Congratulations to Marisa DeFranco on having collected enough signatures to make a stand at the upcoming convention.
Now: how about one debate prior to the Convention? There are some very clear differences between Ms. DeFranco and Elizabeth Warren—notably on Iran, where Warren’s threat estimate “contradicts public statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as well as reported intelligence findings of the U.S. and Israeli governments.” Differences best articulated and developed in one-on-one debates.
As The Globe notes, “DeFranco, with her outspoken liberal views, could also force Warren to move further left on the political spectrum and cede some of the moderate ground to Brown.” Well, um, sure. But last I checked, there was a sizeable constituency within the Democratic Party–and among independents to boot—also possessed of some “outspoken liberal views.” Many of whom could use some firing up, as opposed to watching the candidate du jour, if not wandering into right-field, leastways not chasing any balls into left in order to cadge some moderate votes. Rather than viewing the DeFranco insurgency as a threat to a win in November, this in fact provides Ms Warren with the chance to burnish her progressive credentials—which, outside of her own field of expertise, sometimes appear—and I’m only saying “appear”—to be in somewhat short supply.
It would also introduce some fresh thinking on some woefully ignored subjects into the campaign. I’m not going to pretend that the economy and that pesky unemployment rate isn’t front-and-center (and DeFranco, an unabashed promoter of a neo-New Deal, has as much to offer on that score as does her opponent)—but I think a great many Democrats would find a bit of chatter about single-payer and climate change downright inspiring. Discovering that Ms Warren feels as strongly as we do about these issues would be a boon to her should she win the nomination come September. Discovering that she in fact disagrees with Marisa DeFranco on the importance of these issues, and the means whereby best to address them, would also be educational.
And it would be fun. These are two whipsmart candidates who’d stick to real issues. I thought the Obama-Clinton debates in 2008 were terrific and genuinely good for the Party—especially in hindsight, after sitting through the recent series of GOP debates—and can’t help but feel that delegates to the convention would feel the same about a one-on-one between two of the best candidates the Commonwealth has to offer. I know that Ms Warren declined a personal invitation from Ms. DeFranco to debate some time ago; perhaps she and her camp felt that DeFranco hadn’t earned it. Fair enough. But she has now.