Who Will Be the Republican Twit of The Year?

FOX Debate Republican Idol

I have a few questions to ask about the coming Republican debating season, designed to establish the levels of competency amongst the 17 presidential contenders, premiering Thursday (Aug. 6) on Fox News at 9. From what I’ve seen in the preliminaries, it will be our version of the Monty Python “127th Annual Upper-Class Twit of the Year” championship.


Why are only ten Republican twits in the first debate? What is so sacred about the number 10?

True, God had Ten Commandments. That’s all She could fit on the two tablets.

But eleven is a lucky number for some people. And why not 13 or even 9?

These are not just rhetorical questions, like how many Republican presidential candidates are needed to screw in a light bulb? (I have outsourced this brain-twister to the experts at the Cato and Heritage thimk tanks).

What I do know: at last count, there were 17 true red white and blue Republicans who feel they deserve the right to present their case to the American people before they get even more bored than they already are. Is it not an outrage, true believers in democracy might conclude, that those great lovers of free speech at Fox News are manipulating the electoral process?

The debateologists at Fox News have chosen that magic number ten on the theory that ten presumably can make a debate more manageable and, perhaps even meaningful than TV commercials, which polls find the folks at home believe the best way to learn the truth during a political campaign, second only to Fox News, the most trusted name in cable news, according to Fox News ads.

Ten might be considered mind boggling by those who have studied the history of debating. The ancient Greeks chose the number two, but they had Socrates vs. Plato to enthrall Athens rhetoric freaks.

But are 10 more manageable than the hand dealt Tom Brokaw in a 1976 presidential debate on NBC that featured 18 candidates —including both parties on the same stage? Tom went mano y mano as the sole moderator. The Twit Ten on Thursday will have their feet held to the fire by a team of Torquemadas consisting of Brett Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.

Now I’m not saying that ten is the wrong number. I would just like to read the transcripts of the reasoning behind the concept of 10. It might be very educational.


The lucky ten twits will have been chosen by virtue of their being the Top Ten in the polls, as of Tuesday (Aug. 4). Why not the Top 4? Or the Top 2?

Picking a debating team by polling may be better than the drawing of short straws or pulling lottery tickets out of a hat. Leaving it to Roger Ailes Himself might guarantee a more entertaining show.

Replacing the boys in the smoked- filled backrooms with polling is the latest wrinkle in the megabucks system of governance in what we laughingly call democracy. Its yet another step in establishing a pollocracy. As if it wasn’t bad enough our news coverage of campaigns is not about issues so much as who’s ahead in the horse race, based on the latest poll numbers!! For depth, the media now gives as hot news what is trending on social media.

But, hey, the democratic process already has more holes than Swiss cheese. So why not just sit back and enjoy the show.


Call me doubting Marvin, but I will go out on the limb here and predict a rhetorical travesty in the making, starting Thursday.

I am also predicting that the ratings for the first debate will set Super Bowl viewing numbers for political farces like these so-called debates. The rubbernecking tune in will be enormous. People will be recalling where were you the first night that Donald (I’m very very very Rich) Trump faced whatever the number of twits who make it to this one and future debates in 2016.

May the best twit win.


FOOTNOTE: In the meanwhile, the candidates who were locked out of the first debate might enjoy watching Monty Python’s mother of all upper class twit championships in the video replay:


Marvin Kitman
August 3, 2015

The writer ran for president in the Republican primaries of 1964. He lost.