AMERICANS WOULD MESS UP QUESTION TIME SO LET’S NOT DO IT

AMERICANS WOULD MESS UP QUESTION TIME SO LET’S NOT DO IT

Matt HealeyThursday,2 October 2014

The Snap:

A few days ago I listened to some radio news program that was praising the British practice of “Question time.” Question time is an opportunity to MPs and Members of the House of Lords to ask the PM questions about the government. What was refreshing was the candid question and answers. The common refrain was how come U.S. presidents don’t do the same thing with Congress.

The Download:

I was reminded of this while watching the highlights lowlights of the congressional hearing on the White house intruder. It included such great questions comments as:

“I wish to God you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today” – Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts

That is clearly a question that is not aimed at getting answers, but at posing for the cameras and getting the sound bite on TV. There is no probative value to that comment, but it is the one that will be featured on TV.

But that is only the most recent hearing. There were the endless probes into Bengazi and the IRS. Hearings that were called for no reason other than politics. Then we have the “You lie!” exclamation during the state of the Union during Obama’s first term. Given all of this, I think I may have found out why the President would not hold an open question session with Congress. Given the hearings that we have seen an American version of question time would quickly devolve to a series of politically charged statements attacking the president that are aimed at energizing the base from the party that doesn’t hold the white house, and softball questions that give the president an opportunity to energize the base from the president’s party. Given that is what it would become, I am in favor of skipping it all togther

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons



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