Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Political Debate, Or A Seventh-Grade Classroom?

I watched ABC's Presidential debate yesterday evening, and while I found ABC's chosen format to be refreshing--giving the candidates time to expound 'pon their views rather than recite memorized sound bites. Charlie Gibson did a creditable job as moderator and referee, not getting in the way, yet keeping the battle under a degree of control.

I didn't watch the Democrat part--who can listen to the blathering of those who only debate the degree of enslavement they wish to impose 'pon America's Productive Class? Not that the Republicans are much better--but at least they speak in somewhat rational terms.

I thought.

The actions of five of the Republican candidates was shameful on numerous occasions. Fast forward to the Fox News analyses by numerous pundits and commentators later last night and today. Nearly all (or, as much as I've observed, absolutely all) of them made a lot of the barbs tossed at ex-Guber Romney regarding his real and imagined flip flops over the course of his career. There were such barbs, but they were relatively few and in the spirit of good-natured jabs among members of a club, over beers.

All the candidates did take advantage of their opportunity to expound on the views they've tried to offer and defend in thirty- to sixty-second sound bites in past debates. I think my candidate, Ron Paul, did less well at this than did the others. Part of this was his own fault, but much of it was because of the situation which I'll try to reveal: He was interrupted often by one or more of the other candidates, who didn't offer any sort of rational rebuttal to Paul's assertions and arguments, but who was essentially pointing a finger and laughing at Paul's positions with no attempt to demonstrate why they disagree, or to offer any better ideas.

Time after time, Paul was interrupted. Time after time (and ABC's cameramen were johnnies-on-the-spot to make sure these moments were on camera) candidates were seen to make faces and break into derisive laughter at some of Paul's points--whether it be his comments on hard money being a solution to inflation, or his mentioning that the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are causing the dollar to sink on the world market, feeding the increases in oil prices. Whenever he mentioned the US Constitution, I thought Rudy (Butthead) Giuliani was going to whip out a straw and start shooting spitballs.

Sadly, my second choice among the Republicans, Fred Thompson joined in on this juvenile behavior. Aside: I have to fight with myself on this--I can't seem to forget that the President in Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged was named "Mr Thompson."

So, while I don't yet know how well Dr Paul will do in the various Primaries, I do know that none of the other candidates will be consistent advocates for liberty, hard money or capitalism. I expect more of the same whether the next President is a Republican or a Democrat.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Salag California


Ol' BC said...

I didn't see it but I can't imagine Fred being quite in the league of the others when it comes to ignoring our constitution. Nobody is perfect, I know, but Fred seems to be electable.

Col. Hogan said...

BC, you missed my point: the only Republican who expressed and understanding of the US Constitution, and who made a point of stating that it should be observed by the Congress and the President, was Ron Paul. When he did so, the other candidates, rather than rationally discussing it, derided and criticized Paul in a most ad hominem manner.

I to, have always liked Thompson, but this debate was a disappointment.