If this kind of news cycle keeps up, soon you can start looking forward to the newest Netflix piece of shit series, Wednesday is the new Friday. This upcoming Wednesday is Robert Mueller’s long awaited, potentially make-or-break-impeachment in front of two House committees, and the following Wednesday, July 31st, is the second and final Democratic Presidential primary debate under the old qualification rules.
The face of the Democratic primaries for President will fundamentally change starting on August first. And actually, the scheduling of these two debates is problematic for several of the second tier candidates, although not due to any malevolent, discriminatory intention of the DNC. But there are two reasons why making a lasting impression next week is going to be of critical importance to all of the candidates, especially the second tier candidates.
Two things are going to happen after the debates next week. One, in the following week, congress is going to adjourn for their 6 week summer recess.This means two things. One, the impression that the candidates create in the debate is going to have to tide-them-over until sometime in September. And two, while all of those candidates are free to campaign to their little hearts content, nobody is going to be paying the slightest bit of attention! Because they’re all on vacation too, or at least spending all of their time trying to keep the kids from reenacting the Battle of Blenheim in the living room.
The second event again is bifurcated. First, in the week after Labor Day, congress will resume their session, and attention will again return to legislative issues. And two, with the kids once again safely shepherded off to school, where they become somebody else’s problem for 8 hours a day, people will finally start turning more serious attention to politics, and the Democratic primary brouhaha.
Which, like everything else I’m writing in this article, i both a blessing and a curse for the Democratic contenders. It’s a blessing because, of course the candidates want the public paying more attention to what they’re saying and proposing. But it’s a curse because once again, the timing of the debate in September is problematic. because sadly, any noise that any of the candidates make during the debate is likely to be muted by the impending Saturday night drunken brawl in congress over things like the budget, the debt ceiling limit increase, and a potential government shutdown if His Lowness feels that people aren’t paying enough attention to his Pampers clad ass.
Especially for the second tier candidates, making the stage in September is of paramount importance, nothing else matters. Because the mechanics of the debate is going to fundamentally change, they are going to be smaller. Right now, there are currently only six candidates who have already met the requirements to be on the stage in September. It is likely that there may be fewer than ten candidates in single debate, which will give every surviving candidate more speaking time to make their pitches. And if more than ten candidates qualify, the DNC will be forced to make a choice, either cull out the lowest qualifiers to narrow the stage to ten, which I hope they don’t do, or again hold identical events on simultaneous nights, which would again offer each candidate more speaking time.
This is especially important to three current denizens of the second tier who shouldn’t even be on the second tier. Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand are all serious, well qualified candidates, and their lack of ability to generate any kind of traction amazes me. Especially Booker, since he entered the race riding high on being critical to the passage of The First Step Act, comprehensive prison reform. And Booker tried to peddle that, but somehow, nobody was buying.
Those people deserve to be on the debate stage. The DNC has done its job, every candidate who ran got stage time with the exception of Seth Moulton. And the way I look at it, if a political curiosity like The Mystic Mistress Marianne Williamson can make the cut, and Seth Moulton can’t, then obviously Moulton wasn’t saying anything that people wanted to hear in the first place.
Starting in September, the race is going to take on a more serious, issue and policy driven edge. The real meat-and-potatoes entree is about to be served, and the chefs need the time to fully develop and explain their positions and policies. And the sooner the wanna-bes go back to finishing school, and let the serious candidates take over, the better it will be for everybody. Trump is no joke, and we can’t afford to treat him like one. But starting on August 1st, as my favorite Sesame Street meme likes to say;