LOS ANGELES, September 23, 2011—Even Fox News cannot rescue the farce that the 2011 GOP debates have become.
With Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin not (as of now) in the race and John Bolton declining to run, the nine candidates on stage fell into two categories.
Two of them are insane. Unfortunately one of the tinfoil hats is polling well enough to be allowed in the debates. Do we really need two revolutionaries? Isn’t one enough? Can we get the stoner off the stage? He was banned from some of the debates yet somehow was allowed in this one. He needs to follow the example of Thaddeus McCotter, admit he will not win, and leave.
One of the other candidates is a smarmy, smug, substanceless billionaire’s son who has virtually no support in the GOP polls but is the darling of the national liberal media. Republicans don’t want a liberal media darling.
These debates will never become serious until only the serious candidates remain on stage. Serious does not necessarily have to be about polls, though they matter. It means having something of value to say.
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were successful governors with clashing styles.
Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were successful legislators who truly reformed government.
Herman Cain is an inspiring businessman who epitomizes the American dream.
Michele Bachmann is an accomplished tax attorney leading the charge against current failed policies.
As for the guy from the planet Rapulon, he is more complicated. In 2008 he deserved to be banned from the debates because he had virtually no popular support. His supporters scream and yell, but that keeps them from multiplying.
In 2012 the guy from Rapulon (spelling his actual name attracts lunatics; not all traffic from search engines is desirable) has some support. Yet he (and the other candidates) should be required to take a GOP loyalty oath. In 2008 the Rapulon would not commit to supporting the eventual nominee. Any candidate not willing to support the winner of the GOP primaries should be banned from the debates. This is not the Constitution Party, the Conservative Party, or the Libertarian Party; it is the Republican Party, and those who don’t like it can run with a third party, as Pat Buchanan did in 2000, and be reduced to the deserved asterisk.
Get the gadflies off the stage. They suck up oxygen from the real candidates. With time being the most precious and finite resource, useful questions don’t get asked, depriving Americans of meaningful answers.
Can news stations just do their jobs and ask better questions and stop relying on “hip, cool” technology that draws in stupid questions?
Just because we are in the digital social media age does not mean the political acumen of Americans has increased. If anything, low barriers to entry have led to desperate pseudo-celebrity seekers crashing the debates.
Chris Wallace, Brett Baier, and Megyn Kelly are all serious journalists. Yet the combination of too many candidates and too few solid questions from the audience led to too much being left out.
The stock market crashed 500 points the day of the debate, finishing down almost 400 points. The crashing market of the past few weeks was ignored in the debate.
Solyndra was briefly alluded to, but beyond that, questions about fraud in the environmental industry were absent. The “Fast and Furious” scandal, which involved American guns being given to Mexican drug lords and used to kill American law enforcement agents, was completely ignored.
Iranian President Armageddonijad released a pair of American hostages and then spewed venom at the United Nations. That subject was untouched.
Bashar Assad in Syria is murdering his own citizens in the street. That was untouched.
The situation in Libya and the new leaders in Egypt were untouched.
The Ground Zero Mosque was untouched.
The decision by Barack Obama to reduce virtually all troops in Iraq was untouched.
The actions of Barack Obama and Eric Holder regarding imprisoning American soldiers, handicapping our military, giving civilian trials to Islamofascist terrorists in New York, and trying to close Guantanamo Bay were all virtually untouched.
Israel was mentioned, but the pursuit of a Palestinian state and the Palestinians burning American flags the day of the debate was untouched. A failed American President begged a third world potentate to hold off, and the potentate told the failed American President to (redacted) off. That story was untouched.
So focusing on who had the best lines, won the most skirmishes, or had the most debating points is utterly pointless. There are so many debates that solutions have been replaced with dilution.
Gingrich is a fantastic debater who knows policy. Santorum is passionate, heartfelt, and thoughtful. Cain has a serious economic proposal worth examining. From a substance standpoint, they “win” most of the debates.
Romney and Perry, along with Bachmann, still have more popular support. None of them are as electric as the other three from a points system, but they don’t have to be. They do themselves no harm, or not enough to fall below the others mired in single digits. This reduces the debates in terms of significance.
As for the guy from the planet Rapulon, nothing has changed. His supporters insist he has won every debate before the debate even starts. My guess is they think he has already won the next debate. They refuse to accept that a large segment of the GOP will not vote for him under any circumstances. He is the only candidate with this problem. His supporters are not Republicans. They are “Constitutionalists” and “Libertarians.” This is a Republican primary race, making him an outlier.
The problems with these debates are not limited to the GOP. Democrats could not have anything remotely resembling a serious discussion in 2008 while people like Mike Gravel were on stage.
Yes, this is America, but not everybody has a right to be on stage at a GOP debate. Three candidates have solid but fluctuating popular support. Three other candidates have serious records of accomplishment. The guy from Rapulon (oh what the heck, let the barbarians comment about Dr. Ron Paul), if he takes the loyalty oath, has earned the right to stay for now despite being out of the mainstream of the GOP.
Everybody else must go, and they must go now.
Some will say that everybody is only two candidates, but those two candidates suck up 28% of the air while representing less than 2% of the vote.
Until the children are sent to bed, the adults will never begin the conversation worthy of the American people.
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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