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A New American Tradition: President's Questions.

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optimal-tomato Donating Member (243 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:56 AM
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A New American Tradition: President's Questions.
I've been trying to think of a way to tamp down this nonsense that the Republicans have been creating (not an exhaustive list): birth certificates, death panels, czars, illegal immigrant health care, and so much else. It's obvious that they are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks, and they will never get tired or lose credibility for doing this. Worse, Obama/the administration/responsible media just waste their time trying to correct the record. It wastes time that could be better used, and the conservatives keep repeating it anyway.

Maybe the only way to combat this stuff is with a regular (monthly? quarterly?) joint-session of Congress in which Obama takes questions from elected Republicans (and Democrats). To explain how this could help, let's remember another one of those dumb attacks: "wise latina". It got hyped for weeks, then the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans got their chance to challenge her on it. And when they did, they looked stupid, petty, and maybe racist. Sotomayor looked like she was being questioned by hard-right idealogues.

Imagine if Obama could have actually had Joe Wilson froth about illegal immigrants for a few seconds before responding. He could have shut his concerns down right there, in front of everybody. A speech doesn't win an argument, a debate does. For (somewhat) genuine Republican concerns, Obama can answer them to their face.

For the complete bullshit attacks like "czars!", nothing would be more effective than to have Obama answer Sen. Bob Bennett to his face that every president since Reagan has had czars and called them that. Conversation over.

More likely, the vast majority of Republican politicians would be afraid to look stupid in front of the whole country, and wouldn't bring up the real stupid crap to Obama's face. As a result, the idiots who actually believe this stuff (in the country and the media) will start to ask those Republicans "WHY AREN'T YOU ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS?!". Hopefully a rift emerges between the crazies and the somewhat rational Republicans.

President's Questions might be exactly the enema that could wash this recent blockage of shit in our political discourse. And you know what? I think any President of either party should have to answer the charges of people on their right and left. Maybe Obama needs to answer to Congressman Weiner on health care, and maybe he needs to answer to some on the right for their legitimate concerns. And maybe the next president needs to answer for his policies, too. Just thinking outloud...
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:02 AM
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1. if we had had this before 2000, there would have been no Baby Bush presidency
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DatManFromNawlins Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:08 AM
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2. I've always enjoyed watching the British in Parliament question the PM
And felt it was always quite cowardly that American Presidents didn't. No prepared speeches and no teleprompters. Just a Q&A session about what the President thinks, not what his staff wants him to say. We can never get to the meat of issues when Presidents just stand up there and try to present the rosiest picture possible. Both sides get, say, 8 questions once a month, along with another 6 which are submitted by liberal and conservative think tanks.
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