Okay, first, I hope everyone will tune in to hear my thoughts about these debates. That's what this week's Brutally Honest Special will be all about. That should be uploaded by 8pm EST, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to listen to that and then see the debate at 9pm.
Second, I have a sinking suspicion that the candidates will be a little more prepared for this debate than their previous one, simply because the questions will be coming from the audience instead of from a lone moderator. There's a greater chance that you will have strategic plants (and I don't mean the potted variety) in the audience with prepared party questions.
Remember, the whole purpose of these debates is to make the party's candidate look credible and authoritative. If they know what the question will be ahead of time, they can prepare the perfect response, thus fulfilling the illusion.
Now every question has to be screened in advance and approved of before it can be asked. That means that the moderator and the people working for the debates know in advance who will be asking the question and what that question will be. You won't have anything spontaneous. In other words, no surprises.
With that in mind, there is one question that you probably will not hear during the debate, and it is a question that both Bush and Kerry need to answer.
Q: In previous instances, President Bush has mentioned that we have entered into an era of responsibility. An era that says that "if it feels good, do it" is wrong. Yet we are one week into federal fiscal year 2005, and the Congress has yet to even consider one of the thirteen required appropriations bill for this fiscal year. This
government is operating without a working budget for the year, and is instead relying on creative accounting practices that would otherwise lead to criminal charges in the corporate world.
For far too long, Congress and the White House have been allowed to stave off their fiscal responsibility to the American public through continuing resolutions. Both Democrats and Republicans complain about deficit spending, yet both parties are equally guilty of spending money that the country does not have.
My question to both candidates is this: how can our government speak of responsibility, much less try to impose it, when members of this government themselves refuse to honor their own obligations?
You probably won't hear that question being asked, because it makes both candidates look bad. But it is still a question that needs to be asked.