Bill Glasheen wrote:
I've only watched pieces and parts of them. I'm only moderately interested in all the hot air that's being thrown around in these debates.
To start with... I am not a fan of "right vs. left" politics.
Unfortunately, today more than ever it seems like left and right have congealed behind the Democrats and the Republicans, respectively. Ezra Klein and others have written about this quite a bit recently.
I don't have a horse in this race. I do think the press exercises far too much influence over who gets their message out. Bachmann was their easy target, so she got alot of attention, which may have propelled her status in the race, until the press smelled a bigger fish to fry when Perry jumped in. Meanwhile, interesting candidates like Herman Cain, and less charismatic candidates like Huntsman, get left out in the cold by and large.
Romney doesn't interest me. He never has. Forget whether or not he wears magic underwear, or how much influence the Mormon Church might exercise, or how much it might benefit under his presidency. The guy hasn't found a position he hasn't seen both sides of and liked.
The knee-jerk reflexion towards know-nothingism in the Republican Party (and the Tea Party) disturbs me. Certain candidates are taking advantage of this. Historically, and recently, demagoguery has not proven beneficial. Is it possible to have a President who both inspires and informs? Color me doubtful at this point. I'd settle for four years sans embarrassments.
Probably the best exchange to date is Perry telling Romney that he created fewer jobs than Dukakis when he was governor, to which Romney said Perry created fewer jobs than George W Bush when he was governor.
That exchange got A LOT of traction in the Blogosphere and Twitterverse.
Ron Paul - a true libertarian - has the most faithful following in audiences and gets the loudest applause when he speaks. But he falls apart when saying more than a few lines. He hasn't yet learned how to put his ideology in a package palatable to the average potential Republican candidate voter.
It's not his domestic policy that bothers me. It's the pre-WWII know-nothing ideology dressed up as foreign policy that makes me dread Ron Paul gaining traction.
Newt Gingrich comes across as the most eloquent and intelligent of the group. But he brings a lot of political and personal baggage to a campaign, and hasn't yet built a significant campaign warchest.
He should have changed his name. President Newt, anyone? His baggage is wrapped around his neck and chained to more weight than he'll ever carry. I'm glad he's in the debates to harass the press, but he's going nowhere.
John Huntsman - former governor of Utah and ambassador to China under Obama - is considered a dark horse in the crowd. He has "the right stuff" but hasn't yet gotten the attention of potential voters in opinion polls.
He hasn't 'shined' in the debates, and I doubt the press will let him. He's painful to watch. His face undergoes more contortions per minute than Gore's did during one debate with GWB. And I've only seen snippets and recaps at work.
Herman Cain is significant in being highly intelligent (former mathematician), a businessman, media personality, and black. So far however he hasn't gotten the attention of potential voters in opinion polls.
What would it do to the convention of Republicans-as-racists, if they elected a real black man to the Oval Office who wasn't an empty suit? I don't think for a minute the MSM would allow it.
Gary Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico, and a classic libertarian. So far no traction in the opinion polls yet, and probably won't be because (like Ron Paul) the Religious Right don't like him.
I don't know anything about Gary Johnson, and unfortunately, Libertarians don't seem to make inroads among Republicans or Democrats. They need to re-cast some of their positions, finding an answer for the War on Drugs and other things, where complete repeal or legalization is neither practical, pragmatic, or desirable.
SP is coming close to her make-or-break point. She needs to announce soon if she's going to do it. The NYT of all places has actually given her two huge breaks lately, coming down hard on the hit job that is coming out this month from that wierdo who moved in next door to her, and in a column praising her speech that came down hard on political favors. If she gets much more traction, I'm willing to bet her numbers might improve.
I'm also seeing alot of tease from the direction of Marco Rubio. Possibly both are waiting for the field to winnow down a little?
Currently POTUS enjoys a statistical win against all the RNC candidates, but if the economy holds the way it is, that will change.
I've been having a hard time getting interested. Primaries don't start for several months. It's so much about money right now. It's like a pre-primary where you have to pay to vote. I'm not a tea party guy. I wasn't even upset on principle about Obamacare. I'm just a fiscal conservative, strong-defense, pro-science, anti-gun-control, separated-church-and-state, don't-tax-the-crap-out-of-the-middle-class republican. Who should be my candidate?
I'm confused how a fiscal conservative isn't upset about 'Obamacare' on principle. What does pro-science entail? Believing in man-made global warming? Enacting economically damaging policies to counteract it? Joining the Darwinism cult of New Atheism? How separated do Church and State have to be? Why does the Middle Class enjoy such protection in politics these days, when so many people fall below it (and so many falling out of it)? Can we not drop class warfare altogether? Tax each proportionately?
These aren't attacks, I'm just sorting through what you wrote. I'm all for a candidate who understands science AND ethics, and uses them as tools for understanding and influencing the world to make it a better place. I don't want to see religion used as a bludgeon, and I don't like seeing religious folk made to feel like they're not welcome in their own country, or that their way of life is under attack. It tends to breed a bunker mentality that only intensifies the negative. Obviously tax reforms are needed, and I'm frustrated with the party that accuses the other of being the party of no presenting no plan on how to fix the things that need fixing. If that didn't make sense, maybe it's the flexeril I just took to help the back spasms that sent me home from work tonight.
I say sit tight and wait until it's down to just a handful of candidates.
Good advice. Let's hope the best men really are left standing.