Reince Priebus’s Non-Genius Idea To Keep GOP Candidates From Sounding Stupid: Don’t Ask Them Anything

by evanmcmurry

Obvious anagram Reince Priebus thinks there should be fewer GOP primary debates in 2016, and that the GOP should have more control over the moderators:

I’m talking about having a reasonable number of debates where we can have a greater say in who the moderators are. Because we’ve got moderators who are in the business of making news, at the expense. I think we’re committing malpractice when we have no control over who these moderators are and the formats of these primary debates. I’m sure the grassroots would appreciate that.

This guy’s out of his mind. The only “news” that the 2012 moderators attempted to make were questions of the type asked to Newt Gingrich about his ex-wives, questions which he hit over the top of the stands at Lamestream Media Park. The embarrassing moments for the GOP came when they were asked their opinions about issues: when the crowd cheered Rick Perry’s executions, when they encouraged Ron Paul to let a man die in front of a hospital, when Michelle Bachmann invented a link between HPV vaccines and the evil demons in her head, etc. and etc.

How is a GOP-approved moderator going to improve this? If anything, won’t lobbing questions more tailored to the Republican viewpoint produce more extreme answers, along the lines of Bachmann’s, the exact kind the GOP is supposedly trying to avoid in their we-don’t-hate-Hispanics makeover? Rick Perry’s line that anybody against DREAM-style legislation “doesn’t have a heart” didn’t come in response to some gotcha question, but a far center-of-right discussion on immigration policy. How would that have been avoided in a more GOP-friendly setting?

Moreover, the really embarrassing 2012 GOP statements—oh, there are so many to choose from—didn’t come from traps set by scandal-hungry cable networks. Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comment was made to a local St. Louis affiliate. Is the local news in on the liberal media shakedown now?

The problem is not the question asked of Republicans, but the answers they give. The only way to solve that is to not ask them anything at all, which perhaps is what Priebus is aiming at: one debate, in which the only question is Obamasucksdoesn’the? and everybody nods.