Or witness Hermann Cain's sexual harassment issues. Does it really matter whether Hermann Cain made unwanted sexual advances toward women not his wife fifteen years ago? Well, yes, to me anyway, but the point is that Hermann Cain shouldn't have to be brought down by these kinds of allegations... he ought to have been brought down already by his utter lack of seriousness on many substantial issues.
Finally, witness Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is probably unelectable due to his damaged reputation (including the myth of asking for a divorce while his first wife died of cancer in a hospital bed). But I can't imagine any other GOP candidate being able, off the cuff, to have this kind of discussion with Hugh Hewitt:
This is strong stuff from a man who has clearly thought long and hard about America's place in the world, its responsibilities, its meaning. But he can't be elected President because he's been divorced twice?
HH: Now let’s turn to the story of most importance. Almost certainly, Iran has nuclear ambitions, and very close to having, if not already in possession, of nuclear weapons. If Israel acts to defend itself by striking at that capacity, what ought the president of the United States, either our current or our next one, to do on the day that strike happens?
NG: We should be supportive of the state of Israel. If the Israelis, having endured the Holocaust and the loss of seven million Jews in World War II, conclude that an Iranian nuclear weapon poses the threat of a second holocaust, because two nuclear weapons on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would be the equivalent of a second holocaust. If they conclude that is a risk they cannot live with, we should respect their concern for survival. And I think that we should clearly indicate to the world that we would support whatever they think they have to do to survive.
HH: What did you make of the Sarkozy-Obama exchange about Prime Minister Netanyahu, with Sarkozy calling him a liar, and the President not disputing that?
NG: I think the arrogance, and frankly, the sometimes latent anti-Semitism that the Europeans have, that has been tragic over and over again…I mean, you know, here’s a man…Bibi Netanyahu is worried about the very survival of his country. He has in the Palestinian Authority somebody who is a clear public liar, who has said that ultimately, they don’t want a peace agreement, they want to get rid of Israel. He has in Hamas a mortal enemy. He has in Hezbollah a mortal enemy. He has in Iran Ahmadinejad, a dictator who says he wants to eliminate Israel from the face of the Earth. And yet their nasty comments are aimed at Netanyahu? I mean, it tells you just what’s wrong with the elites in Europe, and frankly, the elites in the United States.
HH: Do you think President Sarkozy is anti-Semitic, Mr. Speaker?
NG: No, I’m saying that there is a strain in European culture that blames the Jew, and that that strain in European culture is real, it is deep. It goes back through the aristocracies. And I think if you look at who do they side with, who do they tolerate, who do they forgive, Arafat could lie eternally, and they always found it okay. You wouldn’t have had that conversation with Ahmadinejad. That is very, very unfortunate.
It's my firm belief that Mitt Romney will be the next Republican candidate for President and, thus, the next President of the United States. I think he will be a good candidate and a good President. But I can't help thinking that the process by which we pick Presidents often focuses on silly things, which is particularly galling, since I also think that America as a nation is at an existential crossroads. But, then again, maybe the reason we're where we are is because we've become a slightly silly people.