As usual, Rachel Maddow is spot on (see video below), this time with regard to the utterly ridiculous, idiotic, counterproductive idea of a Trump vs. Sanders debate. As Maddow explains:
On the day the Republican Party frontrunner clinches the nomination, an absolutely, 100% unprecedented plan now, to debate head-to-head, one-on-one, a candidate from the other party who, honestly, is not really in contention to win his party’s nomination. This is very strange. This is unprecedented.
Of course, strategically from Donald Trump’s perspective, this is like a hat trick and a grand slam and a slam dunk all in one. There’s no downside for Donald Trump to doing this, there’s no risk…Imagine the worst-case scenario for his debate with Bernie Sanders, where Bernie Sanders just trounces Donald Trump…That also poses no long-term strategic risk to Donald Trump, because there is no chance that Bernie Sanders is going to be Donald Trump’s general election opponent.
And, in fact, the better Bernie Sanders looks in a debate with Donald Trump, the better it is in the long run for Donald Trump, because that would only elevate Bernie Sanders’ standing in the ongoing Democratic primary…And if you elevate Bernie Sanders’ standing in that primary, which Bernie Sanders has no chance of winning, that still prolongs that already-long and expensive primary. It further undermines Hillary Clinton’s standing as the Democratic likely nominee…It only undercuts her. I mean, for Donald Trump, this prospect of a debate with Bernie Sanders all upside — all upside for him. Why on EARTH would Democrats let him play in their primary like this?
Great questions, does anyone have any answers? Perhaps my Blue Virginia colleague Andy Schmookler, who wrote yesterday about A Win-Win Way for Bernie to Lead Now. Instead, it looks Bernie’s going more for the big “lose-lose way to help Donald Trump and hurt the Democratic Party now.” Ugh. The most frustrating thing is that nothing’s stopping Bernie Sanders – who has lost the nomination, fair and square (by millions of votes; a FAR wider margin than Barack Obama held over Clinton in 2008, I’d point out) to Hillary Clinton – from bashing the hell out of Trump every time he gets up at a rally or whatever — right now. So why doesn’t he just go ahead and do that, instead of putting forth crazy ideas like a Trump-Sanders prime time TV debate??? Craaaazy.