Note: Jay Cost at The Weekly Standard as a column out today, 5/23, “Ten is too few” which discusses many of the points I raised below. Well worth reading. And note his comments about the recent epic fails of polls.
We’re just getting reports about how FOX, which is hosting the first GOP presidential debate, is going to handle the “problem” of having too many candidates.
FOX wants to limit it to no more than 10 candidates on stage, and is proposing to use a Real Clear Politics poll average to come up with their top ten.
As usual, the RNC, by agreeing with this, is being incredible stupid.
There are so many things wrong with this approach, but let me list just a few:
1. It is so early in the primary season, that most people aren’t even paying attention. The same pundits and talking heads now proposing to use polling numbers as a criteria are always telling us that polls mean NOTHING at this early stage. It’s based more on name recognition ( or a lack of) than anything else.
2. Because of the large number of candidates, it’s more than likely that the difference between the bottom 10 candidates will be miniscule, probably smaller than the margin of error for the polls. And we’re going to use THIS methodology to disqualify some excellent candidates?
3. Lastly, any, ANY method that gives a narcissistic blowhard like Donald Trump a slot, but excludes a Bobby Jindal, or a Carly Fiorina is JUST PLAIN WRONG.
The RNC has supposedly “threatened” those who would participate in “unsanctioned” debates. Well then, to hell with the RNC. You can’t very well penalize someone AFTER you’ve excluded them from your debate.
I earlier posted a viable solution to the problem here. (I’d welcome your feedback). It provides the GOP with a tremendous opportunity.
But since the RNC is determined to yet again do the stupid thing, those candidates excluded from the FOX debate should get together and plan for their very own debate, the next day. There are lots of possible venues.
1. There are many national radio programs: Rush, Hannity, Hewitt, Ingraham..who would love to host a round table discussion.
2. Think outside the box…way outside. Go to MSNBC. They’d love to thumb their noses at FOX by hosting an “underground, guerilla debate.” The candidates can dictate the format..they wouldn’t have to be subjected to questions from Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow. Rather, they’d determine the moderator,…Joe Scarborough works nicely ..and the format should be a free-wheeling, open debate. .. MSNBC would no doubt agree to this in a split-second, and it would become an instantaneous “event.”
Ben Carson, bless his heart, has already done the right thing and objected to excluding anyone from the early debates. Should this in fact continue, I implore those arbitrarily excluded to NOT accept it, rather to fight back. You have nothing to lose, and both all of you, as candidates, and we conservatives, have much to gain by your participation.