Last week President Obama and House Republicans held the best debate I’ve seen in years. For almost 90 minutes with the CSPAN cameras rolling, they went at things in a substantive and civil exchange. Republicans lobbed whatever questions they wished at the President. He was forced to provide informed and persuasive answers–and he did.
The contrast between that exchange and either the laundry-list conventions of the State of the Union address or the mostly-useless and canned candidate debates could not have been greater. I and many others immediately concluded: they should do this more often.
Regardless of your own political views, you should welcome the idea that the President regularly appear before the opposition for genuine give-and-take. Such a practice wouldn’t solve every problem of American democracy, but it would revitalize our public conversation in many ways.
It’s not often that a proposal attracts enthusiastic support from David Corn, Katrina Vanden Heuval, and Grover Norquist, among others. A petition is now floating, which will shortly be up and running. In the meanwhile, check out the Facebook page. Click on the petition, and sign it. And pass it on.