The Corner

Elections

The Debate Moderators Fail

Journalists watch the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, September 12, 2019. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

I thought the Democratic debate last night was a something of debacle. I didn’t think there were any clear winners, while Harris hurt herself substantially.

But the real failure was that of the moderators in the obvious and important questions and follow-ups they didn’t ask. Here’s just a partial list:

  • “Do you support or oppose the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act? It merely requires a living baby to be treated like a living baby and wouldn’t prevent abortion. What basis is there to oppose it?”
  • In the discussion on “Medicare for All”: “Would the plan require healthcare rationing?”
  • “African-Americans are enjoying the highest levels of employment in U.S. history. Shouldn’t that count when deciding who African-Americans support for president?”
  • In the discussion on guns: “Do you agree with San Francisco that the NRA is a terrorist organization?”
  • In the discussion on letting everyone and their cousins out of jail: “Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani prosecuted minor lifestyle violations because he believed the perpetrators also commit major crimes. He turned the city around. San Francisco now refuses to prosecute minor crimes and consequently, it ranks number one in the country for property crimes. Under your policies, why wouldn’t the same thing happen nationally as has happened in San Francisco?”
  • In the discussion on immigration: “Sanctuary policies have prevented police agencies from holding violent illegal alien criminals under detainer holds from ICE who later committed other violent crimes. What would you tell the victims of those crimes about the virtue of sanctuary policies?”
  • Under the discussion of leaving Afghanistan: “If we leave Afghanistan undefended it is likely that women will be returned to slavery status and the people who helped us who will be killed. What will you do to prevent such an awful outcome?”
  • In the discussion of removing all carbon from energy production: “Do you support nuclear power?”

Given the probable political leanings of the moderators, I am not surprised they failed to explore the important depths of the issues presented. I think it was simply a matter of their knowing what they didn’t want us to know.

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