As the campaign season heats up there will be a lot of opportunity to observe debate styles. Of course we will get to see several presidential debates, but the really telling observations will come from the lesser functionaries. Watch the methods used by the representatives of the two competing parties.
Some things to look for:
Time Dominating: Seeking to grab the biggest chunk of the time allotted to discussion so the other side cannot provide their message and rationale.
Interruption: After taking their turn, they will then hover and repeatedly interrupt as the opponent attempts to speak. This disrupts the flow of a rebuttal and often will lead to a total inability to complete a statement.
Talking Over: The speaker will breathlessly ramble on and on, oblivious to efforts by the host to moderate the discussion. This relates to time dominating.
Talking Point Adherence: There are a list of memes which the true believers embrace. Regardless of the topic, the speaker will return repeatedly to the soundbite. Some examples are, "the economy we inherited" and "balancing on the backs of middle-Americans."
Descent into Name-Calling: When all else fails simply go to ad hominem attack. Attack the messenger and not the message. This works best if done with inflammatory terminology and will quite often descend into pure profanity. An example might be, "too lazy to get her ass out of the house for a real job."
So, if someone were to suggest that the federally funded baby-sitting service for welfare mothers titled Head Start were unsuccessful, a money-pit, and a feel-good program with no results observable the response might be like this:
You Don't Know What the F*** You're Talking About
This, of course, comes from a renowned educator...or not. The same guy who a few weeks ago was praising the casting of notorious traitor, Jane Fonda, as Nancy Reagan while simultaneously accusing all Vietnam veterans of being war criminals.
I think it is time for Beckel to be put out to pasture.