Let's consider this an open thread for debate discussion.
I'd agree with these two that the unwatchable thing for me about the post-debate discussion is the pundits' obsession with what they think people will think. To do that they have to assume much about what people will think–namely whether people will swoon over the "youbetchyas" and the winks and so forth. And they generally assume they will. That means they think you're stupid.
Other than this general observation, I think I've actually had arguments with people like Sarah Palin. One can't really have a discussion with someone who can't understand your view, how maliciously distorts her misunderstanding of it, refuses to address any challenges, and considers all criticism to be directed at her and her lovely family (and by extension everyone like her).
Kathleen Parker, famous here for her frequent and crappy arguments, gripes that she got some hate email–the worst ever–after she wrote a column suggesting Sarah Palin should step down from the Republican ticket. She writes:
WASHINGTON — Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a Dumpster, but since she didn't, I should "off" myself.
Those are just a few nuggets randomly selected from thousands of e-mails written in response to my column suggesting that Sarah Palin is out of her league and should step down.
Who says public discourse hasn't deteriorated?
Firedoglake, a liberal website, points to a column of Parker's in the non too distant past (2003). She wrote [read the entertaining commentary at the link as well]:
[Zell] Miller is not alone, though some are more sanguine when it comes to evaluating the roster of contenders. Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: "These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot.
When did public discourse start to deteriorate Kathleen?