Thursday, May 3, 2007

Debate Thoughts

 Well, I hope you got to catch this evening's Republican debate. Here are my initial impressions...

Obviously, I'm not going to like any of these guys today. Since this is a primary debate, the candidates are stumbling all over each other as they lurch to the right. But, fwiw, here are a few random thoughts, ordered according to how they stood in the debate.

Mitt Romney -- He wins! At least in the contest to see who would be the first to lunge at the Reagan legacy. And then he just kept grabbing! Awesome tan. He's the George Hamilton candidate!

Sam Brownback -- Wants to bring religion into the public square. He didn't say which ones, though. And he says the day Roe v. Wade is repealed will be "a glorious day of human liberty and freedom." And here's a radical idea: he thinks our leaders need to live by the same laws as everyone else! Shocking!

Jim Gilmore -- Is he really excited about being in the Middle East indefinitely?

Mike Huckabee -- He seemed to say he'd rule this country as a Baptist, rather than as an American. I've always kind of liked this guy, but I find that rather disturbing.

Duncan Hunter -- Uh... Did he even show up?

Tommy Thompson -- He thinks it's just fine if people are fired for being gay (whoops! Maybe not!). And what's up with the color of his hair? He was kind of ghoulish and scary.

John McCain -- He looks really good! I think he's had work done on his face. He will fund stem cell research! -- Go John! Oh, yeah, and he'll "follow bin Laden to the gates of hell!" Beyond that, I think he's in love with Joe Lieberman. And if anyone was trying to find it, it turns out the hand of God is in the Grand Canyon. John's sick, scary, pathetic grabbing at talking points seemed a bit desperate. He rang about as true as Hillary Clinton did last week. This guy was way over-rehearsed by his handlers.

Ron "Dr. No" Paul -- The Mike Gravel of this debate. Phase out the IRS! We shouldn't police the world! We have to lower taxes! We can't do that if we dump the treasury in foreign wars! I'm absolutely opposed to national ID cards!

Rudy Giuliani -- WOW! It took him less than 20 seconds to bring up 9/11! Unbelievably, I think he said that the rich need more tax cuts. He is also suddenly "OK" with overturning Roe v. Wade. And amazingly enough, only a few days after saying that if America elects a Democrat, we'll all die, he claimed that he's "an optimist." Fancy that!

Tom Tancredo -- His top issue seems to be stopping immigration. Also, he believes, in his heart, in the things that he says, which he apparently thinks sets him apart from the other candidates.

Boy, I thought they'd stay away from the words like "global warming" or "evolution" or "habeus corpus," but it turns out the dirty words of this election will be "George W. Bush." And everyone was sure clamoring to seem tough on terrorism. Except for "Dr." Paul, this was a real anti-Islamofascist circle jerk!

I think this debate was more interesting than last week's Democratic debate (Chris's last question about having Bill Clinton living in the White House again was a fun one), but it still didn't really break any new ground. As much as the Democrats criticized Bush (the present), the Republicans praised Reagan (20 years ago). What about the that which lies ahead? Are we going to correct the present and move forward to the future, or ignore the present and look backward to the past? Maybe the venue was to partly to blame for the candidates' tendency to languish in nostalgia, but their implied desire to turn back the clock not only was disquieting, but it also it felt cynical, forced and false. I don't think any of these guys is a Ronald Reagan. But I'll leave it to you to figure out to what degree I mean that as a slam...

UPDATE: more on the ten straight, old, white men from egalia.

No one broke out of the pack.

And here are the transcipts.

From One Good Move (who includes video):
On the record Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo who when asked if they believed in evolution said no. Thirty percent of the Republican candidates, just slightly less than the population at large, are fucking idiots on this topic. It is just another example of intelligent men failing to use their intelligence.

1 comment:

davidm. said...

I caught about 15 minutes of the debate. Romney was the only one that impressed me. I loved his argument for universal health care. Unfortunately, he looks a little too much like a televangelist. I think it's the tan and all the hair product.