Wah, Wah, Wah!

Our dear friends in the Republican party are doing their best to prove that what’s good for one, isn’t always, good for the other, on a national scale. The Republican party chair and the candidates are objecting to the debate format that holds them to the same scrutiny as their Democrat counterparts. The candidate’s objections arise from the CNBC debate. You know, the one where Ted Cruz decided to go all nuclear on the hosts and the network, rather than answer a question directed at him. There seems to be a disconnect here between “give me more facetime” and giving me facetime that only shows me in a positive light. It is the manipulation of the format and the presentation that the Repubs are after.

Dr. Carson seems to think that the debates are about asking him to detail all of the wonderful things he’s done and ignoring the dumb, despicable stuff he’s done. There is no doubt Dr. Carson has done some wonderful things, but being the spokesman for the supplement company Mannatech isn’t one of them. The “gotcha” exchange as Dr. Carson describes the debate question, is quoted below:

Moderator Carl Quintanilla: “This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplements, with which you had a 10-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas, and yet your involvement continued. Why?”

Ben Carson: “Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.”

–Exchange at GOP debate on CNBC, Oct. 28, 2015

Now the problem with lying in the digital age is that there are files out there somewhere that will be found, like this video. The video gives us a different picture of the relationship.

Is this a gotcha? I don’t think so. I think a gotcha is a question along the lines of “Dr. Carson, when did you stop beating your wife?”. Watching the sputtering and stammering after that type of question is a gotcha. Asking about the prior or ongoing business relationships that a candidate will bring with them to the White House is the responsibility of the press to illuminate. To overstate the obvious, The Donald wants to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, and the job would start day one. The question is not whether the Mexican government will pay for the wall or not. The question is which contractor will get the bid for the job. Do we think The Donald knows anybody in the concrete business? Kind of like asking if Dick Cheney knew anybody at Halliburton prior to the Iraq invasion.

Asking the tough questions of candidates is the absolute moral responsibility of the press. Any candidate on either side that doesn’t understand that premise is a twit and should get out of the race. The absolute “effete snobbery” displayed by this bunch of Republican candidates is frightening. Jeez, next this group of “rock stars” will want somebody picking out all of the brown M&M’s from the bowl in the green room. I have to admit, The Donald does have a bit of a David Lee Roth hairstyle.

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