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Posted: 10/8/2007 8:39:21 PM EST
The Republican debates will be shown tomorrow; ushering in the first appearance of Fred Thompson to an actual conversation.

According to the Times article

Many have been wondering how Mr. Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee, will do. By his own admission he is “a bit rusty” when it comes to debating, and he has said he hopes he will be able to “hang in there” with the other candidates, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the sharp-tongued former New York mayor, and Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, who is known for his polished delivery.

This is tantamount to admitting having nothing of real value to say. Good ideas don't need polish or flash to win debates. By now the American public is thoroughly acclimated to generous servings of fluffy rhetoric without any real meat. It would be refreshing to find good, plain-spoken ideas brought to the fore - items like Constitutional government, decreased federal spending, anti-federalization measures to re-empower the states, the end of interventionist foreign policy, the return of national sovereignty through border enforcement. I am not hopeful.

Nor should anyone confuse the spectacle as a debate. Of both political parties, only Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul represent any sort of meaningful deviation from the course the nation follows. The party loyalists might pretend that a vote for Hillary is a vote for change, or that a vote for Thompson will breathe life into the Republican party - in reality neither is a vote for anything but the way things are. Paul and Kucinich each bring a new dish to the table (in Paul's case, a dish so old and forgotten as to be new again). But the networks, the party wonks and the voters have all wrinkled their noses at new ideas. Practically everyone with two brain cells to bounce off each other knows, unequivocally, that our current situation is not sustainable. But the hacks will feast on rotten meat before taking the first nibble of something new.

But new is certainly what we need. The old is kaput - spending us into inflation while ransacking our liberties and our way of life. What I will do is propose new questions. Questions that no candidate will ever hear and no network moderator will ever ask. I think they are important. but only time will tell.

New question 1) It seems we are engaged in endless war without clear goals or even a coherent strategy. What will be considered victory in the "War on Terror" and how do you plan on achieving this?

New question 2) How many new air fighters and navy vessels do you intend to purchase with credit we receive at the mercy of the Chinese? How much are you willing to sacrifice the power of the dollar and the value of Americans' savings to maintain military budgets?

New question 3) How will you prepare the nation for an inevitable, and perhaps long-term oil shortage crisis?

New question 4) We are a question that consumes more than we produce and spends more than we make. Is this sustainable - yes or no? If no, how do you propose we fix the problem?

New question 5) (For republicans) - You have long said you support small government; what federal programs would you cut, what programs would you eliminate? (For democrats) - what programs are you prepared to reduce funding on to fund your own intiatives?

New question 6) There are no projections for Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security that show long-term solvency. What programs are you prepared to cut to fund these.

Anyone who cannot answer these questions (other than 3) in less than 30 seconds does not deserve the stage, and certainly not the presidency.
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