Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, in addition to a bunch of the party’s activists and operatives, want more debates. But the Democratic National Committee says that if they participate in any debates outside of the six DNC-sanctioned debates, the candidates will be excluded them from any of the official ones.
So what should they do?
They should call the DNC’s bluff.
Is it really feasible that any of the Democrats would participate in a debate outside of the official ones, and that the DNC would then say, “Okay, sorry, you’re no longer welcome to the ones we’ve approved. Bye.”
What would party activists do in that case?
Probably stop giving money, at the least.
Or maybe not vote in the primary or general election.
O’Malley, Sanders and Hillary Clinton, who has also said she is open to more debates, should agree to meet for debates outside the official ones. They all know it’s better to give voters more opportunities to see them talk (though Clinton knows it’s potentially detrimental to her frontrunner status if she gives attention to the guys trailing behind her).
And what would the DNC say if the candidates did do more debates? “We told you not to.” Okay, so what? “So you can’t be in our debates.” Why? “Because we said not to.” Why? “Because we said so.”
That’s not going to work.