A Presidential Debate Debrief {#3}

Last night was the second debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. It was a Town Hall formet where the candidates walk around freely and take questions from audience members. Yesterday, I talked about what question I would ask if I was there, and I invited others to post there’s as well (incidentally, that post got picked to be highlighted on the front page of WordPress.com, and so there’s a lot of lively discussion to join over there, if you’re interested). Anyway, as I’ve done for each debate, here are some of my thoughts (here are my thoughts on the first Presidential Debate and the Vice-Presidential debate): Continue reading

Town Hall Debate: what would your one question be?

Update: I’ve written some specific reflections on the debate last night.

Tuesday was the second Presidential Debate of the 2012 election. We’ve had one Presidential and one Vice-Presidential Debate so far, both of which were traditional debate formats. This debate, though, was a “Town Hall“-style debate in which the candidates walked freely and spoke to a small studio audience that encircled them as they took their questions directly from audience members. They did not know the questions beforehand, but as the years have gone on, the Debate Commission has limited both the ability to have back-and-forth exchanges with the audience members as well as the follow-up role of the moderator, giving them far more space to dance around the question with no accountability (these changes were put in place after Clinton devastated Bush in this exchange in 1992).

This got me thinking: what if I was there, and I got one shot to ask them one question. I’ve had my fair share of complaints about both candidates (and their running mates), so boiling all of this down to one question that would both be difficult for them politicize and address the most issues I’m concerned about was difficult, but this is what I came up with:

Mr. President and Governor: as a social worker, I’m taught that the goals I make with my clients should be S.M.A.R.T. goals: Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Using this criteria, could each of you, in terms that are not cliched, rhetorical, or abstract, tell me what the goals of the War on Terror are, and what would represent the end and accomplishment of that War? Thank you.

What do you think would be their answers to this question? What would be your question? (And how do you think they’d answer?) Sound off in the comments below, and tune in at 9pm tonight for the debate.

[image credit: AP photo, from an article at The American Prospect]

Some post-Vice-Presidential Debate thoughts… {#2}

I’m writing this as the Vice-Presidential debate concludes. I am watching it late and after-the-fact, having been out this evening during the normal time of the debate. So, my experience of watching this one is entirely different than the first debate. I have read no analysis of it, I have seen no Facebook or Twitter posts, nor did I watch this with other people. So here were some of my thoughts: Continue reading

Some post-Presidential Debate thoughts… {#1}

Well, last night was the first debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. Be sure to check out the various Fact-Checks going around the web (here’s The New York Times and POLITICO). So far, it looks like Romney stretched the truth or was wrong more often, but that was because he said so many more specific things than Obama. These were some of my thoughts from the evening: Continue reading

I’m a one issue voter: specific abuses of Executive power {pt.3}

This is an ongoing series talking about how, for this Presidential election, I am a one-issue voter. I will be making my decision for President based on what the candidate believes about Executive Power and Civil Liberties. Read Part 1 and Part 2 for more. In this post, I outline specific ways the Executive is increasingly abusing its power. The hope is that this will show others how this should be a legitimate concern of all Americans.

Did you know . . . 

The President, on New Year’s Eve, signed legislation making it absolutely legal for him, personally, to order you imprisoned indefinitely with no charges being filed against you and no lawyer being offered you. Be sure to read this Al-Jazeera article bemoaning the loss of American freedom because of this. (more here and, for a snarkier analysis, go here).

The Administration reserves the right to simply have any American citizen killed without a trial or any chance to offer evidence in their defense. Obama is the first known President to ever authorize this.
Continue reading