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The Tentacle


September 26, 2011

Fox-News, Google & YouTube

Steven R. Berryman

As if we needed more of a signal that politics and the media were combining with entertainment for your viewing enlightenment, enter the Fox-News/Google/YouTube GOP debates in Florida last week.

 

Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show, could have been a moderator for this venture without missing a beat from his routine; we suffered the deadpan Chris Wallace instead. Great lines were mixed with bad performances in an uneven script, but in the end, the general debates purpose was served, and candidates revealed themselves.

 

Of course, the real goal for Republicans was to add needed specificity to the ABO, or “Anybody But Obama,” strategy. From my observances of this debate, we will still need the active participation of our president in this…

 

And for a time it was entertaining…even as the prop of fuzzy YouTube videos wears thin. Was it populist or a set-up?

 

The comedy did get old with far too many “there he goes again” moments. Who is the real Mitt Romney, etc? And I don’t care about your book. Everybody has a book!

 

This debate was singularly successful in targeting President Barack Obama as the end result of the primary contest, although the fratricide of taking each other down has a cost.

 

Best line – was the planned joke by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson – as stolen and unattributed to Rush Limbaugh – that “My neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than has this president.”

 

Best fratricide – defined as self destruction within the party – was, of course, between the frontrunners Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Governor Perry absorbed the major hit by explaining his position in support of in-state tuition for illegals in Texas. His excuse was essentially that it was the right thing to do for the children who don’t get to choose their parents.

 

This great logic was not lost on Minnesota Congressman Michelle Bachmann, who “got” the whole big-picture element of the “magnet state” continuing to draw to our illegal-immigration problem. She looked strong here in an otherwise weak performance. She wants to build the fence; Governor Perry may have just lost his edge to Romney…

 

Except from the hit that Mitt took: …meanwhile, back at the healthcare debate, the convergence of RomneyCare and ObamaCare proved that should Governor Romney become the Republican candidate for president, this issue will be of no benefit to the party.

 

And then you’d get to the Christian conservatives who don’t want to approach his Mormon faith as even derivative of Christianity!

 

Herman Cain seemed the most sincere in his pronounced faith of Tea Party principles, and taking full advantage of his businessman background as Godfather’s Pizza CEO. That he is a five-year cancer survivor contrasted sharply with Governor Perry’s other problem with governing principles: having supported a requirement that all Texas girls take shots of Gardasil in preemption of cervical cancer. Not so Libertarian a position.

 

Then there’s lumbering and steady Newt Gingrich. In a grandfatherly way he reminded his peers on stage that President Obama and his disastrous economy is the real enemy, not each other. He wore Ronald Reagan on his bona fides in every possible combination but will not be a contender.

 

Ron Paul….was there.

 

Unfortunately, Texas Congressman Paul has been so uniformly and consistently marginalized by the media that he comes off as Pat Paulson with credentials. He says the right things in a forceful way…and it has no lasting value in the primary.

 

But in the end-game, the GOP will send out the person best suited to fulfill the beat-Obama strategy, regardless of the pesky details of personal ideology plus personal baggage.

 

The real question now is whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has already cut a deal to enter the race at a fortunate time as spoiler to skew the results of Perry vs. Romney.

 

srbmgr@gmail.com

 



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