Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate #6

What's a political debate without the mandatory throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water quip? Yes, tonight I heard it once.

No Alan Keyes tonight, but Fred was there.

I was curious about the inclusion of Fred Thompson and what he would bring to the debate. Well, he brought very little. I know some Republicans are seeing him through rose colored glasses but I just don't get it. He looks old, sounds slow and was rather nervous looking at the beginning of the debate. I expected more from an actor, a former politician. He is not Ronald Reagan. Reagan is dead. The era is over. Thompson simply doesn't distinguish himself from the others. Why is he running?

Ron Paul is still a loon. He said he won't commit to voting for the Republican nominee in the general election unless it is someone who will get up out of Iraq right now and did the usual bash on the military industrial complex. All that was missing were the black helicopters.

Rudy is still the one to beat Hillary. The guy is calm under pressure, acts like a leader, and has ideas. His best line? "If we have Hillarycare, Canadians will have no place to go for health care."

Mitt Romney still looks the most like a President. Very poised and polished. A little too much. He lobbed a few semi hard bombs at the others, mostly Rudy, to get attention. Romney's best line? "Republican debates are like 'Law and Order'. Huge cast, goes on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end." Clever guy.

Rudy and Mitt had a little dust up over taxes and then about the line item veto.

John McCain is hanging in there. Still calm and cool. Confident. His best line? "I have a glass of ethanol every morning but I still don't believe in subsidies." I wish he could be the candidate.

Mike Huckabee is funny and quick witted. He is quite intelligently quick on his feet with the answers. He should be the one all the social conservatives in the party are behind and pushing him forward instead of going off the reservation and pouting that they won't support Rudy. Huckabee grows on you, as an audience. He's like the guy next door. His best line? "We're in a race for our lives against people who want to kill us."

Duncan Hunter is still the tough guy on the panel. He is still easily identified as a former Marine. Yes, I know there is no such thing as a 'former' Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. He 's a big supporter of the Fair Tax. He sponsored legislation on it in Congress.

Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo. Why are they still in? I don't know. Both for the Flat Tax. Tancredo pushes the illegal immigration issue and Brownback pushes the abortion issue. That's about it. Tancredo also said he won't commit to supporting the Republican nominee.

Tancredo singled out McCain to slap a bit about illegal immigration.

All are good people. All are strong candidates, mostly. Rudy's the one who can beat Hillary, and yes, that is what is most important.

Look, the nonsense that social conservatives will find a third party candidate is insane. If they are so hot about divorce and abortion, get behind Huckabee. He's conservative, Southern, even a minister. He's quick and funny. He's humble in manner.

But to say you'll not vote or go elsewhere rather than support your political party? What a bunch of losers. Politics is not about electing God. Or the Pope. Or your neighborhood pastor. Politics is about winning. Sometimes the choice is the lesser of two evils. You vote for the person who best represents your views. For the social conservatives to say they will 'teach the Republicans a lesson' and allow a Republican defeat is wrong on so many levels. First it guarantees President Hillary. How close is she to their values? Second, it sends the message that you are not a serious voter. Just stay home if is requires a little spine? And last, How'd that whole Ross Perot, we'll show them, election go for you? It got us eight years of the last Clinton.

I am the first to say, I am not a social conservative. Never have been, never will be. I'm the old school of Republican. The party of Rockefeller and Goldwater. The less government the better and the government does not run my personal life. I'm a big girl, I can do that myself, thank you. And the lectures of the holier than thou set? Turns my stomach.

So, after the candidate is selected in the primaries, I expect this damn party to come together. I expect this party to think of the greater good of the country. I expect this party to grow up. Yes, demand what you will of your party and work for that. Just don't expect me to support you if you are trying to hold my party hostage for your own selfish agenda. Remember Reagan was a divorced man and his children weren't too keen on him. He went on to change the course of our nation's history.

In a good way.


American Interests said...

From how it looks from afar, it seems that what republican supporters need do, and do fast, is to coalesce around one of the candidates. Only then can a successful challenge be mounted against the rising popularity of Clinton. Democrat voters are coalescing around Hillary who will Republican supporters rally for? It’s time to pick, that way the polls can reflect this and the frontrunner can directly target and challenge you know who …

Paul is a Hermit said...

You're right about, Fred. That's just how it is.
And right about everything else. There is still a year to elections, for now, I still prefer Romney, can he become the Hilary beater in that time? Guess not.
The overwhelming message in media is that no one can and that will be drummed into so many fence sitters and Bush apologists for a year that the hope is they will stay home. Why bother?

Well, the past two elections my most vivid memory is seeing people wheeled in in wheelchairs, old people, young, middle-aged standing in line for hours just to vote. There was a fire. I hope the same thing happens next year, then we will have a chance.

Debbie said...

I was very disappointed in Fred Thompson. I had/have such high hopes for him. I'm not happy with Rudy or Mitt, I sure don't like John McCain, so where does that leave us?

I agree with Fred, what he stands for, but he has yet to set out a program, an agenda. He can't get elected talking in generalities.

Somebody needs to poke him with a tazer or something, get some life in him.

Anonymous said...

"Republican debates are like 'Law and Order'. Huge cast, goes on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end."

A line like that could get a guy elected in my book. Darn clever.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

We need to pick a horse and put our money down. Thompson is my preference, with Rudy in second place.

I am getting frustrated with the GOP voters because of their laco of focus on the prinicples of conservatism and they are taking out their frustrations on the wrong target - the GOP.

At my place I recently asked if it worked the last election when all the GOP voters decided to send a message that they were furstrated. It didn't. We have to quit shooting ourselves and find some forward, positive focus.

I know the that we will weed out the longshots and find a candidate, but there are no Reagans in this race. There is no perfect conservative candidate in the mix, and everyone will have to select one anyway. Sitting home and letting Hillary sit in the WH for eight years because Rudy got divorced, or because Fred has a trophy wife, or because Romney isn't a southern baptist or methodist is absurd.

Unfortunately, several lib blogs have it right. We know how to win, but we don't know how to govern. We blew our best shot between 1994-2004. We have to work to give ourselves another shot and hope someone can lead and make sure we have learned our lessons. i am not sure we truly have learned.

Beverly said...

I, too, am disappointed that Fred Thompson isn't any stronger than he appears. Your assessment is so good and right on.

Conservative Belle said...

Karen, Your humor and wit partnered with your logic makes your commentary worth reading every time.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Nice post, eventually I'll catch a debate but with work and school ahhhhhh!