Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The boring debates 

The pre-presidential Republican debates seem to have gone pretty much as expected. There have been lengthy attacks on the president with each candidate playing "I hate Obama more than you do."

Politics has been nasty since the founding of the republic, but polls indicate the electorate wants more than quibbling. Just saying "no" does not provide much direction for the future, and the country seems to want more than platitudes and condemnation.

One might assume that the debates, without liberals to get in the way, would have provided the perfect opportunity for Republicans to get out a positive message with clarity and specificity. Yet, they've been less than edifying.

We should have learned more than that Rick Perry gets tired and confused in debates or that Michelle Bachmann may not be the right person to ask about drug interactions.

It is perfectly clear that Republicans hate what they call Obamacare, but do we know if they think there is an alternative?

What are we to do with more than 47 million uninsured Americans? Do candidates agree with those in the audience who cheered the "let them die" alternative? Are they against making sure that those with pre-existing conditions can still find insurance? If not, how do they propose regulating the insurance industry?

How about Social Security and Medicare entitlements? Why are they proposing cutbacks in benefits that take effect 10 years from now, instead of taking a shot at reducing expenses immediately? Could it be that those over 65 are the Republican Party's biggest voting block?

Someone ought to ask the candidates in these debates who among them is in favor of private insurance companies taking the place of government, with their own death panels, instead of allowing individuals and their own physicians to decide on a treatment plan.

What will be the effect of abolishing Environmental Protection Agency rules? Do they really mean that clean air and clean water are luxuries we can no longer afford? And if you want to obliterate everything connected to the Obama administration, does that mean banks have to give back the bailout money right away?

Someone, we're not sure who, should let American viewers and voters know when meaningful questions are going to be asked—and answered. The whole country will be sure and tune in, even if it is only on Fox.

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