What’s on TV tonight? Hmm. Wednesday evening… Oh, the Great GOP Debate! Surely no one would want to miss this overt and intense display of knowledge and wisdom. At the Reagan Library too boot! Airplane suspended above them- Air Force One [ret.] Perhaps that former presidential airplane will set the tone for tonight’s debate: Headed backwards in time.
Interestingly, Ronald Reagan, rest his soul, wouldn’t be on stage tonight were he alive today. He’d be way-too moderate, like Tim Paulenty. Sorry, Ron, the party moved way too the right and there is no room for you on stage tonight. Oh, they will mention Mr. Reagan many times just to assure the old-time Republicans that they love the man, but after that, they will speak a language unfamiliar to the Old Gipper.
One would have to travel back in time two decades earlier than President Reagan to match the philosophical rhetoric voiced beneath that airplane tonight. Back to Barry Goldwater. Rather than quoting Mr. Reagan, this tome from Goldwater might set the theme of those assembles on the dais: I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.
How about that to set the philosophy of this new set of GOP hopefuls? Does that fairly well nail it?
Perhaps the most well known quote from his book, The Conscience of A Conservative, is I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
Now there’s a sharp double-edged sword which cuts both ways, indeed. The pursuit of justice, he said. How highly will justice rank in tonight’s discussion? Any bets? By the way, will any of the participants, do you suppose, quote Goldwater? Or Nixon? Or Ford or Bush 41? Any takers for Bush 43? More than likely, neither Hoover nor Coolidge. No, not a whole lot of possibilities there in that once-Grand Old Party.
What about religious talk? Will anyone show up with a Bible on their podium? After all, isn’t it God’s Own Party? Surely there needs to be a nod to that bevy of Christian Fundamentalists in the holier-than-thou wing of the GOP. Were I Mitt Romney, I’d ask Rick Perry how his prayer for rain in Texas worked out. Not only a severe drought but wildfires too. Isn’t that a sign of something? Flooding on the east coast. The much ballyhooed End Times? Surely one amongst them will speak the Truth tonight.
Then there will be the topic of jobs. Or as Speaker Boehner said, “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” Three times as in the three denials of Jesus. Let’s see if i can guess what the job-plan might be…it’s only a wild guess but I’m thinking: tax cuts and deregulation. What else? Er… that’s all folks! After all, if the business and corporate worlds would have fewer regulations [or none at all!] and lower taxes, then, by golly, millions of jobs will open up all across the land. Can’t wait for that to happen! People going back to work from Maine to California because of deregulation and low tax rates! Why, it would be a miracle- not unlike the Texas miracle of Rick Perry. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
I can hardly wait, can you? Gosh darn, it’s 11 hours away. I wish the clock would move forward faster so that we can all see the GOP plan to move the clock backwards!!