An Absence of Hair-pulling

By on January 9, 2012

I sat down with all the best of intentions this morning to watch the Republican candidates debate on Meet the Press this morning. I have lost count of the number of debates these candidates have participated in by now. It’s a lot. I am sorry we never had the Donald Trump debate because he would have asked them to shine his shoes or clean the cat box or take out the garbage which might have given us valuable insight into their actual skill levels.

I had become concerned that I was not listening closely enough to what these poor, over-exposed candidates were saying and might be judging them harshly. David Gregory, the moderator, whom George W Bush called ‘Stretch’ in a moment of exasperation, has always seemed to me to be eminently fair and forthright, lacking only that quick inside jab that his predecessor Tim Russert used effectively on eager office-seekers. I sat down with my cup of coffee. Gregory joked about non-stop debates. Everyone laughed nervously. That seemed promising.

Five minutes into the debate, I had turned the set off for the second time. We were getting gobs of canned rhetoric from Romney about Obama being the biggest spender in US history. Obama has plenty to account for, but he inherited a terrible mess from the past administration three years ago. Does Mitt think we don’t remember? Wasn’t it his party that rammed Medicare part D down the country’s throat eight years ago. Wasn’t George W Bush a Conservative Republican by his own words? How stupid do these candidates think we are?

When I turned the tube back on Perry was declining to answer a question he had been asked but wanted to answer one that had been asked of someone else that he liked better. Who would tell him no? So we heard again about three government agencies he would close. He got it right this time. Everybody laughed nervously again. This is going to help our economic predicament?

The questions then drifted into ‘put-downs’ one candidate had said about the other in the past. They seemed designed to provoke the kind of fights I used to see growing up when women’s’ wrestling was being televised. It reminded me of the insults that the ringside announcer gleefully reported that one wrestler had said about the other just before the fight. Then the women in their sequined tights would then go at it, bashing each other in the head, rolling around the canvas, kicking and yelling. The hair-pulling and head-butting and gouging looked pretty spectacular, especially if you didn’t know it was faked. What a show!

No one this morning rose to the bait. No ‘Tiger Lady of Tulsa’ came forward to do a squat thrust to the neck at an opponent. It was all very civilized and — very stiff. It looked more staged than the wrestling had. The candidates seemed to want to find opportunities to repeat prepared statements from their campaign literature. Gotcha questions were batted away or talked to death. Blah Blah Blah. Ronald Reagan. Blah Blah Blah. We’ve heard it all before and it has no more substance than those lady wrestling bouts did. Except they were a lot more colorful. And I might have considered voting for the winner.

I turned the set off again and went out to look in the refrigerator.

Really, these so-called debates are a disgrace. Reality TV gone berserk. Democracy hits rock bottom. This is how we chose the president in 2012? Could Thomas Jefferson have envisioned this?

Where are questions such as “What do you plan to do about the millions of working Americans who lack health care coverage?” “Do you care about people who lack Health care coverage?” “How does the states dismantling their health care safety nets help the current crisis? Why is giving tax relief to wealthy Americans so they can buy second homes in the Caribbean or luxury yachts in the Mediterranean or Maseratis going to help people without job-related health insurance get back to work again?  California has virtually scrapped it program to help poor children have access to medical care. This is less important than ensuring ID cards for ‘furrin’-looking voters?

I don’t know which is worse, the questioners or the candidates. I would plead for a moratorium on these kinds of debates. They aren’t debates. They are Dancing with the Stars for people with two left feet. They are an insult to our founding fathers. I found something growing on some left-overs in the fridge that had more instructional value than anything at this morning’s debate.

Tom Godfrey


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4 comments on “An Absence of Hair-pulling

  1. Javier Spratte on said:

    Only wanna tell that this is very helpful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

    • TGodfrey on said:

      Thank you for looking at the Post. I appreciated the kind remarks. I wrote something new this morning. I hope you will give it a look. Tom

  2. Franchesca Lenox on said:

    I am constantly browsing online for articles that can assist me. Thank you!

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