How To Fix the GOP Debates

Ask yourself a series of questions: Why is it that whenever you hear about a speaker having his/her invitation rescinded from a college speaking invitation, it is always the left that complained? When was the last time you heard about conservatives protesting an event or speaker somewhere? Last night, the audience at the GOP debate booed the questioners from CNBC. When was the last time you heard a Democratic audience boo a media panel questioning Democratic candidates?

A silly question indeed. The presumptuousness of liberalism runs so deep that I’m guessing John Harwood hasn’t a clue that he was a biased jerk last night. As Marco Rubio suggested correctly—or as Glenn Reynolds puts it—most journalists are just Democrats with bylines.

Given the asymmetry of the media, the GOP leadership is beyond stupid in agreeing to let the TV networks host the debates. It is political negligence of the highest order. Since the purpose of the debates is to help the GOP pick its nominee, the GOP ought to control the debates fully. Herewith two ideas that can be implemented right away.

First, cancel the rest of the debates. Instead, announce that the RNC will host the debates and pick the panel of questioners. Allow any news organization that wishes to broadcast it. Most of the cable nets will do so, but who cares if they don’t. Panelists should be party elders, such as Newt Gingrich, Bill Armstrong, and Mitch Daniels (who will be sure to ask hard questions on policy), or serious  journalists of the right, like George Will.

Second, given that so many voters these days are independents, why not have debates that mix up the candidates from both parties. How about a debate that draws six candidates (three from each party) by lot, and throws them all together during the primary season. Wouldn’t it be fun as well a clarifying to see Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders on the same stage, not to mention Carly and Hillary.

Bonus idea: Since conservatives like competition, how about if Trump, Cruz, Rubio and one other announced they they were not only boycotting the next debate, but would set up a rival debate at the same time period, offering it to C-SPAN and several conservative websites to broadcast on streaming video.  They could give their slots up to Pataki, Graham and other “undercard” candidates. And then let’ see who watches which debate.