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There’s No Debate


There’s No Debate

Bill Moyers, Michael Winship

Let’s call the whole thing off.

Not the election, although if we only had a magic reset button we could pretend this sorry spectacle never happened and start all over.

No, we mean the presidential debates — which, if the present format and moderators remain as they are, threaten an effect on democracy more like Leopold and Loeb than Lincoln and Douglas.


I read this article with excitement, waiting for the esteemed Moyers to urge us to take on the elephant and donkey in the room: the barring of viable third party candidates, a restriction determined by the absurd bar of 15% average polling which has evolved since the League of Women Voters, whose rule was simply a presence on a majority of ballots in the nation (which both Green and Libertarian parties meet), respectably removed themselves from the farce decades ago.


The only hope I see in the debates is that Martha Raddatz will be a moderator. She really knows foreign policy and should be able to come back with follow up questions. That might help expose Trump who lacks any in-depth knowledge of anything except for real estate development. Based on the Republican primaries Trump will do whatever he can to avoid substance. Clinton and Sanders had some good exchanges on substance but Trump just lies and puts out bumper sticker statements. I don't expect these debates to change much. By now everyone should know that Trump is a bigot and lies all the time and the Clinton is a policy wonk who is extremely smart. But maybe there will be surprises in store. It has happened before.


Moyers keeps threatening us with the promise that he has our best interests at heart, and yet here in the end he keeps up the two-party duopoly (both corporate shills) and urges us to have debates ONLY WITH THE DEMOLICAN AND REPUBLICRAT CANDIDATES.

What about the Green candidate, Dr. Jill Stein? She puts both major parties and their corrupt and hardly wise candidates to shame!

Stein should be our country's first woman President!


Smart?! Clinton smart? You lower the standards of "smart" to include her in smart. Whatever happened to WISE and COMPASSIONATE as ingredients to SMART?!


Hahah are you still here? Jesus.

What do you do for work between election campaigns?

He asked rhetorically, knowing the stooge never responds to comments.


Jimmy Carter is honorary co-chair for the Debates Commission. Formerly president of League of Women Voters, Dorothy Ridings is on CPD board. Hmmmm.


I voted for John Anderson--funny--huh? I also voted for Perot because of NAFTA. Jill Stein 2016.


Me too but alas:(


Yeah, I was hoping for a little balance there toward the end also, but naw, just how bad Trump is.


US political debates became cringe-worthy farces years ago. Americans sit on the edge of their seats, waiting for the glorious "got-cha" moment, and pundits spring into action over the following days, telling us what the candidates said and "really meant." We know that such critically important issues as our poverty crisis and the shipping out of jobs won't be touched, and the debaters will dig out the standards catch phrases to assure us that they will be very tough on terrorism. They will assure us that our middle class are the best in the world, the most noble and most hardworking (so please send your urgent donations to...). The issues covered, as well as the responses, are entirely predictable.


Jesus? He was busted for being a politically subversive illegal immigrant.


Compassion is definitely not an American value today.


ClassWarFilms http://www.youtube.com/classwarfilms has made a few short videos that touches upon this failing of American and American Exceptionalism.

I highly recommend them.


I watched most of the debates against Sanders and she certainly seemed smart to me. She has an amazing memory. That was really displayed in the 11-hour Benghazi hearings as well as in the debates. And her detailed policies really demonstrate how smart she is whether or not you agree with them. Of course she also graduated from the number one law school in the country. You don't graduate from Yale Law School unless you are very smart. At least that should be the case. Wisdom is a different quality and is very important obviously. That one is hard to judge but I would say she lacked it in the Iraq war vote but so did most members of Congress. But politically that was a tough no vote. Maybe it was more of case of lacking political courage than a lack of wisdom. Compassion is something else altogether. She certainly demonstrated it after 9-11. She clearly has that.


My work has nothing to do with politics. Never received a penny for any political work. I am more of a science person. Very concerned about global warming although that is not my area of science. Why can't the Republicans run somebody who believes in global warming? Is that too much to ask. Pence doesn't even believe in evolution. This could be the 1800's the way the Republicans are talking.


Well, I sit corrected. You DO reply to comments. I will take you for your word, then.


Boycott the faux debates. Mr. Moyer is a tremendous apologizer for the democratic party. Had the "brilliant and knowledgeable "


to continue... DNC made a different choice, we would not be having this discussion.


This is the second recent article by Bill Moyers that has decried the state the 2016 presidential farce. I admire Bill Moyers and believe that his political beliefs align most closely with those of the Green Party. I don't understand why such political heavyweights don't get behind the Greens and help to dispel the myth that a third party can't win. A great many voters are not highly invested in Trump or Clinton and the candidacy of Jill Stein could catch fire quickly if voters sensed hope. If I was Bill Moyers, I would try to bolster Stein's fortunes. She is the best candidate by far and Moyers should say that. He would do more good that way than by complaining about the pathetic candidates and the fraudulent debates.