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.