Republican Presidential Debate

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be is about the best I can say. When moderator Brian Williams posed a question to Rick Perry about whether he had any trouble sleeping at night knowing that Texas has executed 234 people, more than any other, during his tenure, at the point at which Williams said “executed 234 people”, the audience broke out into wild applause. Enough said about the people who will choose the Republican nominee.

Mitt Romney did pretty well but I still don’t see him as becoming the nominee – the Republican electorate just doesn’t trust him. Rick Perry benefits greatly from sharing the stage with Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich because they’re all so radical, they dilute his extremism. That was evident when he repeatedly called social security a “Ponzi scheme” and danced around questions about why Texas has the lowest percentage of people covered by health insurance in the country and the lowest rate of high school graduates in the country.

Huntsman strikes me as the kid who sneaks around spreading nasty rumors about his classmates but when confronted, is too much of a wimp to say it to their faces. He’s a nonentity. Bachmann’s toast which even she believes based on her performance tonight. Cain, Paul, Santorum and Gingrich are all in this to sell books and land paying gigs on Fox. That leaves Romney v Perry.

22 Responses to Republican Presidential Debate

  1. Steve says:

    I think you’re right that it will end up either Romney or Perry. I assumed that the people who applauded the 234 executions were Perry supporters. I don’t get his appeal at all, and I’d be surprised if Romney doesn’t pull ahead of Perry after this debate. I think Perry meant that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme in that more is being taken out than is being put in, and people who are young today will find it empty by the time they retire. He expressed the idea poorly, and probably scared the hell out of everyone over 55. Again, Romney appeared much more reasonable. The thing I like about Ron Paul is that if he had been president we never would have ended up in all these wars. (The only other politician, Democrat or Republican, I heard speaking against the invasion of Iraq before the invasion was…I”m drawing a blank, the former doctor-the Democrat who was done in by the “rebel shout.”) We’ll never find out if Ron Paul’s ideas are practicable, but I find some of them interesting. I really enjoyed the history lesson on Iran he gave Santorum in the previous debate.

  2. DickH says:

    The Democratic candidate-doctor you mention was Howard Dean, I believe.

    I chuckled when Perry brought up Mike Dukakis, trying to slam Romney by saying that Massachusetts gained more jobs under Mike Dukakis than under Romney. The reason I chuckled is that I see plenty of parallels between the 2012 Perry campaign and the 1988 Dukakis campaign. Our former governor ran on the “Massachusetts Miracle” which was already disintegrating by the time of that race; Perry is running on the Texas record of job creation during this recession.

  3. Joe S says:

    From this debate it seems like Santorum, Bachman and Huntsman shouild drop out immediately.

    Both Ron Paul and Herman Cain offer a different perspective, but they probably can’t build on their bases.

    Gingrich came on stronger than previously, but his time has passed him by, and he has baggage to show for his travels.

    So it probably comes down to Romney and Perry as you have said. Romney wants to tout his business background, but some of that will come back to bite him in a election season – too many jobs lost, businesses shuttered and tax havens set up for his investors. And Perry seems like George Bush redux, and that is a very negative image in the minds of so many.

    It’s Obama’s to lose, and he better remember the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!”

  4. Publius says:

    I, too, had a problem with the applause for the execution of 234 people. The number is far too low.

  5. C R Krieger says:

    I agree with Renee Aste.

    As for Governor Perry and the Ponzi Scheme.  Someone has pointed out that the reason Governor Perry is just flat out wrong on this is because Charles Ponzi did not have the power to tax.

    The fact that old people are worried about Social Security suggests that we don’t understand the social security process.  Insightful young people are the ones who tell me they expect the vault to be empty when they reach retirement age.  They expect the Baby Boomers to have looted it before they get there.  And that leads us to the politics of it.  No one is going to take much away from older folks, who tend to vote in larger numbers.  It is the younger generations who are in trouble, unless we straighten up and fly right.

    In the mean time, if you will excuse me, I must return to scanning the horizon, looking for the person who is going to lead the Republican Party to victory in 2012.

    Regards  — 

  6. Robby G. says:

    Romney and Perry were the two who “looked” presidential last night.

    Sadly for Perry he didn’t sound like a President.

    Disagree that anyone should drop out yet. Its WAY to early, and there is still that “other one” who apparently has not made up her mind whether she’s in or not. Remember this time in 08, Guiliani had a huge lead in the polls.

    If Ron Paul was 20 years younger he would have my vote.

    Republicans should be looking at this through the electoral system. What northern state will Perry win? Agree with Joe S when Perry seems like Bush again. Dont see too many northerners here going for Perry.

    I wish Republicans would stop caring what the Bible Belt conservatives think. They will NOT be deciding the next President, it will be Independants. Romney has much of independant support and will undoubtedly do a better job here in the north.

  7. C R Krieger says:

    Ref:  Robby G’s comment, a lot of registered Republicans think “Moderate Republicans” are Democrat Lite.  For Republicans, the ones that actually end up going to the nominating convention, the question is where to draw the line.

    Regards&nbsp —&nbsp Cliff

  8. Andrew says:

    Steve, I’d just like to clarify two things.

    The first is that the last time the Social Security Trust Fund spent more than it took in during a calendar year was 1981 ( For every year since 1982, the Trust Fund has given out less in benefits than it has received in receipts. (On a side note, a Balanced Budget Amendment would prevent this from happening…the Trust Fund would only be able to give out in benefits what it took in receipts. There’s currently a $2.6 trillion surplus to pay benefits for the baby boomers. Under a BBA, this money could not be used). It’s worth remembering that SS has contributed $0 to the federal debt.

    The second is that Congressman Paul and Governor Dean were far from the only politicians criticizing the war before the congressional vote. I was only twelve at the time so my memory is not that great (perhaps someone else can cite a few), but I do remember Senator Byrd’s floor speech in which he asked, “Why is this chamber silent?” My understanding is that Senator Kennedy also publicly opposed the war. It’s worth remembering that in the House, 6 Republicans, 126 Democrats and 1 Independent voted against the war. In the Senate it was 1 Republican, 21 Democrats, and 1 Independent.

  9. Robby G. says:

    After just watching the Presidents pathetic attempt at a 3rd stimulus package that needs to be passed “now Now NOW!!!”, he is definitely in big trouble. No longer believe this is Obama’s to lose. Its Obama’s to save.

    All of a sudden now Obama is focused and concerned about jobs?

    Wait a minute, his party and even himself have been telling us for months that everything is getting better and the economy is recovering. All of a sudden, now that campaign season is here, the economy is in need of a 3rd stimulus immediately? What happened to that recovery you have been touting for a year, Obama?

    Back to the R’s, this campaign is going to be all about jobs, economy, and money. Nothing else. The more time I hear Rick Santorum and the other Bible bangers talking about how gay marriage is ruining this country I want to scream and throw my TV out the window. If Republicans run on shoving thier “morals” down our throats, Obama will win.

  10. Renee Aste says:

    Robby G.

    I guess I’m one of those people who ‘shove morals down people’s throat’s’. We vote and have no problem throwing our votes to third parties/voting blank/or refraining to vote at all. Republicans lose without us, and we only reluctantly vote for them. Consider that the local family lobby teams up with progressives on issue concerning gambling and affordable housing.

  11. Renee Aste says:

    Robby G. Do you understand the impact of an absentee father (or motherl does to a child’s life? It’s not Bible thumping, it is understanding that an individual loses half of their support system if both parents don’t get along living under the same roof. Also consider the other set of grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins. It is rather a reasonable and objective ideal to promote in public policy.. Head start programs can only do so much, stability in the home matters and prevent the need for social services to intervene. Yeah, republicans push us and our morals away… real good idea.

  12. Michael Luciano says:

    @ Renee, Would you care to elaborate on what kind of familial engineering would be involved in your public policy? When you say you’re one of those people who wants to impose your morals on others, I am curious to know just what you mean.

  13. C R Krieger says:

    As Renee points out, the number one indicator of a child’s future success is “are the natural parents still married”  Note “natural”.

    For Andrew, when do the lines cross?

    Regards  —  Cliff

  14. Renee Aste says:

    Michael, Who doesn’t want to impose their values on others? If you think you have a good idea, you want to share it and make it public policy. What do you think laws are all about?

    There is no engineering involved in kinship, everyone has a mom and dad. I’m not shoving it down anyone’s throat, we’re all just born that way.

    Recent Pew Study “A Tale of Two Fathers”

    The chances of the father speaking to his child about his day drops from 91% to 34% during the week if he does not live with the child.

    The chances of eating dinner with the child drops from 94% to 16%. We have all these conversations that sitting down for dinner is so important, but there’s a parent missing and the child is losing out.

    Chances of helping with homework drops 63% to 10% for non-resident fathers.

    Taking child to activities drop from 54% to 11% for non-resident fathers. .

    This doesn’t mean a woman should stay with a neglectful, abusive, or selfish man for the sake of the children. What it means is that men (and women) need to get their act together and remember what it means to be nice to each other in the home. If they start being a little more considerate of each other not only will the children will benefit, but so will they and the rest of the community.


    What I think should be done here is a suggestion. A policy brief written jointly by a conservative and a liberal. One suggestion was to remove the ‘marriage penalty’ for childless couples. The explanation makes sense. If we want couples to be stable and married BEFORE they have children, then why are we financially penalizing them when they marry first? Another is to get rid of ‘no-fault’, most think it is too easy to get a divorce.

    The Marginalization of Marriage in Middle America

  15. Michael Luciano says:

    @ Renee, Now you say you DON’T want to impose your morality on others. Which is it? And regarding you stats, what would you do with that information in terms of shaping public policy? I don’t mean to persist in this fashioin, but you’re being rather vague.

  16. Steve says:

    I didn’t say the only politicians, I said the only ones I heard, or I should say that I can recall hearing. I have no doubt that Ted Kennedy was against the Iraq invasion, but it did take an independent thinker to go against the tide at the time. Kerry and Clinton both voted for it as I recall, but that’s an old can of worms.

    As for Social Security, whether or not they’re operating at a deficit currently, the long-term outlook is not good without reducing spending elsewhere, increasing taxes, or a bail out, (which was proposed by a Fortune magazine writer).

  17. Robby says:

    Renee, I respect what you said about the importance of family.

    I do, also believe that children are best brought up in a household with both of the natural parents. It is how I was raised and I most grateful for it.

    But at the same time I also believe that two men or two women raising a child can do as much a good a job as a heterosexual couple. If you are implying that two men or women can not have the same “values” or “morals” as a straight couple, you are delusional. I know of many openly gay folks who attend church weekly, know right from wrong, etc. Of course, everyones opinion of what values and morals are different. I simply want the right to raise my children to how I see fit, and not have someone hundreds of miles away in DC telling me how to do it better. Who is being hurt by gay marriage? No one, so I dont see any issue with it.

    Also, when I used the term “bible bangers” I was targeting that more toward your stereotypical blind backwoods type. From what you have written, you are clearly not that person. I was referring to the type of Republican who will not vote for Romney for the ONLY reason because he is a Mormon. Or the type who hears “gay” and immediately thinks gross and disgusting. And lets not kid ourselves, there are LOTS of them. I believe that is incredibly ignorant, and those types do nothing to help our party. Rick Santorum is only a small step above this type of person.

  18. Steve says:

    Regarding Renee’s last comment: I believe she was quite specific in terms of where she feels the problem lies and how public policy might be altered to address the problem. Why the confusion?

  19. Andrew says:

    Cliff, I don’t know. Presumably in the next ten years. But that’s why the surplus was created. If I remember correctly, the Trust Fund is currently projected to run into the 2030s, at which point it will have to reduce benefits to 75%, which will last for a decade (or more) and only then will it be bankrupt. I am not an expert on Social Security and I want to be clear that I’m not terribly familiar with the economics involved, but my understanding was that it would take only a small tax increase at the present to prevent the Trust Fund from running out of money. But the longer we wait, the higher the increase would have to be. Regardless, Social Security is not the biggest concern for the long-run debt; Medicare is.

    I’m not going to wade into the debate about values and family except to throw out an interesting story. Last December, a paper was published in the journal Biology of Reproduction. A research team was able to develop mice that genetically had two fathers. The explanation is rather complicated, but suffice to say that ethically it will never be allowed in humans. It’s also physically impossible in humans…

    My point is simply that, at some point, it may not be the case that every child has both a biological mother and biological father. It’s also a really cool paper. Citation below if anyone’s interested.

    Deng JM, Satoh K, Chang H, Zhang Z, Stewart MD, Wang H, Cooney AJ, Behringer RR (2010) Generation of viable male and female mice from two fathers. Biology of Reproduction DOI:10.1095/biolreprod.110.088831.

  20. C R Krieger says:

    I think it was James Q Wilson who cited a Canadian study (Pollard got me the book with the original study) that showed a radical difference in the likelihood of a child being killed in the first two years of it’s life, between living with his or her natural father vs a step-father or Mother’s current boyfriend, one or the other.  I blame Darwin, so to speak.  Having two natural fathers may not help the odds.

    My wife points out to me that early on Candidate Obama talked about these sorts of things

    Regards  —  Cliff

  21. Renee Aste says:

    It’s the website in regards to the need of fathers run by the Obama Administration.