By that, I mean that vice-presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz was not partisan in the sense that she wasn’t in the tank for Joe Biden, but she WAS, as a lifelong member of the mainstream media, in the tank for the “bipartisan foreign policy establishment” (and to some degree for its domestic policy twin.
The questions she asked — and didn’t ask — clearly show that.
I already discussed this on her total establishmentarian, almost neocon-to-Zionist, wrongness on Iran being the top US national security threat.
Off the top of my head, here's the top US national security problems for now, the future or a mix.
No. 1 is Chinese cyberespionage, that may even be cyberwarfare at this point. Raddatz knows all about that. So, too do Tweedledee and Tweedledum. But, none of them want to talk about how compromised we may be.
And, that’s probably why Raddatz didn’t ask. That’s even though one good book I recently read but whose name escaped me, opens at night in the White House with lights flickering on and off, regularly, more than once. President Obama then gets a phone call.
It’s from the president of China, who simply says, “We need to talk.”
And, we DO! It was inexcusable for Raddatz to ask bupkis about China and foreign policy (or China and “free” trade vs. fair trade) in this debate.
No. 2 on top security issues? Global warming's fallouts, including food problems, massive population relocations, etc. Hell, the Pentagon knows this one. So does Raddatz. So do Tweedledee and Tweedledum. But Biden wants to skirt it, along with his boss, and Ryan is a wingnut denialist.
We should have seen Ryan being a wingnut, and Biden being a quiescent semi-fellow traveler. Raddatz could have given Joe a chance to defend Solyndra-type grants as a necessary risk.
No. 3? As the bipartisan foreign policy establishment seeks to internationalize the War on Drugs ever more, a failed-state Mexico, due in large part to that, could be huge.
Marijuana legalization of some sort — full legalization, not medical marijuana — is on the Novenber ballot in Washington State and elsewhere. Raddatz could have pinned Biden/Obama on how liberal is their liberalism and Ryan/Romney on the hypocrisy of selective commitment to states’ rights.
Beyond that, she should have been asking larger issues about the War on Drugs. As these referenda, and their support by mainly retired but even a few active law enforcement show, at least with marijuana, more and more Americans know the War on Drugs is a crock of shit.
No. 4 on security risks? From the greater Middle/Near East, an unstable, not to mention failed-state, nuke-armed Pakistan is far more serious than a stable Iran, even if it has nuclear weapons. Raddatz easily could have tied this to an Afghanistan question.
But, that’s not all.
Raddatz could have asked about Social Security — and forced Biden to defend his boss’s Catfood Commission as well as Ryan to defend privatization.
Again, yes, Raddatz was more aggressive in her questioning than the typical presidential debate “moderator,” let alone Jim Lehrer. It’s too bad she didn’t ask very many of the right questions.
Beyond this, Dems say Raddatz did such a good job because Biden won, and Lehrer did such a bad job because Obama didn’t. Whether with a laissez-faire get out of the way angle, or a Meet the Press-type grilling angle, both actually promoted to-and-fro more than some modern presidential “debate” moderators.
Problem was with Lehrer, just like Raddatz, in what questions got asked.
And, you know the corporate oligarchs of the Commission on Presidential Debates don’t want questions about the seriousness of climate change because it could affect their business models. They don’t want questions about Chinese cyberespionage because it’s done against corporations in the US, not just the government. They don’t want questions about the War on Drugs because they generally favor strong government police actions. And, they don’t want questions about Social Security because they favor having overflow in the workforce which lets them drive down wages.