If you have ever asked yourself how crowds could have gathered to cheer public burnings, beheadings and guillotinings in times past, tune into one of these debates and you will stop asking…

There have been a number of loud and ugly moments in America’s recent political history, ranging from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting, “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress in September 2009 to the cheering for a sick person’s death in Tampa this week.

But at least Joe Wilson was forced by the leaders of his party to apologize for his boorishness. In Tampa, those who want to be the future leader of the Republican Party stood on stage in utter silence, not one using the moment to rebuke the crowd for its behavior.

It is said there is wisdom in crowds. But sometimes a crowd is just a mob that happens to be sitting down.