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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Florida GOP Debate

First of all, why is Andrea Mitchell (Ms. Alan Greenspan for those who do not know) on my TV telling America that Mittens looked the most Reaganesque? Edward R. Murrow just came out of his grave so he could die all over again. Where do today’s journalist get the ideas that I (we) care what they think about these candidates. Here’s a novel idea, how about embracing a basic tenant of professional journalistic ethics and letting your viewers decide? That would be refreshing.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I will say watching these country club white boys standing on the stage tonight trying to out “tax cut” the other delivered the most comedic effect of the evening with the exception of Huckabee. The “Gomer Pyle” of Arkansas actually said something that made me flinch because it had the semblance of clear thinking behind it: [paraphrasing here]”…why not take the tax rebate Congress just voted on and put it into job creating projects like highway infrastructure funding to improve and add stretches of highway that will cut fuel costs for working people instead of giving them money that will be borrowed from the Chinese so they can purchase Chinese made products.” I nearly fell out of my chair watching Huckabee’s rare moment of lucidity. He quickly recovered though and veered away from that moment and joined in the fray to out tax cut his fellow debaters.

Obama recently said the GOP for a while had been known as the party of “ideas” [though he tried to clarify himself later by saying not especially “good” ideas]. The only “ideas” I’ve ever heard from the GOP over the last 30 years of my political cognizance is for the administration of a cure all elixir in the form of a tax cut for any economic malady or foreign crisis that could be conceived. The lobotomy required for one to join the “conservative raison d’etra” is something to behold, isn’t it? Good times, bad times it doesn’t matter, either way it always calls for a tax cut. Defunding the process of governance as a cure all for economic, cultural and social malady’s should make for excellent comedic fodder but for some reason it gets a serious nod by people who pretend to be serious on TV.

They had their moments of making nice with one another and it was almost sickening listening to them “question” each other as the mutual admiration society suddenly showed up on stage. But the most interesting moment of the night wasn’t Huckabee’s moment of lucidity; it was Ron Paul’s rant about the illegality and stupidity of getting us into the Iraq war in the first place and the roar of approval from the audience that followed. This after each candidate fell over one another telling America what a great idea the war was and that Bush was bold and brilliant instigating it. I imagine you might get an argument from family members who have lost a loved one since but be that as it may, there is no way that fly’s in the general election.

One of the things that irritated me about the 2004 election was the charge of flip-flopping the GOP hung around Kerry’s neck. I always wondered why he didn’t just raise his hand and claim, “Guilty as charged.” Then followed up by saying if you want a President who believes the same thing on Thursday that he believes on Monday no matter what new information was learned then I’m not your man. Hillary Clinton would do well to try that tactic after several of the GOP candidates this evening made reference to her war vote on Iraq and tipped their hand how she would be attacked in the general.

Overall, the evening was a wash as far as this viewer was concerned. Though I suspect Romney will benefit the most simply because McCain just looks so yesterday beside him. If Romney takes Florida after a McCain win in SC the race will be even more convoluted for the GOP and won’t that just be too bad.