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Reblogged:Opportunity in an Antic-Free Debate

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The first Republican debate of the presidential primaries is tonight and Nick Reynolds of Newsweek weighs in with his list of things to look out for. These are:
  1. DeSantis vs. Ramaswamy,
  2. "Pile on Ron,"
  3. Splintering on Ukraine,
  4. Nuance on Abortion, and
  5. Who Takes on Trump?
Of these, only the third and fourth interest me and the fourth is -- I think -- already settled. Except for Nikki Haley, all the candidates who will be present will, to my knowledge, sign whatever abortion ban a GOP-controlled Congress sends to their desk. Haley thinks abortion should be left to the states, so Haley, as the status quo candidate, is the "best" of the bunch in the short term on that issue.

The fact that aiding Ukraine is an issue at all reflects the regrettable fact that Donald Trump is at least setting the agenda despite his absence. That said, at least he won't be there to prevent anything serious being said by turning the debate into a circus.

It's too bad everyone there is so fixated on Trump and his cultish followers that they will walk on eggshells rather than take full advantage of that fact.

Much has been made of Trump's decision to skip the debates, including a pro-and-con piece in The Hill, but what I dislike the most about that decision is that it was an open invitation to the media to make the debate all about him, which it has stupidly and predictably accepted.

Image by Amy Reed, via Unsplash, license.
There are major issues we could and should be discussing instead of paying all our attention to Donald Trump: Here are just three: What can we do about global warming hysteria? How will we deal with the looming Social Security funding crisis? What should we do about China's increasing hostility?

What would I like to see in a debate? I'd like each candidate to pretend Trump doesn't exist and tell us why he or she would be a good President.

We already know what Trump thinks. That's old news, and his most loyal voters are (a) unreachable, (b) won't be paying attention, and (c) will stay home (or write him in) if Trump isn't the nominee, anyway. (A remedy -- in the form of a vast pool of politically homeless independent voters -- exists and is there for the taking.)

Impress those of us you can reach, and remember that independents make up much more of the electorate than Democrats or Republicans. An impressive-enough performance need only galvanize the significant number of Republicans who want to move on from Trump. Consolidate these voters and get the attention of enough people who support Trump, but more by default than slavish loyalty.

Another Republican can defeat Trump, and he has just left an opening to start doing so. Will anyone there have the wits to get that ball rolling?

There is no need to hope that Donald Trump drops dead or gets disqualified from office: Luck is there to be made.

-- CAV

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