Wednesday, August 5, 2015

No Debate

The Republican presidential candidates for 2016 - well, ten of them, anyway - are meeting tomorrow in their first debate. Meanwhile, the date of the first Democratic presidential debate appears to be scheduled some time between February 30 and the release of Adele's third album.   

The Democrats have no nomination debate on the calendar right now, and the suspicion is that this is because Hillary Clinton is the party establishment's choice, and they won't tolerate any of her four opponents (possibly five, if Joe Biden actually gets in the campaign) disrupting her on her path to the nomination by, well, engaging her over the issues.   A debate would allow Bernie Sanders to raise his profile even more and press his ultra-liberal positions on the issues, much to Hillary's obvious consternation, and it would give former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley - who looks great as a presidential candidate on paper - the chance to even have a profile.  Can't have any of that!  Hillary herself has been ignoring her Democratic opponents, preferring instead to take on high-profile Republican candidates to be in an better position for the 2016 general election.
There's only one problem:  Hillary is in a worse position now, mainly because people don't trust her enough and/or don't believe she's willing to take any definitive stands on issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, which she's been dodging.  And yet Democrats are still excited about her campaign because, well, she'll be the first female presidential candidate of a major party.
It won't be a major party anymore if she gets the nomination without having to genuinely compete for it.  By avoiding the press and her primary/caucus opponents, Hillary is denying her party the opportunity to have a real nomination campaign and a genuine discussion of the issues.  Should we expect Hillary to understand that and be more forthcoming on her differences with the party's liberal wing and on her own positions?  I expect to be hearing Adele's next record first.             

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