Where’s the self-awareness, Mr. Rove? (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer) (Peter Kramer/AP)

Hold on: Isn’t democracy supposed to be messy?

A few of the contentions in the op-ed are just too precious not to juxtapose with a reminder of just who the author of those contentions is.

What we’re watching are not really debates. They are seven- or eight-person news conferences. Their choppy nature makes cogent argument difficult and thoughtful policy discussion almost nonexistent. There’s a premium placed on memorable sound bites and snappy comebacks. Those are the clips that are endlessly replayed.

This, from a guy who was dubbed the the Napoleon of Insinuendo.

Debates transfer power to the media, draining it from the campaigns.

This, from a guy who works for the media.

Moderators and their news organizations—through questions they frame or select—have more impact than candidates on what’s covered and discussed.

This, from a guy who’s made his living in a land with a free press.

Because each debate is a lavish feast of comments and confrontations, the media also decide what aspects are most worthy of post-debate coverage.

This, from a guy---well, what on earth does he expect?