Thursday, December 05, 2019

Debating The Debates

Yeah, I get that the all white debate optics are bad. But here's the thing: What are Perez and the DNC able or supposed to do about it NOW? 
  • Order Kamala Harris back into the race? The debate rules aren't the problem there - Harris had already qualified.
  • What else... Magically make voters support Castro and Booker?
  • Override the First Amendment and force the media to cover the candidates differently?
  • Unilaterally pass campaign finance reform that keeps self funding billionaires from running? You think if we could do that, we wouldn't have already? 
There are a LOT of problems with a system that leads to Steyer and Bloomberg, but the debate rules aren't even in the top 10.

The only option in the DNC's power is changing the qualification criteria - and the candidates who have qualified, and who built their efforts around the pre-set rules, would rightfully scream.

So would the candidates who were previously excluded and dropped out as a result. If you let Castro in now, do you go back in time and re-invite Gillibrand and Inslee?

The bigger debate rules problem was the excessive size of the field and the two night 20 candidate 💩 shows. With fewer no-chance mediocre white men on stage, Harris or Booker or Castro could have gotten more time and focus and maybe have earned more support.

Bottom line is, elections are an open process, and if people aren't going to support Booker, Castro, or Harris, they aren't going to. We can argue about WHY, and race should certainly be part of that discussion, but at this point the debates are an effect, not a cause.