• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

How about some real debates?

The Republican primaries ought to be more fun next year than they were in 2012 for the simple reason that the field is so much better -- a lot of new faces instead of the same old ones. But the "debate" prospects aren't any better. With 12 or more candidates on stage, it's just going to be a battle-of-the-sound-bites circus that we'll learn nothing useful from. I like this idea:

Just bring out each candidate and let them respond to two or three questions from a panel of conservative journalists and/or policy experts. Jim DeMint hosted one of these on Labor Day 2011 to great effect. There’s no reason it can’t be replicated.

You’d still have time constraints but I’d rather have someone like Rand Paul, Rick Perry or Scott Walker, spend 3-5 minutes straight answering a handful of questions with the spotlight on them than the Gong Show type spectacles we’ve seen the last few go rounds.

And this one isn't bad, either:

Schedule three or four traditional battle royal debates with 12 candidates or whatever onstage, just so that everyone can say that they had some face time with a national audience and got to address a variety of issues. Beyond that, thought, schedule a few dozen one-on-one debates with the pairings to be decided by the RNC, the candidates themselves, and polls of Republican voters. One debate everyone would like to see, obviously, is Rubio versus Paul on foreign policy. Another, to contrast the views of the two strongest social cons in the race, would pit Huckabee against Ted Cruz. Another obvious one is Scott Walker versus Chris Christie to compare how they succeeded and failed as Republican governors in deep blue states. Those are no-brainer match-ups. Another, to give the tea-party heroes an opportunity to distinguish themselves from each other, would put Paul and Cruz head to head. We’d inevitably get a Bush versus Rubio debate too given the importance of Florida and likely a Walker versus Kasich debate to see which midwestern governor is superior. You can come up with interesting pairings as well as I can.

Of course, we couldn't expect anything like the Lincoln-Douglas debates to be offered in these short-attention-span days. We wouldn't put up with a candidate speaking for 15 minutes straight, let alone follow a 60-minute speech followed by a 90-minute response followed by a 30-minute "rejoinder." But just seeing them go head-to-head for 10 minutes would show us something. Then, when the field is narrowed to the final four (right now I'm thinking Rubio, Cruz, Walker and Paul), I'd really like to see a few roundtable discussions moderated by somebody who knows when to interject a question and when to just let them have at it.


Thu, 05/21/2015 - 7:27am

Welcome back Leo, hope you had a good vacation.

Pretty much agree with your sentiments.  These "debates" are really just glorified press conferences but I would add this:  Although it won't happen I would hope any questions asked would be answered with   no politispeak, and be truthful unlike the lies spewed yesterday from TX far right wing nut Louie Gomhert.  In a state who's Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says "I've ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15 to safeguard Texans' constitutional rights, private property & civil liberties" because of paranoid fear of a Federal takeover, to say Gohmert is right of that makes a statement.

Louie Gohmert has found yet another reason why President George W Bush isn't responsible for invading Iraq.

That reason is...Barack Obama.

Right Wing Watch quoting Gohmert:

"Everybody else wants to ask that question of, Gee, would you have gone into Iraq if you’d known what you know now?  And I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him that would not even be able to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq and start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos, then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question."

Here's the thing. The status of forces agreement was negotiated by an incompetent. That much is true. But the incompetent who negotiated it was former President George W. Bush who signed the  agreement on December 14, 2008.  It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. combat forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. Of course, Barack Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. The troop withdrawls that occured under President Obama were made because Obama was  honoring an agreement between US-Iraq made by the previous administration.

This is typical of the blantant lies and revisionist history I sincerely hope will not be on desplay at the "debates"  The American people deserve better than to be lied to and played for fools.