There's yet another GOP debate tonight. As usual, I'll be live-tweeting it (does it make sense to say live-tweeting? How else would you do it?), and I'll have a post up over at the Plum Line afterwords.*
As usual, I'm hoping that the questions are boring. Yup, boring. Look, I know that in real life most voters don't watch these things, but that's the conceit of it, and the value that ordinary voters can get out of debates is, in the first place, learning the candidates' positions on public policy. A well-informed reporter should be able to ask good questions to elicit that information (and to allow candidates to challenge each others' positions), but at least in my view what we get far too often is moderators who treat the thing as a press conference, asking gotcha questions that are perhaps more interesting to those of us who follow this stuff closely, but next to useless for most voters.
In other words, questions that are good ones for most voters are boring for anyone who spends every day listening to the candidates. Oh -- the other temptation, of course, is for the moderators to call attention to themselves. That, too, is in my view a temptation that should be resisted.
Anyway, I suppose the main question tonight (such as it is -- it's important not to overemphasize the importance of debates) is whether Rick Perry can generate a little good news for himself for a change. He's been just awful at the previous debates; I'm expecting him to beat expectations tonight, but you never know. I've also sort of predicted a bad night for Herman Cain, but again we'll have to see. If you want more pre-debate analysis, Brendan Nyhan has a nice post up with lots of sensible things to say.
(My main position on Republican debates is very simply, if I suppose somewhat idiosyncratic: I'm against having them on Tuesday nights, which is my pickup basketball night. Boo!).
*At least it will if this new-fangled "streaming" thing works out for me. I didn't even realize I didn't have Bloomberg TV, but I guess not. No complaints, since DishNetwork was nice enough to add MLB a few weeks ago. Although I still wish I had C-SPAN 3. To be fair, Dish does have Bloomberg, but on the tier I don't pay for...pretty much the only thing on that tier that I'd really like is Boomerang, although I suppose I'd sort of like to have "Chiller", which I don't know anything about except that it has Buffy.