The Republicans held another presidential debate last night. For those of you scoring at home; it was debate #16. If you were fortunate enough to have had something else to do, you didn’t miss much.
The contenders focused their attention on frontrunner Mitt Romney in hopes of chipping away at his lead. Barbs were traded, and the back and forth of gotcha comments made for entertaining television. The talking heads replayed the juiciest quips while piously explaining to us simpletons what was said. Thankfully, slow motion replay cameras were not used.
In the end we learned that Romney has a thin skin; Perry has gained his footing and Ron Paul should refrain from answering any more questions about foreign policy. What we didn’t learn was how each of these gentlemen proposes to fix the serious problems facing our country.
Just once we would like to hear one of these guys stand up and tell us the truth instead of spinning some politically couched sound bite. Just once we would like to hear one of these guys have the guts to say something like:
“If I was the CEO of Bain Capital looking at this country as a business; I would recommend taking advantage of the bankruptcy laws. We are 15 trillion dollars in debt so we are borrowing most of what we spend. One half of the country lives in poverty. Our health care distribution system stinks yet we spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world. Our education system stinks. It is failing our children. Yet we spend more per capita on education than any other country in the world. Our entitlement programs are mathematically unsustainable yet we do nothing to curb the cost. We spend more on defense than all the other countries in the world combined. Yet our way of life was forever altered by a handful of guys wielding box cutters. We need to cut our expenses. But simply slashing programs that help the poor and the middle class won’t get it done. We need to raise revenues. And that means eliminating the tax loopholes that favor the rich. Everybody has to share in the rebuilding of this country. Everybody! As Harry Bosch once said: “Either everyone matters; or no one matters.” If elected President, here is my specific plan to fix our problems and return this country to prosperity and growth.”
But we will never hear that honest, non-partisan language from any of these candidates. Because in the world of politics, partisan sound bites, catchy quips and inflammatory attacks are money making tools. And money buys elections. Honesty buys you a ticket home.
So if you missed last night’s debate, never fear. You can watch it all again in just seventy two hours when Republicans gather again for debate #17.