But perhaps even more fundamentally, the cable sponsors of these events have failed grotesquely to bring out the fault lines that divide these Republican candidates and the Republican Party.
Where are these candidates on Roe v Wade and the role of law in protecting unborn lives?
Where are these candidates on preservation on the integrity of traditional marriage?
With all the talk about states’ rights, why are there no questions about the appropriateness of a federal court overturning a popular vote in the state of California – Proposition 8 – to preserve the traditional definition of marriage in their state?
Or the denial of the District of Columbia government to even allow a vote of its residents on this issue before declaring same sex marriage legal?
Does the collapse of the traditional family in America – something undeniably happening as we rapidly approach almost half our children being born to unwed mothers – even matter? Should not these candidates be forced to weigh in on this?
Allowing this to become an exclusively technocratic discussion about the economy – like we’re all laboratory mice in a box with politicians pushing the buttons – obfuscates key differences between these Republican candidates and the two parties.
It is a symptom of the big problems of our country that we appear incapable of having presidential debates with serious questions.