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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Falling short of the Little Giant

    The story: Senator Hillary Clinton called for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate with no moderator against her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, who says no more debates are needed before the May primaries.

    The response: In an election filled with fatuous ideas, this one is definitely at the top of the list. For one, it assumes that the candidates genuinely have something to say. With the debates between Lincoln and Douglas, the prime issue was how to legislate slavery, with Stephen Douglas, a Democrat, advocating for a state-by-state approach and Lincoln, a Republican, for a national ban on the practice. These two debated on the basis of morality, legality and history.

    Where are the similar differences in these two candidates of the same party? Perhaps they differ on whether or not to mandate health care; ultimately, they seek to lead America to the “”grand success”” of the British national health care system, the NHS. Perhaps one will attack Pakistan, while the other will attack Iran – they both refuse to renounce the principle of preemptive warfare. Twenty-one debates in, and the most common phrase between these two candidates is “”I agree.””

    The feasibility of such a plan working out is also in question. Senator Hillary Clinton, in proposing the plan, said that it would be “”just the two of us going for 90 minutes, asking and answering questions; we’ll set whatever rules seem fair.”” This is the same Clinton who is arguing over the “”fairness”” of not including the Michigan delegates.

    Perhaps such a debate may better play out once there are different parties and, more importantly, different ideas in a debate. With a crotchety, stout man on one side and a lanky Illinois state legislator on the other, it’s hard not to see history rhyming itself in the coming months.

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