Republicans will not participate in Presidential debates anymore

SuperMatt

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Breaking news: The RNC believes the debate process is unfair and biased, so they are threatening to end their participation in the future.


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.

Republican committee officials alerted the debate commission to their plans in a letter sent on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. If the change goes forward, it would be one of the most substantial shifts in how presidential and vice-presidential debates have been conducted since the commission began organizing debates more than 30 years ago.
I mean, why bother to participate in a nonpartisan debate when your plan is to just have GOP officials overrule the will of the voters anyway?

The insistence on making candidates sign a pledge though… talk about fascist.
 

lizkat

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The polling outfits need to dig deeper into right-leaning indie takes on this stuff.

Maybe withdrawing from democracy in favor of a strongman's party apparatus does fly fine with conservative politicians who feel threatened by the fact that US demographics based on traditional voting patterns don't favor Republicans any more.

But maybe not so much is that the sentiment of ordinary right-leaning voters any more. Could look different to them now in the light of how the global and national economies are shaking out in 2022 during further onslaughts of covid and disruption to supply chains, industry and retail businesses, schools, shopping in person, etc.

And yet all the Rs can come up with so far is "Trump's our guy!" for 2024? And tacking on "So no need to debate!" ??

Trump hit the right hot button notes with his court picks but it's possible that there's still a silent majority among indie conservatives -- I would certainly include the former so called "blue collar Dems" there-- that would prefer now to see some actual economic policy proposals from Republicans. And see how well the Dems can defend this administration's take on those matters.

What's called for now is not just slogans that focus on personalities at the top of the political food chain. We need articulate debate of policies that stand a chance of affecting inflation, labor shortages, opportunities for economic advancement that Americans had got used to and can be helped to rebuild for their kids and grandkids. We need to acknowledge we don't agree at respective far ends of such proposals, but we also need to debate how it is we can approach consensus in the middle. We're still a democracy. Every vote matters, whether it's directly popular or by representation in Congress, and we need to know how our next President will propose to work with that Congress.

So the Rs withdrawing from that sort of national discussion is probably a huge mistake. It will make them look like they are what they are, which is paralyzed and still in thrall to a delusional loser.

Trump is all about himself (and worse, still fuming about the elections of both 2016 and 2020!) Biden-Harris is about us, right now, even if not all their proposals seem feasible or even desirable to a majority of Americans. They put their policies out there for us to chew over, criticize, cheer on or excoriate. But Trump puts out the same old vibes as if he never left office and thinks he's still the emperor. Half right, he's still naked on policy narratives. This time around that will matter much more than before. The runup to 2020 was not 2016 over again, and 2024 will be an entirely different critter.

How can the RNC think the USA will ever settle again for a guy always looking over his shoulder or else looking in a mirror?
 

JayMysteri0

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Well, if you remember the last debate when one of the two was supposedly infected with covid, but didn't want anyone to know. So they refused tests, went to the debate, and were seemingly unconcerned if they infected anyone else.

Might be safer if they didn't show.
 
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SuperMatt

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Well, if you remember the last debate when one of the two was supposedly infected with covid, but didn't want anyone to know. So they refused tests, went to the debate, and were seemingly unconcerned if they infected anyone else.

Might be safer if they didn't show.
My impression is that Trump blames part of his 2020 loss on the debates (Yes, he knows he lost despite his “stop the steal” performance art). He would much rather NOT have to debate on equal terms with an opponent.
 

Thomas Veil

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I want to see the debate commission go ahead and put them on as always, so that Biden can do what amounts to a 90 minute press conference, during which time he can constantly allude to the fact that the other party was too chicken-shit scared to allow their boy to show up.

Wait! Even better! Each candidate gets something like two minutes for their answer, right? Well, let Biden give his answer, and then let the moderator ask an empty chair the same question.

Supposedly that worked for Clint Eastwood.
 

NT1440

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Wow. The debates are in the hands of an entity that put the Parties in control of them in the first place! Presidential debates were run by the League of Women Voters from 76 to 84 but eventually the parties decided real questions weren’t in their interest so the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed and funded by the duopoly. That’s when debates became managed stage shows and two minute sound clips, in essence useless.

This is a funny as hell development.
 

yaxomoxay

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Personally I find the debates quite useless.

I don’t think they change many votes and they are more a show than an actual exchange of political ideas. Even the candidates usually rehearse them that much based on what their teams say is best to say. This is even more so in this age in which the campaign’s reach is so vast due to vastly improved communication technologies.

I feel that most people watch the debate the same way that some people watch Formula 1, that is to see a crash of the other team, hence the gazillion memes and videos about the other teams’ alleged “fails” (some of which are more in the eye of the beholder rather than based in reality). Plus the stupid question of “who won the debate” as that would be of much importance in governing.

I understand that now presidential debates are seen as both as a tradition and a show of force, but I do think they reached total silliness even more so with all the stupid requests by the campaigns.

I guess I am probably the only one that would prefer that each campaign built a 500 page long very detailed program of government, with each paragraph numbered, and have each candidate explain each point, live on TV. I mean, Putin is able to do very detailed 3 hour long press conferences and Q&A’s with the public… let’s have them defend their thesis instead of having them yell at each other.
 

lizkat

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I guess I am probably the only one that would prefer that each campaign built a 500 page long very detailed program of government, with each paragraph numbered, and have each candidate explain each point, live on TV. I mean, Putin is able to do very detailed 3 hour long press conferences and Q&A’s with the public… let’s have them defend their thesis instead of having them yell at each other.

No you're not the only one. I've thought, said and written for a long time that presidential campaigns should last six weeks, and consist of candidates posting their position papers on some website accessible to the public including media. Done and done. Let the media comment on the issues. Let the public vote on the issues.

Once that first debate between Nixon and Kennedy had turned into a post-debate-debate on whether "winnability" of presidential [and VP] debates was about who was more telegenic or TV-savvy, the value of election-year debates went through the roof for advertisers and media networks, and through the floor for thoughtful voters.

It's only gotten worse since then, thanks to decades of "gotcha" politics. And the disconnect between governance and press coverage of "the horse race" gets to be more of a chasm every four years. Voters are barely in the picture any more. No wonder the Rs figure they can get away with reworking disliked election results. Who besides Harris and Pence even remembers anything about the VP debate in 2020 except for the public's obsession with that fly on Pence's head?
 
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SuperMatt

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No you're not the only one. I've thought, said and written for a long time that presidential campaigns should last six weeks, and consist of candidates posting their position papers on some website accessible to the public including media. Done and done. Let the media comment on the issues. Let the public vote on the issues.
And yet in 2020, one political party didn’t even bother to release a party platform document.

We are getting farther and farther from this every day. Tribalism and culture wars from the right have pushed out any semblance of governing principles or strategies.

Ideally, the debate would be a “follow-up” to many statements and policy papers released by candidates. Lately, it’s just a blowhard cracking wise about how big his opponent’s mask is... as if preserving one’s health is something to be mocked.

I’d love it if it returned to something resembling what you and @yaxomoxay are advocating for.
 

yaxomoxay

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No you're not the only one. I've thought, said and written for a long time that presidential campaigns should last six weeks, and consist of candidates posting their position papers on some website accessible to the public including media. Done and done. Let the media comment on the issues. Let the public vote on the issues.

Once that first debate between Nixon and Kennedy had turned into a post-debate-debate on whether "winnability" of presidential [and VP] debates was about who was more telegenic or TV-savvy, the value of election-year debates went through the roof for advertisers and media networks, and through the floor for thoughtful voters.

It's only gotten worse since then, thanks to decades of "gotcha" politics. And the disconnect between governance and press coverage of "the horse race" gets to be more of a chasm every four years. Voters are barely in the picture any more. No wonder the Rs figure they can get away with reworking disliked election results. Who besides Harris and Pence even remembers anything about the VP debate in 2020 except for the public's obsession with that fly on Pence's head?
I’d simply allow for two long Q&A on the program. Each campaign chooses a host to ask questions.
First round, questions by the guy the campaign has chosen.
Second round, questions by the guy the other campaign has chosen.
No time limit on answers, but minimum of 50 questions or 3 hours, whichever comes latest.
 
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