Friday, December 16, 2011
The final GOP debate of the year
Fox News hosted the final GOP debate of this year; thank goodness. As expected last night's debate was more the same with a twist. The bottom tier candidates had their final chance before the Iowa Caucus, but I didn't see any of them hit Newt Gingrich with a knockout punch. I was surprised to hear Michelle Bachmann state with certainty that last week's Politifact agreed with her that Newt Gingrich took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac at the height of the housing crisis. Ms. Bachmann said, "Well, after the debates that we had last week, Politifact came out and said " everything I said was true." Well, she was mentioned in Politifact, but she received two " Pants on fire" one was for last night's comment and the other one was from last week's comment when she said that Mitt Romney installed socialized medicine in Massachusetts. I don't know why they do that, do they get caught up in a moment or is it intentional hoping no one will check? I think it's the latter because she used that line a couple of times. If she was trying to rattle Newt Gingrich, she did, but she lost even more credibility by lying. Michelle Bachmann did not learn the lesson from Christine O'Donnell, if you have to remind people that you're a legitimate candidate; you're really not.
Have we stooped that low in today's politics where we give points to Rick Perry for not stuttering and stammering or falling off the stage? What was that Tim Tebow comparison about? A pundit this morning said, "Mitt Romney's look of amazement said it all. He must've been thinking to himself saying," What's Perry babbling about now and what's he doing on this stage." You know our Governor Rick Perry never mentioned the Hezbollah and the jihad threat in South America. Was he keeping it a secret or is he exaggerating the tidbits he's hearing? Mr. Perry said he would have retrieved the spy drone in Iran, or he would have destroyed it but he didn't get into the details. Once an instrument is used to spy on another country it is seized, the likelihood of getting it back is impossible. How would you to negotiate that? I think the Obama Administration is in contact with China and Russia about trying to get them to talk Iran into releasing the drone. Anyway, it served as a talking point and a reason to call the president weak. Ask al Qaeda if the president is weak!
I was surprised Mitt Romney didn't attack Newt Gingrich; I guess his negative campaign ads in Iowa have been enough because Newt is dropping in the polls. Rick Santorum tried to hit Mitt Romney for not overturning a state Supreme Court ruling and allowing gay marriage in Massachusetts. I'm not going to pretend that I know all the details, but Mitt did say that the Massachusetts legislation at that time was controlled by the Democrats. I can’t imagine Mitt winning that argument.
Newt Gingrich survived last night because his accusers didn't come prepared with rock solid evidence. I was surprised to hear Newt say that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) did some good things in front of a conservative crowd. That crowd would boo Fannie and Freddie but would applaud defense contractors. They feed from the same trough. Newt did say something alarming last night, he said he would advise the Congress to revise the 14th amendment to redefine personhood. The new definition would say that life begins at conception. Yeah, I see that passing.
Ron Paul got the usual browbeating from his fellow conservatives for his foreign policy views. Whether he's a non-interventionist or an isolationist is just a matter of distinction, but they mean the same because he doesn't want America to be involved in other nation’s squabbles; even if it's in our own self-interest. Ron Paul's Ayn Rand laissez-faire economic policies are to the right of his party (America for that matter) and his foreign policy is to the left of his chosen party. He's a libertarian running as a Republican. I agreed with him when he took on Michelle Bachmann because she subscribes to the attack now and sort the facts out later. I'm sure Ron Paul upset the conservatives when he said" some of the Supreme Court judges are good, and some are bad." The answer for that Republican crowd should have been "I love Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito." That's the reason he won't win the Republican nomination. Even though he is consistent, he keeps reminding them how different he is.
I wasn't surprised but political newcomers got a good look at selfishness and greed within the Republican Party. Several of the candidates would like nine conservative judges, but they don't like activist judges. Can someone explain the difference? I call them dictatorial judges unless someone thinks that only conservatives reside in our nation. I wouldn't want nine liberal judges because that's not representative. Liberals don’t have all the answers, and neither do conservatives. Michelle Bachmann threatens to eliminate the whole 9th district but one of the commentators reminded her that would set off a chain of events for the liberals to eliminate a conservative district when they got the chance. There is that sense of nobility as if conservatives are the rightful heirs to the throne; locally, statewide, and nationally.
Jon Huntsman said something last night that the amateur economist should hear. When asked how he would approach China about manipulating their currency he said," China is a variety of things; it's about Burma; it's about their support in dealing with Iran; it's about hacking; it's about human rights and not just about adding a tariff where they would respond with one of their own. It's a complicated 40 year relationship." The conservatives don't like his talk of breaking up the big banks because it conflicts with their “repealing Dodd-Frank."
Finally there is Rick Santorum, who’s using Iowa as his home base to run on mostly social issues, protecting Israel and taking a military stand against Iran. Those views have gotten him 2% in the polls, and he will exit in another month and then will endorse Newt Gingrich.He’s hoping to serve in some capacity in a Gingrich administration which will never materialize.
That's how I saw it; did anyone see it differently?