I haven’t wasted any time on the televised Presidential “debates” that have been staged by either party, but it is difficult to avoid the saturation of follow on coverage of the events, and I am struck more than anything by the pedestrian quality, the lack of depth, and the line of questioning. Former Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell obviously shares my disdain for this process and recently outlined some key issues that have escaped inquiry, especially and conspicuously for the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. In fact, these are questions that any serious candidate from either party should be required to answer very early in the process, and they are worth noting here:
You have said that your position on same-sex marriage is “evolving”. What is your current position on it and its counterpart, civil unions, and what in your opinion is the difference between them?
What is your position on guns and the Second Amendment? Do you believe that this amendment secures the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms?
What is you view of religious freedom and the role of faith and religion in public life?
(Obviously, as Blackwell notes, these first three questions are about the “social
issues”, about which Howard Dean complained in 2003 that he was tired of
questions about “guns, God, and gays”, a perennial problem for Democrats.)
How many troops would you keep in Iraq, and for how long, to achieve your objective there?
How would you fight radical jihadists and their global network and with what policy would you replace the Bush Doctrine?
It occurred to me that Hillary in particular, if she is ever truly confronted with these questions by the mainstream media in a manner that eliminates the third option of the famous Clinton “triangulation”, has only two options in answering—she lies or she is candid. In either case, she eventually loses, but with the latter option it’s over sooner, so let’s hope some responsible journalist pins her down on these issues, but don’t bet on it.