Timely commentary from Ernest Dumas for this week’s Times on last night’s Republican debate. It’s about how the Republicans, who all want to wreck Medicare and Medicaid, danced around the Mitt Romney elephant in the room. His Massachusetts health plan was the inspiration and template for Obama health care legislation.

Apart from that, writes Dumas:

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There was an odd illogic to the whole gaudy two-hour CNN show. All the candidates condemned the economic record of their own party—joblessness and mammoth budget deficits—although, except for Rep. Ron Paul, they pretended that it was the work of President Obama. Their remedies were even more of what got us the big deficits and unemployment: cut or eliminate taxes paid by the rich and corporations and then rid the banks, investment companies, manufacturers and energy companies of all government restrictions on their conduct. Except for Rick Santorum, they pretty much repudiated the foreign policies of the two George Bushes and John McCain—military intervention in Muslim lands—though not by name.

His full column follows.

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