Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's Talk Debates!

Fox News GOP Debate
Fox News 2012 GOP Debate, Linked to Source: ABC News

I watch the debates so you don't have to!
Here's what you missed by watching "Bones" last night (Was it good? I haven't seen it yet! No spoilers!)
I could really tell this was hosted by Fox News. The candidates were hit from the right about their conservative positions. For instance, abortion and right to life were made an issue, as was gun control. These haven't been issues in this campaign at all, so it was surprising to hear how much time was spent on those subjects.
Michele Bachmann attacks Ron Paul on Iran
"MOM! He keeps interrupting me!" "Am not! "Are too!" (linked to source)
Apparently Michele Bachmann ate her Wheaties yesterday, and came out fighting. At several different points it felt like it was Bachmann v. Everyone Else. She reminded me of an angry Yorkshire Terrier, barking and nipping at Newt Gingrich's heels. She also had a very memorable heated exchange with Ron Paul on foreign policy. She flat out said she had "never heard a more dangerous answer" than Paul's positions on Iran. (Which is to say, he doesn't think they have a nuke.)

Ron Paul GOP Debate
"My name is Ron Paul, and until we open free trade with Iran, I won't be able to find a suit that fits." (linked to source)
Ron Paul doesn't back down in a fight, which is amusing considering his pacifist position on other issues. He really spent sometime standing up for his positions on Iran. "Why are we flying a drone over Iran?" He apparently thinks Iran sings kumbaya at night and prays for our peace.
I can finally sum up how he feels about Iran and Israel. "Our neighbor have guns, so we don't need to worry that we'll get attacked." (My words, not his.) His most memorable quote of the night was, "I don't want to run the world. I don't want to police individual activities or people's lifestyle, and I don't want to run the economy." Strange talk for a man running for the most powerful position in the world. It doesn't matter if anyone thinks he won or lost, because his supporters will think it was all rigged anyway.
In other news, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Khamenei endorse Ron Paul. He finally gets some big name, national endorsements!

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich
"My name is Mitt Romney, and I wear better ties than you!" (linked to source)

Mitt Romney was Mitt Romney last night. In many ways it was his night to lose, and I don't think he lost. But I don't think he "won" either. My favorite quote for him last night was, "Timidity and weakness invite aggression on the part of other people. This is a president, the spy drone being brought down, he says 'pretty please'? A foreign policy based on pretty please? You got to be kidding."
When attacked (by the moderators, and then Santorum) about his changing positions, his response essentially sounded like, "I used to favor flip-flopping, but now I'm against it."

Tim Tebow of Iowa
Tim Tebow 'tebowing' (linked to source)

Rick Perry- what do I say there? I think he will gain a fan or two. It was definitely his best debate so far. But probably too little, too late. Calling himself the Tim Tebow of politics was pretty funny. Other than that, he wasn't all that notable or quotable. He did suggest that we should limit Supreme Court terms. That was sort of interesting.

Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman at GOP Debate
Perry: Dude, check out the blond in the second row! Huntsman: Dude, that's my daughter! (linked to source)

Jon Huntsman, Jr. didn't do anything to gain or lose supporters. I just wish he'd drop out so his 2% can go somewhere else. But he did have one memorable quote with, "This nation is on the cusp of the third government shutdown. We have been kicked around as people.  We are getting screwed as Americans." You probably have to be a Mormon to get why he thinks he was being all cutting edge and risque saying 'screwed.' That's just awfully big talk for a Mormon from Utah. And I know half of Utah thinks he's going to hell for using such language, and is praying for his soul right now.
At one point Gingrich pulled the whole "I am a conservative. I campaigned with Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp," card. To which Huntsman ironically responded, "I worked for Reagan." Um, dude, you also worked for Obama- this year!
He also mentioned that he won't go to a debate moderated by Donald Trump. Did he not get the memo? Not even Trump is going to the Trump debate now!

Rick "I once caught a fish THIS big" Santorum (linked to source)

Rick Santorum- was he even on the stage? Maybe he left and took a nap? He did wake up (or get noticed) long enough to attack Mitt Romney on gay marriage. Otherwise, I'm not sure he was even there.

I call this Newt Gingrich's Fonzie imitation. "hey-ay!" (Linked to source)

Last but not least there was the front-runner himself. Newt Gingrich was a target for most of the night, and held up well as his counterparts violated Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment (Thou shalt not attack another Republican). He was a punching bag for most of the night, but held up quite well. Quite a few minutes were spent on Gingrich's plan for overhauling the judiciary, one that would require judges to explain themselves to Congress after a controversial ruling as well as possibly get the boot for bad decisions.I admit, I personally find his plan very disturbing, and unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the checks and balances system. Gingrich was asked to respond to former George W. Bush Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who criticized his plan, and said the Bush officials were "behaving exactly like law schools." And said we can't let the judiciary "over-dictate to the rest of us."
Bachmann really took Gingrich to task for his work for Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage guarantor he (everybody) criticized for contributing to the housing crisis. Gingrich swore up and down that he did not "lobby" for Freddie Mac. He swears he was merely an historian for them, and a "private citizen.". In what world does a "private citizen" get paid $1.6M for providing 1 hr of work a week, if it isn't really Gingrich's influence, clout, and stature they are paying for? Gingrich accused Bachmann of making "wild accusations" and said that despite his past ties, he continued to favor the elimination of Freddie Mac. (Which begs the question, how will he make his money?) "I will state unequivocally for every person watching tonight. I have never once changed my position because of any kind of payment."
Well, that's good to know. Still doesn't mean you weren't lobbying on behalf of Freddie. It wasn't Gingrich's best showing, and I kind of feel like if there was a loser, it was Gingrich.
I still maintain that Republicans arguing over who is more pro-life, is as pointless as Republicans arguing over who is more pro-life. 
I can't help but notice that this debate didn't get as much coverage from other media outlets as they usually do. After the National Security Debate there were multiple articles in the Washington Post and CNN about the debate. This time? Just 2 a piece! I have no doubt that is because Fox News hosted this event so they are pretending it wasn't newsworthy.

Washington Post "The Fix"

Fox News
LA Times

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