Thursday, October 16, 2008

Politiks for 2Day

I did not watch the debate. Instead, Jason and I got swept up in a rousing meal at "Chinese Super Buffet" and then some Sci-Fi Channel. I think Jason knows my tolerance for the presidential debates is pretty low thanks to crippling ADD.

We did, however, watch Post-Game on CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

The most hilarious moment was not the punchiness of the CNN assembled reporters and analysts (who obviously all need a week off), but Fox declaring John McCain a winner by 89% of its viewership and trying to get Geraldine Ferraro to put some stock in the Fox viewership Text vote as a telling sign. I'm not saying CNN or MSNBC don't have bias, but sometimes I wonder what its like to work in a place dedicated to and serving a particular constituency where you constantly are trying to angle for Your Guy.

It DOES certainly make me wonder about the scientific basis for polls on CNN and elsewhere. But I assume CNN, etc... have a stake in working with 3rd party polling in order to maintain credibility. It would also be interesting to see a breakdown of how the news organizations manage the different candidates, and what would happen if they gave ALL of the candidates equal time in the debates. There are, like, seven candidates on the sample ballot I looked at online for Austin/ Travis Co.

I'm never really sure why we tend to consider anyone running in a party other than Dem or Republican to be insane. But we sure do. And that's too bad. It sort of reminds me of what they call "conversation enders", such as describing an idea to be "a no brainer", as if questioning the idea is simply beyond logic. Is what these 3rd, 4th and 5th party candidates have to say really any more less legitimate than the highly compromised platforms and big-tent appealing ideals of the big 2?

It just doesn't seem like its a good way to do much but fight to reinforce the attitudes of a constituency rather than driving new thinking.

I'm not 100% on board with any party these days, and I'm not particularly convinced My Guy is a prince in need of a coronation. If you can't question your own candidate in a democracy, and THEN hold them to the highest of standards when in office, it seems to sort of miss the point of having elected leaders.

I'm also in a weird position where I'm tired of the election coverage (the primaries made this election extra-long, it seems), but I also am curious to follow election coverage on a daily basis, hoping to hear something new that isn't just mud-slinging. I'm mostly curious to hear more on how each candidate is planning to deal with the economy at this point (my other major issues: international relations, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and healthcare have been covered pretty well). And, I want to hear from people with experience how those models could play out. However, guessing from how well anyone dealt with financial models the past few years, my guess is: they don't really know.

Here's some helpful reading material on economic plans:

McCain - lookout, this section has audio that kicks in
Obama - lookout, this is some logical but dull web design


J.S. said...

I think 3rd party candidates are as dismissable as the strategy, and more importantly, the resources that they bring to bear. I still remember when Ross Perot was leading in the '92 election for quite awhile, but he was insanely wealthy and paying his own way.
And I think Fox News doesn't even try to be objective. I think they believe so strongly in the conservative dogma about liberal media bias so strongly that they figure their role is just to portray things from a decidedly conservative angle in order to provide a counterpoint. Problem is, when you're conveying something that's not the truth, you're not telling the other side of the story. A lie is just a lie, and when you don't make you first goal objectivity, you're going to end up passing along quite a few of them.

J.S. said...

Oh yeah- everyone's heard this before (and it makes some mad to hear it), but I think 3rd party candidates are often met with a groan because they tend to end up just being spoilers, typically for the major party that they're most ideologically similar to, rather than viable candidates.