For contrast, there are all sorts of things that get talked about on the Left – bandied by leading policymakers up to key party leaders, or supported by big chunks of the party’s base, or proposed in op-ed pages – that nobody ever thinks to quiz Democratic candidates on, because journalists apply a much higher level of skepticism than they do when dealing with Republicans. Just to pick a few examples:

-Should we have a total (single-payer) government takeover of healthcare?

-Should we repeal the Second Amendment and have a total ban on guns?

-Should we reinstate the draft? (Democrats proposed this in 2004 mainly so they could run on the claim that Bush wanted it, even though Bush’s Defense Secretary was the principal legislative architect of the all-volunteer military. It’s been introduced again.)

-Should we repeal the 22d Amendment so Obama can run for a third term?

-Should we pay reparations for slavery?

-Should we repeal parts of the First Amendment?

-Should we ban coal power and ban coal from shipping through our ports?