There's another Democratic debate this week. Expect the usual questions, Medicare for All, climate change, electability, etc. The candidates have well-rehearsed answers for these, including zingers and comebacks. But I keep thinking of questions I'd like to ask a would-be Democratic president, based on the world as it likely will be in 2021 when they take office. One where health care and climate change are not the biggest most immediate issues. #
You've been elected president. It's Inauguration Day in 2021. The rule of law is broken. Congress is impotent. There are soldiers in the streets of DC. You're president now, and you can do anything you want. Your predecessor broke the Constitution, the Department of Justice runs a police state. We're in deep trouble. New wars, North Korea testing missiles over Japan. There's a rampant virus on the loose in world now, not just China, Trump supporters are threatening to revolt, there's talk of secession, not just in deep red states, but blue states too. So here's the question. Is your first priority to re-establish the rule of law or can that come later, after you put out all the big fires?#
Again, you're the new president and a member of the Supreme Court resigns, say RBG or Clarence Thomas. Suppose the Senate is still Republican, and McConnell is still the leader. First question: Who do you nominate? A liberal or a moderate? Does it depend on whose place they're taking? Second question: McConnell refuses to hold hearings, as he did with Merrick Garland. He's going to wait until a Republican is in the White House or there's a Democratic majority in the Senate. What do you do?#
Note that these don't have to be debate questions, they could be part of a written test or a job interview. I don't need them to think on their feet. They can consult with advisors. I want to know what they will do, what kind of president they'll be. And if they don't have an answer, that'll be apparent too.#
Last update: Monday February 17, 2020; 9:49 AM EST.
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