“It would be wonderful,” an Olympian observer wrote on Friday
. . . to see President Obama grilled as the Republicans were Wednesday night in Michigan.What exactly will you cut in the entitlement programs? How will you solve the foreclosure crisis? And we’d like you to answer in 30 seconds while we look at you with the sweet-natured gaze of a cop at a crime scene.
Those who say the debates are hurting the Republicans may be right. There is a freak-show element. But seeing Republicans repeatedly walk through fire may in the end make them seem far more impressive than the Democrat who doesn’t have to. People notice the disparity. And this isn’t a bad time in history to see would-be leaders get nailed, and fight back up.
Reading this in the first two paragraphs to Peggy Noonan’s most recent column made me wonder when Democrats get the tough questions the “moderators” from the mainstream media address to Republicans.
Recall the contrast between the fawning interview then-CBS Anchor Katie Couric gave to the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2008 contrasted to the aggressive posture she adopted to his Republican counterpart, asking the latter tough (and leading) questions about her running mate’s advocacy of regulation, ignoring the former’s revelation of his historical ignorance.
Note how Barney Frank gets all flustered when people pose him tough questions, assuming right-wingers put a student up to ask about the career politician’s role in the financial crisis or walking off set when a CNBC reporter challenged him on his talking point, becoming belligerent when Bill O’Reilly reminded him how enthusiastically he promoted Fannie Mae?
In 2008, did reporters ask Barack Obama how he could have sat in the church of a hateful pastor for twenty years without once ever asking him about his multi-faceted bigotry? Or his radical associations? Or about the legislation he sponsored — and promoted — to forestall the financial crisis?
Peggy is right. The scrutiny will make the eventual Republican nominee a stronger contender against a failed incumbent. But, our media have, alas, not challenged said incumbent on his failures as they would a Republican on his record — and policies.
NB: Peggy’s piece is well worth your time, both for a warning she offers Republicans as well as for her paragraph on Herman Cain’s “guts.”