Sunday, August 5, 2007

The GOP Debate: Can We Get Rid of the Also-Rans?

This morning's GOP debate in Iowa was a horror show. Oh, Romney, Giuliani, and McCain were pretty much as advertised (although McCain just looks weaker and weaker). But the chattering of the intellectual pygmies that were allowed to share the stage made the whole field look like a bunch of lunatics. With so much time given to Ron Paul, the GOP's answer to Dennis Kucinich, the "please just a quick station break so the viewers can go wash" antics of the Toms (Thompson and Tancredo), and the irrelevancies of Huckabee and Brownback, there was--as usual--no time for substantive debate. Silly me for thinking that substance is a desirable outcome!

It's time for the also-rans to leave the stage. The Dems have been able to reduce the focus to two candidates plus two also-rans. The GOP should be able to do the same.

The one bright spot was Romney. I have not been a huge Romney fan because he's a bit slippery. But the man can actually explain his positions in plain English. He did have the usual did-not-did-so brouhaha over his abortion stance and came off looking a bit the worse for wear, but I just don't care about that as an issue. Perhaps "slippery" is the best you're going to get in a presidential candidate. Romney is genuinely articulate. It's the most essential quality an American leader can possess.

I've been a Giuliani fan from the git-go, but I have to admit that he's looking more and more like a one-trick pony. His op-ed on healthcare reform yesterday left me unimpressed. (He seems to be in favor of bigger health savings accounts. That'll fix it!)

Bottom line: I'm desperate for a little nuance in the debate. So far, the Democrats are doing a better job of that than the GOP.

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