Tuesday, May 15

Quick thoughts

Here are some quick thoughts on tonight's Republican Presidential candidate debate, which I actually remembered to watch. It's quick because I was studying physics during it and I have to study fluid mechanics now.

For the most part the debate could be summed up as Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson, Paul, and it was either Huckabee or Gilmore, I can't remember it's hard to tell names when they're all standing together like that and I was mostly listening to it. I'm probably a little biased with the last two. Thompson is representing the W, and I'm hoping for Paul.

Throughout the debate it wasn't too hard to tell when they were throwing out softballs to certain candidates. There were the mandatory casual and not so casual WWRD (What Would Reagan Do?) references as they all tried to be the Reagan. McCain referenced his experience in Vietnam in questions about Iraq and Arizona about illegal immigration. Giuliani played up 9/11, which led into the most memorable moment of the evening.

Ron Paul was talking about how he thinks that the fact that we've been in the Middle East for a while now interfering in their countries as more of a motivation for the terrorists to attack us on 9/11 than that they hate our way of life. That got some applause. Right away, Rudy interrupted the turn order saying something like "of all the crazy things I've heard, that's the craziest" to much applause. Then it turned into a feeding frenzy as all the other candidates tried to get into the spotlight.

Probably more than the last debate, the gloves came off. McCain and Romney went at each other right away. With the two of them going after each other, that left a gap open for Rudy. I hear Giuliani has been ahead in the polls right now (despite an Iowa faux pas) and it'll probably stay that way. Overall, I would say Rudy won this one, but I hope it gets Paul some more attention.

On a side note, Mr. Conservative Gilmore gets the McCarthy Award for threatening to start calling out candidates who have liberal tendencies. Also, one of the no-names, I think, even called for the enlargement of Guantanamo Bay. Tommy Thompson seemed to know about stem cells and he mentioned the University.

It was interesting to hear them twist language. Evidently torture shall now be referred to as enhanced interrogation techniques. Doubleplusgood, both Minitrue and Minilove would be proud. Only Ron Paul called it out, I believe.

How are these debates really useful for anything? They seem to be going more for sound bites and to stand out than to actually meaningfully figure out a strategy for running the country. Finally, I hope you don't find reading my blog to be like an enhanced interrogation technique.

Update, 12:45 am: Reason's got Paul's back against Rudy saying that he's either playing the crowd or "in a bubble so think it makes the president look well-informed". The actual debate video here!


Erik Opsal said...

I believe Mitt Romney actually called for doubling the size of Guantanamo.

Gilmore calling people out is funny.

Ron Paul was absolutely right about the 9/11 thing, but I thought he sounded like a blubbering fool on a lot of things really. Shut down Homeland Security?

I think Rudy and McCain tried to show off their electibility by talking about working across the aisle. Rudy sticking to his abortion stance took guts and McCain's swipe at Romney was hilarious. Although McCain doesn't show much conviction either, all of his flip flops can be found here.

Brad V said...

It was Romney who called for doubling Guantanamo - the rabid crowd made for a lot of ridiculous oratorical bravado.

I actually thought the exact opposite of you on Paul, Erik. He went too far with his 911 claims and brought a lot of substance to the table otherwise, calling for limited government, reduced spending, and a return to the constitution as something meaningful.

Erik Opsal said...

I couldn't watch the end of the debate, so maybe he changed a little then. The Homeland Security thing was weird because he actually just wouldn't answer the question. And he fumbled his words some, hence the "blubbering" comment.

Mike said...

Brad, like with what you said on your blog, I hope he didn't push it too far. To me it didn't seem like he was saying that we deserved 9-11, rather that it didn't just come out of nowhere. With a lot of things he could have worded it much better. Such as with the Homeland Security thing, we was in the middle of talking about how spending and the government is too big and he mentioned that so many security and intelligence agencies have been squished together and that they're still trying to figure out how to make it work. And that the whole bureaucracy thing, which stymied communications allowing clues to fall through the gaps, is happing again, but with a different name. In front of Republicans, that probably wasn't the best example.

It's a disappointment. He's the only one who's really pushing constitutionalism and the free market. When they stop giving him air time, those issues won't be spoken for, and they're important for the future.