Better Debates

One of Jonah Goldberg's readers chimes in with a suggestion:

Dear Jonah,
One reader asked last night, "can we ever, please, PLEASE get just ONE debate moderated by actual CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS???" This reader asks: Why doesn't NRO host a debate? That would be a sight to behold.

That sounds like a good idea to me. Especially given the enormous quantity of debates that both fields are enduring this cycle, why can't we have more experimentation with the formats? In particular, it really does seem likely to me that a panel of smart conservative ideologues would produce a debate that's more useful to Republican primary voters than would Tim Russert or Wolf Blitzer being a pain in the ass. And, of course, vice versa as well. Katrina vanden Heuvel and Harold Meyerson know the questions actual Democrats would like to see the Democratic candidates answer. If that experiment worked well, you might even consider mixing things up -- let Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru grill the Democrats and see what happens. Certainly it's not as if the CNN and MSNBC teams have covered themselves in so much glory this cycle that I'm sitting here thinking if only Russert could moderate seventy debates next year instead of only fifty!