What I did see during my debate-viewing minutes was a group of scripted candidates sitting at a round table as modern knights trying to be as correctly normal as you and I with twitters and grins and outright laughter. Even host Charlie Rose broke up from all of the hilarity. This was not an exercise in advanced gravitas.
Only Newt Gingrich, who is always hanging around, tried grimly to be on prosecutorial message, suggesting that a couple of Democrats ought to be imprisoned. He continues to wonder about two other Democrats, President Obama with Jimmy Carter (now there's a name from the past!), accusing both of subversively trying to destroy America. Wouldn't that be a case of blatant sabotage in the Oval Office? Call in the special forces!
On the other hand, Mitt Romney has now switched to cruise control. His posture and demeanor are reassuringly comforting in a field of lunatics: slight smile, hands clasped, above- the- fray presidential material, wouldn't you say? I once knew a board chairman who was like that, and isn't that what conservatives want? Mitt had arrived in New Hampshire to the tune of "Hail to the Chief," thanks to Chris Christie's endorsement. (Can anybody figure out the New Jersey governor other than he is fiercely committed to making Obama a "one-term" president? Clip and save.)
When Herman Cain fulsomely praised Alan Greenspan as the kind of guy who ought to sit atop the Federal Reserve, that prompted a laugh from Ron Paul, who snarled that Greenspan was "a gangster."
All the while in another hall miles away, the lemming-like Senate Republicans, now in full custody by Grover Norquist, were successfully blocking debate on Obama's jobs bill. Not the final bill, but floor debate, and they were unanimous about it. All of them doubtless were star pupils at the Brave New World's Central Hatchery and Conditioning Center.
Who was it, Newt, who wants to destroy America?
(Did I mention that the baseball game was interesting?)