town square for her audacity."

My opinion of the debate was that O'Donnell is not well prepared for the rigors of the Senate, but that Coons is a weak, too far left leaning candidate that couldn't possibly win a contest against a better qualified opponent. But the looser? The looser was Wolf Blitzer who surrendered has journalist credentials and dispensed with even a modicum of impartiality.

The ultimate tragedy of Blitzer's journalistic betrayal is that if he had played it straight, O'Donnell would have clearly lost the debate, the goal Blitzer obviously wanted to achieve.

Instead, O'Donnell is surging in the polls. She's picked up ten full points since the debate. Blitzer muddied the water. Americans (and Delawareans it seems) don't like an unfair fight with dirty refs. The ganging up on O'Donnell has gone way, way too far. The crowd is now clearly on her side. That made this a blog point worth making!