We have now had 12 or 13 debates featuring the GOP presidential hopefuls. The last occurred in Iowa last night. I think we've had enough.
Debating is a good way to evaluate candidates' personalities and views and their ability to operate under pressure. Goodness knows, in 2011 we've been there and done that.
But, there comes the time when we already know all we need to know. We have either made up our minds or will do it much later in a polling booth when we have no choice but to choose someone. So, what we are being subjected to now is a series of personal attacks, innuendos and general bad manners that count for nothing, except to give Democrat advisors information to use against whoever actually is nominated to run against Obama in November 2012.
For example, I do not really care that Mitt Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy long ago. No one ever beat Teddy in Massachusetts, so it was rather as if Newt Gingrich had said, "and don't forget that when Stalin wanted to throw you in a Gulag, nobody tried to stop him." Who cares.
What I did learn from this exchange between Romney and Gingrich during last night's debate is that Romney is more polite and less volatile than Gingrich, and that Gingrich could not hold his tongue and remain above the fray, thus giving Romney one more chance to prove that he is a gentleman whose interest in the presidency will not force him into the near-gutter tactics of some of his opponents. But, didn't we already know that, too?
So, why are we willing to subject ourselves to two hours of questions we've already heard in some fashion or other being directed to wanabees whose answers we can at this point provide for them ourselves...because we've heard it all 12 times now.
Maybe we're secretly hoping that by some miracle "our" candidate will say something so spectacularly good that the others will throw in the towel on the spot. That, dear readers, will never happen because this is the real world, even if it is becoming repetitive.
Then again, maybe we want to be there when the next gaff, the word that most media types now use incessantly, falls from someone's lips. But, does anyone really believe that making a "gaff" disqualifies a person from consideration in 2012? I don't think so. It only gives the media - who have long since decided anyway that they like Romney and want Obama to beat him - more bullets to fire at Romney alternatives...alternatives who just might be excellent candidates and presidents, and who might actually be able to beat Obama.
Or, maybe we've become so hooked on debates that a whole new TV reality series will appear - Celebrity Candidates - with well-known judges evaluating the presidential potential of wanabees who have no chance of being a real-world candidate for anything except the reality show.
I'm debated to death and I think some of the GOP wanabees are, too.
Perhaps we should look no further than this to explain why Huntsman and Bachmann and Paul and Perry have politely said no to the December 27th Trump debate. Perhaps it has nothing to so with personalities or questions about Trump's motives. Perhaps these poor GOP debaters have nothing more to say and are so afraid of making a GAFF that they'd rather watch on TV than participate.
I cannot say that I blame them.