Overheard on CNN.com: 'Send in the clowns'
Republican presidential candidates at Wednesday night debate
September 8th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Send in the clowns'

Comment of the Day:

"Republicans dodging questions. Why is this news?"–Tredecim

Perry's night of "duck the question"

Debate expert Todd Graham honed in on what he saw as Texas Gov. Rick Perry's weaknesses during the Wednesday night GOP debates, among them: ignoring direct questions, refusing to address contradictions between his words and actions, and providing no evidence to back up his statement that climate change science was "not settled." Many CNN.com readers agreed.

barbie1311 said, "Music to my ears: the sound of Rick Perry calling Social Security a giant Ponzi scheme, and comparing climate change to eugenics; probably music to the ears of the desperate Obama camp watching in the White House, too. Go ahead, GOP, send in the clowns. By the time Rick Perry is finished sticking his cowboy boots in his mouth, Obama won't have anything to worry about."

Walker1971 asked, "Is this really the best the Republicans have to offer? Ugh, far-right crackpots who bring religion into politics. When will the right put up someone who is actually a viable candidate? Kiss off 2012."

But 14Ghost said, "Ducking questions? All those questions were presumed liberally biased answers. 'Given the FACT that global warming exists. ...' 'Given the FACT that all people should have health insurance. ...' NBC asked questions in a way that presumes the liberal point of view is right." Stejo said, "Science isn't liberal; it's science."

What about the other candidates? rsleonard9 said, "I thought Cain made the most sense and gave straight talk. Newt wasn't bad and Ron Paul is always enjoyable to listen too. I agree that Perry dodged to many questions."

EnergyBeing3 said, "I'm not Republican, but I have to admit, in the last few months, I've grown a lot of respect for Ron Paul. If I was on the fence for voting either side, I'd lean toward Ron Paul. He makes 'real sense' and isn't a religious nut-job."

PaulinAZ said, "Like it or not, a Republican is probably going to end up in the White House! Huntsman is the only one sane and rational enough to even be considered. We better get behind this guy, and see that he gets the nomination! Imagine the alternatives: Bachmann ... Perry ... OH GOD!"

Are jobs obsolete?

Perhaps the U.S. needs to turn its unemployment problem on its head, suggests author Douglas Rushkoff. Rather than asking how to employ all those made obsolete by technology, he writes, maybe we should ask how we can "organize a society around something other than employment." Many CNN.com readers found the article unusually provocative. nightowl1 said, "Really, CNN, one of your best stories to date."

And some were reminded of Star Trek. GROG said, "'Star Trek Next Generation,' referred to the idea that because robots and computers had made hard labor unnecessary, society had more time to work on such things as world peace, cures to diseases, space exploration and pursuit of the arts. So far, much of what Gene Roddenberry envisioned has come true. Mobile phones, microwaves, remote controls, and even slate computers were all on Star Trek before they became real, so perhaps his social ideas will come true as well."

Others said the writer failed to factor limited resources and the need for tangible goods into his plan. Yes1Fan said, "Everything mentioned in the article depends on an overabundance of non-polluting energy. If the energy supply fails, it won't be long until the near-stone-age returns (or at least the Amish age)."

DoNotWorry said, "Corporations are vying for ownership of the water supply, betting on it being the 'new' oil in price manipulation. They will try to hold us up with water one of these days."

ragun said, "One of the big things being overlooked in this article is land. Sure, we could give away houses for free with our uber house-building technologies, but the land it sits on is limited."

dinkster said, "Food, shelter, clothing, and health care all require a source: Someone to grow the food, someone to sew the clothes, doctors to administer the health care."

Many readers suggested that a solution to unemployment might be cutting hours for everyone. tmertz said, "A 36-hour work week and 2 weeks' mandatory vacation in conjunction with a major effort to overhaul and improve education (and re-education of the unemployable) would cut unemployment to less than 3 percent. Going to a 4-day (36 hour) work week would be a winner for many companies."

drake666 asked, "What if every job paid enough to live on and every family only had (and needed) one earner? Result: a) enough jobs for everyone b) children always have an adult at home."

n8rlvr said, "This would result in more free time, potential increase in creativity and problem solving. Star Trek utopia here we come!"

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio )

    If someone asked you a question on the same plane with something like...if you got a minute, would you tell me the story about your life? You probably would register that as a pretty lame question, considering the time your given to answer it. And you would naturally "dodge" it. I'm not necessarily sticking up for Gov. Perry. But I am sticking up for a persons ability to avoid unsolvable, redundant, questioning. 😉

    September 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Would you like some tea with that excuse? 🙂

      September 9, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • slider

      Tea is fine and is much better than the Kool Aid you have been ejoying.

      September 12, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. ©ysanab

    .gnorw taht delleps ,spoO
    .lek_s neeb evah dluohs tI
    !elbillafni ton ma I

    September 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    CLOWNS ARE JUST KINDA CREEPY! WASHINGTON DC SCARES ME , WHAT A BIG CIRCUS!!!!!

    September 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @Jeff Frank:

    That's true.
    However, people are not asking Gov. Perry about his life story, they're asking him about his qualifications to run the country.
    He's isn't running for the PTA.
    Dodging questions is NOT a good precursor for his candidacy.

    September 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    @Drakorex1:

    I, too, think that clowns are scary.
    With the exception of Bimbo, who posts here, of course.
    The ones in Washington are *really* scary!

    September 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etznab

      Some clowns are heroic. They can avert disaster and save lives. Like "rodeo clowns" 🙂

      September 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    @BANASY© I THOUGH T ABOUT BIMBO AS SOON AS I SAW CLOWN ,I DID NT SAY ANY THING , I DON T WANT TO HURT FEELNGS 🙂

    September 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. the prophet

    Too many mulignanas in WDC

    September 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Centrist

    Where are the moderates who aren't afraid to be a moderate? Catering to a fringe group scares the 40% majority swing voter and makes you look like a liar when you don't cater to all your groups.

    September 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James

    Oh come on, Obama was the King at dodging questions, oh that's right the news media never once asked him a hard question-they were all softball ones, my bad.

    September 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT

    If Barack Obama's serious about fixing the economy, why doesn't he get out of these stupid wars in the Middle East, cut the vast and needless military spending and tax the already wealthy? These he won't do because he wants to be politically correct and without moral principles in order to please the MIC which now runs this country!!!

    September 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oneSTARman

    Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are the only Candidates I respect – because they SAY what they THINK rather than what they think will get them the Nomination. IF ONLY They had a Party that Would Run them as a TEAM – Dream On or Move On – I Guess

    September 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. THE ONE AND ONLY DRAKOREX1

    HEY, GUNG . I SAW A POST YOU MAYBE WROTE, IT S COOL IF ITS YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PHONE C U LATER.

    September 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    Do you think its his hairspray that rick perry uses?

    September 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sue

    Agree on Ron Paul and Kucinich. While I don't agree with every position Paul has.. nor Kucinich... they are BOTH men with lots of integrity that have not been bought and sold by corporate interests. They are in politics because they want to help and they are BOTH very smart men. I'd vote for someone I disagree with, but that has integrity, before I'd vote for an agreeable meat puppet.

    September 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. justathought

    OUT SORCEING! OUT SORCEING! WHY DON'T THEY JUST BRING THE JOBS BACK HOME!? Is it that difficult?

    September 9, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
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