Two Very Different Kinds of Debates

Emily Badger in The Washington Post: “Tuesday night’s first Democratic debate made clear a fascinating contrast that’s emerged in this presidential election: The Democratic and Republican fields aren’t simply offering different visions for America’s most urgent policy challenges — they’re often talking about different challenges all together.”

“Of course, there are plenty of policy areas where the two have overlapped (even if their positions haven’t). Both fields have talked in their debates about gay marriage, marijuana and Social Security. But the many areas in which they’re not even engaged in the same conversation are striking:”

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  • pisher

    I’d agree poverty was not debated by the Democrats, but it was referenced by most if not all of them. And of course, CNN never raised it as an issue for them to discuss.

    • CNN did host one on each side though, and had obvious time constraints. 3 hours for 11 candidates loosely approximates 2 hours for 5 candidates. While I don’t specifically recall, I’m guessing similar topics were introduced in either debate, and some topics were mentioned by the candidates themselves. And I think that latter aspect would be an interesting measure of what they view as higher priority.

      • pisher

        No, I’d say the Dems still had more time, particularly since they spent so much less of it squabbling.

        Talking in depth about poor people has never been great politics, except in very poor countries and then only when the poor comprise a large section of the electorate. But to say none of the candidates discussed poverty at all is inaccurate. They all talked more about working and middle class people, because that’s where the votes are.

  • Martoukian

    A large part of what the Repubs talk about are fights they’ve already lost. Some of them are still trying to get forced prayer returned to public schools, and that’s been resolved for over 40 years.

    • pisher

      In politics, nothing is ever completely resolved until everybody is dead. :

  • progressivecurrent

    Sanders mentioned poverty more than once in the debate. Webb talked about cyber security.

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