Given the ADD memory span of the average TV viewer, I think it's a mistake to separate the different topics with so many days in between. Both candidates talked about military spending last night, but didn't address how they were going to pay for it all. Also, the format led to a lot of repetition with no new insights into either candidate. But as usual, I would rather set you on fire than curse your darkness, so here is my solution to the debate debacle. All we have to do is follow the following format for a single, comprehensive presidential/vice presidential debate:
- Opening Statements - none, so we can just get down to it.
- Question time. A bikini-clad woman wearing stiletto heels carries a sign with the round number back and forth in front of the drunken, cheering crowd (Condy would be good for this). The mediator dressed in a clown suit complete with honking nose pulls two topics from a spinning lottery drum. The candidates (order to answer decided by by rock, paper, scissors) are given three minutes to address both topics with a unique and unified solution (e.g. for social security and military preparedness, one could advocate using old people as target practice for the Army snipers, while the other might suggest drafting retired persons). Olympic judges rate each answer; the running total appears on the front of each candidate's podium. Negative numbers are allowed.
- Rebuttal. Two minutes are given to each candidate, who can pose questions directly to the other. Figure skating judges rate them on clarity, artistry, and humor.
- Follow-up. Each candidate has one minute to mock and denigrate the other. As an alternative, he can choose to challenge his opponent to thumb wrestling, or can bank his points and move on. Boxing judges and Carrot Top award points based upon bribes.
- Do a Jell-O shot.
- Repeat steps two through five until somebody yarks. Deduct 25 points from the puker. Award 50 points if he bazooka-barfs and sprays a member of the press.
- Break time so candidates can rest, regroup and change into spandex with concealed weaponry. Budweiser airs some clever commercials involving disgusting bodily functions. Lawyers contest the judges' decisions. Lawyers are executed on live TV. Also the judges.
- Final jeopardy: No holds barred steel cage match! Random terrorists are chosen to scream questions at the candidates, who must answer or suffer a folded metal chair to the head delivered by the guest wrestler (I recommend the Rock). If a candidate becomes too befuddled and/or bloody to continue, he can tag in his veep (after all, it's what they are there for).
- Points are tallied, the winner is declared, and people go on to vote for whoever they would have anyway.
- After debate debate by political experts.
- Political experts are executed on live TV.
Am I right? On second thought, you should just declare me president based upon my genius. But there's no way I'm participating in a debate.