The Republican National Committee voted to exclude CNN and NBC from sponsoring debates featuring Republican presidential candidates because of their plans to air shows about Hillary Clinton.
The measure got plenty of headlines over the weekend but ignores an important part of the modern presidential primary process. The national parties actually have little to do with the debates. It's up to candidates to decide whether to accept or reject invitations. When faced with an offer of free airtime on a major network, it might be hard for the candidates to say no.
That said, it was a smart move by RNC chairman Reince Priebus to attempt to limit the number of primary debates. In 2012, Republicans debated an astonishing 20 times and amounted to a clown show. But it wasn't funny for Republicans as the majority of candidates on the stage had no chance to ever win the nomination.
However, the idea floated by some conservatives to have Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity be moderators of GOP presidential debates is a terrible idea for the party. It would be the best way to guarantee that Democrats win more than 400 electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
Subscribe to the Week