Thoughts on (maybe) (possibly) (perhaps) the last GOP debate

I haven’t written recaps of each GOP presidential debate this cycle, but I do have a few thoughts about last night’s, which may have been the last one with these four candidates.

Rick Santorum had a tough night. He appeared aware that he would be attacked, but his answers didn’t always impress. While he deemed his support of the No Child Left Behind law as a mistake he made under pressure from his party because “politics is a team sport” — a sentiment seemingly at odds with his earlier one-word description for himself, “courage” — he gave a lengthy defense of congressional earmarks. There is a case to be made for earmarks: It holds that they allow Congress to preserve more power of the purse rather than yielding more decisions to the executive branch. Even Ron Paul makes this defense. But defending earmarks is a bad spot for anyone in the tea party era, and it’s especially bad for Santroum because it also serves as a reminder that he was in Congress at a time when Republicans were falling off the small-government wagon. That said, I don’t think it was so bad as to have a large effect on his chances in the Arizona or Michigan primaries next week.

Mitt Romney fared better, and it helped his appearance to the TV audience that so many people in the live audience were his supporters. But Santorum landed a good blow on him by observing that even Michael Dukakis had balanced the Massachusetts budget because the state’s constitution requires it. And his attack on Santorum for endorsing Arlen Specter over conservative stalwart Pat Toomey in a 2004 U.S. senate race (as did most of the rest of the GOP establishment at the time) had the unfortunate effect of ensuring Specter’s name was being invoked when Barack Obama’s name could have been. That’s a loss for Republicans.

What about Newt Gingrich? He was back on his game, coming off as knowledgeable, focused and ready to defend conservatism. And he did so without attacking the moderator or, for the most part, the media. But at this point, do debate performances continue to move the needle for Gingrich? Like his divorces and some of his missteps as Speaker, good performances in debates are baked into the cake for him. At this point, that cake is valued at third place by the GOP primary electorate. He wasn’t good enough Wednesday night to surpass expectations, so I have a hard time seeing how the debate spurs him very far upward.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul, maybe a little more appealingly so than at other times. But while his foreign policy stance might help push the party away from military adventurism, it’s not going to be adopted wholesale by Republicans anytime soon. And that pretty much counts him put as a potential nominee.

How did y’all see things? Those of you who watched, that is…

– By Kyle Wingfield

481 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
2:10 pm

So why did Congress pass something called, “The Defense of Marriage Act”, Do What??, if the Constitution has nothing to do with marriage?

Wouldn’t the mere ACT of passing that bill be un-Constitutional?

And the voters deciding now let’s us become a true Demcracy, Do What???. You DO realize that we aren’t one, don’t you, and that the Founding Fathers specifically warned us about becoming one, don’t you?

Do you REALLY want your rights to be determined by a vote of the majority of the dumb masses?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
2:12 pm

“The average lifespan of a gay man is 44 years. Why is that?”

Why do you care, Do What??? Actually, isn’t that in your wheelhouse anyway, to just kill them off as soon as possible?

Do what??????

February 23rd, 2012
2:18 pm

“So why did Congress pass something called, “The Defense of Marriage Act”, Do What??, if the Constitution has nothing to do with marriage?”

Ask them.

“And the voters deciding now let’s us become a true Demcracy, Do What???.”

Uh..you have heard of voting, right?

“You DO realize that we aren’t one, don’t you, and that the Founding Fathers specifically warned us about becoming one, don’t you?”

The FF would not approve of it.

“Do you REALLY want your rights to be determined by a vote of the majority of the dumb masses?”

Do you want a fainting couch?

Do what??????

February 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

“Why do you care, Do What??? Actually, isn’t that in your wheelhouse anyway, to just kill them off as soon as possible?”

Like I said, you need a nap. Some meds would also do you some good.

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
2:24 pm

Do What….

“Another court finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2012/02/another-court-finds-defense-of-marriage-act-unconstitutional-115243.html

Just for your sweetheart!!! LOL

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
2:28 pm

Even with Santorum getting attacked from all sides. I thought he managed to do well. Romney still seemed to come out on top.

Do what??????

February 23rd, 2012
2:34 pm

““Another court finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional””

In San Fran of all places.

Try again, simpleton.

Linda

February 23rd, 2012
2:39 pm

Tiberious@1:49, Ah, but my degree from Sunday School is virtually priceless.

I see you are still going down that path again.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
2:43 pm

Maybe we should be allowed to marry our pets so that they can be covered on our health insurance plan. Or maybe we should be able to marry our vehicles so that their warranty will be covered under our insurance policies as well?

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

UGA, If you want to marry your dog, then have at it!!! Besides I thought all you righties whad so much respect for teh Consitution??? Where in that hallowed document does it say anything about marriage???

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
2:56 pm

This is GREAT….Hey all of you that support Obama and love paying $4 per gallon for gas. Watch this….

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=acb_1330019559

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
2:56 pm

“In San Fran of all places”

By a judge appointed by Bush…

Try that simpleton….

td

February 23rd, 2012
2:58 pm

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
2:00 pm

“Then tell me, Constitutionally, why gays shouldn’t have equal rights as any other American.”

Show me where a gay person does not have any Constitutional right that any other citizen has?

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
3:00 pm

UGA, I thought you were all for the free markets??? The market is setting the price for gas….right??? Why is that you you are begging for help from the government?? Gas prices to high? Get out of your mothers basement and get make enough money to pay what the market commands!!!

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:03 pm

Inside…The market is NOT setting the prices for gas. OMG! Do you guys ever inform yourselves? Obama’s failed energy policies are what are affecting gas prices currently. He ADMITTED IT!!! Watch the video! Policies affect prices!

Linda

February 23rd, 2012
3:04 pm

Who would have ever dreamed that a “division” of the alphabet, corrupt media completely forgot to bring up the most important issue in our economy today: gas prices? After blaming Bush for gas prices, they just totally forgot that they are at historic levels for this time of the year. Wonder how the GOP candidates would have responded. Wonder if they would have mentioned Obama’s drilling moratoriums. Wonder if they would have mentioned the added cost of our 15 to 30 blends of gas.

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
3:06 pm

“Show me where a gay person does not have any Constitutional right that any other citizen has?”

Thats the point…the Constitution makes no mention of marriage at all!!! If those on the right want to always lean on the Constitution, then why are you fighting so hard to defend a position that is not a part of the our country’s founding documents???

Hillbilly D

February 23rd, 2012
3:08 pm

I do so love being lectured by a smug elitist, who believes in tolerance for everybody…….except for those beneath them, of course. :lol:

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
3:10 pm

Blagh Blah Blah…. The Market (oil traders) and OPEC are the driving force behind oil prices!!! stop with that hatred, stop spreading the lies and stand by the Free Market principles that you are supposed to love!!!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:11 pm

“Show me where a gay person does not have any Constitutional right that any other citizen has?”

To be able to marry the person of their choice. They are not being treated equally in the eyes of the law.

Anything else, td?

carlosgvv

February 23rd, 2012
3:11 pm

UGA1999

So you really believe Romney will lower the price of gas to $2.00 a gallon? Sigh

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

Inside….Your “Blagh Blah Blah” comments shows us all your mental capacity. Your Lord and Savior Obama said it so you MUST believe it.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

Carlos….I know that in just under four years Obama has doubled gas prices.

HDB

February 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

Do what??????

February 23rd, 2012
2:06 pm

“The US Constitution has nothing to do with getting married. Like I stated many times, let the voters decide.”

Actually, it does!

Article IV, Sections 1 & 2:
Section 1

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2: 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Basically, if a contract is entered into in one state, it must be recognized in all 50. If gay marriage is legal and recognized in ONE state (and it is in 7…plus the Disctict of Columbia), then, it must be recognized in all 50…therefore, it’s de facto LEGAL!

Plus….add in effect the 14th Amendment – equal protection under the law……..

Also, whatever nation that the United States recognizes by treaty…..if that nation recognizes gay marriage, then the US must recognize that marriage as legal!!

td

February 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
3:06 pm

Well if it is not in the Constitution then that means it is up to a legislature to decide the terms of marriage. The problem lies when you have some states that say it is legal and some that say it is not. The left is attempting to say that marriage is civil right and this issue is working its way to the SCOTUS and will be decided by them one way or the other.

Linda

February 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

UGA@2:56, Obama said on the video that he wanted to help people by “…putting more money in their pockets….” to buy higher priced gas. Recently, when speaking about the need to renew the payroll tax cuts, Obama said, “And when gas prices are on the rise again…losing that $40 could not come at a worse time.”

The payroll tax cut is taking contributions away from Social Security. In essence, Social Security payments are now being used to buy gas, indirect subsidies to the oil companies. Novel!

carlosgvv

February 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

UGA 1999

So Obama, who absolutely wants to be re-elected as much as any president before him, knowingly doubled gas prices? You really think the President of the United States sets gas prices? Please tell me you don’t actually believe this.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

Sorry, conservatives, but while the current Disaster-in-Chief’s energy policies are ridiculous at best, the current gas price hike is due to WORLD markets that need gasoline more than we do (demand) and a healthy supply of gas being produced in the U.S. today. We’re SELLING our gas to other countries (China being one of them) and reducing our trade imbalance by doing so.

Bill O’ Reilly, Stuart Varney and Lou Dobbs all covered this in the last few days.

That being said, the demand for special blends for the summertime (mandated by the different state’s fuel requirements) is coming up, and you can expect the supply to decrease and the demand to go up, which will increase gas prices further.

And you CAN thank Federal energy polices for THAT upcoming increase.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

HDB….Your arguement is fundamentally flawed. Again it mentions privileges not rights! Also what one state does has no bearing on the other 49 states. Look at gun laws and healthcare.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:19 pm

Linda….And what he has done is put 8.3% of the workforce out of a job. Now that really makes sense doesnt it. Also he had helped drive down the value of the American dollar to a point where it is nearly worthless outside of our borders. NEXT!

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:20 pm

carlos….HE SAID IT!! NOT ME!!! I dont think he purposely drove up gas prices but his failed policies have lead to it. Why do you guys like paying for $4 gas, why do you like having $15TRILLION in deby, why do you like seeing nearly 9% of American unemployed?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:21 pm

“You really think the President of the United States sets gas prices?”

carlos, the POLICIES of the President are certainly responsible for the price of gas. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Hillbilly D

February 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

Tiberius

It’s true that whomever is President doesn’t really have a lot to do with gas prices but when the prices are going down, whomever is President struts around and takes credit for it, so when things are going to hell, they get the blame. That’s life in the fast lane and they knew what the deal was when they took the job.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:26 pm

“Look at gun laws and healthcare.”

Nice try, UGA, but no state may abridge the right of a citizen to keep and bear arms. They may restrict they absolute right (wrongly, in my view) but they may not remove it entirely. Health care isn’t such an enumerate right in the Constitution, UGA, and as such may be denied.

HDB is (surprisingly) right in this regard, and you are wrong.

td

February 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:11 pm

I want to be able to marry two women. Why is that not legal? This is a moral issue for the people to decide and not a civil rights issue or a Constitutional issue. If it is not treated that way then where do we stop?

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Tiberius…Really, then how come some states of waiting periods and some dont? Why do some require permits and some dont?

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:29 pm

I just proved my point AGAIN. You guys are clowns.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:30 pm

Tiberius….Why do some states (California) ban high capacity clips and some don’t? Again your points are not valid.

Georgia, The "New Mississippi"

February 23rd, 2012
3:36 pm

You know that you know……republiCons are going to vote for whichever white guy wins the nomination.

Samuel L. Jackson

February 23rd, 2012
3:37 pm

But The “New Mississippi”….I only voted for Obama because he is black.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

“I want to be able to marry two women. Why is that not legal? This is a moral issue for the people to decide and not a civil rights issue or a Constitutional issue. If it is not treated that way then where do we stop?”

td, you just answered your own question. The problem is that certain people want their morals to trump equality. And where we stop is what I’ve said all along – CONSENTING ADULTS. No phony child molesting, pedophilia, inanimate objects or animals objections.

Why should your morals take precedent over anyone’s equality? Morals are religious-based, aren’t they? And if so, aren’t we giving primacy to religious thought than to equitable treatment? Where does THAT stop?

Inside Out

February 23rd, 2012
3:39 pm

UGA, the clip is not the gun.. Your points are a reach at best….

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:43 pm

UGA, pay attention.

The right to KEEP and BEAR arms is absolute and cannot be denied. What can be CONTROLLED is the unfettered access to them. Again, I disagree with that premise, but that has been upheld in court. What CAN’T be denied is the right to to bear arms.

Linda

February 23rd, 2012
3:44 pm

I think the highlight of the debate was Gingrich who said, “…You did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anyone in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide…It is Pres. Obama who as a state senator voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion…”

Only 4 newspapers & 1 wire service reported on his remarks today. The AJC was factually wrong. Gingrich was NOT “referring to Obama’s opposition to a bill outlawing late-term abortions…” Another newspaper’s initial article has disappeared.

Gingrich was referring to Obama’s opposition in the Ill. state senate in ‘01, ‘02 & ‘03 that would have mandated that a child born alive as a result of a botched abortion be given medical care.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/02/22/newt_to_media_remember_when_obama_voted_for_infanticide

The fed. Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed the US Senate 98-0 & was enacted 8-5-02.

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:44 pm

Tiberius….Morals ARE NOT always faith based. Are you saying that an Atheist person has no morals? WOW!

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:45 pm

Inside….THAT IS NOT THE POINT. YOU said what one state passes into law then all states must abide. That is not even close to being accurate.

HDB

February 23rd, 2012
3:46 pm

td

February 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

“I want to be able to marry two women. Why is that not legal?”

Tiberius gave you the answer here: “They may restrict they absolute right (wrongly, in my view) but they may not remove it entirely.” A state has the right to RESTRICT any absolute right…but they can NOT remove it!! Because this is a nation of LAWS, the law will, at times, supercede morality or religious doctrine.

HDB

February 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:45 pm

“Inside….THAT IS NOT THE POINT. YOU said what one state passes into law then all states must abide.”

Not abide….RECOGNIZE!! That’s the difference!! Gambling laws differ from state to state…but statutes like murder are common….that’s why one can be extradicted for murder…but not on a gambling debt……

UGA 1999

February 23rd, 2012
3:50 pm

HDB….Still if a man is able to marry another man, why can a man not marry two or more spouses? Why can they restrict one set of morals but not the other?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 23rd, 2012
3:50 pm

“Are you saying that an Atheist person has no morals?”

You do not have the right to speak for me.

Even though atheists may not subscribe to a particular faith, the morals they adhere to are faith-based.