Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Republicans Debate

It’s a little hard for me to judge a GOP Presidential debate, since I don’t fit in the spectrum of the candidates, who run from conservative, to very conservative, all the way to extremely conservative. So their answers are clearly not aimed at me, but the Republican faithful who tend to use prayer to make their choices, rather than reason. Still, there were some interesting things to be gleaned about these fine, upstanding, white, Christian males.
Rather than look at them individually, let’s look at the issues and how they dealt with them.
The War in Iraq – Only Ron Paul, unrepentant Libertarian that he is, was opposed to it. Paul became the first Republican in about 50 years to refer to Robert Taft as the lodestar for international affairs.
Tommy Thompson gave the single most interesting answer on Iraq of anyone I’ve heard yet, full of stunning specificity. First, treat the 18 provinces of Iraq like they are states, have them each elect a government with local responsibility; that way, Shiites would run Shiite provinces, Sunnis Sunni provinces, and the Kurds up north. Then the oil revenue has to be divided – 1/3 to the central government, 1/3 among the provinces, 1/3 to the people. I assume that second proposal gave Bush and Cheney the vapors. The oil revenue division would give each Iraqi a stake in their society. Look for him to have trouble raising money from the oil industry.
Everyone agreed that it hasn’t been run well. Rudy gained points (at least with me) by being able to define the difference between Shiites and Sunnis.

Abortion – Rudy is opposed personally, but believes states should make their own decisions. He’s also in favor of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal money for abortions – he mentioned that twice. Ron Paul, of course, thinks it’s none of the federal government’s business. Jim Gilmore seems okay with it in the first trimester. Everyone else thinks it’s murder.

Evolution – Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo don’t believe in it. Therefore, I will proceed to ignore them in the rest of these comments, because they are too ignorant to even think about.

Tax Policy – The Alternative Minimum Tax appears to be a big deal to these guys. Most of them are against it, Giuliani just wants it adjusted, which is the better answer to the problem that exists with it. Romney is in favor of zero (yes, zero) taxes on capital gains.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Only Rudy and McCain are in favor. The rest either ignored the question or are opposed. Romney spent most of his answer being opposed to cloning. In fact, he referred to that on more the one occasion. God, I hate him.

So who won? I thought McCain came off best, looking tough, with a firm knowledge of who he is and what he believes. Rudy seemed solid, yet seemed a little unprepared for the tough questions he had to know were coming.. Romney kept using the word “family” as often as possible, when he wasn’t talking about cloning or what a great Governor he was. Romney is actually scary. Thompson is smart, yet stunningly dull; he is a born cabinet member. Duncan Hunter gave an intelligent answer on global warming and also is in favor of enforcing trade laws – so obviously he won’t win. The rest of these guys are loony or loony lite, take your choice. Fred Thompson, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.


Blogger sam.gurka5 said...

I found it easier to judge the winners and losers of this debate since I had no rooting interest. Still, I found myself rooting based upon the level of contempt.

I liked Paul the most since, as somewhat of a Libertarian myself, he kept saying things that sounded right to me.

Every answer Rudy offered seemed to include some reference to 9/11 or the crime rate in NY. (Indeed, the crime rate in NY dropped dramatically under his administration.) I almost expected him to use reducing the crime rate as additional rationale for being "pro-choice".

I found McCain to be old and washed up with none of the maverick appeal of 8 years ago while clinging to a stridency and combativeness that seems neurotic. Maybe he really does mean to bomb Iran.

I thought Brownback and Huckabee were the most intellectually honest if that is too mean that they say what they feel and not what they expect voters want to hear.

Romney is Mr. Slick. G-d only knows what he stands for and he/she may not know either.

Duncan Hunter is a joke. By what criteria does a nothing like this have the balls to run for President.

Tommy Thompson is the Republicans Bill Richardson. Good resume, but boring as hell and has a hard time articulating an intelligent idea. In Thompson's case, I suspect they only spoke english at home.

For me, the winner and loser, which I define as advancing or retarding their cause, were Romney and McCain.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Barry Rubinowitz said...

Yes, Rudy emphasized 9/11 and crime -- that's his campaign, that's why he's ahead in GOP polls.
As for Brownback and Huckabee's intellectual honesty -- they are telling the base exactly what they want to hear, so that isn't exactly courageous. McCain at least had the guts to be fro Stem cell research, as was Rudy, which is true intellectual honesty, as it bucks the party orthodoxy. Romney, of course, was the most dishonest.

1:43 PM  
Blogger sam.gurka5 said...

Based upon the last 3-5 years, using McCain and honesty in the same sentence seems inconsistent. While Huckabee and Brownback may be preaching to the choir, I have little doubt that they believe what they said which can not be said for Rudy, McCain or Romney.

11:40 AM  

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