Sorry, but I missed most of the CBS debate last night. The parts I did see were not very enlightening nor encouraging. The leading candidates engaged in a pissing contest over who would attack Iran first. They made the usual references to "listening to the generals" and "keeping the country safe." About the only interesting part I caught was a question about waterboarding. All but Bachmann said they would not allow it. She said she would, but was not allowed to respond to those who challenged her position. She had previously gone after obama hard for closing terrorist detention facilities and being excessively concerned about terrorists' civil rights. It was a little disappointing to see the absence of nuance on this subject. I don't think a president should routinely authorize waterboarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques, just as I don't think a president should routinely authorize the assasination of US citizens who have pissed him off. But I think it is irresponsible to rule it all in all circumstance. There is always the hidden nuclear device scenario. Or the chance to prevent an ambush of troops. The question is how do we limit this sort of thing so that it is not a routine practice but is available in exigent circimstances? Of course, the CBS questioners just nodded approvingly when the candidates said they wouldn't use it. They didn't follow up with hard questions, like the hidden nuclear bomb scenario. Bachmann was attacked pretty hard on Meet the Press today for her answer though. By and large this debate was a nonevent, and I wondered why they even held it. The moderators were some of the worst we have seen, right up there with the MSNBC morons. The questions were hostile for the most part, and many carried hidden liberal assumptions. The credibility of the entire exercise was thrown into question by a predebate email exchange that was inadvertently cc'd to Bachmann's camp. CBS's political director waffled on securing an interview with Bachmann because he said he knew she wouldn't get many questions. She didn't. Bachmann's camp went ballistic. Even more troubling, Ron Paul, who has a radically different foreign policy position than the other candidates, was given a grand total of 89 seconds speaking time. His time was far less than candidates like Huntsman and Santorum whom he totally dominates in all the polling. This censorship comes on the heels of CNBC shameful action in taking down an internet poll following the last debate because he was dominating it. I think the republican party has an obligation to insure ground rules that establish some basic fairness in these debates. Clearly they have failed miserably in that regard. One can reasonably argue that the candidates should get more or less equal time or that time should be allocated roughly in proportion to their support. What is totally unacceptable is to give the moderators, liberal media figures who all support Obama, total discretion to shut out a cnadidate or severely limit their opportunity to be heard. It makes a mockery of the debate. We let the media choose our candidate last time, and the results were predictable. Are we really going to make that same mistake again?