Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thoughts On Yet Another Debate

You may not know this, but there was a Republican debate last night -- between plays of the Dolphins-Patriots atrocity. Seriously, who schedules a debate during Monday Night Football? Not to mention, it's only been six days since the last one. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the debate.

Up With (these) People: This group of candidates continues to impress. They mixed it up nicely, they made great points and they defended themselves well. It was a very spirited debate, but only rarely felt negative. There was also an awful lot of conservative philosophy discussed and explained last night. This was good for conservatism all around.

The Hermanator: Herm is on fire! He was strong, credible, and made great points about the need to fundamentally remake our government. His advocacy of fixing Social Security by copying Chile’s model is fantastic. His 9/9/9 plan (9% income tax, 9% corporate tax, and 9% sales tax) is also great. I would absolutely choose him for VP at this point (or P).

BullsEye of Newt: Newt was on fire too. He made excellent points all night, exposed a lot of mushy liberal-like thinking, and kept the attack focused on Obama. His best point came when the governors started arguing about who created more jobs. Newt reminded everyone that the government doesn’t create jobs. . . the private sector does.

Insane in the Membrane: Ron Paul continues to raise legitimate issues we should be considering. . . then he veers off into crazytown. For example, last night, he raised the question of whether or not our foreign policy, in particular having troops all over the world and trying to fight ground wars against Islamic terrorism, are working. Those are valid questions that need to be asked. But then he advocated total isolationism on the theory that if we bury our heads in the sand, everyone will leave us alone. Um, no. Paul also killed himself with all but his most devoted followers by saying we brought 9/11 on ourselves and suggesting we bombed civilians in Iraq. In truth, he was making a more subtle point than that -- he was pointing out what al Qaeda itself claims as a motive -- but he picked the wrong time for a subtle discussion on a very emotional issue.

Codename: Secret Liberal: Huntsman speaks in code. Last night he advocated "bringing in more workers" without using the words "open borders" or "immigration." He also took hypocritical cheap shots at other candidates -- like suggesting that Perry’s claim that you can’t really secure the border with a fence (a valid point) was “treasonous” ... even though Huntsman himself is for open borders.

The Wolfman: Wolf Blitzer of CNN did a surprisingly good job moderating the debate. He kept things moving along nicely, got everyone involved, and was amazingly fair -- very few “gotcha” questions. (FYI, the left is attacking CNN for working with the Tea Party... "unethical".)

Candidate For Sale: Perry took a pounding. He generally held up well, but not always. Paul blasted him for the growth of government and taxation in Texas and Perry had no real response. Perry also started well on the Gardasil vaccine issue, but withered under the constant (unfair) attacks. Perry also continues to give unsatisfactory evasions to the crony capitalism issue. For example, his best response to the issue was: “I raised $30 million. If you think I can be bought for $5,000, then I’m insulted.” Ok, what is your price, sir?

Blah Blah Blah: Romney is getting better at answering the RomneyCare issue by listing significant ways it varies from ObamaCare. He’s also starting to take the gloves off, though he still seems like the most tentative guy on stage and he comes across as snide when he attacks. The main problem for Romney continues to be that he’s a technocrat and while his lips move a lot, you can’t remember anything he says.

Illegals: Perry defended granting instate tuition to illegals (good economics, fairness, blah blah) and Huntsman explained granting drivers licenses to illegals (they were special licenses that identified these people as illegals).

On these issues, let me say that I actually think giving drivers licenses makes sense. Why? To protect people. These illegals will be driving whether we like it or not, and it just makes a lot of sense to have them in the system where they can be monitored, tested, taxed and forced to buy insurance. This makes it easier for law enforcement to do its job, and will protect other drivers / pedestrians -- right now, illegals run when they have an accident and that creates real problems for the people they hit.

Granting instate tuition, on the other hand, ticks me off. If you come from another state or legally come from another country, you need to pay out-of-state rates. So why should someone who is here illegally have MORE rights than someone who is here legally?

Got Gas: Bachmann made a point in the first debate about bringing the cost of gas down to $2 per gallon. The MSM scoffed at her claim -- even though the economics is actually on her side. Regardless, there is an ingenious aspect to her point, which is worth noting. People understand the benefits of energy independence in an abstract way, but they can’t personalize it. But everyone understands $2 a gallon gas.

Vaccinating Stupidity: There are valid reasons to criticize Perry for the vaccine issue. Specifically, his conduct raises questions of cronyism and his willingness to overstep his authority. BUT... to turn this into an broader anti-vaccine tirade as Santorum and Bachmann are doing is lunacy. To pretend that it violates people’s rights to force them to be inoculated against communicable diseases like small pox or to inoculate their children against easily-prevented debilitating diseases like polio is unconscionable idiocy.

Vox Tea Populi: For once, the questions from the audience were really good. I guess that’s due to this being a Tea Party crowd and not a bunch of MSM-picked whiny, mindless liberals.

Finally, thanks to everyone who participated in last night's debate play by play and the “yo’ momma so liberal” contest that broke out.

Oh, one more thing. In the name of equal time, we've agreed to let HypnoBama have a few words with you:

Vote for me puny humans!

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