Saturday, August 4, 2007

On Mitt's Fear of Youtube

Oh, Mitt. Why are you afraid of Youtube?

Recently, after the Democrats participated in a CNN debate in which all of the questions were actually Youtube videos, our old pal Mitt Romney had a rather unpleasant reaction. He said, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman," referring to this video:

The original title and theme of this post was going to be "On Mitt's Arrogance," because he thinks that the presidency is so elitist that it should be shielded from "silly" questions (although, the question was quite serious; it was simply asked in a silly way) from those least knowledgeable of people - voters. Indeed, composing questions ought to be left up to those hacks at CNN, right?

However, I think it goes deeper than that. Mitt isn't simply upset that presidential candidates are being asked questions by snowmen. He is upset that their being asked real, and quite possibly uncomfortable, questions. The Republican party is in shambles, and as we know, Youtube is a liberal haven:

So, those crazy liberals at Youtube and CNN are sure to be meaner to the Republicans. Indeed, conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt says, "
If the G.O.P. candidates agree to this format, expect a series of cheap shots about all of the top-tier candidates." This may be true, Youtubers may very well send in loaded questions, but does this speak more to the bias of Youtube/CNN or the quality of the GOP's top-tier candidates? Let's face it, the Republican Party is weaker than it has been in many years, and the top-tier candidates all have numerable problems. Is pointing out these weaknesses a symptom of some sort of media bias? Or is it a symptom of a sickly Republican party, which needs to put forward candidates who can respond to these criticisms if it wants any chance at winning in '08?

I think it is the latter.

So, Mitt's annoyance at Youtube is really annoyance at his own party. He expects that the Youtube public will see the problems that his party and he have and will submit questions trying to make him explain those problems and how he or the party more broadly can deal with them. So, Mitt isn't anti-Youtube just because he is an elitist douche bag (but, to be fair, he is an elitist douche bag), he is anti-Youtube because he is afraid of answering unscripted questions from an angry public. He is afraid of doing the job of a presidential candidate: responding to the public about things that actually matter.

For shame, Mitt. For shame.

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