Monday, June 13, 2011

When everybody agrees, where's the debate?

I CHECKED OUT of the two-hour Republican presidential candidate debate on CNN at 8:19 tonight. Without revealing it to me, Nancy had predicted that it would be 8:24. Close enough. She knows my patience level too well. Nineteen minutes was long enough.
These events usually reveal nothing. From a distance, the eager and powdered candidates, as an erect phalanx in dark suits, appeared to be a bar code on a Wheaties box. And with 30 seconds to answer a question on the mysteries of the universe, they raced beyond their limits as CNN's John King served as a speed bump to remind them of their excesses.

Besides, it wasn't close to a debate, but rather what the boys back in my old neighborhood called a "gang bang", in this instance, of President Obama. Ron Paul, the Republicans' Harold Stassen, said he coudn't think of a single thing that Obama did right, and would you believe that nobody disagreed with him! Everyone promised to repeal the health care reform law, cut taxes and deliver us from liberal evil. Obama, Mitt Romney assured us, was a failure, so there.
Everyone told us how many children he or she had and how much they loved America. The air was heavy with sincerity.

And Michele Bachmann, just in the nick of time for the collegial symposium, announced to King that she was officially running for president. She wanted CNN to be the first with the scoop.

By the way, what was Newt Gingrich doing up there on the stage in New Hampshire anyway? He looked none the worse (nor none the better) for the exodus of his entire campaign staff. Maybe his recent Mediterranean cruise did him some good even if his former staff didn't.

And how about the woman in the audience who said she was a freelance "journalist" for corporate publications and wanted a pledge that we would all be freed from the oppressive health care law ASAP. Can you imagine that with that hostile point of view what industry publishes her stuff. You're right.

All of this in 19 minutes, folks. Would that their campaigns would last no longer than that.


Kyle said...


As I was watching the debate last night, I was thinking about how many of the candidates are currently unemployed - to the best of my knowledge. Would the American people want to elect someone whose full time occupation (for years, Romney) has been a professional candidate?

David Hess said...

The quality of that event was clearly established when the putative "winner" of the "debate" turned out to be Michelle Bachmann. The collective tirade against President Obama is, just as clearly, a strategic decision by the GOP establishment to denigrate him at every opportunity in the hope that voters neglect to notice that the Republican candidates remain in the thrall of Tea Party mania with no real solutions for rescuing the economy from the enormous damage inflicted by Republican policies the past decade of tax-cutting, no-regulation, and lamebrain denial of global warming. This is the same bunch that cries "class warfare" when Democrats suggest ending tax breaks for the rich and the corporate bank-rollers of the GOP, while at the same time waging war against the poor and middle-income workers by demanding deep cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, jobless benefits, and the right of labor unions to collective bargaining.

Grumpy Abe said...

You may recall, David, the old saying in the newspaper business that asserted that its job was to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." All of that has been turned around by the Republican Party, with Gov.Kasich & Co. among those leading the way. Today the GOP mission is to "comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted." "