By Susan D. Harris
2016 is fast approaching and absolutely nothing has changed at the “nonprofit, nonpartisan” Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Actually, things have only gotten worse. Can Republicans plan ahead or are they measuring the windows in the Oval office to hang Hillary’s favorite drapes? What are we going to do about it?
I recently urged one of the top ten conservative websites in the country to address this issue. They told me it’s all “old news.” Yes, and it will remain old news until we’re getting ready for a presidential debate and everyone is once again shocked that the Republicans have agreed to some idiotic liberal moderator.
Most people don’t even know there is a Commission on Presidential Debates. Three months ago, they added a lot more liberals to their board of directors. Meanwhile, Republicans haven’t even begun to anticipate what will be thrown at them in 2016.
What kind of “gotcha” moments are being planned by Democrats who already have the CPD and a predominantly liberal media in their back pockets? What hand-picked moderator with one carefully crafted interjection will help us lose the most pivotal election in the history of the country?
Mitt Romney: I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the act in Benghazi an act of terror.
President Obama: Get the transcript.
Candy Crowley (holding up paper): He did in fact sir…call it an act of terror.
President Obama: Can you say that a little louder?
No, it’s not old news. Just like all the other Obama scandals — I won’t stop talking about it just because it seems outdated for the 24/7 news cycle.
This past January, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said of the 2012 debater moderator Candy Crowley: “…she obviously thought it was her job to play a more active role in the debate than was agreed upon by the two candidates…”
Crowley was the first person who officially backed President Obama’s lie claiming he called Benghazi an “act of terrorism” the morning after it happened. Nearly two years and thirteen Congressional hearings later, we can look back to that defining moment in the presidential debate and pinpoint when the Benghazi cover-up started.
I personally believe Crowley’s actions during that debate should have been investigated. Someone should have asked her which revision of the CIA talking points memo she was privy to prior to the debate. It could be argued that Obama’s lie, and Crowley’s subsequent support of it, played a part in Romney’s defeat that November. Because of that, we cannot forget it happened.
But no one did anything about it. Perhaps Republicans didn’t want to be called “whiners” or “sore losers” by their ideologically dangerous progressive foes. One could say they were intimidated; or one could call Republicans cowards.
There is more than enough evidence to show that the Committee on Presidential Debates is a progressive lynch mob ready to outfox any Republican (or third party) candidate that takes the debate stage. (Good luck getting a third party candidate to the debate stage – this commission won’t let it happen.)
If we proceed as planned, the committee will once again dictate what and who the American people will see and hear. Do we really want that?
Numerous conservative websites exposed personal and marital ties between the Obama administration and the CPD. It fell on deaf ears. The Republican Party doesn’t seem to care and the American people are paying the price.
Let’s take a look at the newest members of the CPD Board of Directors:
Leon Panetta — Formerly Barack Obama’s former CIA director, Secretary of Defense and Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff.
Shirley M. Tilghman – President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, she believes that “of all the challenges that confront America, none is more profound than the struggle to achieve racial equality…”
Mitch Daniels — Former Governor and president of Purdue University – Newly appointed in April, 2014. Likely to be a lone voice of reason on the Commission.
Charles Gibson — Former ABC World News anchor. Likely picked because of his (un)fair and (un)balanced interview with Sarah Palin.
Jane “I think John Kerry should be nominated for sainthood” Harmon — former U.S. Representative from California and currently president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Olympia Snow, former Republican senator from Maine who supports abortion, gay rights, and amnesty for illegal aliens.
These impressive new additions to the CPD join some of the old standbys:
Warren Buffett’s grandson Howard who did his Harvard thesis on The Partnership of Biodiversity and High-Yield Agricultural Production and owns more land in South Africa than the United States. His foundation also sponsors the event.
Alan Simpson – the crazed old gent who still claims to be a Republican as he supports sodomite “marriage” and abortion. “I’m not sticking with (Republicans) who are homophobic, anti-women…”
John Danforth — Nice interview he gave to NPR where he expressed his belief that right-wing evangelicals have done more harm than good for the GOP.
Antonia Hernandez — former president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was recently quoted in an LA Times article titled, “Latino lawmakers move to reverse decades of anti-immigrant legislation.” She said “It was (Proposition) 187 — I cannot overemphasize — that unified the (Latino) community.” She was also in the news this week in her position as president and CEO of the California Community Foundation. Her organization awarded nearly a half million dollars in grants to “visual artists” in L.A. County. Let’s have some fun and take a quick look at some of the artists her foundation funded:
- York Chang who said in an interview that “Sarah Palin (and) Newt Gingrich…play fast and loose with history and reality for political expediency.” His art includes “political expression.”
- Guillermo Bert, a native Chilean who combines bar codes with Native American art as he examines the “effects of globalization on the world’s indigenous population.” He was also interviewed on CNN in 2006 as he hired illegal day laborers in Los Angeles: “I don’t question their status…” he said. His art includes “political expression.”
- Rafael Esparza — His work includes live performances of a routine called “F—k Your Ancestors” and includes “political expression.” He also has an impressive piece of art on his website called “paños. no.1” which is comprised of blue ball point pen, blood, urine, spit, and semen, on white boxer shorts.
- Candice Lin — Her work looks at “co-evolutionary symbiotic relationships as a metaphor for the ways in which violence and dependence are bound up together, at the social, global, and cellular level, interacting within Western, and specifically American, ideologies of individualism and freedom. She portrays this with a sculpture of giant cockroach lying on its back: “In between each of the cockroach’s abdominal sections there are small fleshy, vaginal holes with baroque faces…”
As you can see Ms. Hernandez’ foundation has picked some real winners this year. I’m looking forward to her input for the 2016 presidential debates.
Dorothy S. Ridings — When she was president of the League of Women Voters in 1985, she questioned whether third-party and independent candidates for President or Vice President could get ”a fair shake” from the newly formed commission. (The answer was and still is ‘no.’) Last year she wrote that on the wall in her office “are a number of photos of (U.S.) presidents… But the photo of one president outshines all the others, and it’s not of an American president. The photo is of Nelson Mandela…”
Newton N. Minow – He is 88 years old. Can we get serious?
Richard Parsons – Recently in the news for taking over as interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers. His impressive resume includes being a former chairman of Citigroup and former chairman and CEO of Time Warner. He was also a former member of Obama’s economic advisory team. (That worked out well.) He is described as “liberal on social issues.”
Mike McCurry, co-chair of the CPD — Bill Clinton’s former press secretary who wrote: “Those who believe that humankind is uniquely endowed by a creator God to be stewards of that creation will watch very carefully to see what (the Obama) administration does to meet pledges on global climate change.”
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the CPD and current president of the casino trade group, the American Gaming Association. Both Fahrenkopf and McCurry work for lobbying firms.