Paul Krugman in his NY Times column makes a strong case for why the ten Cleveland Clowns had nothing substantive to say, no policy statements, not even a listing of President Obama's failures. That's because Obama has not obliged the right wing; he's failed to fail.
Strange, isn’t it? The shared premise of everyone on the Republican side is that the Obama years have been a time of policy disaster on every front. Yet the candidates on that stage had almost nothing to say about any of the supposed disaster areas.
And there was a good reason they seemed so tongue-tied: Out there in the real world, none of the disasters their party predicted have actually come to pass. President Obama just keeps failing to fail. And that’s a big problem for the G.O.P. — even bigger than Donald Trump.
Strangely, though, Obama's failure to fail might be indirectly responsible for Trump's popularity. By not giving the other nine Cleveland Clowns anything to say, the 10th Clown stood out because of his manner of delivery of his own inability to complain convincingly about the Obama years.