Red's the designated Republican color, but the shades used for Wednesday’s GOP debate have never been glimpsed in nature. Ranging from scarlet to carnelian to a kind of raspberry-magenta blend, they would have induced psychosis in any self-respecting interior designer. They made the set look like a cross between Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and a Betsy Johnson dress catalog from the 1990s. And when the camera pulled back to reveal a stars-and-stripes pattern my first thought was, What have you done to my flag?
Come to think of it, that was my last thought, too.
The unearthly tones were appropriate, since the candidates seemed to be speaking from another planet. They certainly weren't on this one, where tax breaks have produced no jobs and deregulation's destroyed both the economy and the Gulf of Mexico.. But then, they weren't selling reality. They were offering a free-market science-fiction story, with special-effects economics that could have been designed by Industrial Light and Magic. Their reality is not yours, or mine, or that of most Americans.
But you know what? It may not matter. Sure, they were pushing economic hocus-pocus. But that hocus-pocus has cast its spell before. If aggressive steps aren’t taken to fix this economy soon, one of those candidates may be our next President.
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