Florida Keys

January 25, 2008

Last night’s Republican debate in Flordia had me snoozing the entire way through. I heard precious little of actual substance, and even less that I had not heard before. Mitt Romney and John McCain were given the spotlight and responded with the usual talking points; Guliani and Huckabee were non-factors who did nothing to their numbers. Ron Paul again seemed like the most confident member, a little bit of bitter irony for those who understand just how radically different Paul’s Washington would be.

The debate was apparently what politicians call “civil,” supposedly contrasting the WWIII aura surrounding Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I guess civil could be codeword for “dull,” but I digress. The candidates made a point of talking about Mrs. Clinton though, with Mitt Romney getting more to the point of things than he probably suspected at the time: “I don’t think anyone wants Bill back in the White House with nothing to do.”

I just wish the GOP would unite against Obama like they do against Hillary. Whether or not they naively doubt his victory or (more likely) the wrongness of his suavely delivered policies, the Republicans are shooting straight ahead while the enemy flank closes in. Barack Obama is already destroying Mrs. Clinton in the three-ring circus that he, she, and Bill are entertaining us with. Hillary looks more and more like the angry, identity-less politician that her most enthusiastic critics have always said she was. She presents the smallest threat to the moderate appeal of John McCain. Obama is twice the personality that Clinton is, and he delivers his substantially more liberal policies in blankets of gentle “can’t we all just all get along?” monologue. And he’s coming into February unscathed.

The GOP needs to stop whatever it was they were doing Thursday night in Florida and begin drawing lines among themselves and between Barack Obama and America. To do less is to fantasize that the Democratic Establishment has learned nothing from the past eight years and again plans to put up yet another tired, unaccomplished candidate.

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