We Need More Debates— and Loud Ones

Let the crowds make noise: David Weigel
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2012 12:35 PM CST
We Need More Debates— and Loud Ones
Newt Gingrich gestures during a debate Jan. 23 at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Republicans debate again tonight, and there's plenty of carping about how there's too many of these things. Not from David Weigel at Slate. He wants more, more, more. If they weren't debating, the candidates would be in choreographed campaign mode, which reveals little. "The ideal campaign moment comes when a candidate answers questions with cameras pointed at him and no possibility of escape," he writes. "No control over conditions, or setting, or who does the interview: The candidate is trapped."

And Newt Gingrich is right, he adds: The crowd should be allowed to boo and cheer and generally whoop it up however it sees fit. That's the way it's always been, going back to the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and we've had some great moments as a result. "Those debates reflected what happens, outside of security bubbles, when politicians have to engage with real voters." So no more debate complaints. After tonight, there won't be another for a month, and "you're going to miss them." Read Weigel's full column here. (Read more Republican debate stories.)

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