07 November 2015


The inevitability of the election cycle makes its length look ever more foolish. The damage done to the Republicans by the Citizens United case is looking more and more like a mortal wound. Life and politics in America move on, alas.
This week, Fox Business Chanel, a subsidiary of Fox News, used its ability to decide, completely on its own, what,  "national poll" means and which polls might be useful, to effectively gerrymander the next Republican debate. They chose a poll, recently named the worst in America for its consistent failure to reach reasonable conclusions, as one of the four used to determine which eight candidates will be invited onto the main stage, which two will be dropped to the secondary debate, and which two to eliminate entirely.
In the process:
  • Senator Graham, the only candidate who is a veteran, was dropped, right before Veteran's Day
  • Governor Christie, who is surging in New Hampshire, where the first actual primary is conducted, is relegated to second tier status. Of course, this has nothing to do with his relatively moderate politics which conflict with the Fox Tea Party lunatic view.
  • Former Governor Huckabee was also relegated to the lower level stage. Letting the "religious right" know this early that they have no chance, while true, is bad timing.

One who knows me might well ask why I notice, let alone care. I want to vote for Joe Biden, will vote for either Senator Sanders, or Secretary Clinton, and would not consider the current crop of Republicans. So if the administration of the debate makes the party look stupid, it does, if the party's sense of timing (really a vet right before Veteran's Day?) is amazingly awkward, it is, and if the spectacle of over a dozen candidates destroys the early conversations a party needs to define itself permitting its opponents to define it, yes it does, what is my progressive, Democrat beef?
I actually favor something a Republican called, democracy. Mr. Lincoln seems to have favored the idea, even if neither Dr. Carson nor Gov. Huckabee thinks it a good idea. I also can see the corrosion of too much uncontrolled money flowing into the entire process. I also remember fondly a time when "conservative democrat" and "liberal republican" were not oxymorons. What is happening to the Republicans matters because the entire country needs viable parties that do not engage in anti-intellectualism, fantasy science (Joseph built the pyramids as granaries?) and outright intellectual fraud (Republicans in Florida solved climate issues by forbidding the use of the terms "global warming" and "climate change" in State documents. Problem solved!
There is still time for the GOP's leaders to pull the plug on the next few debates and engage the League of Women Voters or someone else to moderate 2 or 3 more, open dates. I bet they won't. This is all rather sad.

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