Tonight, while you were busy clearing out the empty beer bottles and the gnawed-on rib bones from the backyard, Democratic guv candidate Bill White talked issues with Libertarian guv candidate Kathie Glass down in Kerrville. Here’s a good summary of their forgettable exchange from the Houston Chronicle.

Rick Perry, of course, was a no-show, although Glass repeated a lot of his weirdo podium-pounding about states’ rights and socialism without actually pounding the podium. Does she deserve credit for sounding calm and sincere in statements like “Public education is socialism, and you can’t fix socialism?” Perry’s managed to flirt with the same nutball populism without sounding too serious about implementing it.

You have to wonder whether the grumpy White helped himself simply by showing up and pretending to care. Perry can dismiss White and claim another unelectable Dem was grateful to make an appearance opposite an unelectable Libertarian in the little-publicized, ill-timed Kerrville forum. That’ll work – IF the well of political cynicism in Texas is bottomless. The larger question is – how long can Perry refuse to debate his Dem rival and still be taken seriously by moderate and independent voters? If Perry manages to win the election without ever facing White in public, that’ll prove there is no viable independent/moderate statewide voting bloc. And that is truly depressing.