Posted by: Donna
Okay, so I watched both the livestreamed AZ Republic editorial board interview of Richard Carmona and Jeff Flake and the Horizon forum featuring the Senatorial candidates on Channel 8. Apparently, there’s some rule that a preponderance of every debate in a federal race has to be devoted to twaddling over the deficit and government spending. This not only helps Flake out, since twaddling over government spending has been his thing since forever so he’s really good at it, but it doesn’t leave much room for the many other subjects that may be of greater importance to many ordinary Americans than the deficit or rich people’s marginal tax rates. It’d be nice in debates to hear candidates’ thoughts on a range of things including climate change, poverty, drug policy, gun violence, etc, that are never touched on in these discussions but I’m not holding out hope for that. You’d think, though, that reproductive rights would figure more prominently in debates since, duh, they’ve been under a sustained attack the past couple of years. You’d be wrong about that, at least where the Republic and Horizon Arizona Senate debates were concerned.
During the Republic interview (replay is not available as of this writing), Carmona did get a few jabs in about Flake’s sponsorship, along with Todd Akin, of the infamous “redefine rape” bill. But Flake wasn’t questioned about his stances and votes on abortion until the very end of the interview, where he was allowed to redeem himself by repudiating Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and reiterating his magnanimous willingness to let rape and incest victims have abortions. Carmona was not given time for a rebuttal or to outline his own positions.
Here’s the Horizon debate:
At 31:10, the subject of Flake’s voting record on reproductive rights comes up, because Carmona brings it up. Host Ted Simons blithely ignores it and presses Flake on veterans issues. Ladies? What ladies?
I’ll chalk Simons’ reticence up to public TV squeamishness, and recommend that he start following his channel’s “Call The Midwife”. With the Republic, however, the downplaying of Flake’s radical anti-abortion record in the endorsement process is nothing short of editorial malpractice. I can only conclude that everyone who works there must feel very secure that neither they nor anyone close to them will be affected if the Republicans succeed in their anti-reproductive freedom crusade.
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