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Friday, January 20, 2012

The Not-So-Great Debates: Republicans Square Off (Again)

Republican debate night. It's starting to feel like the debates are on more often than The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I'm having trouble figuring out which -- the debates or the housewives -- is the kooky reality show.

Some highlights: Only four guys left. Rick Perry exited today, throwing his endorsement to Newt Gingrich. Speaking of Newt, he flipped out at CNN's John King right off the bat when asked about the ex-wife interview on ABC regarding his alleged request for an open marriage (he had a six-year affair with current wife Calista while married to ex-wife Marianne), galled that CNN would start out a presidential debate by asking a question about "trash like that" and exclaiming that the media makes it difficult for "decent" people to run for office. So I guess it's the media's fault Newt couldn't keep his pants zipped when he was married.  Oh well, he's asked for God's forgiveness so I guess we're good. 

Ron Paul was on message. Get the government out of the way so the country can do its thing, let's stop with the undeclared wars, we can't be policeman of the world, constitution, constitution, constitution. Lots of jobs talk by all, how to get the economy going, too many regulations, must crack down on China, let's become energy independent from the Middle East, and of course Romney's Bain troubles. Same old story: Romney helped create 120,000 jobs with four companies through Bain. "There's nothing wrong with profit," Mitt said, profit that he says went to charities and pension funds. "It's capitalism and freedom that make America strong," said Mitt, adding he plans to "ram that down" the President's throat. Picking up the drumbeat, Santorum called America "Barack Obama's squalor." Rick says "sign up with us (us being the GOP) and we'll put you back to work." Lots of humble pie from the Pennsylvania contender. "My grandfather was an immigrant. Dad came here when he was seven. I grew up in an apartment and watched the veterans come home. God is great. Yada yada yada."

Let's see, what else: 

Obamacare is evil evil evil. (Why is that again? Not sure. They never quite say but I guess if you say something is evil long enough everybody will believe you.) Healthcare should act like a market, says Mitt, not government domination. "Obama's wrong, we're right, thats why we're going to win." One of them said the American people are frightened by "bureaucratic medicine" (you mean like bureaucratic auto insurance, whereby if I don't have insurance on my car I get a ticket?). Newt mocked that kids remain on parents' insurance until age 26. I found this interesting as I had a conversation with a friend recently who said how good it was that his daughter is still on his insurance...she graduated college, is looking toward grad school, and will probably be a fine educated American citizen who didn't need to worry about paying for insurance while she furthered her education. Ah, who wants fine educated Americans? Not Newt! "Elect us and we'll get jobs going so you're kids can move out."

Some other soundbites: 

"Gradiosity has never been a problem for Newt Gingrich."
Accused Newt and Mitt of "playing footsies with the left" re healthcare

"Long before Rick came to congress I was busy being a rebel."
"I helped balance the budget for four years." (Newt is fond of taking credit for the four-year balanced budget during Bill Clinton's administration. I wonder how much credit for "American squalor" current speaker John Boehner is taking?)

"We need to send someone to Washington who hasn't lived in Washington...someone who's been a leader in the private sector, who's been on the streets...someone outside of Washington should go to Washington."
"Democrats want to go after people who are successful. I've been very successful, and I know the Democrats will go after me for being successful. I didn't inherit money from my parents, what I have I earned the American way."

"People worry about money going overseas. If we send dollars over there, they don't put those dollars in a shoebox. Those dollars come back."
"Let's take the overseas resources defending foreign borders and put them here to defend our own."

When asked when they would release their tax returns:

Newt: An hour ago.
Ron: Haven't thought it through, but I'd be embarrassed to put my financial statement against their (the other candidates') income. It may come to that but I have no intention of doing it.
Mitt: When my taxes are complete this year in April.
Rick: I do my own taxes and they're on my computer and I'm not home and there's nobody home. When I get home I'll go get my taxes.


Gingrich: I favor freedom. If a company finds its been genuinely infringed upon, they should do something. Government involvement is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Romney: I think Newt got it just about right. The law is far too intrusive and expansive, it would have a potentially depressive impact on the Internet. I'm standing for freedom.
Paul: I was the first Republican with a host of Democrats to oppose this law. This bill is not going to pass but watch out for the next one. 
Santorum: The bill goes too far, but something should be done to protect intellectual property of people. I'm talking about entitites off-shore. Government should a have role to protect intellectual property. I'm not for people abusing the law and that's what's happening now. The idea that anything goes on the Internet, where did that come from? Property rights should be respected.

Nothing new on immigration: Newt wants to control the border, deport the bad guys faster, and not kick out grandparents who go to church and who have been here for 25 years. Mitt wants to build a fence and get some ID cards. Rick believes in immigration but not illegal immigration, and Ron says nobody believes in illegal immigration for heaven sake.

And of course, they're all pro-life (this expression has always irked me, as though those opposed are pro-death. Maybe the terms should be changed to pro-choice and pro-choiceless). Newt and Mitt argued for awhile (and again) about whether Romney is pro-life, and Santorum chimed in, beating on Mitt for a few minutes. Mitt insists he'll be a pro-life president and will always "protect the rights of the unborn." They tried to skip Ron Paul on this issue to the outrage of some audience members. Ron got his points in, is also pro-life, adding that culture changed in the 1960s, and the law followed. The problem, he says, is "the morality of people."

There were lots of "pick me"s at the end, espousing that Barack Obama is the Great and Corrupt Socialist Food Stamp Guy, that he's dangerous, that armageddon is a-comin' unless a Republican gets into office. We're still a great country, they said, The Hope of the Earth, The Shining City on the Hill, and so on, as long as we boot the current guy for one of them. And one of the candidate's wives spent $16,000 on a pocketbook...

...oh wait a minute. That happened on the Real Housewives. Sorry. TV is confusing these days.


I said...

Health insurance is different than auto liability insurance. "collision" insurance is required by finance companies, not the government. Children staying on "their parent's" health insurance in most cases means their parent's employers having to pay ever more enormous premiums, leading them to call on efficiency experts like Mitt & company to come in and trim the fat (read:"jobs")to keep the companies viable. Mitt's income? He's good at what he does.

dkay55 said...

Kathy you are so cynical. ;)! I can't watch either of the aforementioned shows.

Kathleen Yasas said...

Children aren't required to stay on parents' health insurance if they don't want to, or if the parents' don't want them to. It's an option that's a good thing, at least to the parents I've spoken with about it. As for Mitt's income tax returns, I couldn't care less. I only reported what he said at the debate. He's certainly seems good at making money (something else with which I have no problem); I guess, depending on how the elections turn out, we'll find out if he's as good at running a country. Yes, DK, I watch the housewives (my guilty pleasure) and I've watched every debate, this one twice. As for being cynical...I'm actually a bit of a Pollyanna, though I believe politics could even wear her down.

Loretta said...

The auto insurance laws must vary by state. My state mandates that drivers carry proof of liability insurance at all times or face fines, license suspension and misdemeanor charges.

I said...

Of course insurance seems like a good thing to parents and kids, and I'm sure a miniscule percentage choose to "opt out." It's only when jobs (and the health insurance that goes with them) disappear that everybody starts screaming. Employees,especially union employees, and most especially PUBLIC union employees bleed dry the entities that employ them. Public unions should be illegal...the teachers unions for example. Dues paid by members of these unions are used in campaigns to elect the very officials who will "negotiate" with the unions to determine salaries and benefits, including "tenure", essentially immunity from dismissal for lousy job performance. And of course the entity being bled dry in this case is the public.

i said...

Dear "I" - you make some pretty broad allegations regarding public union employees bleeding dry the entities that employ them. Can you back up your statement with facts and figures?

Kathleen Yasas said...

Well "I," you've been challenged by "i." Comments?

I said...

Please see "The Trouble With Public Sector Unions" by Daniel Disalvo. It is a brief summary of the rise of public sector unions over the course of the last century, and an explanation of how they work. Here is the url. It won't link automatically on this blog, I don't think:


Kathleen Yasas said...

Interesting read. Thank you "I." It seems the notion of unions is confusing for many people. We cheer for Norma Rae standing on a table with a sign; but when public-sector unions -- and union bosses as opposed to elected officials representing constituents -- start dictating wages, duties, time off and so on, this concept of the little guy (or gal) fighting back against "the man" for worker rights fades to where it belongs...in Hollywood.

Me, myself said...

Yes, while we, the public, are the employers of Federal, State and local government employees, these employees form unions and levy very substantial dues, a considerable portion of which are contributed to the campaign funds of politicians, who are, of course quite sympathetic to the donor unions, and quite willing to tax the public for the benefit of these donors. Even quite willing to grant job security regardless of professional performance. At our expense.

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum