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If you were really all that, would you be afraid to stand up for what you represent? FiredUp! points out that Roy Blunt not only didn’t respond to Robin Carnahan’s invitation to debates – he later tried to tell the faithful who tune into the Jamie Allman program that Robin is the one who is afraid to debate! Say what you will about integrity, you can’t say Daddy Blunt lacks brass.

And of course, there’s Ed Martin, the archetype for frat boy trickmeisters everywhere, who is so afraid of debating Russ Carnahan that he schedules pretend debates. An understandable ploy – it’s so much easier to make points against your opponent if you don’t actually have one.

Today, again via FiredUP!, we learn that Billy Long, the Republican running for Roy Blunt’s House seat, is not only trying to get out of a series of debates with his opponent, the putative Democrat, Scott Eckersley (and, like Roy Blunt, lying about it), but he won’t even participate in an environment only dreamed about  by other GOP candidates. As of this writing, Long just doesn’t seem to be able to find time for a debate sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and moderated by a chamber member who will, get this, “ensure that we remain on topic and that it doesn’t turn into a debate format.” A debate that doesn’t have a debate format and candidates who would want that to be the case – am I missing something here?

Which brings us to the eponymous question: Why are Republicans scared to debate? I admit that it’s a rhetorical question. We all know the answer. If you were intent on sticking to your focus group tested, to-the-gut-but-well-shy-of the-brain talking points and were incapable of defending said points with facts, you probably wouldn’t want to debate either.

Which is not to say that there isn’t an actual question we should be asking: How can any citizen of Missouri really want to vote for somebody with so little faith in their own policy positions that they can’t stand up in a real debate and defend them?