Friday, August 12, 2011

Republican Debate - Ames, Iowa

I watched the Republican candidate debate last night from Ames Iowa and the biggest impression it made was that debate is the wrong word.  The evening reminded me of the show Chopped.  This is a competition on the Food Network which starts with four chefs who are given baskets of unfamiliar or ill suited ingredients and tasked with cooking a dish under a tight time constraint.  Challenging, interesting to watch, but what does it have to do with being a restaurant chef?

Like the show Chopped, the debates have an air of unreality about them.  Asked about his economic program, Romney responds with 7 Habits of Highly Effective Economies.  Asked a similar question Jon Huntsman provides glowing job statistics in Utah while he was governor as if this was all his doing, and that being governor of Utah is like being president of the United States. 

And then there are the pledges which in the Republican case mean promises to never, under any circumstances, raise taxes.  This last is completely understandable, and completely divorced from reality.  Thus asked whether they would accept a deal which included ten dollars in spending cuts, for every one dollar in tax revenue, the candidates all rejected it.  Which is why the best moment last night, was when Ron Paul was asked what reforms he would call for that could pass through a divided government and he responded with an extended, I’ve got nothin’, pause

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