Debate Preview: The Electrified Fence

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Last week, Herman Cain twice suggested that we should build an electrified fence along the border with Mexico that would kill anyone who touched it. On Sunday he reversed course, insisting he had just been joking, even though video of his remarks makes it pretty clear that he was perfectly serious. Today, he reversed course again, admitting that his original remarks weren’t a joke at all.

This is a pretty obvious subject for tonight’s Republican debate. You can see it coming a mile away and every candidate should have a pretty well-prepared response about it. Two questions, then. First: What do you think Herman Cain will say about this? Second: with plenty of time to prepare, what do you think Rick Perry will say about it? Will he be able to string together 30 seconds worth of coherent thoughts on the issue? Or will he screw up completely as he usually does?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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