The most important thing that happened in yesterday’s GOP debate in Iowa was that a Republican stood up to a moderator. The audience loved it, and it should become a habit.

Des Moines Register editor Carolyn Washburn (“the schoolmarmish moderator whom commentator Fred Barnes would later refer to as ‘Nurse Ratched,'”) asked for a show of hands on global warming, seemingly confusing candidates for the highest office in the land with a third grade class. It was a gotcha question and folksy Fred Thompson was having none of it: 

“I’m not doing hand shows today,” he said. “No hand shows.”

“Is that yes or no for you?” Washburn asked. “Do you believe that global climate change is – “

“Well, do you want to give me a minute?” Thompson responded.


“Then I’m not going to answer it.”

“How about thirty seconds?”

“No. You know – you want a show of hands. I’m not giving it to you.”

The audience loved it.