Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Farce In Las Vegas

There's only one word to describe last night's GOP debate in Vagas - embarrassing.

Part of it was Rick Perry's desperation to do anything to stop his campaign's freefall, and part of it was that CNN's Lefty moderator Anderson Cooper did an abysmal job and not only allowed some of the candidates to behave like kids fighting in a schoolyard but actually egged them on.

The wildest swinging came from Governor Perry, who tried to make an issue about Governor Romney's supposed 'hiring' of illegal aliens for landscaping and maintenance work at his home, something that been unsuccessfully thrown at Romney before. Romney's explanation is a simple and plausible one, that he hired a company to do the work and simply had no way of knowing they had illegal aliens among the work crew.

I've got news for Rick Perry. In most states with substantial populations of illegal aliens, you've probably unknowingly 'hired ' one of them if you've gone to a car wash,visited a restaurant, gone to a fast food drive through, had your house painted or your roof repaired or hired anyone to do your gardening or brush clearance. In fact, if Governor Perry has done any of these things, he's almost certainly 'hired' an illegal alien or three himself.

So instead of actually discussing the issue intelligently, what we got was a silly brawl.

Most of the debates have highlighted a certain lack of substance among all the candidates, although that's definitely a product of the way the debates have been conducted. No one with any real understanding of the issues America faces should be expected to answer some of these questions in a minute, and when you get someone like Anderson Cooper in charge, you get exactly what you got last night. I don't think it's accidental that the questions asked seem skillfully constructed steer away from anything that could be construed as an avenue to attack President Obama's failed policies, although some of the candidates are better than others in using the brief time they're allowed to work a mention of that in.

After last night, it struck me that most of the candidates on that stage might justifiably mention President Reagan as someone worthy of emulating, but they seem to have forgotten what President Reagan called his eleventh commandment: 'Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.'

As I look at the GOP field, I think I mirror the feelings of many Americans. While we realize that almost anyone on that stage would be better than what we now have in the White House now, (let's eliminate Ron Paul please, in spite of his occasional good idea) we're still undecided because of the lack of substantive answers on most of the issues from any of these candidates.

A capsule look at the three frontrunners makes the reason for this uncertainty obvious.

Herman Cain, likeable though he is seems to answer almost every question aside from his unworkable 9-9-9 plan by saying he would 'gather all the intelligence/information, look at all the angles and make my decision based on that.' He's an intelligent candidate with a compelling personal story who's been impressive in how quickly he's learned the political ropes, but his answers in certain areas have highlighted the fact that he simply isn't knowledgeable about a lot of areas like foreign policy or how government works. I'm simply not convinced he's ready for the top job yet.

Ron Paul, of all people took advantage of this when he slapped Cain around last night about his 9-9-9 plan by saying that the Republicans were at fault for the debt problem 'because we were in charge during the last adminsitration' . A confident and informed candidate would have responded by reminding Paul that according to both the Federal Manage and Budget office and the Congressional Budget Office, the major debt problems and the bulk of the outlandish spending occurred after January, 2007 - the date when the Democrats got control of both houses of Congress. ...followed up by a line about how he,Cain, was more about solutions than blame, and maybe even including a stinger by alluding to Rep. Paul's long and successful career in bringing pork and government largess to his home district.

Another question mark I have about Cain is his not revealing what advisers he has, if any. As a successful CEO, he obviously knows how to hire, a significant aspect of what a president does, and especially one with no governing experience - so whom has he hired? And why the secrecy?

And then there's Cain's propensity for shocking gaffes,like the recent one about building an electrified fence on the Mexican border. While he later dismissed it as a joke after it raised eyebrows even among his supporters, he certainly didn't deliver the remarks as one.

Mitt Romney may come across as presidential, and he's obviously done some deep thinking about the issues, but his convenient endorsement of policies that resonate with the GOP's conservative base as opposed to some of his former positions has created a lot of uncertainty.

He's become pretty good at fending off some of the slapshots sent his way by the other candidates, but there still seems to be a packaged, slightly insincere aura about him, mainly because he does seem so crafted.

As a former Blue State governor who created the clear antecedent to ObamaCare, is he serious when he says he wants to repeal it? As a Harvard-trained technocrat, can he really be counted on to rein in the excesses of Big Government run amuck? Who is the real Mitt Romney? That's essentially what people want to know, and while he's given off some positive signals, he's been far too cautious about revealing it, and it's no certainty that he ever will.

Rick Perry's executive experience as a governor is obviously a plus, but his obvious weaknesses as a debater and his facile endorsement of boilerplate conservative positions set against his failure to adequately address his endorsement of Big Government programs like the Gardisil vaccination dust up, the Trans America Super Corridor or his defense of instate tuition rates for illegal aliens makes me wonder if he ever really wanted to run for president at all in the first place, deep down.

His performance in last night's debacle couldn't have gratified anyone but his hard core supporters.

He's proven himself skillful at raising campaign cash and at slapping together an organization in record time, but the question remains at how serious the whole endeavor is. Thus far, Perry has proven himself to be good at mechanics but poor at both process and substance.

There's no such thing as a perfect candidate, but at least one of these three men is going to have to take some serious steps to address these questions in order to get voters to support them for any other reason than the fact they aren't Barack Obama.

I doubt it would happen, but I would love to see representatives of the major GOP candidates ore even the candidates themselves sit down quietly somewhere, take an honest look at what happened last night and whom it actually helped and come to an agreement about better ways to conduct themselves with each other so that the American people get a better and more substantive look at the candidates.

It may be that our politics have degenerated to the point that someone who's actually a real leader simply can't surface in today's political circus, but I think I speak for a great many people in saying that I'm sick and tired of simply voting for the lesser of two evils.

The stakes in 2012 are higher than they've ever been.

please helps me write more gooder!


Anonymous said...

Ron Paul of course was the only GOP candidate on stage who would have kept America from losing three trillion dollars (ref J. Stiglitz) and tens of thousands of lives and limbs on the Iraq war. And the only candidate to say Israel's dole from beleagured taxpayers, wasn't sacred. (Bachmann and Romney's cult religions say it is.)

That's enough to earn my vote.

Rob said...

Talk about cult religions! *chuckle*

Keep the faith.

Not to try to convince you of anything, but Israel's 'dole' as you call it saves the American taxpayers millions. Research what it costs to deploy a single U.S. soldier per year or an aircraft carrier and support vessels to defend our and NATO's interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, and be sure to add in the value of the joint weapons technology created by access to Israeli high tech like the Green Pine radar, the value of the intel Israel provides and the full acces to Israel's ports, facilities and air space, and the training toUS troops Israel provides..

Also factor in the loss of American jobs the aid to Israel creates,since 80% of it is spent right here.

Cutting off all aid to Israel might result in a tab as high as $20 billion, according to a recent DIOA survey.

Of course, as a Paulista, your reply is that we don't need any of that stuff and should just withdraw to fortress America, like in 1798.

We took vacations from history during the Clinton years,if you recall. Worked out well, didn't it?

Ron Paul isn't wrong on everything,just most things. And there's a reason he's got so much support among people who are out and out anti-semites.

Anonymous said...

I know. Asking American Jews to put US interests first before Israel is inherently "antisemitic."

One imperialist realist wag said the US can continue dominating the US -but not with Israel as an ally. I'm not with him so much either.

Of course, aid to Israel is what makes the enemies we "have" then to spend money fighting and manipulating and bribing to otherwise insure our "interests."

But as 1960s conservative James Burnham said, play no favorites in the Mideast and whoever has the oil will sell it to us at market prices.

Ed Davis said...

Perry does not support and has never supported in state tuition for illegal aliens as stated by Rob.
Perry does support in state tuition for children of illegal aliens who are born in the US.

Rob must realize that a governor is bound by the law of the land, that is the US Constitution. Read the 14th Amendment. Those born on US soil are US citizens irrespective if their parents arrived here legally or not. As such they have not only rights as US citizens but rights afforded as citizens of the state where they preside.

louielouie said...

There's only one word to describe last night's GOP debate

is this your way of saying what happens in vegas stays in vegas?
ok, i got nothing.

Rob said...

My compliments, Anonymous. You managed to put the 'Jewish dual loyalty' libel and get a reference to Pat Buchanan's rag in one post.

Gauleiter Pat, Ron Paul and this clown Burham are not 'conservatives' in any sense of the word. They're the new version of the America Firsters who almost were responsible for America being defeated in WWII and languishing in fascist slavery.

The new models like you and your buddies have no concept of what danger we face from Islamist fascism, just like the knotheads in the 1930's. That makes them dangerous.

They're are in a place where they meet up with the ultra radical Left and are living proof that the Nazis, AKA the National Socialist German Worker's Party were a movement of the totalitarian Left with a few half-baked racial tidbits from classic Jew haters like Gobineau, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Treitschke tossed into the salad.

BTW, Did you know that the German slang term in the 1930's for the SA was 'rindersteaks' (beefsteaks) because 'they're brown on the outside and red on the inside'?

Run along to neo-Nazi sites like Stormfront,boyo. You'll find a lot of kindred Paulistas there to play with.

Patriotic Americans support our allies like Israel,because it's good for America. Deal with it.

Rob said...

Nice try Ed,but that's NOT what Governor Perry said. The DREAM Act which he supports and has signed a state version of into Texas law refers to minor children born outside the US and brought to the US illegally, not natural born citizens.

Again, nice try,no sale,


Anonymous said...

You beat me to it,Rob. Perry is just a panderer to those Hispanic votes in Texas, and supports illegal aliens.