Damn. I so wanted to see the republican candidates face the nation – literally and take questions from the hoi polloi like the Democrats did last Monday. Giuliani's spokesperson says he is unlikely to participate, and Romney has openly scorned the format. Interviewed Wednesday by the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, he said he's not a fan of the CNN/YouTube format. Referring to the video of a snowman asking the Democratic candidates about global warming, Romney quipped, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman." (Yes, Mitt. Much better to take pre-screened questions from a friendly GOP-fluffing media whore than someone that actually is directly affected by presidential policies. Moron.)
But only two candidates have agreed to the YouTube debate format…Ron Paul and Mad Jack Insane.
It smacks of the pre-screened audiences that the Buhies surrounded their boy (and I do mean boy) with in the 2004 campaign.
The conclusion I draw is that they are all afraid of the electorate – probably with good reason – I might add.
Erin Neaves, 25-year-old mother of three, uploaded this question: "You hear a lot about supporting the troops from the Republicans, and we're not getting any kind of support from the government ..... We are getting more than 15-month deployments. We are getting cut out of our bonuses. ..... How will you support the troops?" She's a Democract and her husband serves in the
John King, a paramedic student at Cincinnati State, has a direct question for Giuliani about his business, Giuliani Partners. "I'm not saying that's wrong to make money off your image, but why are you keeping it such a secret -- the clients, how much they paid you, what kind of work you did for them?" asks the 24-year-old Republican.
Patrick Ruffini, former eCampaign director at the Republican National Committee who served as online adviser to Giuliani for a few months earlier this year, said it would "very problematic" if the Republican candidates declined. "What's worse -- questions from the public, many of whom are supporters, or questions from the media, who many Republicans believed are biased? This is YouTube. That's not something they'd want to snub," Ruffini said.
If they snub the electorate outright, especially when participatory Democracy is taking off like a shot from a gun, thanks to the Internet and sites like YouTube, the effect will be to pour a quart of vinegar in a gallon of milk, and the result will be a spoiled Republican brand for at least two decades.
So…Good on ‘em! Stick to those principles, Republicans, and scorn the electorate! It’s almost as good as finally getting that pony for Christmas!