Hey, Sportin' Life, I got 50 cents here that says your $10,000 dumbassery is going to go down in political history almost as fast as you do.
Of course, if it wasn't for Willard Romney's attempt to slap Governor Goodhair silly with his wallet, there really wouldn't be much to be said of Saturday night's festivities, the 9,876th of 11,980 scheduled Republican debates. It was a strange, disjointed affair among strange, disjointed people dealing in strange, disjointed metaphors. Michele Bachmann talked about there being nothing in the federal treasury but "moths and feathers," giving the federal treasury something in common with her own head. Rick Perry is now functioning, I believe, as the guy in Duck Soup with the peanut stand that eventually catches on fire. And, within about 12 words, Willard described President Obama's payroll tax cut as both a "Band-Aid" and as "gasoline" on a "fire" and/or on "embers." If he'd had two more minutes, he probably would have described the president's policy as a floormat, a window cleaner, a garden tool, and a species of trout. Give him three more of these debates, and he'll be talking in Klingon.
Otherwise, it was a mess. Much of this can be attributed to the presence of George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer as moderators, especially the former It Girl of San Clemente. Sawyer apparently believes that these folks have spent the last several months riding Higgins boats onto heavily fortified beaches. She began the debate by sucking up unashamedly to this plucky band of American titans. And she proceeded to ask questions so convoluted and weird that you'd look to see if Rick Perry's lips were moving. (It is also entirely possible that she actually asked a single question, divided up into 120 parts, over the course of the two hours.) She also had a tendency, particularly late in the game, to refine the question between candidates, so that La Bachmann, say, would be answering a different question than Rick Santorum had answered minutes earlier. Those people at home still conscious while playing the Willard Drinking Game — take a shot every time he says "private sector" — must have been completely bumfuzzled by this.
(Kudos, however, to ABC for introducing us to the ABC Rewind, in which, after coming out of commercial, you got to see the highlights of the portion of the debate that had preceded the ad, in case you forgot that Michele Bachmann was a conservative or that Ron Paul was for freedom. It was particularly telling because we got to see Willard offer to bet Goodhair 10 large again, the first of what I am sure will be 2,389,710 replays of it that we'll see before the caucuses actually happen.)
And, of course, all the answers you heard were pure boilerplate. Repeal Obamacare. Drill for oil and gas. Don't make the "job creators" cry. Jesus, these guys can talk about the staggering economy for 15 minutes and never once use the word "demand," but they'll hammer each other to death over who wants to cut the corporate tax rate to minus-23 percent or something. There was one point in which they were asked to come up with the toughest economic times in their lives, and Rick Perry pivoted to "putting America back to work" and Rick Santorum pivoted to "strengthening the family," and Ron Paul somehow brought the whole thing around to "monetary policy." They have stopped being actual human beings at this point. I think they're all running for mayor of Stepford.