Apparently most of the Republican presidential candidates are afraid of the citizen-driven format of the upcoming CNN/YouTube Debate that's now only six weeks away.
I'd have guessed that Fred Thompson would be too damned afraid to let everyone see he's nothing more than a paper-mache lion, but I'd have thought Rudy and Romney would be willing to step up to the plate. Not so - so far at least. Nicole at Crooks and Liars lets 'em have it:
Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post reports:
Four days after the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C,. more than 400 questions directed to the GOP presidential field have been uploaded on YouTube -- targeted at Republicans scheduled to get their turn at videopopulism on Sept. 17.
But so far, only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.
"Aside from those two candidates, we haven't heard from anyone else," said Sam Feist of CNN, who's co-sponsoring the debate with the popular videosharing site.
Aww....whassamatter, Republicans? Afraid to stand up to the scrutiny of non-loyalty oath-signed crowds? Can't stand to answer for all the misdeeds of the rubberstamp Republican majority for the first five years of the Bush Administration? Don't want to justify your continuing loyalty to party over country? Afraid to have to answer to the grieving mother of a fallen soldier?
Hmmm....didn't stop the RNC from encouraging their mailing list to send in questions for the Democratic candidates, did it?
The Republican National Committee encouraged conservatives to send in hard-hitting questions to pin down them gol-danged liberalz, but are big bad Rudy and Flip-Flopping Mitt really this afraid? Appears so...
The New York Daily News says it looks like there's but a "snowman's chance" of a CNN/YouTube Republican debate. Giuliani said "scheduling issues" would likely keep him away; McCain called questions from a snowman "frankly inappropriate"; and Romney said "the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman." The New York Post says Giuliani's camp is concerned about the proximity of the Sept. 17th date to the close of the third quarter -- Sept. 30th.
GIULIANI: The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder also notes that Giuliani might skip the YouTube debate. [...]
I think it'll be a huge mistake for the front-running Republicans to boycott the debate. Their thinly-disguised cowardice is really showing here. It really makes them look like aloof, pompous jackasses!
UPDATE: Some on the right are calling for the Republican candidates to stand up on their hind legs and be the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (and Mormon) Macho Men we know they are... or thought they were anyway.
Does it surprise anyone that these vaulted Republicans "leaders" have to be lead around and told the right thing to do?
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!