OK, so in just under three hours, the VP debates will begin. I'll be liveTweeting the event and you can follow along on Twitter: twitter.com/thepete

...Or on my blog by keeping an eye on that TheLifestream.

But regarding tonight's debate, I have mixed feelings.

On the one hand, it's going to be a wonderful train wreck to watch. Joe Biden, king of foot-in-mouth syndrome will have to fight nice with Sarah Palin, the queen of sentence-mashups. It's going to be a wonderful blood-bath whether Palin comes off like a moron (yay!) or Biden looks like a crotchety old man beating up on a little girl (boo!).

So, from a strictly observational standpoint, I'm excited.

However, there's also a part of me that feels like the process is being damaged thanks to each campaign understanding their VP candi's weaknesses. I heard this morning that each one will have just 90 seconds to answer questions and 2 minutes to rebut. This will give them fewer chances to screw up just because it won't let them talk very long. The thing is, We The People should want them to talk longer than 3.5 minutes for each question! We need to get to know these people better. If they're going to screw up, we want to know about it. If they're going to be cut off before they can, we'll never know they're morons until after they've been elected.

An informed electorate is a strong electorate, right?

I guess both parties want us to be weak.

Then there's the part of me that is worried that the worst will happen. Huge damage can be done to the process by both of these candidates performing poorly. Sure, we'll be watching and laughing at the stupidity we're witnessing, but really, that's not why we should be enjoying ourselves or even tuning in.

Imagine, if Obama had picked Hillary. Oh, that would have made me feel much better about tonight.

If things go as badly as they could, Palin would lose a lot of people, but Biden could lose more. We know Biden is a smart guy and by his advanced age, it's easy to assume he should know better than to gang up on this little girl from Alaska (let's be honest, that's exactly what she is).

Remember, I'm an independent. I'd prefer neither McCain nor Obama win. But there's no practical expectation I can have to see a third party candidate even appear in the debates, let alone end up winning the White House, so for people like me, this all becomes a question of who to vote against.

Yay, democracy.

By the way, the reason we'll never see a third party candidate in the debates is because the debates are controlled by the two major parties.

Yay, democ--oh, I said that already...