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Please, No More GOP Presidential Debates!

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--By Robert J. Guttman & Dustin Taylor

Stop the debates, please! How long are we going to put up with these silly debates? What are we really getting out of these debates? At the end of the day are we going to find any major differences between the candidates? If you spent five minutes watching, you would realize they're all very conservative candidates. Actually it seems that's all these debates have really turned into, is a showboating contest to see who can be the most conservative. We are really only watching to see who is going to make the next predictable folly, gaffe or boring remark.

How many times do we need to hear Bachmann say something that's almost certainly going to get rebuffed by an amateur fact checker? How many times do we need to hear Cain say something so strange that it excuses an amateur fact checker from even bothering to do a fact check? How many Perry fumbles do we need to hear? How many times do we need to listen to Paul's conspiracy theories? How many times must we listen to Mitt's defense of Romneycare? How many patronizing Gingrich comments do we need to sit through?

Rick Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006 and now he thinks he can run for president. Where's the logic in that? Wouldn't the average person with a shred of humility understand that after losing an incumbent seat, it's time to maybe toss in the towel or try for something in state politics? Santorum, for some reason, thinks that getting fired from middle management is the perfect opportunity to apply for the CEO vacancy. Even Sarah Palin had enough common sense not to run for president after quitting her governorship of Alaska.

Why doesn't anyone care about Jon Huntsman? He was a businessman, governor and ambassador to China, easily one of America's most important diplomatic posts. The common phrase to sum up his lack of popularity is his drabness. Seriously? When did we turn into Simon Cowell? He doesn't have "it" is another way of explaining his lack of fame. When did presidential primaries turn into high school popularity contests? I can hear Simon telling Hunstman, "Look, you obviously understand the dynamics of the Pakistani and Chinese relationship, but your suit is dowdy and your monotone vocals simply just don't cut it." I heard former Ambassador and Governor Huntsman speak at a think tank in Washington, D.C. recently. My first thought after listening to him speak was that he was extremely qualified to be the GOP nominee for president. And because he was so thoughtful and middle of the road on his views, I knew that he would never survive the GOP primaries and caucuses. And my second thought was, why was a candidate for president using his precious time speaking to a small group of people in the nation's capital a month before actual voting begins in Iowa?

And what makes these debaters more relevant than Gary Johnson? He's just as qualified to be in the debate as all the other self-appointed candidates we have to listen to every other week. Johnson's a two-term governor of New Mexico, successful businessman and remarkable athlete. That's as much or more experience than most candidates in these debates. Wouldn't you rather listen to a story about his climbing Mt. Everest than how the ACLU controls the CIA? Former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson was the guest speaker at my Johns Hopkins/University of California speakers series earlier this month. The former governor and mountain climber and all-around athlete should certainly be allowed in these debates. As he rightly says the Republican National Committee should support his appearance on the televised debates. Johnson is a libertarian with more progressive social views than Ron Paul.

This whole debate season has gotten so redundant and silly that it's time we move on to the caucuses and primaries. We do not need three more debates before the Iowa Caucus and two before the New Hampshire primary. Let's just let the candidates work on their ground game in the early states and go from there. Does anyone think thirteen more scheduled debates will make a difference in producing a more competent Republican presidential candidate?

Where is the moderate voice that will give Obama a run for his money? This so-called "inclusive" primary system hasn't given voters much to choose from. Obama may be nervous about his reelection, but this list of potential opponents must make sleeping a little easier every time they open their mouths.

The candidates have participated in fourteen debates up until now, with thirteen more scheduled. The debates have become so stale and predictable that we would welcome Sarah Palin and her self-centered views. After all, she is the ultimate reality show and the debates could use some new buzz. And with a new front runner every two weeks, Gary Johnson or Sarah Palin could surge into the lead in the near future.

Governor Romney could probably beat President Obama in the fall. But of course, that would make too much sense for the Republicans to back a likely winner.

Get the hook & take Cain and Paul off the stage. Turn off the debates.