Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No Debate Invites, But Gary Finds Some Sympathy

Gov. Gary Johnson's exclusion from the Republican debates -- including last night'sas aroused  foreign policy/national security debate -- has aroused sympathy for the former New Mexico governor in at least a couple of national media outlets.

In Slate, Dave Weigel wrote:

The rules that allowed no-hopers like Tommy Thompson, Jim Gilmore, and Tom Tancredo into the 2007 debates would have let Johnson and Buddy Roemer in. So we're spared the presence of governors who last won elections in 1989 and 1998, and gifted with a senator who last won election in 2000 and a businessman who has never won anything. In the public interest. Or something like that.

Even Comedy Central's Indecision website is weighing in. Referring to the letter that Johnson sent to the Republican National Committee asking them to help open the debates, Indecision sarcastically wrote, "Whoa, settle down there Gary! Are you seriously suggesting that the RNC would allow certain voices within their party to be silenced by massive, wealthy media conglomerates?"

As for the RNC's contention that you have to have some thresholds to get into the debates or otherwise you'd have "utter chaos," the comedy website said:

Exactly. This isn't about excluding politicians who have unpopular views on social issues or who aren't rich enough. It's about making sure the debates are coherent events that allow voters to make reasonable judgments about who the best candidates are.

These candidates are poised and knowledgeable, and aren't into bickering or shouting matches. Gary Johnson just doesn't understand.