Republican Idol

Last Saturday night I found myself watching the farcical teevee extravaganza euphemistically titled the GOP Nominees’ Debate – or something like that anyway; it’s difficult to remember the title thanks to the breathtakingly inept performances by everyone concerned, not least the producer, who obviously has no idea of what a debate actually is.

As an aside, I viewed this revelation of political thought and process at the home of some good friends. Australian Americans and fellow devotees of Spike Milligan and the Goon Show, they saw this presentation in the same light as I did – lacking the pathos-tinged humor and intelligence of Milligan but equally close to sliding over the edge into lunacy. Am I alone in thinking that no one in their right mind could possibly take any of them as suitable candidates to lead the nation at a time when humanity is facing possibly its greatest challenges ever?

It  wasn’t a debate, it was a fiasco. Not once did the moderators moderate or hold the contenders to the questions asked of them. The only attempt at any sort of control was the occasional vague gesture at a set of colored LED panels – we had been told they would warn participants when their time was up – accompanied by equally vague reminders to the candidates that time was passing them by.

It was a fiasco, revealing nothing of substance – or sense. Did Newt Gingrich think he was trying out for a stand up comic spot on late-night teevee or were those  “hello, sailor” winks aimed at someone in the audience? Another romance in the wings perhaps, especially now that he’s let us outsiders know that you only have to beg God for forgiveness and it’s all okay. He was bad, the others were worse, though that’s relative; it was all so abysmal that none of them would earn the title “Best of a Bad Lot”. Nothing meaningful was said, nothing new suggested by the participants. No solutions but plenty of vague promises.

Mitt Romney wore a blue tie – why didn’t we get deep and meaningful analysis and noddies about that? It would have been more entertaining than the moralistic mouthings over the sin of betting.

Diane Sawyer let us know she had been to a pharmacy in Iowa – why she didn’t say – though her rambling questions and almost unintelligible speech suggested it was actually a bar. The bloke occupying the other seat at the table (I can’t remember his name as he hardly said a word all night) was wearing a better suit than Ron Paul.

It wasn’t a total loss, though. It did provoke a couple of thoughts to take to bed with me. The first was that hopefully no one would be misguided enough to vote for any of them; the second was profound gratitude that I didn’t learn history at the feet of Newt Gingrich. His assertion that the Palestinians are an “invented people” is breathtaking. He obviously needs to spend a little more time reading and a little less turning out the potboilers he loves to plug.

Frank Povah

Frank Povah

Arriving in the USA in late 2008, Frank Povah moved to Stamping Ground, Kentucky in mid 2009. Passionate about the written and spoken word and constantly bewildered by non-verbs and neo-nouns, Frank trained as a typesetter - though he has worked at many things - and later branched out into proofreading, writing and editing. For many years he has been copy editor, consultant and columnist with a prestigious Australian quarterly along with running his own editorial and typesetting business. His other interests are many and include traditional music, especially that of the south, folklore, natural history, and pigeons.

  1. Two momentous, albeit largely unrecognized, events occurred in 1971. One was the adoption of the 26th Amendment, which gave all American adults the right to vote in elections–truly a civil and Constitutional right, in contrast to the human rights mentioned in the first of the amendments. The second was the termination of the connection of the dollar to gold, a precious metal which is easily controlled, which effectively democratized our currency.  These two events prompted great consternation among the traditional ruling class and they’ve been trying to reverse the potential effects of these changes ever since.  So, since universal suffrage seems unlikely to be reversed, the electoral process itself has to be degraded.  Putting up incompetent candidates is part of that.

    1. Frank Povah

      It seems to have passed Ron Paul and the Tea Party by that the Constitution may not have been the perfect document else why has it required amending from time to time? Indeed, I believe some of the Mad Hatters want to make some amendments of their own.

      I will argue till I’m blue in the face that much of it is better than Australia has, but didn’t several of its framers say that it was an imperfect document, but for the sake of compromise necessarily so?

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