Part of the problem with the Republican Debates, it seems to me, is the intended audience There are 2 major audiences for these things.
First, the upcoming voters in the next few primary states. The tighter the race is, the more lively but less realistic the debate is. When the Republican candidates are trying to vie for the votes of primary voters (more motivated partisans), they can't say anything positive about the current occupant of the White House. This isn't unique, a Democratic primary debate in 2008 couldn't say anything positive about President Bush because primary voters would have none of it.
So we have, in the debate, nincompoopery dressed up as policy. Obama, who presided over the ouster of Col Khadfi, the killing of Bin Laden and the surge in Afghanistan - is a whimp in the Mid-East who is not suficently blood thirsty in Afghanistan and shouldn't talk with the Taliban . Obama can do nothing right, even as they agree with his message. Obama, not the Republican-That-Must-Not-Be-Named who proceed him is responsible for requiring us to "beg the Russians" for a ride to the space station and the reason we don't have a moon-base. Obama, not the Republican-That-Must-Not-Be-Named who proceed him is responsible for drawing troops out of Afghanistan too early (which is as Alice in Wonderland as it is possible to be). It is Obama, not the Republican-That-Must-Not-Be-Named who proceed him that was responsible for the Wall Street Bailout (passed under Bush).
Only tangentially can the Republicans speak to the future election voters. Mittens moved to this when he thought he had the nomination sewed up. He was more logical and honest. And rewarded with a thumpin' in South Carolina. And so it was back to crazy town last night. Michelle Bachman would have fit right in.