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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The GOP and YouTube 


I have not followed the argument over whether the Republicans should or should not participate in the "YouTube" debate (in which rank-and-file citizens pose questions to the candidates via video posted on YouTube), but I doubt that Firedoglake has hit upon the reason:

Let’s get something straight here. The reason the Republicans are running from a YouTube debate has nothing to do with embarrassing themselves and everything to do with the horror that is the Republican base.... Imagine a whole two hour debate composed entirely of questions from men lovingly cradling their assault rifles, matronly polyester-swathed frumps of much avoirdupois braying and squawking about abstinence-only education and the danger of Harry Potter in our schools, angry old men taking a break from standing on their porches shouting, “Get the hell out of my yard!” to stare Mike Gravel-like into the camera and demand to know what the candidates plan to do about “th’ dayumn Mexicans”.

It would be a bloodbath. The Republican base is assuredly Not Ready for Prime Time, and the candidates know it, which is why their “scheduling conflicts” keep floating around to match every date that CNN helpfully supplies them in the network’s efforts to keep the dream of a Republican YouTube Debate alive.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what leftists really think when you're not looking.

Now, there may be a variant on this theme that holds some water. It is certainly more probable than not that CNN would select video questioners that reflected poorly on "the Republican base" for precisely the same reason that the folks at Firedoglake enjoy mocking the middle-American crackers, even if they would never humiliate an African-American, Hispanic, French, or Muslim idiot for fear of social isolation. There are plenty of fools on both the left and right, but it is only safe for the media to make fun of poor white trash.

Still, I think this is the best explanation for Republican recalcitrance.

28 Comments:

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Wed Aug 01, 09:48:00 AM:

So you're saying that Republican "recalcitrance" is based on fear of having to answer hard questions?

That's what I was thinking, too. It's pathetic.

------

On another note, Tigerhawk. I'm in Chicago for Yearly Kos, so check ScruHoo beginning tomorrow for missives from the momentary center of the Democratic political universe, where real politicians publicly spend time with average Americans with the knowledge that their words and actions will be there for all the world to see.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 10:08:00 AM:

The obvious reason why the Republican candidates don't want to answer questions from YouTube is that they're terrified about how they'll get raked over the coals by the 2/3 of the American public that disapprove of how they're party is conducting business. Fear is an awful thing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 10:38:00 AM:

Anon 10:08 ... doubtful.

What's bad for lefties is actually letting us talk. They'd find out that the vast majority of Republicans are family people who feel they're paying too much in tax and could give two shits about gay marriage or abortion. The vast left-wing conspiracy, that the Christian Conservatives define us, is no more true that the unshaven leftists/commies and fags that allegedly define the left.

I vote my wallet, and I will NOT vote for providing free healthcare to the unwashed.

I hate to admit it, but I see Hillary managing her campaign well... catering more the middle. Let Edwards and Obama go for the base. They're a given to vote their party, but the V comes from the middle and votes won from middle-right voters.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Aug 01, 10:44:00 AM:

The Republican base is assuredly Not Ready for Prime Time

And the moonbat base is?

[cough][cough]Lieberman won [cough][cough]  

By Anonymous George, at Wed Aug 01, 11:41:00 AM:

My general impression of You Tube is that is entertainment for juveniles. I wouldn't watch a You Tube debate.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 12:37:00 PM:

I vote my wallet, and I will NOT vote for providing free healthcare to the unwashed.

That's why I don't vote Republican. They don't care about anyone but themselves and how much money they can make.  

By Anonymous Zhombre, at Wed Aug 01, 12:44:00 PM:

That screed is just an amplification of the sign one left winger posted after the 2004 election: F*** MIDDLE AMERICA. That has been the attitude of the left toward most its fellow countrymen since the Seventies and by now this attitude has congealed into a rather hard obdurate mass. They are convinced of the superiority of their own positions and the inferiority of their opponents, they believe their hands are clean no matter how much shit they sling, and nothing can dissuade them.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Aug 01, 01:18:00 PM:

They don't care about anyone but themselves and how much money they can make.

Which of course is why anti-poverty spending rose 39% in 5 years under Bush right?  

By Anonymous Zhombre, at Wed Aug 01, 01:27:00 PM:

There are two rules to keep in mind, Avenger. It isn't really progress unless the left can lay claim to it. And it isn't really failure unless the left can pass the blame off to somebody else.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 02:18:00 PM:

I work for MY healthcare. Everyone else should also.

I think the wisdom is to let the Lefties talk and talk, and let us use their stupidity in ads.

Today Obama is talking about attacking within Pakistan. So he thinks we should violate a sovereign nation ... good job you moron.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 02:21:00 PM:

If the Democrats were "scared" of Faux News and therefore avoided its debate, then now aren't the republicans scared of questions asked by real American citizens in this type of format?  

By Anonymous zhombre, at Wed Aug 01, 02:37:00 PM:

Whether you like it or not, Fox News is a major news outlet on network and cable. YouTube is a gimmick. But it is difficult to have a rational argument with people who use terms like Faux News because their premises already foreclose the arguments.  

By Anonymous Strick, at Wed Aug 01, 02:58:00 PM:

Isn't the simplier explanation that the Republicans watched the Democratic YouTube debate and learned from the absurd debacle?

Presidential "debates" have becom farce enough, how does adding "The Gong Show" element improve them?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 03:16:00 PM:

2 things:

1. I watched the Democratic YouTube debate. I can see why the Republicans are hesitant. It was amateurish, and quite frankly, childish. A snowman asking a question? Give me a break.

2. The fact that the Democratic candidates chose to attend YearlyKos rather than the DLC says much to me about them. I'm an independent who has no problem voting for candidates from either party. But if the Democratic candidates are going to pander to the far-left extremists, they're losing my vote. Period.  

By Blogger Matt, at Wed Aug 01, 04:50:00 PM:

Republican Candidates are elitists. They are not interested in what American people who make less than $200K a year have to say. They would rather stay in a bubble of their own making. That's what the Left thinks of them. And so it seems to be true.  

By Blogger DJShay, at Wed Aug 01, 05:07:00 PM:

2. The fact that the Democratic candidates chose to attend YearlyKos rather than the DLC says much to me about them. I'm an independent who has no problem voting for candidates from either party. But if the Democratic candidates are going to pander to the far-left extremists, they're losing my vote. Period.

But it's ok for Republican candidates to attend far right functions hosted by Christian exremists such as Pat Robertson?  

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Wed Aug 01, 05:26:00 PM:

A gimmick?

Wiki: "100 million video clips are viewed daily on YouTube, with an additional 65,000 new videos uploaded every 24 hours. The website averages nearly 20 million visitors per month"

YouTube is an amazing modern medium that the Democrats have embraced while the Republicans run screaming. YouTube is inherently democratic, while Fox is inherently agenda driven.

YouTube is just people being people. Republican candidates like Giuliani and Romney are really scared about what questions regular folks would ask. It's the same reason that Bush never appears before anything but an audience pre-screened for its political views.  

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Wed Aug 01, 05:28:00 PM:

Yearly Kos is hardly "far-left extremists", while the DLC is populated with conservatives. What you describe as "far-left" the rest of us describe as mainstream.

Click here to see the convention program, you'll see exactly how "extreme" it is.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Aug 01, 05:39:00 PM:

"Republican Candidates are elitists. They are not interested in what American people who make less than $200K a year have to say."

Really? My entire family votes Republican in every election above the local level and have since the 80s. (all those who were old enough, of course) And none of them have ever made anything near that amount of money.

And would someone please reconcile the "Republicans are a party of big whigs who only care about the rich" with the assessment given in the OP, here:

"Imagine a whole two hour debate composed entirely of questions from men lovingly cradling their assault rifles, matronly polyester-swathed frumps of much avoirdupois braying and squawking about abstinence-only education and the danger of Harry Potter in our schools, angry old men taking a break from standing on their porches shouting, “Get the hell out of my yard!” to stare Mike Gravel-like into the camera and demand to know what the candidates plan to do about “th’ dayumn Mexicans”."

So are they elitist, conspiracy-minded oil tycoons and bankers, or are they stupid rednecks? Because those two categories don't really mix well. Or maybe, just maybe, broadstroking an entire party in a two party system is just wrong. Maybe.

"Republican candidates like Giuliani and Romney are really scared about what questions regular folks would ask. It's the same reason that Bush never appears before anything but an audience pre-screened for its political views."

Same reason Hillary did the same thing (until YouTube, and probably now regrets it). If you're a big name with secure funds, safe campaigning is the way to go, especially this early in the process. There's still plenty of time before the big day to make an ass of yourself for attention, so why do it now when you don't have to?

Separately, I concur that YouTube was just used as a gimmick, to prove how 'hip' the Democrats are. (you can thank Howard Dean for this idea, I'm certain of it.) The chance for difficult questions was refreshing, but there's no reason that couldn't have been done in a traditional debate format, either. (and really... a snowman? Is that really what our politics have fallen to?)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 01, 06:47:00 PM:

Let's be honest about what the YouTube CNN debate was: a highly skewed, leftist set of questions that CNN could not have gotten away with directly but could with the cover of YouTube.

Not a single question was asked about Muslim Jihad, demands for Sharia in the US by Muslims, terror attacks by Muslims here in the US, and how to deal with Iran and Pakistan's nukes. How to deter a nuke attack on US cities. Or Open Borders / Amnesty. Or Affirmative Action: if whites are in the minority in California, should they be benefiting from Affirmative Action and Hispanics be treated as Whites now (i.e. forbidden)?

What Dems REALLY are folks is elitists. Daily Kos is a good example: they feel they are smarter, better, more financially well off and socially and morally superior, in status and existence. Dems exist as a coalition of upper-class whites, wanna-be upper class whites, and various minority spoils groups, with substantial Wall Street and corporate backing.

Republicans are far more populist (see the Amnesty / Open Borders reaction) though they have like the Dems their corporatist backing. They don't have minority group spoils organizations though. And Republicans MUST at least pay lip service. Dems win by pretending to be upper class twits: Kerry, Dukakis, Gore, etc. in their districts and states. Chasing the status-driven ghosts of JFK and RFK. Nobility, aristocracy, and "noblesse oblige."

Bush won because he like most Reps tries to conceal any aristo roots if they exist (and boy do they exist for Bush).

Of course inter-woven with the condescending aristo elitism of Dems is the hard anti-semitism to be found in Daily Kos. It's really a hate site, because it's readers hate hate hate Jews and let people know all the time. Dems have a major problem with anti-Semitism, it's everywhere even inside the DNC HQ. Dems can't process the populist reality that the Muslim world is at war with us, so look for "Jews" and "neocons" and other scapegoats for 9/11, "fire never melted steel," "controlled demolition," "Jews never showed up for work" and other loony anti-semitic conspiracy theories of an out of touch elite.

The dream of course of Dems is to replace the ordinary people with a subservient permanent serf class of poor Mexicans.  

By Anonymous Nancy, at Wed Aug 01, 06:48:00 PM:

Does anyone know what the "demographics" of You Tube are? I wonder whether, in addition to taking some lessons from the Dems You Tube debate, the Republicans figure that the average You-Tuber isn't going to vote Republican in any event, such that there's really no potential upside in holding a debate in that media space? Why generate bad video clip moments ....  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Thu Aug 02, 12:34:00 AM:

The comments from the left here illustrate your point far better than you could have hoped. We already knew that Screwy believes the center is slightly to the right of Russ Feingold, but the others echo exactly the same thing. They are sure that they know exactly where the center is, how uninformed and extremist the conservative vote is, and how the progressive vote is just "regular people." It is a truly amazing display of self-delusion, made possible by the Olde Tyme media.

Hey, keep it up. Keep talking. Buy air time on the networks to express these bigotries. Please. Keep telling yourself "we're the reasonable people and we're the majority."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 02, 08:02:00 AM:

I'm confused about the "this is what the left thinks when you're not looking" phrase.

I think the only way that's true is if we all agree that when you're not looking includes posting their thoughts on a high profile and very public blog.

Seems like an odd way to define when you're not looking but whatever I guess.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Thu Aug 02, 08:08:00 AM:

Anon 8:02 -

Well, I suppose the "not looking" quip was more flair than description, but I'm not sure that very many conservatives read Firedoglake. Indeed, I am sure that very few do.

You will note that this blog is one of very few on the left or right that includes all ideologies on its blog roll.  

By Anonymous drbfg, at Thu Aug 02, 11:20:00 AM:

salon.com's war room (which you'd no doubt characterize as left) is another blog that includes both left and right -- I suspect that's how folks from the left found TigerHawk to post.

I don't have any problem with your objection to Firedoglake's silly characterization of the right's "base," but I do have a problem with your characterizing the post of a lefty blogger as representing what "the left" thinks. This lefty recognizes that there are parochial dim bulbs who pull the donkey lever, too, and thinks it's counterproductive and childish to draw such caricatures by political affiliation. Even the elitist canard is a silly one to assign to left or right -- for every chardonnay-sipping, Martha's Vineyard Clintonian is a Kennebunkeport denizen or a delightfully snobby P.J. O'Rourke.

Worst of all, in sassing the left, you opened the door for a lefty to take the high ground, disavow FDL's silliness and say...hey -- we're all Americans, aren't we? Tsk! Tsk!  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Thu Aug 02, 12:16:00 PM:

I have a similar theory. The Republican candidates looked at the CNN/YouTube debate where a Liberal news organization (ok, that’s redundant) picked questions for a liberal group of candidates. Most of the questions were political softballs as expected, but some were more difficult than the Dems expected (gun control, etc..) Now the Republicans can perfectly well see the oncoming tidal wave of “seeded” questions on the theme of “have you quit beating your wife” that the Libs have promised and are actively recruiting, and want no part of it. I can see it now.
Mitt: “How can we vote for a President who belongs to a religious cult that advocates…”
Rudy: “How can we believe your promises if you broke all those to your ex-wives like…”
Brownback: “How can a hick from Kansas possibly be qualified…”
McCain: “You have a history of promoting amnesty for illegal immigrants. When you become President, will I be able to…”  

By Blogger Peter, at Fri Aug 03, 11:11:00 PM:

Most posters missed the point; Real Clear Politics sadly got it right, and it speaks of why the Republicans are getting creamed and why so many posters simply don't get it, which is shocking since you use the freaking internet to post:

1) RCP nailed it: "The Republican answer to the YouTube debate has nothing to do with the internet, and everything to do with limiting future debates to limit future risk." They're scared of oddball questions.

2) People are sick of canned debates where talking points get pulled out. Most everyone who watched the youtube debate found it a pleasant change. Score one for the Dems for strayig from dull orthodoxy.

3) YouTube is a huge phenomena and anyone under 30 appreciated what the Dems did and anyone who thinks otherwise probably thinks the Internet is just a fad.

4) FDL probably pretty much nailed it, and said what RCP said, but in slightly different terms. Republicans don't debate when they can't control the format. You will recall the last Presidential election where every Presidential campaign stop was completed scripted and the people attending screened. That's an ideal Republican "debate" where, sadly, image control is everything. Let's photoshop an image of the President with a lot of soldiers watching and call it a day.

You guys are so on the wrong side of history.

And as for the Democrats holding the middle? Oh yeah, we are. One EVERY issue that matters to most people, we have the comfortable majority of the country behind us. You want to own guns and capital punishment? You can have it. I'll take economy, health care, war and terrorism.

You're getting creamed and you don't even know it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 04, 12:01:00 PM:

Loved the Youtube debate for its format and originality. Proud that every Democratic candidate (unlike the repubs)had the "balls" including Hilliary, to at least show up! My gut instincts tells me the real reason this debate is not to the rights liking is that they consider Youtube and the whole internet political blogesphere just beneath them. It would be laughable if it wasnt so typical of the way the Right sees' the world.  

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