September 22, 2011

I'm so sad they let Gary Johnson into the GOP debate but not Thaddeus McCotter.

And now McCotter is withdrawing, saying, "It was sort of death by media."

James Taranto comments:

[Gary] Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 through 2003, is ideologically similar to Rep. Ron Paul, which is to say that he is a hard-core economic conservative whose foreign-policy views tend toward isolationism....

His speaking style is as bland as his ideological views are astringent....

That doesn't mean Fox is wrong to include him in its debate. True, his chance of being the Republican nominee is so low as to be indistinguishable from zero. But that's true of a majority of the other candidates who'll be on stage with him. His ideas deserve a hearing, and a presentation from someone who doesn't seem wild-eyed.

But if Gary Johnson is allowed in the debate, for goodness' sake, why wasn't Thaddeus McCotter? The representative from Michigan's 11th District is the most entertaining political speaker we've ever seen, with the possible exception of Sarah Palin. We don't agree with him on everything--he's one of the few Republicans to support forcible unionization by "card check"--but again, his ideas deserved a hearing. And he has the added advantage of being great fun to watch....
But it's not about fun, and it really isn't fair to the frontrunners for the characters to be playing a different, distracting game.

And hang out with me here when the debate starts this evening at 9 ET/8 CT. We're back to Fox News, so... presumably, more attention to what's wrong with Obama and fewer of those wedge issues that seem designed to stoke anti-GOP loathing.

38 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

They should have let Thad in, but Thad is now backing Mitt. So I would imagine Mitt is happy how things turned out.

I wonder if there was opposition to Thad being in by any of the other candidates?

chickenlittle said...

We should defer to Rev. Revenant on Gary Johnson.

Fred4Pres said...

I hear Gary got an invite because he has the best dope of the GOP contenders.

traditionalguy said...

Why not let a good High School debater in too? That would be so very entertaining, especially if she was a smoking hot chick with big hooters.

We demand entertainment!

Carol_Herman said...

NOBODY CARES!

All thse debates are a WASTE OF TIME ... for everyone ... other than those who work the cameras. (And, pay their mortgages from doing this work.)

Sarah Palin has walked away with America's heart! She's not invited!

"Mittens Moroney" ... and his pal the Texas Perry ... can hoot and holler all they want!

Plus, Ron Paul is your SPOILER!

it could be worse. They'd have to bring in a real short podium for Dennis Kucinich ... but he's already failed ... and dropped out.

THE MIDGET LEFT!

What kind of a circus can you have without the midget?

John Althouse Cohen said...

But it's not about fun, and it really isn't fair to the frontrunners for the characters to be playing a different, distracting game.

I agree. But then, why are you so sad?

As far as Taranto's analysis, I wouldn't trust the opinion of someone who considers Sarah Palin "the most entertaining political speaker we've ever seen."

Lucius said...

I'm hardpressed to see why a two-term governor shouldn't have an automatic ticket onto the podium, regardless.

If someone is willing to play grown-up long enough to serve two terms, and then they want to publicize a few controversial ideas on the campaign trail to nowhere in Iowa, why shouldn't they be humored?

It's not *really* a *real* race yet. What's the point of a seventeen month-long campaign in our democracy if it doesn't serve to air out some weird ideas?

Sitting Congressman? Hell, invite him too. Has he served longer than Bachmann? If so, it's nuts to exclude him. Romney and Perry have plenty of other ways ($$$$) to get their message out besides appearing on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with the other chumps.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I find Johnson a lot more interesting than Paul, at least because he's been a governor, which sort of tests your idealism a little bit more than being a congress person (which is why I near-rule out anyone who's not had executive experience). Plus, Paul is played out- we all know the drill: he says something outrageous about the war, some lower tiered candidate goes all righteous indignation on him, he defends himself, Paul supporters proclaim Paul to be the *only* candidate who can win, everyone else says Paul supporters are crazy, blah, blah.

Can't we just trade Paul out for Johnson?

- Lyssa

WV: "fackin": I can't believe ther's another fackin' debate tonight.

edutcher said...

Surprised McCotter is backing Romney, but Ann's point about the also rans is good.

Except possibly for Bachmann, the rest of the pack should have been gone from these shows a while ago.

Regardless of how entertaining Ron Paul, the Carol Herman of the Ayn Rand crowd, may be.

Carol_Herman said...

You know what would be a good idea?

To bring the Boston phone book to a podium. With a telephone.

And, we could have different journalists ... each one in turn ... making a call to a stranger ... And, asking them if they'd "care to run."

And, among the first 200 names you chose at random ...

You'd get a better collection of candidates.

(Of course, this was once Bill Buckley's idea.)

It's never been tried.

Revenant said...

We should defer to Rev. Revenant on Gary Johnson.

I think it is a disgrace that Gingrich, Cain, and Huntsman have been invited up until now and Johnson has not. The guy's a successful governor and (with with possible exception of Ron Paul) the only truly small-government conservative in the race.

Carol_Herman said...

I'm not voting for Ron Paul!

HOWEVER, I am repeating his name ... because I heard it from a youthful person.

Where's America's youthful voters going to go?

And, why does Ron Paul attract them?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Ron Paul, the Carol Herman of the Ayn Rand crowd

Ha! Threadwinner.

Dave D said...

Thaddeus is my congressman and I like him exactly where he is. Hope he wins reelection. He is too honest and sensible (and quirky) to be president, IMO.

Cedarford said...

. Romney and Perry have plenty of other ways ($$$$) to get their message out besides appearing on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with the other chumps.

=============
The problem I have is that at some point, the Republican Party has to start weeding out these bozos who have no shot at all of the nomination or a VP slot...before it gets to a situation like 500 candidates for Governor of California demanding equal debate time.
You know..keep the door open for newcomers..in case a Christie belatedly tosses his hat into the ring..but start the weed-out early.

Santorum and Huntsman have been introduced to voters, been at it for months. Multiple debates. They poll 3% and 1%. Time to say "ta-ta!" to them.

Carol_Herman said...

Ah, "support."

When "support" is not built into your stockings.

It's a lesson, though, I learned from John Kerry! Who, two years after he lost his presidential bid ... and Obama was new to the senate ... GUESS WHO Obama's first friend was.

Politics is a strange place to make your bed.

But let's take "Thad" backing "Mittens."

Maybe, he's looking around to see where he can put his ass at a presidential table ... "should" Mitt win the presidency in 2012?

Looks like a long shot.

So did John Kerry going up to Obama, FIRST THING ... and making a friendship that has paid off dramatically well "in points."

Sad. But true.

I could care less, though, about someone else's admiration. (I just don't believe in arranged marriages.) And, I don't want one in "return for my vote.")

Revenant said...

Except possibly for Bachmann, the rest of the pack should have been gone from these shows a while ago. Regardless of how entertaining Ron Paul, the Carol Herman of the Ayn Rand crowd, may be.

Er... Ron Paul outpolls Bachmann. In fact he outpolls everyone but Romney and Perry.

In any event, it seems hasty to narrow the field to two people when the two front runners can barely muster 50% Republican support *combined*.

Bill said...

This early in the primary is exactly when you should have as many voices as possible.

And the difference between McCotter's low numbers and everybody else's is that almost everybody else is going anywhere beyond where they're at right now. McCotter was one debate away from breaking out and making people sit up and take notice.

Other people are suggesting two-tiered debates to give room for lower polling candidates. That sounds like a fine idea.

Carol_Herman said...

The "big threat" from Ron Paul is that he's viable as a 3rd party candidate.

Maybe, that's why the media is playing this game?

I think the deck is stacked.

So why should I play?

I don't watch the debates. I'm sure someone will "live blog." And, then? If I choose to ... I can watch the texting.

Isn't texting wonderful?

Rick said...

7 eastern, 8 central?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Fox's website has it at 9:00 Eastern time.

Shanna said...

[Gary] Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 through 2003

Hey! I think I met that guy once. Was he the one who was pro pot?

RichardS said...

From the GOP's persepctive, the goal is to select the candidate most likely to win, and, beyond that, most likely to do well for the party in office.

From the perspective of the powers that be who make the debates, the goal is to attract viewers, and, to a degree, help the process along.

It is useful to have minority voices in the debates. The candidates may get only a few votes, but they may also give voice to ideas that are good for the system (and they may also give air time to voices that are nuts). The key question is whether hearing those voices on stags in these joint press conferences (as one person called them), helps to produce a better outcome.

For we citizens, the goal should be to help us find the best man or woman for the job, and to get him or her elected.

edutcher said...

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Ron Paul, the Carol Herman of the Ayn Rand crowd

Ha! Threadwinner.


Thank you for this award. I'm touched.

(but you knew that...)

Carol_Herman said...

Ah, "support."

When "support" is not built into your stockings.

But let's take "Thad" backing "Mittens."

Maybe, he's looking around to see where he can put his ass at a presidential table ... "should" Mitt win the presidency in 2012?


A question more than a few have asked today.

Revenant said...

Except possibly for Bachmann, the rest of the pack should have been gone from these shows a while ago. Regardless of how entertaining Ron Paul, the Carol Herman of the Ayn Rand crowd, may be.

Er... Ron Paul outpolls Bachmann. In fact he outpolls everyone but Romney and Perry.


Only if you count the ones from outside wearing tin foil.

Kirk Parker said...

McCotter is in favor of card check???? Gack, toss him into the shredder!

Ann Althouse said...

"'But it's not about fun, and it really isn't fair to the frontrunners for the characters to be playing a different, distracting game.' I agree. But then, why are you so sad?"

Because unfairness makes me happy.

No... I'm sad because McCotter dropped out and we liked him. They let one guy in but not the other, and I think if people could have heard McCotter he could have built a following... not because he's entertaining but because he's smart, articulate, and has good ideas.

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute?

You are trying to tell me that the powers that be inserted a johnson into the debate?

I thought this was vagina day?

Cedarford said...

"Romney did say he hoped Alaska governor Sarah Palin would run for president, a decision she has said she would make by the end of this month.

"She would make the race that much more exciting," he said.

Translation:

"It sure would be nice to get her in to help split up the Religious Right vote between her and Perry, given voters have wised up that Michelle Bachmann is a little inexperienced, a little too hyperambitious, and more than a little crazed."

Kirby Olson said...

I had already endorsed McCotter, but I'm not ready to endorse Romney. McCotter had a weird dry wit that would have pulled in the twenty and thirty somethings, and the various oddball bohemians who nevertheless for some reason are righties (probably fewer bohemian righties than there are Republican blacks not only in absolute numbers but percentage-wise, but still they must exist and it would have been nice to hear one).

I'm hoping Bachman will get back into the race. She's so beautiful! Let beauty win for once!

Perry has awful skin.

Huntsman is all sweaty.

Santorum looks average.

Paul is shaky and has a whine in his voice.

Romney is good looking but uninteresting. Doesn't anybody know that beauty has to be INTERESTING?

McCotter was by far the most interesting. This is the most terrible news I've seen in two or three minutes. How can I live?

Cedarford said...

McCotters reasoning for supporting Romney:


McCotter said he will give his support to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, and will likely run again for the 11th District congressional seat he's held since 2003.

McCotter said he would back Romney after the Massachusetts governor made it clear he wouldn't seek a federal health care overhaul like the one Massachusetts adopted when he was governor. "Especially with his business background and in a stagnant economy, he may be the most electable," McCotter said.

He likes Romney rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but said the country isn't ready for another Texas president so soon after President George W. Bush. "He may be a vice presidential nominee," McCotter said. "

Paddy O said...

Has Sarah Palin announced her candidacy yet?

That's what I'm waiting for.

That's the only thing that might make this race more interesting.

Rose said...

I liked McCotter alright, but THIS -"He likes Romney rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but said the country isn't ready for another Texas president so soon after President George W. Bush. "He may be a vice presidential nominee," McCotter said." - this is a SHALLOW reason not to support someone, just as bad as the reasons he wasn't being given a voice.

Oh well - it's time for Huntsman to go, too. And I give Chris Christie credit for NOT getting in.

Rose said...

Amen, Paddy O!

Carol_Herman said...

Alas, Lincoln is dead. And, so is Douglas. They made for some interesting debates, in their time, though.

I especially loved how Lincoln would have to duck down to come out the window ... So he could stand on the porch roof. Where both men stood. To address the crowds that came.

Lincoln kept his notes in his hat.

Oh, yes. I also loved his stovepipe hat.

Those were real debates, too!

And, in the audiences were men who could scribble fast. Because they then used the telegraph (a new invention) ... to get all the words out to newspapers in all the big cities. Who were running this stuff on their front pages.

(This is what Lincoln later used to compile the debates so that they could be published.)

It's an insult to Lincoln's memory to call the dreck that's being offered as "debates."

No. They really aren't.

And, without a GONG, which would improve them emensely ... nobody's gonna go think that this "show" will change anyone's mind.

Or get anyone out there to commit their vote.

It's a big "hoo-ha" over nothing.

Carol_Herman said...

Okay, Troop @ 5:17 PM. That was good! That was really, really good!

Now, I hope Johnson stays in. Can someone offer him a little blue pill if he needs help?

damikesc said...

It is insane that Huntsman gets in all the debates while McCotter and Johnson did not. Take away the media and he had less support than either of them.

vinnymor said...

I like bland, bland is good. Did you ever hear Teddy Roosevelt? Sort of a shrieking falsetto. Could he be elected today? Yes, tyrants are interesting and amusing but I would rather go to the theater for that. Give a Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

vinnymor said...

I like bland, bland is good. Did you ever hear Teddy Roosevelt? Sort of a shrieking falsetto. Could he be elected today? Yes, tyrants are interesting and amusing but I would rather go to the theater for that. Give a Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.