Do you get the feeling there are too many debates?

Published 2:01 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just to show that I need to get out more, that I need to be more creative with my time, particularly in the evenings on Debate Nights, I am going to write about the Republican Party Presidential Debates, also known as the “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory” Debates.

If I had no knowledge of who the sponsors were, I would think that they had been suggested by the current occupier of the White House. The President seems to be getting the most benefit out of the events.

By that, I mean that circumstances in the country are so negative these days that, if the Republican Party would simply be quiet and nominate anyone who could walk and chew gum at the same time, they would have a pretty good chance at victory. The Debates, however, seem to be an exercise in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

First of all, there are too many of them. How many so far? A dozen? It seems that we have one at least every week and we haven’t even gotten to the first caucus or primary, which for a while seemed like it might be happening during this year’s Halloween.

Then, there is the situation of all those candidates. Too many. It takes two hours to give them all a chance to say anything. And if you happen to be Rick Santorum or John Huntsman, your opportunities are named after the late Hollywood actor, Slim Pickens. When thought about realistically, though, maybe the less one talks the better.

The format goes like this: the moderator or questioner takes two minutes to ask a complicated question and, then, gives 22 seconds for a candidate to answer. If the candidate mentions another person on the dais, that person gets 10 seconds to respond. Of course time doesn’t matter. And anyway, who cares about the question.

Here’s the way it goes: Consider the beautiful, blue sky days we have had lately.

Brett Baier, the moderator, speaks. “Gov. Romney, according to latest Quinnipiac Poll (been polled yet?), 70 percent of Americans think that the days of America having blue skies and moderate temperatures are in the past. And, 15 percent say that’s not true, while the others say they’re colorblind. How do you respond?”

Mitt Romney answers, “First of all I am glad to be here tonight and I hope everyone has noticed how presidential I am looking and acting. At the same time, I apologize for the one hair that has gotten out of place and I want to say that it is all President Obama’s fault. He is the worst president in the history of our great nation and I am going to make sure he is a one-termer. Now what was the question?”

“Time’s up,” Baier says and turns to Rick Perry. “Governor Perry what do you have to say about the blue skies?”

“Thank you, Brett,” Perry would respond. “I would like to say to Mitt — face to face, man to man — Mitt if you would only use that Texas beeswax on your hair like I do, instead of that phony, baloney Massachusetts liberal stuff, you wouldn’t have to worry. By the way, do you see how stiff I am standing? Now that’s how a president should stand. About the blue skies …”

“I’m sorry Governor,” says the moderator, “but your time’s up and I’d like to turn to Herman Cain.”

Mitt Romney interrupts, “Brett, he mentioned my name and I’d like to respond.”

“Don’t have time,” Baier says, “Cain’s up. Mr. Cain, what do you think about the blue skies?”

Herman Cain licks his lips and smiles and speaks. “Brett, I am glad to answer the question, but, first, do you realize that this is the ninth day in a row that we have had blue skies and that brings me to my dynamic, super-duper, bold 9-9-9 plan.”

“Sorry, Herman, but that’s old hat stuff,” Baier reacts. “I’d like to see if anyone would actually answer the question. Congresswoman Bachmann?”

“Thank you Brett. It would be my pleasure,” Bachmann answers in a voice known as the Minnesota twang. “As everyone knows, I’m the only one who has actually put forth a bill on the floor of the House to promote blue skies. When I am President, on the first day, I will issue an executive order banning gray skies.”

“Hey, don’t forget us!” comes a shout in unison. It’s the lesser of the candidates, those whose polling popularity yields single digit numbers. Rick Santorum is gritting his teeth and squinting his eyes, just wanting someone to know that he’s alive.

Ron Paul seems to be the smallest in stature of the candidates and his suit never seems to fit. At the same time, he’s about as honest as they come. John Huntsman seems smooth and would like everyone to know that he, and not Mitt or Rick, is the most successful governor on the scene. And then, there’s Newt Gingrich.

I call Newt the professor. Generally speaking, he is grinning like a Cheshire cat. How would he answer?

“Well, back when I was Speaker of the House, I wrote a Contract with America,” he’d say. “We instituted more days of fair and good weather than any other time in history and we did it with a president from the other party. If you will go to my website, you’ll see my new and improved Contract with America. I propose that we count the number of days and divide it by the hours in the day. Then subtract the number of months …”

I can’t wait until the real presidential debates when we get someone who can really B.S.!