Debate Versus Discussion

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Often on Kentucky Tonight, I ask our guests to have clearly defined positions on the topic under discussion. I want them to explain, in detail, the reasoning that brought them to their opinions, and then be prepared to defend their thinking. I encourage them to be enthusiastic and passionate about the viewpoint they have so very carefully studied.

It doesn’t always work out that way. The show is sometimes more successful when the guests discuss rather than debate – when the dialogue is more reasoned than raucous.

Last night, our conversation began with a question about how the political wrangling of the past few weeks might shape the American system of government in the future. Did the 16-day shutdown irreparably harm Washington and the country?

Was Senator Mitch McConnell, who joined Harry Reid to craft the deal that reopened the government and temporarily raised the debt ceiling, correct when he said on Face the Nation that divided government provides an opportunity to tackle important legislation?

Will the threat of another federal shutdown and debt-ceiling showdown early next year change how this Congress and president operate?

Monday night, all of our panelists weighed on those questions with sound judgment and thoughtful logic.

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