You can understand my confusion. Television loudly proclaimed that it was "Premiere Week," opening of the new season, or some such promotional designed to lure back the terminally bored or hopelessly forgetful. Call it the triumph of hope over experience.
A victim of this promotion, I naturally thought I was tuning in to a new series. It wasn't immediately clear whether it was a game show or reality TV. Of course, it could as easily have been a police show, though I didn't see any good guys, or maybe one of those criminal forensic shows, as the principals were all spouting pathology and leering like serial killers. One of them had even boasted about how many people he had killed and hadn't lost a bit of sleep over it either!
But alas, it was the Republican Presidential Candidates Debates. All the hopefuls were interviewing for their next job, trying to impress their base with their basest instincts. Their audience, Republican stalwarts, took it to be an old fashioned melodrama -- booing the bad guys as they were mentioned and cheering lustily for their favorites. They had cheered at the prospect of death for the guy who hadn't purchased health insurance. "Let him die," someone yelled. They heartily applauded Texas Governor Rick Perry's proud recounting of Texas executions. At such support it was a miracle that he refrained from describing them in graphic detail.
And last time, it was their turn to boo a gay soldier on the battle front defending American "freedom." His mistake was expressing hope that a Republican president wouldn't erode his own civil rights, as he fought his country's wars.
At this rate, the Republican debates will soon run out of people to boo. That would, of course, be disastrous for their ratings and require cancellation of their show entirely. So in the spirit of these debates and in the interest of maintaining the quality of this program, I would like to suggest a few more potential objects of calumny for our Republican friends.
The unemployed would certainly make a good target for the next debate. Clearly they are not paying enough in taxes. Why aren't they availing themselves of those attractive minimum wage jobs as WalMart greeters and MacDonald's cooks? Single parents and the disabled should also be subject to such scrutiny, too. Why aren't these single people in God-sanctioned marriages, raising their children in the dyadic, one man/one woman relationships that the Constitution outlines in such detail? And shouldn't we be more thoroughly monitoring and testing the disabled to make sure they qualify for government assistance and Social Security until these programs are eliminated or privatized. Perhaps a holiday show to deal with non-Christians could be conducted by those candidates who proudly proclaim this to be a Christian nation with non-believers condemned without salvation.
And just in case the Republican debates makes it to the fall sweeps, there should be a special boo-fest for politicians who accept government assistance and then claim they've miraculously grown jobs, for authors of healthcare reform who deny their past actions, for free will hypocrites who violate their own professional oaths and for those candidates currently in office who have shown themselves too lazy to learn their own country's history, but who choose to lie about it instead.
But most of all, I am looking forward to next season, particularly if one of these formidable Republican candidates gets elected. I'm eager to see who they will boo in the remote case that their own policies prove to be no more than bad TV!