Bob Schieffer of CBS News will moderate the final Presidential debate, which is supposed to focus on foreign policy and global issues. The Commission on Presidential Debates recently announced Schieffer’s topic list:
* America’s role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World
Notice something missing? Nothing on climate change, the most formidable and difficult global issue confronting this country for the next century. I have nothing against Schieffer, but this is a serious abdication of responsibility. They are going to spend 15-20 minutes arguing about Benghazi, which as a friend noted, will be something like Quemoy and Matsu a few years from now, i.e. a historical footnote that puzzles future observers as to how supposedly serious people could focus on ephemera.
If we are so lucky, in 100 years there will be historians who will research and publish about American politics during this time period. They will ask, how could it be that people could have ignored the world’s greatest threat? The only answer will be the collapse of the integrity of major American governance institutions, such as the press, which has been a central goal of the Republican Party since Newt Gingrich. And the failure to discuss climate in a 90-minute debate supposedly focused on global issues will be Exhibit A.