Shame on the American media for giving no time to recover from last night’s GOP debate. Here are five reasons why you would have better off staying in bed than watching the Republican debate.
1). Career Politician Mitt Romney Claims Politics Is Not His Career- Mitt Romney actually tried to rewrite his history by trying to turn his consistent candidacies for office into a life in the private sector. Romney tried to turn his leaving as governor into a good thing. He ignored the fact that he quit on Massachusetts in order to run for president the first time. Gingrich called him out and told him to cut the baloney.
2). The GOP Candidates Won’t Tell Americans They Are Going To Kill Social Security and Medicare- David Gregory asked the candidates to name three programs they would cut that would cause Americans pain. All the candidates asked supported the Ryan plan, but none of them would admit that they are going to kill entitlements. Huntsman discussed means testing. Gingrich said he would eliminate theft, Perry would cut the kill the departments of Commerce and Education, and Santorum danced around his voucher plan for Medicare and his support of the privatization of Social Security.
3). Rick Perry Calls Those On Unemployment Un-American- A question from Facebook asked about the morality cutting aid to people who really need it in this economy, and Rick Perry responded by saying that those Americans who are clamoring for the government to help them are un-American. In a nutshell, that is the Republican position towards the American people. The it is the pull yourself up by your own bootstraps unless you are wealthy Republican mantra taken to the extreme.
3 a). Gingrich and Santorum Champion Their Failed 1996 Welfare Reform- Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum tried to take credit for the 1996 welfare reform bill. Santorum went as far as to claim that the bill ended the culture of dependency, but the welfare reform Republicans are still championing has been a total failure. Instead of eliminating dependence, the reform has made it more difficult for Americans to get assistance. The 1996 welfare reform was predicated on job growth. When the jobs went away, the need for assistance skyrocketed. In August, the USDA announced that 45.8 million Americans were on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). By any measure welfare reform has been a failure, but in bizarro Republican world failure is success.
4). Rick Santorum Claims That He Doesn’t Hate Gay People- Santorum said that he doesn’t hate gays and would never discriminate against them. This is an interesting position for Santorum to take being that in last night’s debate he promised that he would work to invalidate every gay marriage in the United States. Santorum tried to claim that he doesn’t discriminate. He simply disagrees with gay people on what is best for American society.
5). Mitt Romney Promises To Attack Public Sector Unions- For the first time in the 2012 campaign a GOP candidate promised to take the state level attack on public sector unions national. Mitt Romney said that he would go after the “enormously powerful” federal public sector unions, and tie their compensation to what the private sector will pay. As Romney uttered those words, you could almost hear he state of Ohio turn blue for Obama in 2012.
Winners and Losers:
1). Jon Huntsman- The former Utah governor is putting all of eggs into New Hampshire, and today he came prepared. When Mitt Romney attacked him for serving in the Obama administration, Huntsman fired back by saying that he put serving his country ahead of partisan politics. Unlike the ABC debate, Huntsman made a solid appeal to the Republican voters of New Hampshire.
2). Ron Paul- In a debate where the candidates were trying to out lie each other, Ron Paul was at least honest. Paul was straight with viewers when he restated his belief that entitlements aren’t rights. Dr. Paul was consistent, but for anyone on the left who is attracted to Ron Paul’s foreign policy, his domestic policy is more conservative than any other Republican candidate.
1). Mitt Romney- Maybe Mitt isn’t a morning person? Romney repeatedly inflicted wounds on himself. His attack on Jon Huntsman was pointless and hurt Romney more than Huntsman. Mitt Romney saw the myth of his political outsider status shattered, and in general bungled his way through another debate with buzzwords and quotes from his stump speech. Romney faced a blistering attack from his opponents early, and quickly withered. Mitt Romney again demonstrated a softness and a complete lack of toughness in this debate.
2). Newt Gingrich- Gingrich maintained his also ran status, and he worked in the GOP’s big lie on energy that the country can flood the market with domestic production. As long as American oil and gas continues to belong to the companies that drill for it, American resources will continue to be placed on the global market. The Republican energy policy is a fraud. Gingrich attacked the EPA and tried to toss red meat, but the strategy isn’t working.
3). Rick Santorum- For some surreal reason, Santorum has decided to try to moderate all of the far right positions that made him so successful in Iowa. Granted, New Hampshire is not Iowa, but Santorum spent another debate doing a backward sprint from all of his far right positions. Santorum is looking less like an alternative to Romney and more like he is campaigning for the number two spot on the 2012 GOP ticket. There is a fine line between electable and bland. In an attempt to appear electable, Santorum has gone bland.
4). Rick Perry- Perry is a dead candidate walking. His answers get more crazy and radical. What we are seeing are the final days of one of the worst primary campaigns in American history.
Final Verdict- The candidates were all over the map in a debate that was full of misinformation and falsehoods. Those of you who stayed in bed instead of watching this intellectually empty train wreck should consider yourselves lucky. In short, this was another terrible GOP debate.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association