The last debate?

Let’s hope so.
Lincoln-Douglass from now on.

Let’s hope so. I missed it, thanks be to God, but the NYT has the transcript. Having read it, I may have to reconsider my views on torture, in the case where Tim Russert was to the subject, and the goal was to get him to remain silent rather than to get him to talk.

Hard to believe tonight’s nonsense changed any minds, but it did reinforce my view that Obama should push for debates in a modified Lincoln-Douglass format, with direct exchanges between the candidates and no moderator, both in the primaries (if this thing goes beyond March 4, which I trust it won’t) and against McCain. In hand-to-hand combat, Obama would destroy McCain, who obviously can’t speak for more than a minute without a script.

Best comment of the night, from the Economist’s political blog, Democracy in America:

Per usual, the post-mortem bobbleheads note that Mr Obama doesn’t bring the thrill in the back-and-forth debate format in the same way as he does in long solo speeches. Which is roughly as useful as the observation that it’s hard to play the “Ode to Joy” on spoons.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: