Monday, October 13, 2008

James Fallows' amendment idea

From a week ago, give or take a few hours:

"No Person shall be elected President or Vice President without accepting a session of questioning by the press, such session to last no less than one hour and to be open to normally accredited members of the press in the same fashion as at Presidential news conferences. The questioning shall occur and the results shall be made freely available to the public at least one week before an Election is held."

I read it, chuckled a bit about who(m?) it was referencing. Sarah Palin's refusal to directly confront the mainstream media in open question session has been annoying a lot of the online and mainstream writers and opinion-makers, such as Andrew Sullivan. But you couldn't fault her or the McCain crew on that: her scripted and hermetically-sealed interviews were unmitigated disasters anyway.

I felt the need to email Fallows and give him my take on the amendment idea: that it was an emotional response to an unlikely situation (McCain selecting Palin as Veep) that could never really happen again:

... (it) doesn't really cover many of the sins being seen in this 2008 election. It focuses completely on the McCain-Palin refusal to make available Palin for give-and-take sessions with the media that journalists have long taken for granted as part of the electoral process. I honestly don't see how this amendment will correct any similar problem in the near future: this was a perfect storm of an impulsive candidate (McCain) selecting a Veep (Palin) that was so clearly unvetted and unprepared for national campaigning. Given how the GOP ticket has been slipping, almost all of it due to McCain's ADD-like lack-of-focus and the public's growing awareness that Palin could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, I don't think any future campaign is going to be this stupid again...

I then added my suggestion for the best possible 28th Amendment: basically my "Lying is not protected speech/any politician caught lying get to be tarred and feathered" Idea.

God bless him, Fallows emailed back, letting me know he knew full well his idea was more of a vent than a serious suggestion:

Mine was a more modest and sarcastic attempt to focus on Palin's apparent attempt to win election having NEVER ONCE had a press conference.

I emailed back, apologizing for my rant and noting that for all my attempts at snark and witticism here (which isn't much), my political humor switch burned out back in 2003. And that was pretty much that.

I've forwarded some LOL Cat photos to Sullivan, in the meanwhile, but the bastard's a dog fanatic so I don't think I'll be hearing from him. ;-)

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