That's because today's debates are dispassionate affairs in which the candidates exchange meaningless 60-second snippets of carefully scripted replies to a series of often bizarre questions put by self-aggrandizing news personalities on often-irrelevant topics.That is actually 100% true. (Also, top political stories on nypost.com right now: McCain Unsure of How Many Houses He Has." And: "CINDY'S SIS FUMES OVER SNUB") We agree with every word! And then, ha ha, they say, "McCain tried to remedy this by proposing a series of 10 town-hall meetings with Obama" and we realized basically that the Post did not actually know how the Lincoln/Douglas debates worked. They were not informal site-down "town hall" meetings with pre-screened citizens asking questions about their pocketbooks. They were an hours of one guy talking, followed by 90 minutes of talking from the other guy, and then the first guy talked again for a half-hour. Have you seen John McCain give speeches? A Lincoln/Douglas debate would actually kill him.
So hey, John McCain wants to hold "question time." Have you seen it? It's this thing they do in the UK where the Prime Minister is forced to actually take questions from Parliament, and answer them, and everyone's all abusive and mean and basically hilarious (illustrated in the attached clip). You know, McCain is good at speaking extemporaneously, so he could maybe pull this off. Except that he'd resort to very unPresidential insults and probably cursing when it got too heated (although—with this Senate?—it would not get heated). If it did work, and became tradition, we'd be thrilled! Oh, and the New York Post has another talking-related idea for saving America. Their opinion page today takes a nostalgic look at the legendary Lincoln/Douglas debates of 1858. And they bemoan the current state of political discourse and all that. The scheduled Obama/McCain debates, they lament, will not "even approach the unforgettable exchange of ideas that took place when Lincoln and Douglas shared the stage." The Post, arguing for reasoned, logical exchanges of ideas on The Important Topics!