For the time being, at least, nobody in America, except the desperate Clinton campaign, seems to want a rerun of last week's degrading boobfest.
Today North Carolina Democrats cancelled a scheduled CBS go-round next weekend with unusual political frankness: "While there was great interest in the debate, there were also growing concerns about what another debate would do to party unity."
In the New Yorker, under the title, "Bitter Patter," Hendrik Hertzberg sums up the fiasco:
"Last Wednesday’s two-hour televised smackdown in Philadelphia between the two remaining Democratic candidates for President, which might have been billed as the Élite Treat v. the Boilermaker Belle, turned into something worse—-something akin to a federal crime. Call it the case of the Walt Disney Company v. People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and of the United States, for that matter). Seldom has a large corporation so heedlessly inflicted so much civic damage in such a short space of time."
At the beginning of this interminable campaign, there was my hope that voters might be compensated for the agony by a modern version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, with candidates getting beyond sound bites to discuss the issues at length.
Silly me. I should have known that, given the gatekeepers of our popular culture today, the candidate exchanges would end up closer to actual biting.