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GOP "trackers" try asking Democratic Reps. stupid questions on video

David Lightman of McClatchy Newspapers offers "GOP 'trackers' stalk Dems in hunt for 'macaca' moment" (link). The "trackers" (from the National Republican Congressional Committee) have been prowling the streets of Washington DC and trying to ask Democratic politicians questions on video. There are some videos linked from the end of the article; you can also find them here: youtube.com/user/TheNRCC

There are two parts to the story:
1. Lightman is portraying this effort in a bad light and trying to dissuade the GOP from asking "embarrassing" questions. Most likely there are two explanations: a) the MSM doesn't want the Dems to be embarrassed, and b) the MSM doesn't want anyone to do the job they refuse to do.

2. The MSM needn't worry: the questions are horrible: they're simply "hey maybe Sean Hannity will run this" cable TV fodder, such as asking whether someone's read the stimulus bill. A question like that isn't that good because all of these representatives have staffers who read and write legislation. And, whoever's asking the questions isn't shown, but he or they sound like interns fresh from a College Republican group. They don't sound like they'd be able to engage any elected official in spirited debate.

For over two years I've been urging people to ask politicians tough questions. But, I mean real questions about policy, questions that will reveal the flaws in what a politician supports, the side-effects they're ignoring, the flaws in their logic, and so on.

In October 2007, I noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was videotaping events in order to catch "macaca" moments. The NRCC effort is slightly better than that, but it is not in any way what I mean by asking tough questions. See the question authority summary for an action plan and a list of some questions you can ask. Or, just write the NRCC and suggest they ask this question instead.

UPDATE: Since this was posted, the NRCC has posted a longer version of the video where Joe Courtney was asked whether he'd read the stimulus bill (link). This one includes a 30 second speech from him in which he enumerates all the goodies in the bill. The questioner isn't shown, but if they were they'd look like a punching dummy. Why they'd upload the longer version isn't clear, since the video doesn't contain any sort of comeback; only the title raises issues with bonuses to executives and the title isn't enough. The top levels of the GOP clearly have no clue.

Other tags: bad questions

Tue, 03/17/2009 - 15:51 · Importance: 4