Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Debate comments

The best moment of the debate was Newt Gingrich telling Brian Williams and John Harris that he wasn't interested in helping them drive a wedge between Republicans. A lot of the questions were inviting one candidate to criticize another Republican candidate. Mostly, they wanted to have the other Republicans bash either Romney or Perry. It made having Gingrich up there on the stage worth it.

Ron Paul's purpose on the stage seems to be to bash Perry. Romney must be hoping that Paul has a prominent voice in the whole campaign fight. Of course, I'm sure that Ron Paul has a good store of attacks to make on Romney, but since Romney is appealing to a different audience than Perry does, Paul's attacks on Perry will sting more than his attacks on Romney.

Brian Williams seems genuinely put out by the whole idea of cutting the federal government. He's arguing his own opinion when he challenges Ron Paul on FEMA.

Why not spend more time on jobs since that is the issue the people are most concerned about. I don't think there are many people who really care all that much about the whole Gardasil issue. Romney was right. That was a mulligan that Perry would like back. What about Romneycare? That's a much bigger mulligan.

Cheers to Newt for his words on charter schools. Unfortunately, Race to the Top, like most government programs, sounded nice but ended up just giving money to selected states to basically spend the way they'd like. My state, North Carolina, won a whole lot of money and after that the governor started holding hearings on what type of schools to fund. Isn't the time for figuring that out before you hand out the federal grants?

Romney had a good answer to Williams' question: Are you a member of the Tea Party? Romney's right. You don't carry a card of membership - it's not a party, dang it! Romney turned the question around to define what he thinks the Tea Party represents and to associate himself with those beliefs - government's too big, taxing too much, and we need to do more to stop government from retarding job growth.

What is the purpose of that question except that Brian Williams believes that the Tea Party is something bad that a Republican candidate would not want to be associated with.

There was an interesting discussion in one of my AP Government and Politics classes today. The students had read an excerpt in their readings book from Kate Zernike's book on the Tea Party, Boiling Mad. She made the point that the Tea Party is not one single entity but made of many disparate people and groups who have different interests and backgrounds. She also refuted the image of the Tea Party as racist and cited a report by a liberal Democrat who had gone to film what she expected to find of racism in the Tea Party rallies and was so surprised to find people who were polite and friendly without any racist comments. My students said they were surprised to read that since they'd thought the Tea Party was racist. I asked why they thought that and they said that that was the impression they'd received from the media, particularly from Jon Stewart. Thus is an impression created among people who aren't really paying attention and are just picking up vague impressions from what they're hearing from the MSM and Jon Stewart. It's an insidious thing.

If they're going to bring in a Hispanic reporter to ask a question about immigration and then dismiss him as if Hispanics are only interested in one topic, I demand equal-time pandering. Let's bring in a Jew to ask about their views on Israel.

Brian Williams is just appalled that a Republican audience applauded capital punishment. I think Republicans give him cooties. And Texas gives him extra big cooties. He's probably thinking about the extra-long shower he's going to have to take tonight after an evening among the barbarians.

Jonah is smack on:
It'd be nice if at Dem debates they asked as many qs about the real harms done by govt as all these hypothetical ones abt lack of govt.

(Thanks for the correction: Of course, it's Brian Williams, not Wilson. Brian Wilson of Fox or the one from the Beach Boys would have had a less condescending attitude.)