There's an old curse that begs, "O that mine enemy would write a book." That's a desire getting a big play in the debates between Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who are both trashing my Dad Ronald Reagan's so-called "11th Commandment," that Republicans must refrain from attacking each other in public.
Like just about everybody else I'm being wearied by both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry citing passages from each other's books to prove a point. All they do is prove that they can read and write. We need more than that in a president.
As my Jewish friends in Miami would say, "Enough, already!"
Romney and Perry need to knock it off. What we really want to know is exactly what they, as president, would do to get America back on the right track. We want to know what their visions are for America's future. Their public spats are simply giving Barack Obama juicy material for his TV ads in the general election in 2012.
Moreover, they have managed to transform a previously politically unknown pizza mogul, Herman Cain, into a real player in the presidential sweepstakes and given a lot of publicity to his so-called 9-9-9 Plan, which lays out his means to get this nation back on track.
Cain's 9-9-9 Plan is taking hold of the public's attention because of its simplicity and clarity. It's easy to understand and you don't have to read a book to grasp its essentials. Romney and Perry need to adopt the old standard of "keeping it simple, stupid." The public has neither the time nor the will to wrestle with complex political propositions.
With all the focus on book passages, Perry and Romney have also given Newt Gingrich a new lease on his political life. Newt doesn't waste his time prattling about literature. He doesn't direct you to some pages in some book. Instead, he answers questions directly and without waffling. He also has a vision of what America can be under the right leadership. He has something Perry and Romney appear to lack -- a vision of an America reborn and the ways to get there; Professor Gingrich provides that without being professorial.
Republicans have certain core values -- we believe in small and limited government, legitimate states' rights, and in adhering to the principles enunciated in the Constitution. Those values enshrouded in the Constitution have transformed what was once a collection of frontier communities into history's wealthiest and most powerful nation. Candidates for the Republican presidential nomination need to prove they understand exactly what the Constitution demands of them and show they are willing and able to conform to those demands.