In many of these MSM-moderated debates, liberal moderators have tried to stir up personal fights between candidates, which diverts our focus from more important issues and, before national television audiences, shifts attention far away from Barack Obama and his disastrous agenda.
Yes, these are debates among Republicans and designed to bring out distinctions among the candidates, but it should be up to the candidates to initiate and define those distinctions, and it is improper for the moderators to continually steer the debate away from substance and into the personal. With the moderators constantly stirring up catfights, liberal ends are served, both in placing Republican candidates in the worst light and in creating the illusion that their primary differences are with one another rather than Obama.
If you doubt this, then ask yourself how often in Saturday night's debate the candidates were given an opportunity -- instead of showing how corrupt, immoral or inexperienced their GOP rivals are -- to distinguish their policy proposals from the others in the context of the Obama record. The narrative in these debates ought to be how each of the candidates is better-equipped than the others to reverse Obama's agenda.
In addition to misdirecting the debates substantively, the liberal moderators have also, too often, injected themselves into the debates as if they were either driven by their irrepressible egos to make themselves players rather than facilitators or so ideologically revolted by the GOP's policies that they were compelled to argue Obama's side in his absence. The moderators shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. If they are going to direct the debate solely toward differences among the GOP candidates, they shouldn't present Obama's side for him, giving him and the liberal position a free ride.
As for stirring up personal and nasty issues, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Ron Paul whether he would stand by charges in one of his South Carolina ads that former Sen. Rick Santorum is "corrupt -- a corporate lobbyist, a Washington insider with a record of betrayal." As if to ensure Paul wouldn't sidestep the corruptness charge, Stephanopoulos repeated, "You also call him corrupt in that ad."