Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I didn't watch the GOP debate last night, nor did I listen to it on the radio. I spent the evening lying down with an ice pack on my face after being struck by a flying can of garbanzo beans. That said (and that's all I'm going to say about that accident for a while), I did scan lots of articles this morning from the various media outlets and those assessments were pretty much of a piece.

One of the handiest summaries came from Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times. He provides succinct comments in each of several categories, including winner, survivor, comeback, disappointment, and loser. It is that last category I was particularly struck by:

Biggest loser: The Republican Party as a big-tent organization that can appeal to the center. If the tea party gets the kind of candidate it demands, the GOP will face trouble in the general election. Fed-bashing, immigrant-bashing and uninsured-patient-bashing won't win a majority.

I'd like to think McManus is correct, but I fear that his California connection is showing. In 2010, we saw California reject Republicans all the way down the ballot for just those positions McManus decries. I would remind him, however, that most of the rest of the country felt differently, which is why the Tea Party is doing so well these days that it can call a debate in partnership with CNN.

Unless the mood of the country changes dramatically over the next ten months, which would require some positive changes in the economy, I think a majority of the electorate will shift to the hard right and will line up behind candidates such as Rick Perry.

Obviously I would love to be proven wrong.

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