Do We Need a New Way to Question Candidates About Policies?

In the Washington Post, opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin suggested voters (and those in the media) need a new way to question political candidates to ensure that if they are claiming an intent of bipartisanship they have delivered on it in the past. The same standard would be applied to campaign promises. If a candiate previously ran for office and was victorious, did they deliver on their promises or were they forgotten as soon as they were sworn in? Most importantly, policy and promises in specific terms should be demanded from candidates rather than in vague generalizations. And the candidates should demonstrate a deep understanding of the issues they are making promises on.

Rubin even put forth a list of foreign policy questions she would like firm answers on from Democratic candidates, including

  • What interests do we have in the Middle East?
  • What is the connection between hard and soft power?

See…this is the kind of stuff that drives me crazy.

During the 2015-16 Republican primary season, reporters parroted every word of nonsense Donald Trump spewed and repeatedly got sidetracked with nonsense discussions of which Republican candidate had the biggest hands and whether those hands had ever grabbed a pussy.

There was no policy demanded from a single Republican in the race except:

Do you promise to hate (and legislate against) anyone with skin other than white or gender other than straight male??

Will your policies and programs (and nominees) only reflect the critical priorities of the white male?

Christianity is the national religion and English is the national language, right?

That said, only conservative judges recommended by Jerry Falwell Jr. , The Federalist Society, and the Heritage Foundation then, right? Even if they recommend a rapist?

More coal. More guns. More tariffs. Less diplomacy.

That was it.

That was all ANY journalist that identified as Republican or conservative gave a damn about or demanded answers to.

That Donald Trump had an IQ so low he might be judged incapable of caring for himself let alone America, or that he he had less social skills than Mowgli (who was raided in the woods), or that he had failed miserably at everything he had ever undertaken from business to parenting…none of that even made it on the radar screen so long as he brought the hate for brown folks of all shades and the Jesus (and maybe the guns) back to our schools.

Now, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wants to get beyond silly things like the Republicans faced and thinks we should demand concrete answers from the Democratic contenders on domestic policy items like overcoming partisanship, fixing the ACA, reducing healthcare and drug costs, and reforming regulations.

And she thinks these answers should simultaneously reflect Democratic priorities but be expressed in ways that Republicans can support as well.

The foreign policy questions are just as fun, seeking Democratic fixes to Iraq, North Korea, and the Ukraine as well as seeking Democratic insights into what the American policy should be going forward to deal with the Middle East and with Russia.

Rubin then asks Democrats to explain the connection between hard and soft power?

Not only was Trump (or any Republican) never asked such a probing question, I have a suspicion Donald Trump would have given an answer about coal not even realizing that was not the type of power the interviewer was discussing.

She ends with this:

“This time around, we had better test the candidates’ intellect, values and knowledge, lest we wind up with another totally unqualified commander in chief. If we ask smarter questions, we might get smarter presidents.”

Hello, Miss Rubin?

WE ASKED THE SMART QUESTIONS.

WE QUESTIONED TRUMP’S INTELLECT, HIS VALUES, HIS KNOWLEDGE, AND HIS QUALIFICATIONS TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

WE DID THAT EVERY DAMN DAY FOR 18 MONTHS.

But reporters like YOU focused on nonsense, on Hillary Clinton’s emails, and Benghazi, and ate-up stories about Trump’s physical fitness and razor-sharp acumen while you made excuses for his tax returns.

Every God damn day you and those like you, did everything in your power to make Donald Trump seem presidential and to tear Hillary Clinton down.

EVERY DAY.

We did not end up with Trump because we on the left did not raise grave concerns, or did not ask probing questions, or did not put forth a candidate 10x more qualified on her worst day than Trump and his entire administration is on his best.

We got an unqualified, unprepared, unethical, unintelligent, unbelievable, unmutable but often unintelligible, unmotivated bum…who just might be unelected as well as he lost the popular vote and possibly colluded with Russia to rig the outcome… because of people like YOU.

Now, YOU want to tell us how to pick the Democrat who will be tasked with cleaning-up the global catastrophes Trump has created, so what, you can go back to criticizing Democrats again?

Thanks, but we will vet our OWN candidates. Our way.

You worry about YOUR 2020 nominee, or as we Democrats call it, Republicans making the same mistake twice.

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