It’s true that the second presidential debate was much more substantive than the first. But then, that’s like saying that cotton candy is more nutritious than bubble gum.
Consider, for instance, that the debate featured fifteen minutes of discussion of gas prices, an issue over which the President has very little control. But it featured no discussion of climate change, the greatest threat facing humanity and countless other species, an issue over which the President and Congress do have considerably great power.
Not that the answers from either candidate would have been anything short of terrifying. While Obama placed significantly more emphasis on renewables than did Romney, both candidates stepped over one another to proclaim their love of drilling for more carbon. And no surprise, as candidates who don’t support more “domestic drilling” get reamed in the predominantly coal, gas and auto oriented swing states that dominate our presidential elections.
But we almost got a climate change question from Candy Crowley for us “climate change people”:
I had that question for all of you climate change people. We just, you know, again, we knew that the economy was still the main thing so you knew you kind of wanted to go with the economy.
Because “climate change people” are a niche group concerned about a pet issue of no consequence unlike, say, people obsessed with firearms or the President’s particular vocabulary in the wake of an embassy attack.
But who knows? After three debates in which the subject of climate change hasn’t come up even once, perhaps the final debate on foreign policy will dare broach the subject. With the Pentagon and CIA calling climate change a destabilizing force in the world, perhaps the issue will get the attention of the bleeding heart softies in the American military enough to merit even five minutes of the cumulative six hours of debates on the policies of the biggest economy in the world.
Let’s not hold our breath, though.