See, that's the thing. They pretty clearly fear the people more than the terrorists, because the people have power over them, and the terrorists don't.
It's looking like there might not be a GOP CNN/Youtube debate. Rudy appears to be opting out and Mitt Romney doesn't seem far behind. And GOP party functionary Hugh Hewitt is already laying down a line of covering fire for the retreat, arguing that CNN and Youtube are biased against Republicans.
"Liberal Bias", whatever else it once was, now appears to be the new Republican code word for any venue or events not controlled by Republican commisars like Hugh Hewitt along the lines of President Bush's notorious Social Security townhalls in which only certified flunkies who swore to a Bush loyalty oath were let into the room.
As I said here on the night of the debate, the CNN/Youtube debate wasn't perfect. And there were for my tastes a bit too many questions based on a rather cliched sort of viral video silliness. All told though I found it surprisingly successful in getting fresh questions into the mix and edging at least somewhat more candor out of the candidates than the usual fare.
I'm not sure whether the resistance is rooted is the profound feebleness of the current GOP field or the fact that the current Bush Republican party is so beholden to a worldview based on denial and suppression of evidence that exposure to unpredictable questions presents too great a danger. But if they can't face Youtube how can they defeat the terrorists?
Bush has laid down the groundwork of Republicans never, ever talking in front of an audience that might be unfriendly, and he's still got a bit of charisma. THIS lot have all the charisma of dry toast, and none strike me as bright enough to be able to handle difficult, unexpected questions, which is of course what the Youtube debate is all about.
The best part is trying to call Youtube "liberal", though. Er, no. It's a video hosting site. It's not liberal or conservative or anything, at least not any more than the American people are. But that's the problem, isn't it? Republicans and Democrats alike know that many American self-identified "conservatives" often espouse remarkably anti-conservative positions on various issues. If they realized that it'd upset the applecart something fierce, and it is in the interest of pretty much everybody (the DLC types, the Republicans, a fair chunk of official Washington, much of the corporate media, and especially pollsters) to keep that bit of info under wraps. Youtube is about as liberal as America is, but that makes it more liberal than Washington is. Best keep it quiet.
(Plus, Youtube users are generally young, and the Republicans ain't exactly youth-oriented.)
That prompts a thought, by the way. One of the things I wonder is just how skewed the Dem questions were towards CNN's own perceptions of legitimacy. "Centrists" were complaining about the inclusion of a reperations video, but I'm really curious as to how many went far, far further than that, and whether they actually made up a majority of the questions. Anybody have a listing of all the submissions?