LOS ANGELES, December 17, 2011 ― For those who enjoy politics and football, Thursday, December 15th, 2011, could have been an evening for the ages. Fox News hosted a GOP presidential debate moderated by Brett Baier, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, and Chris Wallace. The NFL Network had a special edition of Thursday Night Football. With multiple televisions in the living room, liveblogging the game and the debate could have been pure bliss. There was just one problem.
Both events were terrible.
Fox News brought out its best politicos for their debate. With such bright people as moderators, the questions had to be intelligent.
The first hour was virtually total nonsense. The second hour finally offered substance, but by then the idiocy of the first hour had wrecked the evening.
Despite the football game between the pathetic Jacksonville Jaguars and playoff bound Atlanta Falcons appearing to be a mismatch, surely both teams would bring their best effort on the national stage.
Wrong. The game was a mismatch from the start, and was all but over by halftime. People who turned off the debate or the game before the second half could be forgiven.
The entire first hour of the debate was something one might find on a kindergarten playground.
“Candidate A, the other day Candidate B said that you were a loser. Are you? Also, Candidate C, why did Candidate D say something about your mother?”
Adding to the utter uselessness of the discussion was the insistence of allowing Jon Huntsman on the stage. It was determined later that questions directed at Mr. Huntsman would be timed to coincide with exciting plays in the football game. That way people could turn to the game without missing anything.
Yet even the football game didn’t cooperate. Matt Ryan threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones and Matt Bryant hit a 33 yard field goal to have the Falcons up 10-0 before Jon Huntsman could finish ignoring the moderators and keep talking past his time.
Making matters even worse was that, rather than a red light or a bell to let candidates know their time was up, the debate organizers opted for the same sound people hear when they use Facebook to receive instant messages. Liveblogging was impossible because of the constant disruptions. Like getting up to answer a doorbell when nobody is there, anyone who followed the debate with a computer at hand was probably conditioned to check Facebook to see who had sent a message every time the candidates went over their time.
Further confusing people who were toggling back and forth between the debate and the football game was the occasional melding of the two. Governor Rick Perry compared himself to quarterback Tim Tebow. They most likely both like football and share the same politics, but it was a strange comparison. Even more eerie is that NFL Network analyst Andrew Siciliano seems to have been separated at birth from Congressman Paul Ryan.
In the second quarter of the debate, the moderators finally decided to ask useful questions. Governor Mitt Romney was asked what the key to job growth was. He replied that we have to let the free markets work. Letting the government control industries is how we get everything from Solyndra to General Motors and the hideous Chevy Volt.
Things really got heated when Speaker Newt Gingrich was asked about his controversial plan to subpoena judges. A pair of former conservative Republican Attorney Generals, Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey, both opposed the plan. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann backed Mr. Gingrich while Congressman Ron Paul sided with Mukasey and Gonzalez. This was a fascinating irony given how critical Dr. Paul has been of both of them in the past.
The candidates were asked who their favorite justice was. Only Senator Rick Santorum answered the question, picking Justice Clarence Thomas. The other candidates refused to take a stand.
While Jon Huntsman was sucking up precious airtime waxing poetic about how much he loved America before eventually getting to the Supreme Court, Jacksonville would fumble a punt. Atlanta recovered at the Jacksonville five yard line, and Michael Turner ran it in to make it 17-0 Falcons. Atlanta would get the ball back and Matt Ryan went to Roddy White for a six yard touchdown pass to make it 24-0 Falcons.
With one minute left in the half, Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert was sacked by John Abraham, who is not Jewish. The resulting fumble had the Falcons at the Jaguars 19. The defense held, but a 31 yard Matt Bryant field goal had the Falcons up 27-0 at halftime. The NFL does not have a mercy rule, and the Falcons showed none. By the time the teams took the field for the third quarter, an exasperated Brett Baier all but begged Governor Huntsman to stop talking.
The second half kickoff of the debate saw Brett Baier point out that Ron Paul was actually to the left of Barack Obama on the issue of Iran. This will most likely lead to Paulbots sending him mate mail in all capital letters rambling about why Baier hates the U.S. Constitution. Yet once one takes the emotion out of it, which the Paul supporters never do, it is easy to see that Baier is right.
The entire world knows that Dr. Paul is against bombing Iran. He is against starting another war. Yet he will not even consider sanctions. He explicitly stated that “sanctions are an act of war.” This is surprising given that most people realize that sanctions are actually code for doing absolutely nothing. For those who disagree, consider yourselves sanctioned right now. There. Do you feel different? Is your life impacted in any way? No. That is how sanctions (don’t) work.
Even Barack Obama is willing to consider the utterly useless, empty, meaningless gesture of sanctions just for the sake of appearances. Ron Paul will not even do that. Therefore, Ron Paul is to the left of Mr. Obama. Forget trying to get him to take a tough stance like Rick Santorum. Dr. Paul even finds pretending to actually do something to be too much.
By the time Dr. Paul was done ranting and raving until his neck veins bulged like an armadillo under attack, the Jacksonville Jaguars continued being the Jon Huntsman of football. Rick Perry may or may not be Tim Tebow, but the Jaguars really did offer absolutely nothing in their appearance before the bright lights.
Blaine Gabbert was sacked again in the third quarter by John Abraham, who still is not Jewish. The resulting fumble was picked up by Corey Peters, who returned it 13 yards for another touchdown to put the Falcons up 34-0. Atlanta got it back and Matt Ryan again went deep to Roddy White for a 29 yard touchdown as the Falcons led 41-0. The game was so awful that the NFL Network threatened to cut to Jon Huntsman’s remarks at the debate if the Jaguars didn’t show some life.
Ron Paul claimed that there was no United Nations evidence saying that Iran is on their way to a bomb. Relying on the United Nations for anything would be a great idea if the U.N. were not a useless, worthless organization that should be shut down and donated to Antarctica as part of a study on glaciers in action. For a guy who obsesses about the American Constitution, relying on the United Nations is an interesting position. Dr. Paul pointed out that we should use diplomacy “once in awhile,” as if the last 32 years of offering to give Iran hugs and smoochies has worked.
On Iran, Rick Santorum was once again the adult in the room. He pointed out that Iran has been at war with us since 1979. They are not into freedom. They are into martyrdom. Mutually assured destruction with the Mullahs is not a deterrent. It is an inducement.
Mitt Romney made it clear that, with regards to the American drone seized by Iran, the Obama approach of “saying pretty please” to Iran does not work. Perhaps the drone was mistaken for Joe Biden. Otherwise, it is inexplicable why a greater effort was not made to get it back.
The sad part of the debate is that, unlike football, when thing get out of hand you can’t just replace all of the players. With a 41-0 lead, Atlanta coach Mike Smith puled Matt Ryan from the game. He finished 19 of 26 for 224 yards, three touchdown passes, and zero interceptions. Backup quarterback Chris Redman finished the game. Mike Smith actually looks like an average non-descript white guy named Mike Smith, which still makes him more interesting than Jon Huntsman.
Dr. Paul claimed that they hate us in the Middle East because of what we have done. He pointed out that the terrorists do not attack Switzerland or Sweden. Somebody should explain to Dr. Paul that they do attack London, Bali, Madrid, and Mumbai. Mumbai is not even in the West. Does Dr. Paul have an explanation for those bombings?
Dr. Paul claimed that it was absurd to declare war against 1.2 billion Muslims. Who made such a declaration? Barack Obama declares it wrong to want to indiscriminately kill puppies and kittens. If these proclamations were any more meaningless, they would be sanctions.
Dr. Paul finally went off the rails when he said that the greatest danger would be an American “overreaction.” Ms. Bachmann pointed out that if we were all blown to Kingdom Come, it would be the “greatest underreaction.” Can Paul supporters just once admit that he took the hyperbole train too far down the track on that one? Even if an overreaction is bad (by sheer definition alone, an overreaction is bad), it is not “the greatest danger.”
Brett Baier asked Mr. Gingrich again about his comments accurately pointing out that the Palestinians are a fictional invented people. They are simply Jordanians and Egyptians who fled terror from their fellow Arabs. Mr. Gingrich refused to back down, reemphasizing the truth with forceful language the other candidates were too timid to use.
Brett Baier did the debates a gigantic favor by bringing up the idea of military intervention in Syria. While the obvious solution to Syria is to break it in half and seize any oil they may have, Rick Perry at least is calling for a no fly zone. Barack Obama is taking a different approach, which is to let Bashar Assad murder his people in the streets with impunity. The idea that liberals care about human rights remains laughable.
When Neil Cavuto brought up the Keystone Pipeline issue, Mr. Gingrich explained that the proper thing to do was ram the bill down Mr. Obama’s throat the same way Mr. Gingrich did with Bill Clinton and welfare reform in the 1990s. Mr. Gingrich understands that it would be utterly irrational for Mr. Obama to veto a middle class (payroll) tax cut to side with environmental extremists in San Francisco.
Once the brief foreign policy questions were over, Dr. Paul was given a sedative and the debate went back to some useless questions about process.
Jon Huntsman was about to let everyone know that he lived in China, which is becoming almost as insufferable as listening to John Kerry remind everyone that he served in Vietnam. At this point the debate and the football game were out of hand, but at least the Jaguars offered something near the end. A blocked punt was returned 46 yards for a touchdown, and Gabbert threw another touchdown during garbage time to make the score something nowhere near respectable but slightly less horrid. Atlanta is 9-5 and on track for the playoffs despite their division being out of reach. Jacksonville has long been eliminated from contention. In the same way candidates with no chance of winning refuse to stop coming to the debates, league rules require that the Jaguars play their final three games.
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-14. Unlike the debate, at least with the game somebody won something.
The game was boring and had people longing for a better game between more evenly matched teams.
The debate was even worse, and had people longing for the debate a couple of weeks ago when the American Enterprise Institute allowed for a truly intelligent discussion.
At least the game ended. The debate cannot end until Jon Huntsman stops talking and allows the moderator to let people leave.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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