2012 Presidential Debate Challenge!

While the national political media was distracted yesterday by the non-newsworthy semi-declaration of intent from Newt Gingrich (who announced he is entering an "exploratory" phase of his Presidential campaign), I was chasing down a more significant development: a rapidly developing feud between two actual declared candidates for President.

I can now report that the two have agreed in principle to a debate, and have asked me to moderate it.

Details still remain to be worked out, and the logistics may end up being difficult because one of the candidates is primarily interested in discussing dental health, and the other is a deceased Englishman.

The ill will began earlier this week, when the campaign web site of Aleister Crowley listed write-in vote totals from the 2008 Presidential election -- led by the 43 votes received by perennial candidate Vermin Supreme. "These numbers are very encouraging," the Crowley post concluded. "We feel confident that in 2012, Aleister Crowley can easily beat all these write-in candidates for U.S. President."

Supreme, who has declared his 2012 candidacy, took umbrage. He submitted a comment challenging Crowley to a debate; when the comment was not posted, Supreme took the dispute public, accusing Crowley on his Facebook page of being "chicken."

(Supreme denies my suggestion that the timing of his challenge was intended to steal media attention from Gingrich's announcement. He writes: "As to the timing, you will have to ask AC2012. i simply responded to their taunt , immediately, from my bustling war room." )

In response to my email inquiry, Crowley's campaign sent the following response, accepting the debate challenge and inviting me to moderate:

David Bernstein:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Thank you for your inquiry. We would certainly welcome the opportunity
to engage the estimable Mr. Supreme in debate.

We have just now received his comments on the AC2012 blog and have
responded to him at:

If you would be interested to conduct and referee the debate via
email, it will no doubt be a very interesting and invigorating

"Combat stimulates the virile or creative energy; and, like love, of
which it is one form, excites the mind to an orgasm which enables it
to transcend its rational dullness."

Love is the law, love under will.

Aleister Crowley 2012 Campaign

Supreme has also recommended me as moderator. I am pleased to accept the mutual invitation -- although I will have to consult with the Boston Phoenix executive management to determine whether I am obliged to also extend invitations to other Presidential candidates, particularly our local candidate Mitt Romney.

There does seem to be one significant stumbling block to the negotiations. Mr. Supreme insists on debating Mr. Crowley's re-animated corpse, but Crowley's campaign says that "Crowley’s promise is only to re-animate if he is elected," and are offering a representative to debate via email.

Disputes of this sort over debate logistics are common, and some compromise may yet be reached. I will post details as they become finalized.

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