Straining the outer limits of redundancy, the GOP debates now reduced to entertaining sideshows with some truth and no consequence

There are certain things that are inevitable.
Sunrise (perfect for Wheaties).
Sunset (ideal for vodka tonics).
Death (it’s good to be a funeral director).
Taxes (sorry, Republicans).
Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee (suicide alert for conservatives).
Granted, Romney got dinged a bit Monday night in yet another chapter of the long-running serial of GOP debates that have descended into a fringe spectator sport like roller derby. Hell, even Buster Crabbe’s Flash Gordon serial of a distant yesteryear when my granddaddy was knee high to a grasshopper didn’t have these many episodes.
While Rick Santorum did briefly rattle Romney on, all of things, allowing felons to vote (now there’s a front-burner issue) and Rick Perry demanded that Romney fork over his income tax returns, Mitt never melted into a puddle and left the stage with his front-runner status and his teeth intact.
Forgive my digression for a moment, but folks oughta stop taking Romney to the woodshed on his income taxes.

If the tax rate on long-term capital gains is 15 percent and Romney derives his income from long-term capital gains, then he has no obligation to pay more than 15 percent. Nobody is patriotically obliged to pay more tax than the law requires.

After all, the man isn’t a saint. He’s a Mormon.

While these debates now are about as meaningless as NFL exhibition games, they do have their deranged moments of charm.

For instance, Perry woke up from his coma (way too late, mind you) and took the leash off his sassy inner cowboy.

Newt Gingrich continues to take petulance into unchartered waters as the condescending and reigning heavyweight champ of Big Thinking.

Ron Paul, who squeaks more than Mickey Mouse and has yet to find a suit that fits, riled up the fresh-off-the-golf-course Myrtle Beach audience with his anti-interventionism extremism.

And then had them laughing when he said that his only regret about his attack ad on Santorum was that he couldn’t fit more shots into the 30-second spot.

I shall miss this Traveling Carnival Show with more barking than a dog pound.