Flake vs. Carmona, Round 1
So Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona (or “Hater of Women” vs. “Obama’s Hand Puppet” if you believe the commercials) will meet for their first debate tomorrow, on Channel 8′s “Horizon,” at 5:00.
An hour debate moderated by “Horizon’s” host, Ted Simons.
Could be good. Or could be sound-bites and rehashes of the two candidates’ commercials.
Maybe we can have a substantive debate about health care reform, with Flake and Carmona clearly having different ideas.
Or maybe we’ll hear a thoughtful discussion of immigration reform, though Flake has pulled a Romney and modified his views to conform with the TEA Party view.
Maybe a discussion of Flake’s earmark reforms, an achievement, but one that needs context: Eliminating all earmarks cuts the overall budget by less than one-half of one percent.
Or maybe we can have a discussion on the national debt, one that Congressman Flake added to by his votes:
“Yes” to make the Bush tax cuts permanent — no offset in spending
“Yes” on Iraq, then later “No” on funding the war in Iraq.
“No” on funding the surge in Afghanistan.
And maybe Flake can explain “forcible rape,” the concept he co-sponsored with wingnut Rep. Akin, a sponsorship Flake has tried to squirm away from.
And maybe Flake will explain his support for a bill that would give full legal rights to a fetus at the moment of its conception.
Flake’s got a record, one that Carmona could exploit.
But for Carmona — and to a degree Flake, since he’s rarely had to debate an opponent like this — the debate is a first.
And rookies to debates, let alone politics, tend to make rookie mistakes.
We’ll see Wednesday afternoon.