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Headline: R.N.C. Signals a Pullout From Presidential Debates. Is the RNC really about to do something that isn’t stupid? All I know is my gut says, “Maybe.”
The Republican National Committee is preparing to change its rules to require presidential candidates seeking the party’s nomination to sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The nonprofit commission, founded by the two parties in 1987 to codify the debates as a permanent part of presidential elections, describes itself as nonpartisan. But Republicans have complained for nearly a decade that its processes favor the Democrats, mirroring increasing rancor from conservatives toward Washington-based institutions.
They aren’t even debates. They’re just Media Operatives asking banal questions followed by the politicians giving canned answers their handlers wrote for them. The only politician to respond spontaneously in any of them was Trump. They are never informative, since the candidates are only repeating the talking points from their stump speeches. The media is just looking for its “Gotcha” moment, like Gerald Ford denying the existence of Soviet troops in Eastern Europe, or Mitt Romney talking about the binders full of women he had strapped to the top of his car or something.
And these things are almost always moderated by Democratic Party Activists with bylines … Candy Crowley, John Harwood, Chris Wallace, Lester Holt, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper. That the Republicans on the supposedly bipartisan CPD agreed to this shows their utter incompetence and uselessness.
Now, if we can just get rid of those scripted “Townhall Meetings,” where Democrat activists pose as “Undecided Voters” to ask Republican candidate questions like, “As an independent voter, my biggest issue is Climate Change. If elected, will you pledge to shut down all coal mining and oil production in the world, and if not, why do you hate the children, who are our future, so much?” It would actually be fantastic to see real voters ask real questions of the candidates; rather than media operatives repeating questions fed to them by their colleagues in the Washington DC Bubble.
While the eventual nominee could decide to debate, there’s far more energy in the G.O.P. base behind abandoning institutions than there used to be.
It never occurs to them to blame failing institutions (journalism, media, government) for this.Published in