Republican Debate: Monochromatic Candidates, Stale Ideas

Robert Borosage

Ten white guys in dark suits and bright ties to answer questions. Three white guys in dark suits and bright ties to ask them. Stale ideas fit the staid image at the first Republican presidential debate last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. MSNBC should have broadcast the event in black and white. The Gipper himself would have felt at home.

What do these monochromatic candidates offer? Without exception, war and more war. No exit from Iraq. New confrontation with Iran, with only former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani mumbling a hint of caution. For former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, brandishing his newborn wing-nut credentials, it’s war not just against al Qaeda, Iraq and Iran, but against Shia and Sunni, Hezbollah and Hamas and more. Wartime for America.

All this is done while invoking Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism. But they’ve forgotten Reagan’s basic caution.

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