You may have heard the rumor that Mitt Romney may have had an illegal piece of paper on his podium during the debate. The rules for the debate stipulated that no pre-written notes were allowed. I personally doubt Romney would so brazenly flout the rules and this is probably just a conspiracy theory born out of misunderstanding. But the more important issue is, “they ban pre-written notes?” Why?
Because the Commission on Presidential Debates is composed of morons.
I didn’t always think this. Indeed, when the new format was announced, I had high hopes. It seemed as though the Commission had finally awoken from their willful slumber and decided to hold the candidates accountable to a higher standard. But we saw how that turned out.
Why can’t the candidates have notes providing specific statistics of studies to cite? Because it would be an unforgivable sin for the Commission to set up a debate featuring any depth. Imagine if Barack Obama had the ability to cite specific numbers and studies in countering Mitt Romney’s false accusation that Obama “stole” $716 billion from Medicare?
It’s antithetical to the intellectual endeavor of debate itself to force the competitors to cite only the easily memorable buzzwords that they can force into their memory. If the goal of the Commission is establishing a format that maximizes the audience’s understanding of the true thoughts and beliefs of the candidates that will soon govern the United States — which it should be — why set up a system favoring superficial talking points?
There are only two interpretations — the Commission is intentionally committed to presenting a sub-par product or they are stupid.
I always say that in a contest between conspiracy theories and stupidity, always chose stupidity as the more likely explanation.