Authenticity. That’s what the YouTubers said they were trying to elicit when they submitted video questions for the Democratic debate. They were hoping to get past the candidates’ canned answers, to catch a glimpse of the person behind the glib comments.
Good luck on that.
Authenticity’s in short supply these days, especially on the subject of the war in Iraq. Both out on the campaign trail and in the halls of Congress, the aim is to score political points rather than shape public policy.
Look at what happened in the recent Senate debate. Before the Defense Department legislation went to the floor, Republicans started peeling away from the president on Iraq. Thoughtful members of both parties sought ways to actually effect a change in policy.
But as Republicans worked with some Democrats to craft their amendments, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., suddenly pulled the rug out from under them. He staged an all-night session; demanded a vote on a Democratic proposal for total troop withdrawal by April 2008; then, when his party lost, as Reid knew it would, he announced there would be no more votes on Iraq. The next day he saw in newspapers exactly the headline he wanted: “Republicans Block Senate Vote on Iraq Troop Withdrawal.”