[@darkpolitricks: The debates are, in a word, RIDICULOUS. They are fantastically expensive FOOD FIGHTS, without the substance.
The flip side of 'fantastically expensive' is: ELITE FEW ARE MAKING LOTS OF MONEY. Where some SPEND extravagantly, others enjoy WINDFALLS.
Not only are the debates trite and argumentative, the are DIVISIVE. As ever, Mainstream Media is RIGHT THERE to goose passions . . . ergo ratings . . . ergo PROFITS.
Point me to CHANGE.
And speaking of change, Barack Obama vowed early in the 2008 presidential race that he would confine himself to PUBLIC FINANCING if his opponent would. John McCain and/or the Republican party didn't take him up on the offer until they realized that Barack Obama is FUNDRAISER EXTRAORDINAIRE, at which point Obama went back on his word.
Obama can STILL out-fundraise Republicans. Mr. Change COULD put a stop to OBSCENE CAMPAIGN SPENDING. I mean, "normally" it's lots of fun and excitement, but it doesn't play well juxtaposed with AUSTERITY MEASURES.
The following is chronological, but not comprehensive. If I ever manage to quit smoking, I don't know WHAT I shall do during commercials.]
* * * *
Moderator: David Gregory
FIRST question: Blah, blah about Romney’s lead versus assertions that he is NOT best bet to beat Obama, then…
“Why shouldn’t Mitt Romney win?”
The question – first to Gingrich, then to Santorum – INVITED criticism of Romney. By rules of debate, if one candidate insults/attacks/criticizes another, the Other gets a chance to rebut. Depending on your passions, the question itself either CAUSED or ALLOWED the first several minutes of the debate to serve as a showcase for Mitt Romney.
My reflexive interpretation is that TPTB have indeed designated Romney…BUT…I have been around the block a few times. I know that people, places, things & Life are sometimes not what they appear to be. I know that Politics and Politicians are SELDOM what they appear to be.
* * * *
I alluded to an ANNOYANCE COMPONENT with Santorum. Check this out. Gingrich, by invitation, attacks Romney. Romney gets to rebut and, by my ears, Romney DID acquit himself. Santorum’s turn to attack, on the same ROMNEY-BASED question, produced THIS bratty bit of illogic:
IF YOU DID SUCH A GOOD JOB AS GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, WHY DIDN’T YOU RUN FOR A SECOND TERM? He actually suggested that Romney DESERTED the State.
I was literally writing SPOKEN LIKE A LIFETIME POLITICIAN when Romney called him out on same.
Romney IS smart & quick. So is Gingrich. Romney is UNFLAPPABLE. Gingrich is HOT-HEADED, WITH THIN SKIN…double trouble.
* * * *
After Romney schooled Santorum on the difference between SERVICE and making a CAREER out of politics, Gingrich DARED to tell Romney to “DROP THE PIOUSNESS.”
Zipper Problem Newt Gingrich has been parading piousness himself, which I find contemptible. How DID the Adulterer, Schemer & Hypocrite get in so good with the (former Nazi) Pope?
Mormonism DOES feature commitment to Service. Moreover, where some Rich Kids are raised to be Trust Fund Brats, others are raised to DO MORE, WITH MORE.
* * * *
Ron Paul rightly calls out superficiality of discussion, and then…wait for it, you know he’ll stick his foot in it…FOR THE SECOND TIME IN TWO DAYS, he elevates Spending over Character for importance.
He simply does not GET or refuses to ADMIT that all the other ills he cites trace to PEOPLE BEHAVING BADLY, ONCE THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO.
Free Markets do NOT make Bad Guys shape up and fly right. These are IF YOU GIVE ‘EM AN INCH, THEY’LL TAKE A MILE people.
I would not be confident in Ron Paul’s ability to get the better of Bad Guys even IF he admitted their treachery. His pollyanna insistence that Free Markets fix everything tells me that Swashbucklers WILL swashbuckle on his watch.
IN MY EXPERIENCE, some of the hardcore Libertarians fueling Ron Paul’s bid chiefly want to be freer to make more money. They are the ones who fiercely OPPOSE Intellectual Property rights, by the by. Oh yes, they believe that they (as entrepreneurs) should be “free” to reproduce & peddle YOUR original work, cheaper, with no compensation to YOU. Niiice. For THEM.
* * * *
Rick Perry recited a list of what Americans want in a president…someone who THIS, someone who THAT, someone who THE OTHER. His points were solid…like, SOMEONE WHO IS NOT FROM WASHINGTON, but canned and forgettable.
I absolutely cannot believe that HE believes that AMERICANS believe that HE is the embodiment of their White House Wish List.
* * * *
Lemme just say that ’LEMME JUST SAY…’ and ’GOING BACK TO A PREVIOUS QUESTION…’ are to Debates as ’AND THAT’S NOT ALL…’ and ’WAIT, THERE’S MORE…’ are to TV ads pimping produc’s via 800 numbers.
* * * *
They debated Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern, then again EARLY Sunday morning. Jon Huntsman looked TIRED. I mean, NOTICEABLY more tired than other candidates. Maybe scratch that TRAVELIN’ MAN thing.
He cites TRUST repetitively (like Herman Cain, with Nine Nine Nine) but the thing is, he’s RIGHT. I’ve been saying that since 2008: A CONFIDENCE CRISIS, NOT A CREDIT CRISIS.
Apropos of nothing, Huntsman also shares with Herman Cain dodgy taste in TIES.
Huntsman ia the adult in the room about Tax Reform, including elimination of our festival of discriminatory advantages. ”NO SACRED COWS,” he says and I agree.
Back in August, Huntsman tweeted: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.”
The odds of TWO (rich) Mormons being in one presidential race seem to me to be SLIM and NONE. Then there was that Second Coming Supporter in Iowa. Then there’s UTAH.
In the spirit of INUNDATION, does running TWO Mormons actually diffuse whatever ruckus ONE might incite? I think it HAS. I’m also thinking Mormon Mucky Mucks (stereotypically, very successful financially) must surely have a PREFERRED candidate, between two Mormons.
Does Huntsman serve to fracture Anti Romney votes (and to keep reminding us that China looms BIG in our future) while Romney gains and gains in his plodding way? Is Romney doing the SACRIFICE POP FLY thing, taking all the ANTI heat so Huntman can have late surge for a “surprise” win?
The richest Mormons in America have NO PLAN? C’mon.
They both have enough money to stay in the race beyond South Carolina, irrespective of performance. Jon Huntsman speaks LONG PANTS about a lot of stuff that we don’t like to even ADMIT, much less discuss. Romney certainly CAN speak Long Pants, but he is trapped defending his record. Or he is roping dopes.
It is BEYOND boring to hear them list their Plus’s over and over. No single one of them has all the answers. Each has made some VALID points, along with invalid claims. Do they work together to hammer out the best platform by which to persuade American Voters onto a new path? Have they rallied resources to marshall one, sustained, full-court press to “make Obama a one-term president? Noooo.
Instead, they talk about how they WILL be able to work with Democrats. LOL.
* * * *
Moderator Gregory asked Candidates, beginning with Huntman, to name three areas/programs in which Americans will FEEL THE PAIN.
One of Huntsman’s three was THE RYAN PLAN…hardly specific. That’s like saying THE WHOLE ECONOMY IS GONNA HURT. Which it will. His second was NO SACRED COWS. Commendable, but not specific.
His third pain center was VERY specific, and I can’t say as I’ve ever heard a Republican say it: MEANS TESTING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE. As in . . . yes, we KNOW you paid XYZ dollars in, but you don’t NEED those dollars…and other people DO.
Maybe THAT’S his role, eh? Bearer of Bad News.
‘Cuz DAMN, if Santorum didn’t echo the call for Means Testing. He said he’d refer Food Stamps, Medicaid & Housing back to the states as Block Grants. Apparently that will wash his hands of the matters, for he gave no clues as to CUTS.
(In a conservative, smaller-government Administration, why would States still be forking money over to Feds, to be receiving it BACK in block grants…AFTER gobs of Taxpayer money is DISAPPEARED into bureaucracies on both ends?)
Grandpa Gingrich turned the table on the question, challenging the premise that People should feel ANY pain, that BUREAUCRACIES should be made to feel the pain. Um, er, ah:
1.) Bureaucracies are comprised of people. If you axe agencies, you axe employees. SPENDING CUTS IMPLY PINK SLIPS.
2.) Sparing people the consequences of their choices is NOT conservative. On the contrary.
3.) Sparing people the consequences of their choices encourages repetition of errors. CONSEQUENCES ARE TEACHERS.
Rick Perry got a chuckle for REMEMBERING his three: people will feel the pain in the Departments of Commerce, Energy & Education. No one remembered, or no one wanted to remind HIM that he previously said he’d jettison FIVE departments.
* * * *
Gingrich says “IT’S THE AMERICAN WAY” to desire a one-term president.
I couldn’t disagree more.
* * * *
Moderator Gregory asked them what I believe is a super important question: Everyone TALKS about being a Uniter, how will you DO it?
Romney points out he was a Republican Governor of a Democratic state.
(As was Gary Johnson, in New Mexico.)
Confronted with his dismal record of actually getting anything THROUGH Congress (or of preventing anything from passing, truth be told), Ron Paul sea “that shows how out of touch Congress is.”
Yes, well. For the broadcloth of Americans, at a practical level, it doesn’t matter who’s FAULT it is if the job doesn’t get done.
QUALITY OF AMERICAN LIFE IS DETERIORATING. Rich People talk and talk and debate and analyze and talk some more about how to remedy that…LATER.
Santorum didn’t say how he’d be a Uniter. Instead, he said the problem isn’t what Ron Paul HASN’T been able to accomplish, but what he COULD accomplish on Day One. I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered anyone who is so scared of Iran.
Unless it’s Michele Bachmann.
Huntsman says it comes down to, you guessed it, TRUST.
No one much mentions the flip side of TRUST, which is DISHONESTY. I’ll grant that Gingrich has several times said the first step to revamping Medicare is STOP PAYING THE CROOKS. But that implicates Doctors, Lawyers & Beneficiaries. NOT ONE OF ‘EM calls for prosecution of White Collar Crime in, say, BANKING. Not one of ‘em calls for riding CORRUPT OFFICIALS out on rails.
Perry will unify thru a Balanced Budget Amendment (?!) and by making Congress part-time. Yes, I feel certain Congress will unify with the president over THAT.
* * * *
Jon Huntsman said he’d DISRUPT THE OIL MONOPOLY. I’m trying to think how many times I’ve heard a Republican say that, and I’m thinking it’s ZERO. I agree with him, but then I am OFTEN Bearer of Bad News…and I am NOT running for office.
By contrast, listen to Gingrich, Perry & Paul preach deregulation. ABSOLUTELY we must reduce and streamline regulations. We need sensible, realistic regulations, and we need Honest Regulators. But DE-REGULATION? Are people out of their COTTON-PICKING MINDS? If we have learned NOTHING, we have learned that Profits override people, principles, EVERYTHING.
PLUS, I dunno about Paul & Santorum, but Gingrich & Perry are definitely pimping DRILL BABY, DRILL. Oil. Same old, same old. BUSINESS AS USUAL.
Energy Independence is VITAL. Keeping the lion’s share of our eggs in the oil basket is STOOPID, or diabolical.
* * * *
Ron Paul said subsidies are bad economic and moral policy. I totally agree. It’s not as apparent in typed text as it was in audio, how automatically Economy precedes Ethics in Ron Pauls speech (presumably reflecting order of thought).
Unless he is wicked-good Controlled Opposition, it seems he is a bona fide Good Guy, but of the Pink Cloud variety.
From so long among his FANS, I can actually HEAR the turbo-charged typing: WOULDN’T I RATHER HAVE A GOOD GUY IN THE WHITE HOUSE FOR A CHANGE? Indeed, I would.
Per Gallup Poll: ”Thomas S. Monson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was listed among America’s top ten most admired men for 2011.” Doesn’t mean he should be president.
Los Angeles is the second most populous city in America, after New York. Los Angeles has returned Henry Waxman to Congress more times than than a Texas district (with more space and ONE-FIFTH the people) has returned Ron Paul to Congress. Doesn’t mean Henry Waxman should be President. CHARLIE RANGEL has been reelected more times than Henry Waxman.
Ron Paul says, simplistically, DEREGULATE ENERGY. Supply and Demand will bring the prices down, dontcha know. Sound monetary policy will take care of everything else.
In his worldview, it WOULD. Because he does not incorporate the existence of Bad Guys into his theories.
Denial is not a river in Egypt, eh?
* * * *
Mitt Romney’s seeming cognitive disconnect was INSTANT FODDER for the pundit mill, but it makes sense to me that someone can be NON-DISCRIMINATORY but also be OPPOSED to Gay Marriage.
Beliefs R Beliefs — what’re ya gonna DO? Some people BELIEVE that Marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman and that’s that. There are ENOUGH people who believe that way now, and there have BEEN enough people who have believed that way throughout history, that it cannot be entirely baseless.
What is Gays’ problem with Civil Unions, that’s what I don’t get. WAAAAA! WAAAAA! Allow us to be DIFFERENT and GAY, free of the closet! Celebrate diversity! No, wait! We changed our minds! We are NOT different! We are the same! Different, but the same. We want it all.
Whichever…”Gay” Marriage or Civil Union…it does not measure up as an Issue that should have commanded so much legislative attention during such harrowing times. Why d’ya reckon it DID?
* * * *
Rick Perry reliably trotted out Right to Work. I hate to break it to CHEAPSKATES who don’t want to pay livable wages for conscientious full-time Labor, but the flip side of the RIGH TO WORK coin is the RIGHT TO HAVE A JOB.
If people are not paid livable wages for full-time labor, you have an “Assistance” State from the get-go. The bureaucracy and administration of the welfare, PLUS the welfare, is costlier than the livable wages would have been. Not for Employers, though, for TAXPAYERS.
Rick Perry says he’d reevaluate every regulation according to one criteria only: DO THEY CREATE OR KILL JOBS?
Really? First, regulations DO create jobs . . . Regulators, Lawyers, Compliance Specialists, more Lawyers. If they create more jobs in the Regulation & Compliance Sector than they cost in other sectors, shall we keep them?
Shall we get rid of ALL the safety regulations? On balance, do MORE helmet sales outweigh LESS medical treatment? Crunch those numbers.
* * * *
Romney, distinguishing between Public & Private unions, would tie former to latter such that former cannot EXCEED latter. Werks few me.
Santorum never tires of reciting his resume, and I always forget it.
Gingrich not only pimps oil, he pimps SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS. Yikes.
In a question about cross-state pollution, Romney acknowledges validity of regulation. I think everyone but Lawmakers, Lawyers & Regulators knows A.) there are too MANY regulations; B.) they are unnecessarily complicated (see also: billable hours for attorneys); C.) there is too much paperwork and filing protocol.
Romney says natural gas is a big opportunity. BIG fan of natural gas, right here.
Gingrich, who wants to MAKE BUREAUCRACIES PAY, proposes an “Environmental Solutions Office.” Y’know, INSTEAD of the Environmental Protection Agency. HIS alphabet agency will be different and better. He uses the term INCENTIVIZE for the second time in two debates.
Incentivize, thy other name is Social Engineering.
MOREOVER, as soon as you have incentives, you have PICKERS & CHOOSERS of recipients of incentives.
* * * *
Rick Perry: “We have a president that’s a socialist.”
Rick Perry: “I’m a Tenth Amendment guy.”
I, too, favor returning power to the States . . . or States YANKING it back, either way.
Doesn’t mean another Texas Oil Governor should be Top Dog in America.
* * * *
Rick Santorum on voting to pass Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan): “Only one really bad thing, and that’s that we didn’t fund it.”
Ron Paul extols the right to Life, the right to Liberty, and the right to KEEP THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR.
Pursuit of happiness is so 15 minutes ago.
* * * *
Asked about his VISION FOR HIS TENURE, Huntsman said he would try to fulfill founding documents, UNIFY, and attack the TRUST DEFICT as aggressively as the economic deficit.
It was a beauty pageant-y kinda question so, hey, GOOD ANSWER!
* * * *
If we can live with a nuclear North Korea, why not with a nuclear Iran? Santorum says it’s because “Iran is a theocracy.”
Natural Born Martyrs.
* * * *
Insofar as Gingrich has previously complained about PAC ads (Political Action Committees) but is not doing the same to Romney, is he consistent?
“SURE,” says Gingrich. HIS attack ads are “fact-based.”
Like HIS alphabet agency will be sensible and efficient.
Newt Gingrich and duct tape, that’s all you need.
* * * *
Mitt and Newt go toe to toe and tit for tat.
Gripping gripping television, you had to be there.
* * * *
Asked how they would use the Bully Pulpit, Santorum said he would use it for FAMILIES. Which warms the heart of this Single person, as you might imagine. He proactively dismissed IT TAKES A VILLAGE, insisting IT TAKES A FAMILY.
The Help: ”You is smaaart. You is kiiind. You is imPORtant.
Marriage/family is a choice. Choices have costs. I do NOT believe Families are entitled to greater assistance or protection than Single People.
Ron Paul says of the Bully Pulpit that he’d “keep doing what he’s doing right now…preaching the gospel of Liberty.” That’s how I see it, too.
* * * *
[It is 36 hours after the debate, and I am just finishing "talking" about it. I take BACK that Jon Huntsman looked noticeably more tired than the others. He looked NORMAL, all things considered.
I don't know how they DO it. An ENTOURAGE has gotta help.]