When I learned it, I thought the motion for this month's Intelligence Squared U.S. debate ' 'The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die' ' was simply dreadful. How could the opposing case possibly be made without fighting a losing battle with the proposition itself? Of course the GOP needs to win more votes from the center; of course they've been successfully characterized as out-of-touch with centrists. And indeed, the pre-debate poll showed a staggering 65% in favor of the motion and only 14% opposed. This lousy motion seemed certain to succeed.