By Mark Willen, Senior Political Editor July 29, 2008 Given the housing crisis, the credit crunch, the slow economy, high energy prices, two wars and a host of other big problems -- and given that we have two unconventional candidates who promised to take the high road, this sure is turning into a disappointing campaign. With less than 100 days until the election, it's time to demand better. Here are some modest proposals -- two suggestions for each candidate. Admittedly they would represent only a small start in the right direction, but a start is better than nothing. For Barack Obama: 1) Stop dancing around John McCain's call for a series of town hall-style meetings. What are you afraid of? The campaign needs some honest give-and-take, not more campaign commercials or speeches that talk around the issues. Maybe if we got you guys together on one stage, with a format that allows you to challenge each other, we might finally get the honest discussion we need. 2) Admit the surge was a success. It's silly and petty to keep denying it. Plus acknowledging it doesn't detract from your basic argument, and it would allow us to move on to a more significant debate of where we go from here. We need to look to the future, but your opponent won't let you until you take this small step. Advertisement For John McCain: 1) Stop with the negative attacks, especially those that suggest Obama isn't patriotic. Your suggestion that he'd rather win the election than the war is unfair and beneath us all, yet you keep repeating it. How can you say he adopted his stance to win the nomination when he was against the war in 2002, before it started and before he was even in the Senate. His opposition to the surge was entirely consistent with his record, not a political convenience. 2) Admit that you've been wrong about some aspects of the war, too. Before it started, you said it would be short and have a minimum of bloodshed. And you said it wouldn't cost the U.S. much because Iraqi oil revenue would finance it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Admit it so we can move on to a reasonable discussion of what happens from here on out. Please, gentlemen, treat the voters with a little more respect and they'll return the favor.