Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reasons not to postpone Friday's debate

5. The debate scheduled for Friday is supposed to be on foreign policy. McCain knows that with the financial crisis upon us, holding it on Friday will mean that domestic economic issues will instead play a substantial role in the debate. McCain believes that he will do better in a foreign policy debate than in a domestic policy debate in which Obama will point out how Phil Gramm, McCain's economic savant, bears more responsibility than anyone for the current mess (although plenty of Dems, including Pres. Clinton, bear their share too). By delaying the debate until after the financial crisis has been "solved," McCain can get a debate in which he talks about how principled he was in supporting the surge.

4. Even if we assume the purest of motives on the part of the McCain campaign, the idea that there is an emergency that demands the presence of two Senators who have stated their views more publicly than nearly all of their colleagues has substantive content. It feeds the Bush/Paulson idea that the American economy is teetering on the edge of permanent collapse. That sense of panic is, as others have noted, what got us the Patriot Act and (much worse in my view) the Iraq War. There are good reasons not to panic now (laid out nicely by my college classmate Chris Carroll here).

3. The notion that politics is irrelevant to how to spend $700 billion of public funds is absurd. If that's not a political decision, I don't know what is.

2. Just a couple of months ago, the McCain campaign was proposing 10 successive weekly town hall meetings. In a democracy, one would think that a crisis heightens rather than lessens the need for public debate.

1. I already invited guests to my house to watch the debate, and I also bought popcorn and beer.

Posted by Mike Dorf

11 comments:

Todd_NYC said...

I'm sure you can find other occasions to consume the popcorn and beer.

Gary said...

This administration hates to have discourse on any issues. It loves to legislate by emergency, where they can publicly say, "If you disagree or debate this you are [unpatriotic/helping terrorists/weak/being political/evil/selling a book/married to a spy/etc.] McCain has the same advisors as Bush, and they thrive on emergencies. Next week, Palin will call off her debate because she has to go to Iraq to help fight the terrorists.

egarber said...

I'm biased, but it seems to me that Barack looked more presidential during yesterday's back-and-forth.

McCain was obviously trying to play the role, but Obama made two spot-on points:

1. This crisis is all the MORE reason the campaign should continue. One of these guys will be sitting atop this mess, so the vetting should be ceaseless.

2. In the real world, presidents have to juggle multiple challenges.

Further, it seems to me that McCain's move will simply more so politicize the deliberations. Every floor speech, etc., will now be a photo op.

PMD, Esq. said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your "Bucket of Piss" article and am equally concerned about the possibility of a President Palin. As a woman - I would love to see a woman, but please Rep. Party, don't insult our intelligence by throwing us a bone (i.e., a "female" candidate, notwithstanding the total lack of qualifications).

P.S. "funeral" is spelled incorrectly in the article. Your spell check needs a check-up.

Michael C. Dorf said...

pmd, esq.
Thanks for your comment but I must rise to defend myself and my spell-checker. I correctly used the word "funeral" as the noun it is and "funereal" as an adjective, meaning (per dictionary.com) "of or suitable for a funeral."

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