Moderators and guest questioners have been excruciating, mind-numbing and downright frustrating the Republican base by their prattling questions that have little to do with jobs, the economy, the environment, President Obama's record or anything that average day Americans actually have on their minds. Previous debates have included Terri Schiavo, sugar subsidies, the Everglades Project, and an oddly foreshadowing exchange over contraception. With every candidate having been given the opportunity to respond to the inane and inaccurate narrative (contrasted with President Obama begging for reporters' mercy not to question him) that the number one priority of the GOP is to ban all women, everywhere, from getting access to birth control, it's a pretty good bet that the topic will come up tonight. CNN, however, may choose to avoid the almost assured boos from the audience if the question is asked.
Santorum claiming that the USA is under direct attack from Satan has been making the media rounds for the last 24 hours. Pundits are clamoring and MSNBC talking heads are exploding, it wouldn't be surprising if Satan found his way into the debate topics. (By the way, millions of Americans also believe that Satan is an active being that attempts to disrupt events.)
As a side note, it's Ash Wednesday. Most Catholics recognize this day with ash on their foreheads. We'll see if the Catholic presidential candidates choose to follow this ritual.
One thing that we could possibly look forward to in this debate is that most Americans are sick of the negative swipes that the candidates have taken to each other. The base is ready to see some fire from the candidates go towards the administration and not the others standing on the stage. Expect to see a lot of redirecting innocuous questions or questions intended to attack the other candidates toward Obama and his record. Most will watch this and think, "It's about time!"
The outlook that tonight's debate (we're up to the mid-20s now) will have meaningful, relevant questions is quite bleak and it has been for a while. In a previous post at Big Government we asked why the GOP allowed this. The GOP has graciously responded.
The reason why we have had to suffer through these endless, media centered (rather than candidate centered) debates is, according to the RNC, that the process started long before 2011 -- the start of the new GOP chair. It was former chairman Michael Steele that negotiated the terms of the debates with the networks and it was decided that the campaigns and the networks would work independent of the RNC. Staffers at the RNC told Big Government that within the first week of Reince Priebus taking office the new Chair met with Fox News to discuss the debate process but Fox had already planned and scheduled seven debates. From the beginning, according to the RNC, they were behind schedule and out of the loop (because the campaign process started so early). And, according to the RNC, that is exactly how the Presidential campaigns wanted it.
The RNC did reach out to the campaigns offering to take over the debate process and all of the campaigns unanimously declined. Big Government confirmed with the campaigns that this did happen and sources close to a campaign told us that the campaigns didn't feel comfortable giving this process over to the RNC because the RNC planned to have people in charge of the process who had never handled it before.
So, everyone went their separate ways and 20+ debates and a Terri Schiavo later the nation wonders, "Everyone still think this was a good idea?"