The GOP debate was last night was terrible. Too many participants, too much time for everyone to crank up their stump speech answers, too little heat on follow up questions, and not a damn debater among them afraid of making up an answer to suit their policy positions, even when pesky little things like the facts pointed in the opposite direction.

The serious thinkers in this bunch, also known as the ones with the long green are, alas, Mormon. “Who’d a thunk it?” from Texas has got the right kind of religion, but is too green as a candidate, and shows no sign of ripening anytime soon. The former Speaker of the House has turned into a grouchy old man. The black guy’s solution to everything—the “9-9-9 plan”—sounds suspiciously like a lottery number. Miss Congeniality has wrapped herself up in a “repeal Obamacare” ribbon so tight it looks like a straitjacket.  No one cares about the crackpots who make up the rest of the field.  

Nothing was said during these debates, other than “the 9-9-9 plan” and “social security is a Ponzi scheme”, that we didn’t hear in the last debate—“taxes are bad, regulation is bad, and everything the federal government provides is unnecessary and irrelevant, but I am running for president anyway because I love my country, and I am sure one of these buzzwords I keep saying over and over might actually work.”

Except the truth is they won’t work, because they haven’t worked.

We are in Year Ten of the Bush tax cuts, with not a lick of job growth to show for it. We are in the third decade of the trickle down theory, but most of America’s wallets contain more dust than dollars.

The saddest thing about all this hoopla to determine the Republican presidential nominee?

Even with a president who is facing an impossible series of fiscal challenges, a president who is fighting Congress with both arms tied behind his back, a president who is leading a party that decides on a day to day basis whether or not they are willing to follow him, any one of the GOP’s candidates still faces an uphill battle to beat Barack Obama.