It was bad enough that moderator Chris Matthews didn't ask enough business/economy questions - choosing instead to dwell on capturing Osama or inside baseball about politics. But Pearlstein took a noxious outlook on the debate and blasted former Sen. Fred Thompson in a chat that followed.
"The truth is, when you compare Ron Paul to Fred Thompson on substance, Thompson comes across as a nothing-burger," Pearlstein said during the Post chat. Later on, he got even more mean-spirited.
"Fred Thompson's candidacy is a total creation of the media. His performance yesterday ought to have been an embarrassment, not just to a former US Senator, but to the press, which spent so much time building up this guy. He's a joke, really. Almost nothing thoughful to say on economic or business issues. Not a serious candidate, in my opinion. But then again, I'm not part of the traveling press corps."
The column was a tad less severe, but the point was the same - "that the leading Republican candidates aren't serious about economic issues." Pearlstein got nastier, claiming "for two hours yesterday, the nine white men who would be president were each peddling the Big Lie that the only way to ensure economic growth is by cutting all the taxes ever created -- and when you're finished with that, cutting them some more."
The rest of the column was a lengthy laundry list of the liberal talking points from the debate and how Pearlstein doesn't think the GOP measures up. Right to form a union? "[N]ot one willing to acknowledge that that right no longer exists because of rampant employer intimidation," wrote Pearlstein.
Then he went on to defend Hillarycare, arguing that the candidates were "all eager to hurl the scurrilous charge of ‘government-run health care.'"
Former Mass. Gov Mitt Romney even received this love note from Pearlstein: "Romney, for example, issued a 23-point economic plan yesterday that, if you didn't know better, you might think was a parody written by Jon Stewart for ‘The Daily Show.'"