What the world needs now is another presidential debate like I need a hole in my head*

Whoever it was that is responsible for the mind-numbing numbers of “presidential debates” during the 2011-12 election years — the debates prior to the Commission for Presidential Debate ones — should be taken out and horse-whipped.

Yes, that is a very strong statement but the 27 or so debates among Republican candidates prior to the four debates this fall between President Obama and the GOP nominee have proven themselves as something to keep campaign dollars and the news media flying. Right now there are two, maybe three, more Republican candidates still running for the nomination than there should be and one has to imagine that wouldn’t be the case without the debates.

We are really getting nothing meaningful from the debates. Maybe some Republicans are and I agree I am not one of those. But if you have yet not had a chance to make up your mind who you want to be the GOP standard-bearer then you probably shouldn’t be voting. I would liken those who have seen these same clowns over and over and over and still haven’t decided who is preferential to people who stand for 10 minutes at the sandwich counter asking question after question without ordering. Is it that damn difficult to order a sandwich? Is it that hard to decide upon a Republican candidate for president? What do you have to decide? Is the (white) guy, yes guy, against all kind of taxes? Is he for prying into your private affairs? Then, hey, you got your candidate. Next!

Probably the best result of these debates, so far, was with what ease it took to see that our Texas Gov. Rick “Good Hair” Perry is about the biggest goof-o-ramus one could imagine. Though once again, I don’t see why it took as long as it did to see Perry is such a loser on the stage outside Texas.

And while Herman Cain was somewhat entertaining at times, it certainly wasn’t the debates which showed that he wasn’t a real choice.

Debates are only about one thing: Who can best debate under a given format. I’m no expert although I did debate in high school and was partnered up with an excellent debater who ended up excelling at the contest as a college debater. RIP Waldo, you ol’ master debater! One important lesson I learned debating was that you only are only as good as you are seen by those who judge you. Say what? If you play the game, you likely win. If you are inept at the game, like Rick Perry, you go home.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney do very well at the type of debate most seen on the recent televised debates. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul hold their own and often have their moments. These forums shown are not the so-called “policy debates” that have been contested in schools for years and the kind in which I participated. The policy debates stick to one topic for the year and debaters have to research and debate based upon the efficacy produced by that research combined with the ability to speak and think on one’s feet. The debates one sees on TV among candidates don’t even have a clear winner. They are “judged” by the hoots and cheers of an audience and/or the opinion of so many pundits.

Gingrich fancies himself as a great orator and debater. He said he plans to challenge Obama to a series of three-hour “Lincoln-Douglas” style debates if the GOP former speaker is nominated. The Lincoln-Douglas or (LD), named after the series of 1858 Illinois U.S. Senate debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, are closer to the policy debates than the current TV debates though with certain differences. Either way, Gingrich has such an ego that he probably believes he could out-debate God Almighty. One with knowledge in debate or arguments could easily make a case why Obama, a constitutional law professor and attorney, might just wipe the floor with Gingrich.

Romney, who has proved no slouch at recent televised debates, mocked Gingrich for his attacks on the moderators and news media which has provided the former Georgia congressman and Speaker with loud cheers from the many conservatives in the debate crowds.

There are two reasons one doubts the probability of such debates. First, such LD debates would not be to the president’s advantage. Secondly,  he would face little, if any, risk in refusing an LD debate over a traditional TV debate. Finally and most importantly, it seems very unlikely Gingrich would win the nomination.

Presidential campaigns have played themselves out over the history of the United States for many years without resorting to so many useless, one-sided, debates for the Republican nomination. The seemingly endless number of televised debates, at its base, lacks a fundamental fairness in that examination of major issues are only studied and commented upon from one party’s point of view.

In the end, it might not make any difference. The GOP appears to be winding down as a race between Romney and Gingrich. It seems unrealistic to believe the Republican powers that be will let Gingrich become their nominee. Romney as the standard-bearer could very likely be a losing proposition. But there is little room for debate that Gingrich would make a successful presidential candidate.

*Headline with apologies to the great rock band Cracker.