Still, the Constitution insists that the dolts have a right to vote. So be it. But do they have the right to speak? On national television, I mean? On precious air time provided pro bono by the public-service-minded media? Why must the rabble be allowed to participate at such an austere and learned event as a debate among presidential candidates?
I suppose it boils down to ratings. Everything does. Reality shows are all the rage and what makes a presidential campaign more real than honest-to-God questions from various Joe Blows? Still, allowing audience participation is a great risk. The public's attention span is notoriously short. Things can go downhill fast. So, last evening CNN's John King risked chaos and ridicule by allowing the masses to air two questions in prime time.
Tragedy was narrowly averted! The questions were barely intelligible. How fortunate Mr. King, a trained and respected journalist, was there to translate. This is, after all, why journalists exist and why Mr. King was at the debate last night: to translate plebeian gibberish into sensible, nuanced, political infighting.
Here, then, from last night's debate transcript, are the two questions followed by Mr. King's deft and real time translations:
QUESTION: My name is Sonny Cohen (ph). I'm from Sevier County, Tennessee. My question to any of the candidates is: Do any of you sincerely believe that Obamacare can either be repealed or reversed in its entirety?
KING: Let me go first to Governor Romney on that one.
Governor, you had said you would do it on day one with an executive order that would free the states up to opt out, waivers essentially to get out of that program. I know your friend, the South Carolina governor might like to have that option.
Help me understand as you do that how would it play out? And what happens to those, someone with a preexisting condition for example, who now has coverage under the president's health care plan, or a young American, 22, 23, 24, who because of the changes in the law, can now stay a few extra years on their parents' health care? What happens to them when you sign that executive order?
-------------------------------------Many thanks to John King and his fellow, professional journalists! Imagine what life would be like without them. We'd be forced to think and speak for ourselves. Before long we'd perish from our own ignorance. Anarchy would reign supreme.
QUESTION: Hi. I would like to ask on the issue of amnesty of the illegal aliens, would you -- how would you secure that the American citizens would get -- keep the jobs in line first for them?
KING: Mr. Speaker, let's start with you on that. She mentioned the word "amnesty." You have explained your position in this campaign. And as you know, some conservatives have said, "No, Mr. Speaker, you say you can't deport maybe it's 10 million, 11 million, some people say as high as 20 million people illegally in this country. You say it's unrealistic to deport them all. So some would have to be given a path to legal status."
And as you know, many conservatives say, "No, that's amnesty, Mr. Speaker."