Yes, I saw the Republican debates (both of them) last week, as did some 24 million others.
I realize by the time you read this column it will be old news but I'm devoting this space to it anyway because I want to. I'm entitled to speak my mind on pretty much anything, so I'm going to go ahead and comment on a more than week-old television debate.
If this bothers you, you don't have to read it; it's still a free country. So if you're not interested, this is your last chance to get out. Stop reading this now and go do something else. For the rest of you who want to read what I have to say on it, well, here we go.
Overall the first debate, the one with the second stringers so to speak, was more substantive. Questions were more serious, more relevant to important issues facing our country today.
But in the main event, the one with Trump, the questions were of the "gotcha" variety.
Instead of asking each candidate his take on say, the Iran nuclear deal, or the economy, or the breakdown in race relations, or Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies, most questions were framed in a confrontational and personal nature, obviously geared to appeal to an audience used to watching Reality TV.
I watched it all, good and bad, nasty and funny. For the most part I came away with the sense that the Republicans have a pretty good bunch this time. There are several serious, intelligent, able candidates, which, I believe, could lead our country in a good direction. There are some, however, that need to go. As it stands now there are a total of 17 running for the nomination.
Of course that total will whittle itself down slowly as the months drag on. But have no fear because I just happen to have my metaphoric pocketknife with me, so I'll do some whittling right now and save us all some time.
Rick Santorum is passionate and sincere, especially with regards to family values and religion but I'm afraid he suffers from being yesterday's candidate. He'll never generate the enthusiasm or money that he'll need to win. He also smiles a little too much. He has to go.
Jim Gilmore has the same problem as Santorum, yesterday's candidate. I like a lot of what he says, but he just doesn't have the broad name recognition to make him viable in 2016. When people say, "Who is he?" you know it's time for him to go.
George Pataki is weak looking and sounding. We need strength and passion in a president. Pataki is wishy-washy and tired. He's got to go to bed.
Rand Paul is nuts. He and his Chia hair have got to go.
Jeb Bush looks to me like a man who really doesn't want to be there, but thinks it's his duty to give it a shot. I don't want him to feel uncomfortable anymore, so I'd like to make it easy on him and let him go away.
Ben Carson is a really smart man who can do a lot of good for our country, maybe in a cabinet post, but he's out of his depth running for president, sorry to say. Got to go.
Lindsey Graham has a tough core and is bullish on America, despite his soft speaking voice and Southern twang. Unfortunately, the fact that he never married might be used against him and Hillary Clinton in a debate forum would chew his soft-spoken demeanor to bits. He must go.
Chris Christie is someone I just never warmed up to, I don't know why. I can't figure him out, and I don't like that. Got to go.
Rick Perry seems like yesterday's candidate too, and in order to win I think the Republicans need someone fresh. He should go.
Bobby Jindal says a lot of the right things but he isn't very exciting. That shouldn't be a handicap, but it is in a presidential election. Bobby's got to go.
Scott Walker has the same dull problem that Jindal suffers from. He needs to go.
John Kasich has a bad twitch at the corners of his mouth and we can't have that in the White House. He must go.
Donald Trump should definitely get out but he won't, at least not for a long, long time. When this coarse, vulgar man (as George Will calls him) does go, we can finally get serious about nominating a real candidate. Trump is a spoiler and untrustworthy.
Mike Huckabee, sadly, is too religious to be elected. I hate that idea, but it's a reality in America today. He'll be going.
That leaves us with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina. Right now my favorite is Fiorina, but we have a long way to go.
Okay, I'm through. The rest of you readers can come back now.