As usual, Henshaw made some good points about last night’s Republican debate, though I’m not sure I agree with his winners and losers. Alas, it is quite difficult to come up with an objective list of winners and losers since a debate isn’t quite as easy to score as, say, a boxing match. And even boxing matches that declare a winner without a KO are sometimes controversial.
Even so, here’s my list of winners, losers and those who fought to a draw… Winners: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Losers: Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman. Draw: Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.
Part of my problem scoring and declaring a winner is that these debates don’t allow for much explanation by any one candidate, thus they tend to stick to rhetoric and key words. Even when it’s narrowed down to two candidates during the Presidential race, debates don’t offer much substance.
Still, the candidates could make a move away from the pack by better articulating core principles. In the case of a conservative candidate, one of these core principles, and what is perhaps the most important one, is the role of the Federal government.
Ron Paul and Herman Cain came closest to hitting the mark on this, though no one’s really listening to them. The others danced around it and the moderators probably don’t know the difference between Federalism and oligarchy, though they certainly know how to gossip (“A friend of your campaign manager said that Rick Perry is a wussie. Why is he a wussie?”)
There was a golden opportunity at this debate to point out that the governors in the debate did the best they could with the circumstances specific to their states and the needs of their constituents. And that’s the point. Who best to make decisions for the welfare of its citizens than local and state government? And, who is more accountable to their voters than local and state government?
You can yammer on and on about this and that you did as governor, or that this governor had this much or this little job growth in his state, but it’s just a waste of time. Just once I’d like to see a candidate point out that an ever-encroaching Federal government endangers the individual and his liberty. The growth of the Federal government is, in fact, a move toward oligarchy; rule by the few over the many. Moreover, it’s an oligarchy that favors certain people and groups over others, destroying the concept of equality before the law. The bailouts, stimulus and health care bamboozles are striking examples of this inequality created by cronyism.
Still, I don’t know how much you can blame the candidates for their shallow answers. The moderators made it quite difficult to provide any depth by purposely pitting one candidate against the other and framing the questions to make it sound as if they were defending the indefensible. “Rick Perry, Romney said or did this. Respond,” or, “Why are Republicans so heartless?” Bullshit. Ask them a real policy question.
Speaking of BS, how about that brief foray into “science”? The Charlie Crist-like Huntsman took a sideways swipe at Perry, playing the ever-so-reasonable-and-moderate Republican card. He’s pro-science because he has not an ounce of skepticism about the wild-eyed lunatic-fringe claims of a madman (Al Gore)?
Meanwhile, Perry’s response was less than adequate. Once again, a golden opportunity to put the nail in the coffin of the climate change debate wasted. Will anyone rise to the occasion and point out simple logic? As a reminder, logical and thought-provoking arguments Perry could have made include:
- The sun may have something to do with our climate, given that it accounts for 99.86 percent of the mass of the entire solar system
- The climate has been changing for more than four billion years; it always has and it always will. This would mark the first time in the history of earth that a species was willfully unable to adapt to a changing climate. Who’s more stupid, the dinosaurs who simply didn’t know they needed to adapt, or human beings who drown in extremely slow-rising water because they thought the government was going to do something about it?
- Do Climate Changelings/Global Warmongers really believe that we have the power to regulate the earth’s thermostat, and if we did, what is the proper setting?
- Further, if we had the power to regulate the climate, who makes the decision about where to set the thermostat and who benefits from the settings? Will the entire earth be like San Diego, or will only those parts the enviro-nitwits care about live eternally in San Diego’s climate?
- Global warming is far better for life on earth than is global cooling. You can look it up. But the beauty of “climate change” is that you can claim the climate’s changing no matter what’s going on globally or locally. A little warmer this year? Climate change! Unusually cold another? Climate change! No change? Climate change!
The whole thing is absurd, as is the case for a larger and more meddlesome federal government, and yet it’s nearly impossible to get a cohesive, coherent and concise answer on either subject from the candidates. Immigration? I know that Rick Santorum’s grandparents were immigrants, but that doesn’t tell me jack diddly about his plan.
Perhaps most absurd, and also the best part of the debate, was the commercial produced by Californians for Population Stabilization, which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that there’s a special interest group for anything and everything these days.
Californians for Population Stabilization is against legal immigration. That’s right, legal immigrants are taking jobs away from Californians and Californians for Population Stabilization wants to end this travesty. What’s next? Californians against Seeing Eye Dogs and other Working Dogs?