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GOP 2012 field still limited

Let me finish tonight with the Republicans.  They're having a debate tonight.  Not too exciting really.The candidates are: former New Mexico Gov.Gary Johnson,

Let me finish tonight with the Republicans.  They're having a debate tonight.  Not too exciting really.

The candidates are: former New Mexico Gov.Gary Johnson, a legalize marijuana advocate; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; former Pennsylvania Senator - defeated by 20 points in the last election - Rick Santorum;  Rep. Ron Paul of Texas who runs until his filing date for re-election to the House and businessman Herman Cain, the creator of Godfather Pizza.

Okay, remember the year the NFL players went on strike? Recall the "replacements," the guys they brought in to take the place of the actual players? Is this what's happening to the Republican Party this year?  They're fielding replacements.

They've got a few more on the bench that normally don't make the professional grade - not in this profession.  Newt Gingrich - you've got to be kidding that he's still in public life little alone casting himself for candidate for president.  Remind yourself. How come this guy isn't speaker the house anymore.  Do yourself a favor. Google the guy.  Maybe he should Google himself before he gets in this thing. Donald Trump?  Let's watch and see.  He says he deserves credit for the birther craze.  He reports. You decide.

Four years ago this week, I moderated a debate at the Reagan Library.  Look at the candidates back then, some real name brands in the room: America's Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain.

A couple things impress me about this year's list: no office holders. Only one hopeful in tonight's debate is serving in public office. That's Ron Paul, who I'm convinced is running to get out his message, not to actually become president.

I think I know why the real candidates may not out there on the field.  They are wary of getting into the buzzsaw that separates the whackos from the serious candidates to lead America.

Here are a set of questions I would put to them.  Call them the buzzsaw but they tell you precisely the Republican Party’s problem.

Do you believe in evolution or are you a fundamentalist who believes in the bible as written?  Has man been around for millions of years or, say, 6000 years?  It's a key question because it raises the matter of whether you believe in science.  

A question for the fundamentalists:  Why do we conduct health experiments on animals if there's no historic relation?

Do you believe man affects climate change? Do you wish to outlaw abortion? If so, what should be the punishment?  If having an abortion doesn't merit punishment, why are you pushing to outlaw it?

Do you support a return to "Don't ask, don't tell?" Do you support removing Medicare from existence and replacing it with a subsidy?

Just guessing, but you probably know the Tea Party approved answers to these questions.  If you're not prepared to give them, if you're one of those Republican "moderates," don't bother to bring your toothbrush.  You won't be at this jamboree for long.