The GOP debate crackled with intensity, as Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani (in CNN photo at left) looked ready to take swings at each other. Will they slit the other's throat? became the main event, for me at least. Giuliani was accused by one questioner of running New York City as a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and Rudy shot back that Mitt was running a "sanctuary mansion" by hiring illegals to work in his own house. Direct hit!
Rudy deftly fielded an inquiry from Anderson Cooper about the story currently dominating Politico.com, charging him with having billed various New York City agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in phony security expenses, whilst trysting with Judith Nathan in the Hamptons. (At the time, he was still married to second wife, Donna Hanover.) Nonetheless, it doesn't look like that story is going away any time soon.
When asked a question about continuing the space program (!), Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee made a joke about sending Hillary to Mars. Afterwards, David Gergen and various other commentators agreed that fundamentalist Huckabee had suddenly seemed so warm, funny and "human." Huh? Did I miss something?
Meanwhile, John McCain (just back from Iraq), accused Ron Paul of being the kind of leader who would allow Hitler free reign (apparently, he hasn't heard of Godwin's Law, and thereby forfeited the argument outright). Boos from the audience, many of whom had obviously heard of Godwin's Law. Ron Paul unabashedly and unreservedly rocked it once again, saying the best thing we can do for the Iraqi people is to give their country back:
Asked which government programs they would cut, Paul said bringing the troops home from Iraq would save "a trillion dollars."If he keeps on like this, I might have to vote for him in the primary, just to mess up the omnipresent South Carolina Mitt Romney fundie faction.
McCain said: "It's that kind of isolationism that caused World War II," which drew some hoots from the crowd.
Paul replied: "The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers and military personnel?"
The YouTube debate questions were chosen from 5000 submissions, and apparently, these were overwhelmingly from white men, because that's who dominated the debate; white men's issues, concerns, agenda. No mention of pharmaceutical drugs or Medicaid, for example; not their problem. This being TV, whimsical presentations and flashy animations took precedence--and this favored participants with internet savvy and know-how. One question from a Pittsburgh mom about lead-based Chinese toys, brought forth a lot of meaningless jabber about free-trade, showing that these guys, clearly, have NO CLUE about ANYTHING in the real lives of most folks.
My summary: Vote for Ron in the GOP primary, then vote Democratic in the general election. Unless, of course, Ron keeps on delivering the unequivocal straight talk about Iraq... and then he could actually win.
Bring them home now.
Listening to: Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater