I agree that shutting out presidential candidates based on arbitrary or moving-the-goal-posts criteria is a lousy way to conduct debate in an allegedly democratic society.
But all this euphemistic artificial filler is starting to get old.
See, my signif and I got to the meat of the matter yesterday on the way back from an overnight retreat in Virginia. We passed a number of Ron Paul supporters’ signs and banners stuck in the ground and strung from overhead walkways. I remarked that Paul still seems to have a real fervent following. My signif called them the Deaniacs of the 2008 election. Then he added the following:
But no one’s going to elect a weenie.
Not that Ron Paul is a weenie. Neither is Dennis Kucinich for that matter. They just look like weenies. They’re both less than imposing. They don’t come in traditional presidential packaging. And that’s where their messages fall by the wayside. We are shooting the messenger.
But most people don’t say what they really think. Neither do media companies. They can’t announce, “No one’s going to elect a weenie.” So instead, they invent ways to exclude the candidates they think clutter the field.
But wait. There’s more. Clinton’s a woman, and Obama’s black. How’s that traditional, you ask? (You did. I heard you.)
Because this isn’t about skin color or gender. It’s about literally looking small and scrawny. And Paul and Kucinich do.
So while they’re both bold and strong and passionate on the inside, they’re unfortunately too weenie-esque on the outside.
It is unfortunate too because someone like Fred Thompson’s got the tough guy thing down, and yet you just know no one’s taking too close a look at the actual ingredients.