It's Time For A Ryan-Pelosi Debate

I propose a 90-minute, nationally televised debate between the two rivals to be House Speaker: the former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the current Speaker, Paul Ryan (R-WI). I also propose that a debate between the speakers become a bi-annual ritual, just as 3 presidential debates has become a quadrennial fixture.

Although control of the Presidency and the Senate will have the greatest long-term impact on our lives, control of the House of Representatives will have the most immediate impact on the next several years. The president's appointments--e.g., commissions, agencies, federal reserve, judges, justices, cabinet members--must all be approved by the Senate. The president, herself, conducts foreign policy and is Commander-in-Chief.

The House, on the hand, has control of the purse-strings. Whether the Affordable Care Act is fixed, or enhanced, will first be up to the House. Whether we invest in our infrastructure will first be up to the House. Whether we return to trickle-down economics or timidly vs. boldly invest in our future will first be up to the House. Whether we cut or expand social security will first be up to the House.

Moreover, the House, unlike the Senate, tends to act on a strict party-line basis. For the last 6 years, both real Republicans and Democrats have been the victims of a small, but potent minority of radicals who hold the speakership hostage to their demands.

Finally, the Speaker is third in line to the presidency. It might not be a bad idea for the country to get to know them.

The good news for such a debate is that both participants are steeped in policy expertise, each has occupied the office and thus knows a lot about it, and neither has, to my knowledge, run a TV show.

I would suggest a series of real journalist moderators, chosen for subject-matter expertise.

Are the American people not entitled to one substantive national debate about our country's near-term future?