Monday, September 12, 2022


This is politcal malpractice:
Democrat Katie Hobbs’ campaign announced Sunday that she would not debate Republican Kari Lake as the two battle for the Arizona governor’s office....

The decision came after more than a week of efforts by Hobbs, currently secretary of state, to change the debate into separate half-hour interviews with the moderator. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which has held debates for two decades featuring candidates for statewide and legislative offices, flatly rejected that proposal on Thursday.
Hobbs's campaign spokesman said Hobbs -- who also refused to debate during the Democratic primary campaign -- simply thinks it's pointless to debate Lake.
“Unfortunately, debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake – whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule – would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling,” Hobbs’ campaign manager Nicole DeMont said.
Lake is a crackpot, but she's a polished crackpot -- she was a local TV news anchor for 22 years. I'm sure his would give her a natural advantage in a debate -- and I'm sure she'd Gish-gallop her way through it, making so many wild, unfounded claims that Hobbs would struggle to keep up.

But you have to make the effort. Voters expect it. And Hobbs can't win unless at least half of Arizona voters find batshit-crazy Trumpism and conspiratorialism at least somewhat off-putting. So let Lake rant -- and be the public champion of everyone offended by her ideas, rather than ceding the airwaves to her. (Lake will now get to turn the debate into her own town hall.)

Here's a taste of what Lake is like, from Wikipedia (the link numbers have been deleted):
In August 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lake led anti-mask rallies, calling on Arizona State University students to go against the university's mask mandates. Lake said that as governor she would not tolerate mask and vaccine mandates of the COVID-19 pandemic. In November 2021, Lake told a group of Republican retirees that she was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 infection. She stated that, as governor, she would work to have hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin produced in the state to "make it easier for us to get these lifesaving drugs." Lake questioned the science behind COVID-19 vaccines and said that she had not been vaccinated....

Lake ... described herself in 2022 as a "Trump candidate." ... She accused President Joe Biden and Democrats of harboring a "demonic agenda." ...

Lake said in 2022 that she considers abortion to be "the ultimate sin" and praised the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.... She expressed support for banning both surgical abortions and medication abortions in Arizona....

Lake has opposed legislation to create non-discrimination protections for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and opposing restrooms accommodating transgender people.

... in a tweet ... Lake said that if elected governor, she would not "recognize" federal gun laws....

Lake falsely claimed President Joe Biden did not receive 81 million votes and that Arizona (which was won by Biden in the 2020 presidential election) was actually won by Trump. After the 2021 Maricopa County presidential ballot audit found no evidence of election fraud, she demanded the election be "decertified" ... She endorsed a false assertion by Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington that Democrats use mail-in ballots to rig elections. Lake tweeted quotes made by Sidney Powell on Lou Dobbs Tonight falsely asserting there was a sweeping election fraud conspiracy. She has advocated imprisoning Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (who is running for governor in 2022 as a Democrat) on baseless and unspecified allegations of criminality related to the 2020 election. Lake also called for imprisoning journalists.
If you're the opposing candidate, you have to stand up and confront a demagogue like Lake -- especially when she's said you should be imprisoned. You have to do what Hillary Clinon and Joe Biden did when they debated a TV star turned fascist demagogue in 2016 and 2020.

It can be savvy to duck debates when you have a large lead, but FiveThirtyEight says Hobbs is leading in the polls by less than a point.

Lake will be one of the worst governors in America if she's elected. It will be impossible for the Democratic ticket to win the state's electoral votes in 2024 if she's governor, no matter how the state's citizens vote. Hobbs is making a bad mistake. This is the kind of blunder that could decide the election.

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