Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

If you want a good visual representation of last night's GOP debate, check out the picture accompanying this Los Angeles Times article. It shows Mitt Romney with his hand on Rick Perry's shoulder as Perry points his finger at Romney. Both actions are generally held to be poor form. Romney's physically touching his opponent not only violates the concept of personal space, it suggests a paternalistic put down. Perry's waggling his finger makes him look both petulant and arrogant. Both deserved 15-yard penalties.

But the picture also suggests the tone of the debate where little, if any, new proposals were put forward or new explanations were offered. This wasn't really a debate (well, to be fair, these "debates" really aren't designed to highlight differences in a formal sort of way), it was a chance for the various candidates to enter attack mode. The main target turned out to be Mitt Romney, who so far appears to be the nominee-designate of the elders of the GOP, for his Massachusetts health-care plan. Herman Cain came in for some heat as well because of his 9-9-9 tax reform plan, which the other candidates pointed out added a new tax. Perry, who has done poorly in the earlier debates and who came out swinging for this one, got slammed for his claims of increased job numbers and his immigration stance back in Texas. The other candidates present came in for their share of nasty comments as well. The only current candidate who came through unscathed was Jon Huntsman, and that's because he refused to appear in Nevada because of the kerfuffle over that state's threat to throw the primary calendar into disarray.

And that's the problem with the debate-a-week plan: there's very little time to develop issues in a coherent way in the six days left before the next televised debate. Only obsessive political geeks are interested at this point, and the actual election is still more than a year away.

Even I can only eat so much popcorn.



Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

They're all loony right-wing morons. More debates will only prove this further.

And so voters in 2012 will again have a choice between the right-wing loony moron, or the right-wing 'good cop' our cynical Democratic corporatists allow us.

4:21 PM  

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