The Debate

I’m working my way through the final season of The West Wing. Tonight’s episode: The Debate.

It’s remarkable how little has changed in the decade since: fix immigration, cut taxes, tax the rich, close the loopholes, raise test scores, fix health care.

The Debate is an intriguing bit of speculative fiction: in his opening statement Republican candidate Arnold Vinick suggests they throw out the rules and have a “real debate.” Democrat Matt Santos agrees and they’re off. It’s the kind of debate I’d like to see in real life.

The episode was broadcast live in two versions, one to the east coast, one for the west coast.