Earlier (yesterday), Fox News announced that it had canceled its upcoming debate. Donald Trump had backed out, saying that he’s tired of answering the same questions over and over again (can’t blame him). John Kasich then followed suit, saying that he would only show up for the debate if Trump was also there.
This being the case, Fox’s hand was more or less forced. I mean, what were they going to do? Let Ted Cruz take questions for two hours next to two empty podiums? Of course not.
However, this doesn’t mean the time slot has to go to waste. Instead, Fox should invite Bernie Sanders to debate Cruz one on one. Here’s why:
For starters, Fox clearly doesn’t think this idea is totally nuts. They were in the process of organizing a Sanders vs. Trump debate earlier this cycle before Trump backed out (can’t imagine why), so they’ve proven that they’re open to hosting what would be the first ever debate between primary candidates from opposing parties.
It’s hard to imagine either candidate saying no to such a debate, if Fox were to invite them. Cruz has not yet commented on the debate cancellation, but I can’t imagine he’s happy about it. This is a guy who lives for telling other people they’re wrong and he’s right. For his part, Sanders is at a point in his campaign where he needs all the attention he can get. His speech following last night’s primary contests was ignored by all three major cable networks.
Finally, and most importantly, a Cruz vs. Sanders debate would satisfy the most basic requirements for political cable in 2016: It would get ratings. True, neither Cruz nor Sanders are considered the frontrunners for their respective party nominations, but that’s okay in this instance. People would absolutely tune in to watch the most reactionary conservative in the race debate a democratic socialist. When it comes to actual policy positions held by presidential candidates, you won’t find a wider ideological gap than the one between Sanders and Cruz.
I would love to see this for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it would cause Clinton to break out in shingles; her rigging the DNC to
silence buy up threaten persuade the so-called Super Delegates before the primary season began (which is just a another reason to rework how Dems do primaries) seems to have extended to how the major news networks cover Bernie. Which is to say, almost not at all.
But there are two other compelling reasons to stage this particular debate:
- It would offer the ReThugs a shot at showcasing the wacko they want for their nominee 1;
- It would put paid to the nascent argument that Bernie should cease his campaign. 2
Oh! I almost forgot: it would be beneficial for the country to examine in detail the positions offered by diametrically opposed politicians instead of having to sit through canned talking points offered up by corporate lackeys. Hell, we might even learn something. Go for it, ReThugs! I’m sure Bernie’s game.