thompson.jpg“The big winner of the first Republican presidential debate was the man who wasn’t there: Fred Thompson. Although I admire Giuliani and agree with him on most issues, the presidential look and feel of the absent Fred loomed over this boring event with only Ron Paul for comic relief.” — Roger Simon

Amidst the noxious vapors of Ronald Reagan hagiography that were almost intolerable at last night's GOP debate, one thing became clear — wingnuts love being lied to. Their world view, their orthodoxy, their articles of faith are so convoluted and so disingenuous the average person can no longer deliver them with the kind of sincerity and zeal that makes the lizard brains feel good about themselves. Their "lower taxes" mantra may be code for the thinly-veiled racism of "don't give my money to brown people" and their unseemly fetus love may just be a good excuse to tell modern women that they really ought to be baking more pies, but they want someone to sell it to them with style. Someone who can simplify the complexities that hurt their pointy little heads because, well, their gibberish make absolutely no sense and it needs to be boiled down into short sound bites more appropriate to a sit-com than running a country. And this deep longing for well-packaged propaganda may just give professional actor Fred Thompson the momentum he needs.

Substance isn't important, policy and experience are not important, it's the "presidential look and feel" that are critical to the GOP at this point in time. The base wants someone to sell them bullshit, someone whose eyes sparkle when they say "a thousand points of light" when what they really mean is "screw the poor" because the mouth breathers don't quite feel good about that and they really, really want to. Ronald Reagan gave them that, and those who remember him as "The Great Communicator" (*cough*) were only to happy to let him unlock the gate and let all his rich buddies in to loot the place in return.

It's a small price to pay for being able to sleep at night and not think you're a complete asshole, after all.