What could be more important right now than hearing what Republicans have to say about where they would like to steer the country, should their party’s candidate, Mitt Romney, get elected in November? What is more important, in prime time TV in the dregs of summer, than broadcasting speeches proclaiming policy and guiding principles during the Republican convention in Tampa? Apparently, reruns of Castle and Hawaii Five-O.

As my colleague Lynette Rice is reporting, on Monday night the networks had been prepared to air reruns rather than broadcast, among others, Ann Romney’s speech to the assembled masses. As a piece of oratory, this speech may not carry important policy news, but as a glimpse into the expression of the thoughts and emotions of a possible First Lady, this is a moment of TV drama that surely rivals a Castle rerun. And the GOP knows how important it is to get Ann Romney’s message out there, and so the party is caving to the networks’ scheduling and moving Ann Romney’s speech to Tuesday, when ABC, CBS, and NBC will deign to cover the convention in prime time.

And so instead, on Monday, citizens watching the Big Three networks will now miss speeches from former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Arkansas governor and Fox News show host Mike Huckabee. This is disgraceful. Jeb Bush is a once and future power within the party; not much has been heard from him about the Romney-Ryan ticket. Huckabee’s TV show has been one of the prime outlets for the discussion of Republican platform issues such as health care and budget strategies.

Millions have spent the summer holed up with Big Brother and The Bachelorette. Time to re-join the real world and see what some of the people who may help run the country have to say. Live. In prime time.

Twitter: @kentucker