Roger L. Simon

Helping CNN for Tuesday's Democratic Candidate Debate


It’s no surprise that CNN does not have a conservative, or even someone from the center-right, on the moderating panel for Tuesday night’s initial Democratic Party presidential debate. Despite pretenses, CNN has never been particularly unbiased or objective.

The network did allow Hugh Hewitt onto the panel for its Republican debate, but moderator Jake Tapper hardly let Hugh get a word in edgewise. La plus ça change, plus c’est la même…

Tuesday’s debate will be moderated by Anderson Cooper with his colleague Dana Bash and CNN Español’s Juan Carlos Lopez chiming in. Don Lemon will handle questions from Facebook, allegedly selected to represent a clued-in online public (sort of the liberal-left equivalent of a Drudge poll, I suppose).

What does this add up to? How do you spell “softball?”

I think we should help out CNN and come up with a few questions of our own for the candidates, since they’re probably not going to attack each other in any meaningful way. (I’ll take Chris Cillizza’s word for it.) With Donald Trump not in attendance, this could be a monumental snore. (No wonder they cut an hour.)  Someone has to come to the aid of  the network with some interesting questions.

Here are some possibilities.  Feel free to add others.

“Mrs. Clinton, you said you did not receive classified emails on your personal  server. Where then did you intend, as secretary of state, to send and receive classified emails, if not there? (No, Sidney Blumenthal’s iPhone does not count.)”

“Senator Sanders, the national debt now tops $18 trillion with interest on that debt about to consume almost the entire federal budget within ten years.  Your proposed programs are estimated to cost an additional $18 trillion in just about the same time.  Even taxing the rich at over a hundred percent would not avoid complete bankruptcy for our country in that case.  Do you really expect to do these things or are you just lying to the public for votes?”

“Governor O’Malley, you apologized for saying ‘All lives matter.’  Are you an abject coward or just an idiot?”

“For the group, you all supported the Iran deal, but so far no one has really ratified it, or even seems to know what’s in it, not the Iranians or the Europeans and certainly not us.  Meanwhile, only weeks in, Iran is already completely ignoring its few known provisions, testing long-range missiles,  joining with Russia to invade Syria, arming Hezbollah and the Houthis and keeping Americans incognito in their prison/torture chambers for who knows how many years.  Beyond enriching religious fascists to the tune of hundreds of billions and undermining Western civilization, what is the purpose of this deal and do you still support it?”

“For the group, the Republicans have two Latino candidates, one black and one woman.  Other than one woman, the Democrats have four  older white males with one yet more elderly white male waiting in the wings.  Please explain the lack of diversity in your party or is  ‘white skin privilege’ just a bunch of baloney?”

“Mrs. Clinton, after the invasion of Iraq, the one Middle Eastern despot who agreed to give up his nuclear weapons program, and did, was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.  Yet you helped engineer Gaddafi’s overthrow and eventual murder at least partially at the instigation of the aforementioned Sidney Blumenthal, someone who had never been to Libya but had a financial interest in a new regime for that country.  Was the Clinton Foundation planning on taking a percentage and, if so, was it more or less than you took for helping Putin get control of twenty percent of U.S. uranium?”

“Mr. Chafee, do I know you?  You look vaguely familiar.  You’re not my old insurance broker, are you?”

And so it goes.

(Artwork created using multiple images.)