If the Republican presidential candidates fail to offer substance, it's because they're giving the public what it wants -- empty calories
It wasn't until I saw a horribly overweight man gorging himself over the breakfast buffet at a Grand Rapids, Michigan hotel on Sunday that I understood the fallacy behind all the hand-wringing over the Republican presidential field.
As he waddled to his table with two apparent Guinness Book of World Records-sized plates of food, including a stack of sausage and bacon nearly blocking the light from a nearby bank of windows, I realized that voters are being fed what they want to eat.
So, please, let's not get too self righteous, especially those of us in the media, as we opine about the perils to democracy or how voters are owed a better political buffet.
Anxiety over the Republican field crosses the ideological spectrum and inspires pained reflections on the general state of politics. It's manifested in both unalloyed derision by Democrats (subtext: "Boy, we may be unhappy with our guy but look at these yahoos!") and wincing over a potential lost opportunity by Republicans (subtext: "The incumbent should be dead meat and we're blowing it!").
The Wall Street Journal, seemingly anxious that those to whom it's ideologically sympathetic aren't up to snuff, editorialized that the GOP and independents are "desperate to find a candidate who can appeal across the party's disparate factions and offer a vision of how to constrain a runaway government and revive America's once-great private economy."