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{Empty title} | The Nation

A quality debate discusses important issues. A flag pin on a lapel does not matter to me. Asking the presidential candidates about their patriotism does not matter to me, and is actually quite insulting. I don't care about the Bosnia lie (but would love to hear someone ask Hillary the difference between an intentional misstatement and a lie), I do not care about Reverend Wright, Dr. Ayers or the capital gains tax. I hoped to hear about how America would deal with rising food and gas costs, the mortgage crisis (from the homeowners side of things), stagnant wages and the Iraq war. Charlie Gibson seemed to get really caught up on the idea that people who make $200,000 a year are the typical middle class, and that raising the capital gains tax would hurt the country--or perhaps his own pocketbook?

Even in the relatively simple pre 9/11 days, we didn't have the luxury of spending the first hour of a two-hour debate on complete trash and fluff. How amazing that during a war and a possible recession, the top brass at ABC News did not step in and give quality questions to their moderators.