Sunday, December 2, 2007
Snakes On A Stage
Train wreck! It crashed. It exploded into meaningless parts. It died. I am of course referring to the 2008 CNN/Youtube Republican Debate. I watched this thing in its entirety, and I now know just as much about where these candidates stand on the issues as I did before I watched it: zilch. I was looking for an educational experience. I wanted to be objective and fair in listening to the arguments, but alas the debate shattered these desires. The thing was almost un-watchable, but somehow I suffered through it.
In today's post, I will attempt to decipher this thing in order to summarize the highlights. Please bare with me, as I am doing the best I can. Okay I'm taking a deep cleansing breath... So the first 30 minutes (or at least it felt like that) started off as a verbal smack-down between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. The issue was about illegal immigration and it went something like this.
Romney’s accusation: Giuliani created a sanctuary city, by aiding and abetting illegal immigrants when he was mayor of New York.
Giuliani: Did not! But you had them working for you so that makes you worse!
Romney: Prove it! I knew nothing!
Back to immigration, Fred Thompson doesn’t believe in amnesty for illegal aliens. Neither do I, so although I really don’t understand his cryptic logic, I was at least able to agree with him on that one issue.
Next came this issue of Christianity. Mind you, the men are all Christian men of the Lord so when they throw mud, name call, dance around the issues, and lambaste each other it is all for the glory of God. Depending, of course, on how they interpret the Bible and whether God is interpreted in the allegorical sense or in the literal sense or something in between. Why do I say this? Because when they were asked whether they believed in the Bible, Giuliani wasn’t sure and Romney said “uh uh maybe, but the Word is largely allegorical.” Luckily, Tom Tancredo gave the only Christian answer, “Yes I believe, and Yes it is the word of God.” Turns out all of the candidates are Pro-life (except Giuliani) and Pro gun. (What a Shocker) After all, little things like gun regulations infringe on the second amendment rights even though some people really don’t deserve such rights (two words: Virginia Tech). I really don’t understand how they reconcile this with their “Christian” beliefs.
I also found it fascinating that the snakes had to spend hours and hours and hours pretending to answer, but not really answering, the questions posed to them. None of them could stay in their 90 second or 30 second time frame. Poor Anderson Cooper had to keep pleading with them to shut up. And then there were the commercials! Each snake got the opportunity to create his own youtube campaign video/sleazy attack ad. So basically they proved to us that they can’t stand on their own merits. They have to resort to attacking each other or attacking Hillary. You should have seen Tancredo’s glowing countenance when his (dumb) video aired. He just couldn’t stop smiling. Ron Paul had the best video because he didn’t have to insult anyone to make his case. And, by the way, why the attack on Hillary? Although Mitt hated on Edwards a bit, most of the candidates decided to butcher Hillary, who, of course wasn’t there to defend herself. Huckabee went so far as to say he wanted to send her to Mars. Does anyone detect just a hint of SEXISM!
Ron Paul made the most sense although he wants to get rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Energy. Huckabee wants to get rid of the IRS, but supports the (un)fair tax. McCain, however, doesn’t support the fair tax. McCain later challenged Paul, likening him to Hitler and calling him an isolationist. Paul, who doesn’t believe that the US should police the world and who is the only republican candidate who doesn’t support the war in Iraq was booed every time he got the chance to talk (which was for all of 3 minutes during the entire debate). But he packed some good punches and remained on the defense, without having to play politics. He's my favorite out of all of the snakes, because he has the most intelligent, logical things to say. McCain said of Paul, “that kind of isolationism is what caused WWII”. According to McCain our troops don’t want to be pulled out they want to stay and “win”. But how do we define winning? When there is no Iraq left? I guess that’s the kind of "winning" he’s looking for. We also have to remember that because McCain spent Thanksgiving with the troops he knows everything there is to know about what’s best for them.
When asked about using torture as a form of interrogation Mitt seemed pretty ambivalent. He also had no idea what waterboarding was (neither did I til I looked it up but I’m not running for the highest office in the land) but he insisted on not answering the question. Instead he said that he would "seek counsel"[ing]. Okay so I added the counseling thing, but I really think it's a good idea. The consensus on Iraq? Most of them believed that we are all threatened by Radical Islamists who are going to kill us all! That's comforting.
One of my favorite parts of the debate occurred when Hunter says gays can’t serve in the military because they are “bad for unit cohesion”. Apparently, all of our military personnel have strong “conservative Judeo-Christian” beliefs and adding a gay to the mix would destroy their fragile sensibilities! Tancredo agreed saying that homosexuals decrease the morale of the soldiers. Mitt flip-flopped like crazy! He’s actually a democrat masquerading as a republican, but this week he want to be more “republicany” than he was last week. First he’s pro-choice, then he changes his mind because after all “he’s not perfect” (more crap) then he says he supports gays in the military, now he says “it’s just not the time” to have them in there. UGGG! Can he stand by anything that he says? Anderson Cooper got a lil upset about his flip-flopping on gay issues, probably because Anderson is one of the biggest closested gays on earth! Mitt stayed strong and defended his homophobic discriminatory agenda (until of course he changes his mind on it next week.) I have just one question for Mitt, When WOULD be a good time for gays to be in the military if now’s not the time? I suppose the answer is whenever he makes up his mind about it.
Toward the end of the discussion Ron Paul, the only voice of reason on the platform, disappeared. That's when the issue of of space exploration came up. Of course we need to expand the space program although we are TRILLIONS of dollars in debt! At least Huckabee wants us to. Tancredo responded saying "we can’t afford some things and going to Mars is one of them.” I have to agree. Finally, Mitt was asked about his views on the public display of the confederate flag to which he said “That’s not an issue I want to get involved in” and “We are a nation united.” What utopia is he speaking of? He then said that the Democrats, especially John Ewards are the really problem. After all racism is merely a Democrat’s invention used as one of their many ploys to divide the country. I think I dislike him most of all.
There. That about sums it up. I’m tired. I promise to have a more interesting, more coherent post for you next time. I have a political headache now. I don't suppose I'll ever recover from that "tomfoolery" (to quote my good friend). I need to rest my nerves now.