Tonight being on London time is a definite disadvantage. The presidential debate starts at 2am London time, which will certainly leave me bleary-eyed tomorrow. But such a lot hangs on this 90 minutes that I’ll stay up with the other political obsessives on this side of the ocean (Democrats Abroad is having a debate party tomorrow night, where supporters can watch a recording, but what’s the point of that?).
The Wall Street Journal has unfortunately hidden Christopher Buckley’s pre-debate piece behind its subscriber firewall. An excerpt:
|Whatever else Political Super-Bowl MMIV turns out to be, it is not likely to be the kind of match where attendants have to spread sawdust on the floor to soak up the blood. The Memorandum of Understanding worked out by negotiators for the two parties is 32 pages long. Countries, nations, have come into being with less paperwork. It specifies, among other particulars, that each candidate’s pen and writing paper be submitted for review beforehand. It’s there — I read it twice. For all I know, there’s a clause in there admonishing them not to eat their paste|
|The candidates may only be allowed (pre-screened) writing implements, but they’ll certainly sneak in a few hand grenades in the form of prepared zingers. They aren’t allowed to question each other directly — No, no, no, we can’t have that sort of thing in presidential debates. What do you think this is, Bulgaria? — but they can pose “rhetorical questions.” Thank God all this got worked out beforehand. Imagine the consequences for democracy if they actually spoke to each other.|