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Denialfest in Gipperland

There was a lot to be disturbed about in the first GOP debate, other than the fact that three out of ten -- nearly a third of the GOP presidential candidate field -- apparently believe the earth is only 7,000 years old. Scarecrow's "Republican Candidates in Denial" at Firedoglake nails it well:

After the “debate,” MSNBC’s panelists tried to hype the disagreements, but they missed the fact that these men share a common mindset detached from where the rest of the country is....They do not see a nation angry at them about the war nor shamed by a government that sanctions torture. With their Reaganesqe optimism, they do not see families struggling with health care costs, job security, retirement security, and college tuition. They don’t seem to worry whether the government is doing enough to protect us from unsafe working conditions, unsafe products, unsafe foods and drugs. They apparently don’t see global warming as a national security or economic threat. American democracy is not threatened; the Constitution is not under siege, and Americans don’t hate the Bush regime for what it has done to our liberties (Paul excepted). Attacks on the rights of women, gays, and immigrants and anyone who looks like the “enemy” are non-issues.

Digby gooses a few chuckles out of the whole sorry show with his riff on Fineman's comments about how manly the GOP field looks and the softball questions lobbed their way. Pollster.com's Mark Blumenthal has a way cool "tag clouds" graphic provided by Upstream Analysis President Janet Harris, revealing the GOP candidates' respective buzzword choices here. Political Animal Kevin Drum has a flashy pie chart here showing who "won," according to SurveyUSA poll results.

Poll results notwithstanding, it does not appear that any of the GOP candidates are notably charismatic, eloquent or quick-witted. But we sorta knew that going in.