Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.”     G.K. Chesterton

October 21, 2007

GOP Debate Open Thread

by Jason Pye

There is another Republican debate tonight on Fox News (8pm EST). I’ve missed the last two or three, so I may sit down and live-blog this one.

The candidates that will be participating are: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Fred Thompson.

WINNERS & LOSERS:
Winners – Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee and McCain
Giuliani, in my opinion, won the debate. He managed to hit Clinton pretty hard and he managed to voice his support for some issues that conservatives care about, such as school choice and private Social Security accounts. Romney is still managing to spin his position changes well and took his shots at Clinton as well. Huckabee is managing to hide his past record and getting along by being humorous. I’ll give the guy this, he is good at communicating a message, but that message belongs to someone else and is far different from the populist crap he espouses on talk shows and what his past record is…but the crowd responded to him. McCain had one of the best reactions from the audience this evening. He managed to stay on point and took some shots at Romney and Cinton.

Losers – Paul, Tancredo, Hunter and Thompson
I’m a Ron Paul supporter, but every time he speaks…I cringe. He manages to turn every question, not matter what subject into a rant about our foreign policy. I don’t disagree with him at all, but he is preaching to an audience that doesn’t want to hear him. Tancredo just isn’t clear. We know he is anti-immigration, but he has trouble communicating his opinion that or any other topic. Hunter needs to get out of the race. The guy is either intellectually dishonest or just doesn’t understand economics. Thompson is simply not the savior that conservatives wanted. The more they find out about him, the less they support him.

DEBATE LIVE-BLOGGING:
[7:56pm] Fox News is going through the pre-debate focus group, all of whom are saying that they want another Ronald Reagan.

[7:58pm] They just gave out the text voting information. I’m going to go ahead and declare Ron Paul the winner of that. It’s just a hunch I have.

[8:02pm] Brit Hume is getting it started along with Carl Cameron, Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler, as well as a welcome message from the Republican Party of Florida and Gov. Charlie Crist.

[8:04pm] The candidates are lined up like this: Tancredo, Paul, Huckabee, Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, McCain and Hunter.

[8:06pm] First question goes to Giuliani, basically asking him if he is a conservative. Giuliani answered the question very well, but avoided the questions about gun control.

[8:08pm] Romney defends his past stances on abortion and other issues.

[8:09pm] Fred Thompson is basically saying he is more conservative than Giuliani and attacks him on immigration and his past support of Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat.

[8:10pm] Giuliani: “Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform.”

[8:12pm] Thompson in defending his record on tort reform: “Local issues belong at the state level.”

[8:12pm] Giuliani defends his record on immigration and his record on crime.

[8:13pm] Glad to see they are bring other candidates into the debate, but they are still playing the “who’s more conservative” game.

[8:13pm] McCain had the chance to take a shot at Romney, but touted his experience and said he is running on his record.

[8:14pm] Romney: “Senator McCain is an American hero.”

[8:16pm] McCain: “Governor Romney you’ve been spending the last year trying to fool people about you record.”

[8:17pm] Tancredo, Paul, Huckabee and Hunter have still have not been asked a question.

[8:18pm] Carl Cameron asks Ron Paul about gay marriage and a proposed Constitutional amendment banning it. Dr. Paul has voted against the amending it, saying that marriage is a religious ceremony and that the states should be handling the issue and the federal government should stay out of it.

[8:20pm] Romney: “We need to have a national standard for marriage.”

[8:22pm] Giuliani said that if several states, maybe five or six, begin to allow gay marriage then he would support a Constitutional amendment.

[8:24pm] Huckabee is pushing hard for the social conservative vote.

[8:26pm] Cameron asks about Thompson’s past lobbying for Planned Parenthood. He said that it was part of his private law practice and wasn’t an issue. He says that he went to the Senate and has a pro-life voting record.

[8:27pm] McCain urges all factions of the part to come together and support the nominee, a clear message to James Dobson and his ilk.

[8:28pm] Tancredo is citing his ratings from various organizations like the American Right to Life and the American Taxpayers Union.

[8:29pm] Goler asks McCain about his healthcare plan. He spent the first twenty seconds pointing out very valid concerns about the Democrats plans for a government takeover of the industry. McCain says, “Give the individual a $2,500 tax credit.”

[8:33pm] Ron Paul says that doctors aren’t happy with with the government imposed managed care. He manages to turn an answer healthcare into an attack on our foreign policy, which took away from some very good points he was making.

[8:356pm] Hunter takes on RomneyCare by pointing out the mandates involved and gets a very good point by says that one of the mandates in Massachusetts was for fertility coverage. Hunter says, “what if you’re a 90 year old woman.” Hunter says that mandates are driving up the cost of healthcare by 35% and voices his support for interstate health insurance plans. This marks the first time that I’ve agree with Duncan Hunter on anything said in anyone of of these debates.

[8:38pm] Huckabee: “When all the old hippies find out that they get free drugs, just wait to find out what that’s going to cost.”

[8:40pm] Tancredo took a swipe at Michael Moore. He also added, “What is the constitutional right of the federal government to get involved in the healthcare issue.”

[8:40pm] I take note that there was no mention of SCHIP during the debate on healthcare.

[8:42pm] Thompson on education: “I think we need to realize the proper role of the federal govenment [in education].” He voices his support for competition…vouchers and charter schools.

[8:43pm] Giuliani is voicing his support for choice. Giuliani said, “The enforcer of standards should not be the bureaucrat in Washington. It should be the parent.” He also said that education choice is the “single biggest civil rights issue that we face in America.”

[8:45pm] A commercial…we’ve hit the halfway point.

[8:48pm] Mike Wallace brings up some of Romney’s remarks about Hillary Clinton. He has compared her to Karl Marx, which I would argue isn’t too far from the truth. Wallace also points out that Romney trails Clinton in the polls. Romney points out her business administrative experience, or lack thereof, and does a good job of promoting his and his business credentials. Wallace asks him if she should be commander-in-chief, the crowd emphatically replied, “No!”

[8:53pm] Giuliani says there are two things he agrees with Hillary Clinton. The first is being a Yankee fan and the second is that she has a “million ideas and the country can’t afford them all.” To that Giuliani said, “No kidding, Hillary. America can’t afford you.”

[8:54pm] McCain said, “I would much rather lose a campaign than the war.” He also said, “I’ve have saved the American people as much as $2 billion.” McCain is also taking his shots at the Woodstock Museum earmark and is getting a standing ovation from the crowd.

[8:56pm] Huckabee: “I like to be funny, but there is nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being President.” The same could be said about Huckabee.

[8:57pm] Thompson brings up good points about Democrats plans to increase taxes. Thompson says, “Our basic rights come from God, not from government.” He also urges the GOP not to focus on one single individual.

[8:59pm] Ron Paul points out the public disapproval on the war and points out that Hillary Clinton says the troops could be there another five years. Paul points out the loss of civil liberties and says, “Hillary Clinton offers no solution on that.”

[9:02pm] Thompson: Our present spending cycle leaves us in an unsustainable position.”

[9:05pm] On Social Security, Giuliani says, “I think the reality is we have to deal with Social Security.” He also points out that the liability of Medicare and Medicare will be exceed the liability of Social Security within the next two decades (I believe that’s what he said). Giuliani also endorsed private accounts for Social Security.

[9:07pm] The more Romney mentions his healthcare plan (the one passed in Massachusetts) the more I think he is going to try to get it passed if elected. It is ostensibly the same thing Clinton has proposed.

[9:09pm] Paul says, “The government is not good at central economic planning.” He also added, “We need to allow the young people to get out of [Social Security].” Paul finished by saying that the “The Constitution does advise that we do any of that anyway.” He was referring to education, Social Security and Medicare.

[9:12pm] Here goes Duncan Hunter with his protectionist rhetoric. Including matching tariffs with trading partners, something that will result in a trade war, higher prices and job loss.

[9:13pm] After listening to the ridiculous rant from Duncan Hunter on trade, Brit Hume ask him, “”Do you really believe you can solve Social Security with trade policy.” Priceless.

[9:14pm] Another commercial break.

[9:17pm] McCain took a shot at Vladimir Putin, “When I looked into his eyes I saw three letters…a K-G-B.” McCain said that Putin wants to rebuild the Russian empire.

[9:21pm] Giuliani says that we should expand NATO. Good God…it sounds like we’re in another Cold War already.

[9:24pm] Thompson keeps looking down at his notes. I’ve noticed him doing it several times. I’ve seen no other candidate doing it.

[9:25pm] Tancredo on Nancy Pelosi: “Nancy Pelosi is a lousy Speaker of the House and an ever lousier Secretary of State.” This was in response to the Armenian resolution that was introduced into the House of Representatives last week, which could have potentially strained our relationship with Turkey.

[9:26pm] Ron Paul on our foreign policy: “We don’t need to go looking for trouble. We don’t need another Cold War.” His comments on Iraq and foreign policy this evening have not been received well.

[9:28pm] A question to Ron Paul, “Has the Republican Party left you?” Ron Paul replied by saying that Republicans have become big government conservatives. He added, “We have accepted the Democrats position on foreign policy, on entitlements…” In closing he said, “We can’t even defend our own cities while prancing around the world.” That got a mixed reaction.

[9:32pm] There have been a ton of references to Ronald Reagan tonight, more than any debate I’ve seen but the first one (which was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library).

[9:34pm] Thompson responded to accusations that he is lazy. He went through a long list of his past jobs and accomplishments and managed to spin it very well.

[9:34pm] And…that’s the end of the debate.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/10/21/gop-debate-open-thread/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

50 Comments

  1. I am definitely not enthused about next fall’s possible choices.

    Comment by Greg — October 21, 2007 @ 10:09 pm
  2. Ron Paul? The loser? nah. He’s a winner, didn’t you see the 34% win at the end? :) Of course the audience was fox-selected and of course they automatically boo paul. But they don’t represent America.

    Comment by Brent — October 21, 2007 @ 10:10 pm
  3. He’s a winner, didn’t you see the 34% win at the end?

    You can’t take that poll seriously.

    Comment by Jason Pye — October 21, 2007 @ 10:12 pm
  4. I disagree that Paul was a loser tonight– his website is down from all the new people going to it or people donating. We’ll see how much he hauled in from people pissed off that he got booed.

    I agree that Ron Paul would be absolutely unstoppable if he had the preacher’s slickness of a Mike Huckabee. It’s one of his charms that he is not the most polished speaker, with pre-thought out punchlines, though.

    But frankly, I don’t want a President who can crack jokes, although the rest of America seems to care about that the most. I want one who knows the issues, and none of them do but Ron Paul. When they actually sound like they know what they’re talking about, they’re stealing lines from RP (Constitution, federalism, free market, etc.)

    Comment by Gloria — October 21, 2007 @ 10:13 pm
  5. his website is down from all the new people going to it or people donating.

    His site came right up for me.

    Comment by Jason Pye — October 21, 2007 @ 10:15 pm
  6. Stop it already. Ron Paul is anything but Presidential. Just look at the guy standing at the podium!

    Huckabee is right on the message and right on the issues. Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage, unwavering!

    Ron Paul has NEVER had a chance. You can manufacture 1,000 virtual votes all you want, but you can’t manufacture 100 million votes. Ron Paul is DONE. Stick a fork in him.

    Comment by HUH? — October 21, 2007 @ 10:20 pm
  7. Huckabee is a protectionist and populist. The guy is not a fiscal conservative. And thankfully the social conservatives are on the way out the door.

    Comment by Jason Pye — October 21, 2007 @ 10:22 pm
  8. Isn’t Huckabee the one that wants to ban cigarettes? No Thank You I am through with nanny state Republicans.

    Comment by Sean — October 21, 2007 @ 10:29 pm
  9. Ron Paul is a neo-hippy

    Comment by Eric — October 21, 2007 @ 10:32 pm
  10. There are some real problems with Huckabee – take a look at Wikipedia and elsewhere. For one thing he’s creepy, making the comment that the other presidential candidates should be using razor blades in a bathtub. When someone asked him how he lost 100 pounds almost overnight he said he had been in a concentration camp. He increased the debt in Arkansas by $1 billion and is a serial tax increaser – the ‘biggest taxer and spender in Arkansas history’. As governor he pardoned Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist, who then went out and raped and killed another woman. Then he had a wedding registry made up and took gifts that way so that he could skirt the gift laws as an elected official. He is also pro-illegal immigration and illegally took money from his governor’s special fund to help set up a Mexican consulate in the Arkansas state capital. These are not qualities I would like to see in a president.

    On the other hand, Dr Ron Paul has sterling credentials. What he says makes sense. He says what the founding Fathers said, and always has. He has been married to his wife for 50 years and is pro-life in everything including the fact that we should not be warring on countries who pose no harm to us. He wants to take the $1 trillion we spend a year on foreign adventurism and use it to take care of our social obligations here at home, rebuild our infrastructure, and pay down the national debt. And guess who likes Dr Paul besides real Conservatives? Minorities and poor people who would think of voting Republican, Progressives, and Independents!

    Comment by Ward Ciac — October 21, 2007 @ 10:36 pm
  11. So funny… “stick a fork in him, he’s done”. Ha. They were saying that on every blog after the first debate. You know, that one where Rudy stupidly attacked him about 9/11. Again, another event where the Faux News hand-picked audience went livid. Thank God America has better sense than that. I just talked with a homeless guy tonight and even he’s pissed about the choices at the top of both parties!(I’m a truck driver by trade) Ron Paul wins in 2008, no doubt in my mind.

    Comment by Christopher — October 21, 2007 @ 10:36 pm
  12. Ron Paul’s site IS having a problem, it’s stuck on $213,000 for an hour now (it was $204,000 at the beginning of the debate). It no longer shows names. I tried to donate $100 and it didn’t change the totoal.

    Comment by Mitch C — October 21, 2007 @ 10:36 pm
  13. It is astounding to watch Hannity question the legitimacy of his own Fox News poll. Does he think that Ghouliani, Romney, McBain, and the rest don’t have supporters texting their votes? What a neocon shill! I’m for Ron Paul and the return to traditional American values that made us respected around the world.

    Comment by Bill — October 21, 2007 @ 10:39 pm
  14. How the heck can you say Paul and others lost when they clearly don’t get to play on a level playing field? You even found it mentionworthy that at 8:18 these guys hadn’t been asked a question yet. I could understand how it’s hard to get concise answers in when you have to think it may be your only chance for the next half hour to speak! Nevertheless, Paul gave the best answers and won the debate, especially considering the bias.

    Comment by Mitch C — October 21, 2007 @ 10:40 pm
  15. Huckabee is right on the message and right on the issues. Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage, unwavering!

    Ron Paul has NEVER had a chance. You can manufacture 1,000 virtual votes all you want, but you can’t manufacture 100 million votes. Ron Paul is DONE. Stick a fork in him.

    Huckabee could barely manufacture $1M real dollars…

    Comment by js290 — October 21, 2007 @ 10:50 pm
  16. You can’t take that poll seriously.

    What if the poll said 34% for Fred Thompson? Or, Rudi?

    Comment by js290 — October 21, 2007 @ 11:04 pm
  17. Ron Paul has NEVER had a chance. You can manufacture 1,000 virtual votes all you want, but you can’t manufacture 100 million votes. Ron Paul is DONE. Stick a fork in him.

    Wow great words of wisdom i guess he raised over 5.3 million virtual dollars in the 3rd quarter too? As well as over 1.5 million already this month?

    As far as the gallop polls do any of you even know why he is so low in those polls? Bcause his name isn’t even on most of them to vote for.

    If the online and text polls are bogus as you claim ron paul would have won the value voters online straw poll by a landslide don;t you think? However he did take 3rd

    I have been a democrat all my life i am also a doctor by profession and i have since changed to republican just so i can vote for Ron Paul.

    Comment by Steve — October 21, 2007 @ 11:05 pm
  18. Huckabee won that debate hands down! Giuliani is way too liberal and Thompson is fading away…I’m voting for Mike Huckabee!

    Comment by Chris, Loomis Ca — October 21, 2007 @ 11:09 pm
  19. Paul really should stop mentioning foreign policy in every answer. Instead of answering questions with foreign policy out of the gate he sould be building on a base of conservative spending and strict adherance to the Constition. When, and only when, foreign policy is questioned should he bring that in, but it should always be prefaced with the above rhetoric.

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy is a result of strict interpreation of the Constitition, not the other way around.

    Unfortunately, he’s not presenting it that way.

    I did think he managed to save some face at the very end there when he was asked if he left the Republican party. The answer was solid and on message.

    Twice Rudy was called out on abortion and gun control. Both times he ignored those actual issues in his response. I wish they wouldn’t let him get away with that, but they did.

    Comment by Justin Buist — October 21, 2007 @ 11:19 pm
  20. america doesn’t care about what makes sense, they just don’t want to face someone who might actually bring about change. (at least on the republican side, that is)

    Comment by oilnwater — October 21, 2007 @ 11:19 pm
  21. Guys, the reason Ron Paul continues to mention his foreign policy over and over is because a lot of people still haven’t heard his message! Think about it, we’ve all heard it before because we follow the debates closely, most people don’t and it’s those people he is targeting with his repeat message!

    BTW- It was disgusting to watch Fox news audience – whom I’m sure Fox hand-picked – booing Ron Paul. You don’t boo a presidential candidate of your party. The other thing that disgusted me was that pre-debate shill who said he still had yet to decide on a candidate but wouldn’t vote for crazy Ron Paul.

    Let’s be clear, during American history, a lot of people who had great ideas at the time were looked at as crazy. Ron Paul will continue to grow his campaign as more and more Americans hear about him. I’m with him all the way!

    Comment by Robert Johnson — October 22, 2007 @ 12:06 am
  22. First of all Ron Paul won the debate with 34%, I recorded the debate! Huckabee had 27% and Rudy had 11%.
    As far as all the candidates are concerned, we will be in Iraq forever. It;s not a war It’s an occupation! Iraq was NOT a threat to us. There was no WMD’s. And if they had any WMD’s we gave them to them, go research Iraqgate!
    If I went to my neighbor’s house and started telling them house how to run their household, I would be asking for trouble! That is what we are doing with other countries…with Iran next.
    Bring the troops home and let’s take care of America!! http://www.ronpaul2008.com

    Comment by Joan — October 22, 2007 @ 12:20 am
  23. Here is an audio of the debate results: It dropped to 34%
    AUDIO SPIN ROOM FOX DEBATES: RON PAUL INTERVIEW
    WIN’S WITH 35%,,,FOX Hannity IN SHOCK!
    http://www.apfn.net/pogo38/L018I071021-186G.MP3

    Comment by Joan — October 22, 2007 @ 12:37 am
  24. Ward Ciac says about The Huckers: “These are not qualities I would like to see in a president.”

    However, those are precisely the qualities that those who refer to Tancredo as “anti-immigration” (as our host does) prefer. His support for illegal immigration is probably one of the major reasons why the MSM appears to {heart} Huckabee.

    Here’s a 30-second video about some of the things Ciac mentions: youtube.com/watch?v=T5Dp7FaKIJo

    If anyone could ask Huck that question and then could publicize the response it would have a very salubrious impact on the elections.

    Comment by TLB — October 22, 2007 @ 12:48 am
  25. Ron Paul supporters are funny. They have no grasp on reality.

    Comment by chris burton — October 22, 2007 @ 1:25 am
  26. Robert,

    It was disgusting to watch Fox news audience – whom I’m sure Fox hand-picked – booing Ron Paul. You don’t boo a presidential candidate of your party. The other thing that disgusted me was that pre-debate shill who said he still had yet to decide on a candidate but wouldn’t vote for crazy Ron Paul.

    These are the Republicans who vote in primaries. They are the ones Ron Paul needs to convince to vote for him.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 22, 2007 @ 4:40 am
  27. These are the Republicans who vote in primaries. They are the ones Ron Paul needs to convince to vote for him.

    Clinton II, here we come…

    Comment by js290 — October 22, 2007 @ 6:51 am
  28. These are the Republicans who vote in primaries. They are the ones Ron Paul needs to convince to vote for him.

    They’re not the only ones. Trying to court the votes of people that absolutely hate the central component of his platform would be stupid. He’s not going to get a single vote from the 23% that still support bush and that’s ok.

    There are a lot of conservatives that don’t insist on having an empire. Ron Paul is their man.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — October 22, 2007 @ 7:25 am
  29. js290,

    Clinton II, here we come…

    That’s about how it looks

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 22, 2007 @ 7:47 am
  30. Jeff,

    There are a lot of conservatives that don’t insist on having an empire. Ron Paul is their man.

    Paul’s problem in these debates is that he turns almost every question back to the war. That may be great for stirring up the grass roots, but it’s not what your average Republican primary voter wants to hear in response to every question.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 22, 2007 @ 7:48 am
  31. If you think Paul was just being booed by the audience; I expect it was nothing compared to the booing by the telivision audience.

    Comment by Ron — October 22, 2007 @ 9:55 am
  32. kinda like the size of the audience booing at the other candidates’ longing to expand the war? kinda like that?

    Comment by oilnwater — October 22, 2007 @ 10:18 am
  33. Doug,

    Paul’s got to find another key topic in addition to Iraq. Although I think he’s right that it’s the single most important issue in the election and it’s what will cost the Republicans in 2008. Problem is that I think there’s a sense of shame attached with the anti-war vote. People seem to be realizing that the war was wrong, but they don’t want to be rabidly anti-war because it involves admitting that they were suckers for buying into the crap that Bush sold them (and most people don’t like feeling like they were that foolish). Paul was right in that continuing the war now is just about saving face, but it’s not just the politicians that are doing it and I think it’ll work against him in this campaign if he constantly reminds the voters of the fact that they were overwhelming behind the war originally. The voters won’t see it as correcting a mistake, the voters will see it as Paul rubbing their stupidity in their faces and they’ll hate him for it. Unfair, perhaps, but then that’s just politics…just because you’re on the right side of an issue doesn’t mean the people will appreciate you for it.

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 10:18 am
  34. If you think Paul was just being booed by the audience; I expect it was nothing compared to the booing by the telivision audience.

    He has said the same things in front of a lot of audiences and the only one that has booed him was Fox News. That’s not a representative audience.

    Paul’s problem in these debates is that he turns almost every question back to the war. That may be great for stirring up the grass roots, but it’s not what your average Republican primary voter wants to hear in response to every question.

    From what I’ve seen of the campaign so far, I trust their judgement more than Doug Mataconis.

    We just discussed that 89% still don’t know about him. Of those, there are a ton of people opposed to the war. Why waste energy pandering when he’s still building his base. Always pick the low-hanging fruit first.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — October 22, 2007 @ 10:27 am
  35. Paul’s problem in these debates is that he turns almost every question back to the war. That may be great for stirring up the grass roots, but it’s not what your average Republican primary voter wants to hear in response to every question.

    It’s the most important issue as it ties everything together.

    We have a massive financial obligation staring us in the face with SS and Medicare. It will cripple the government if we are also trying to finance an expensive global empire. We simply cannot do both. It can’t be done. Period.

    So, you have to end the war. You have to bring our troops home and turn our foreign policy back to where we do as little as possible outside of (cheap) diplomacy.

    Ron Paul has a well-thought out plan for restructuring the government so we can face the coming obligations as best we can. The other guys have a lot of talking points. You cannot simply tax-cut your way to paying for our massive entitlements. It can’t be done. Period.

    It’s fine if you want to suggest it’s not a good way to present the issue, or that he’s not selling it well, or whatever. But it is one of the central issues that literally defines limited government, and is the lynchpin on which the rest of Dr. Paul’s ideas depends.

    I hope some day we can stop talking about posturing and marketing and start talking about facts in regards to politics.

    Comment by rho — October 22, 2007 @ 10:33 am
  36. The neo-cons actually believe Fox News is working on their behalf. Ridiculous – the focus group were FreeRepublic plants – and the circus leader a known propagandist. By Fox ignoring the fact that people are not going to vote “bomb Iran – occupy Iraq” candidate, Hillary is assured a Fox propaganda victory. And I’ll be called out of touch? Incredible.

    Comment by GeneG — October 22, 2007 @ 12:00 pm
  37. Crawford,

    Paul was right in that continuing the war now is just about saving face, but it’s not just the politicians that are doing it and I think it’ll work against him in this campaign if he constantly reminds the voters of the fact that they were overwhelming behind the war originally.

    I don’t know about that. Cutting and running at this point, without at least making a semblance of an effort of leaving a stable country behind, is going to cause problems in the future that we will, by default, be required to deal with.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 22, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
  38. We have a massive financial obligation staring us in the face with SS and Medicare. It will cripple the government if we are also trying to finance an expensive global empire. We simply cannot do both. It can’t be done. Period.

    So, you have to end the war. You have to bring our troops home and turn our foreign policy back to where we do as little as possible outside of (cheap) diplomacy.

    Ending the Iraq War tomorrow will do nothing whatsoever to solve the entitlements mess. Believing that it will is as bad as Democrats who believe we can tax our way out of the crisis.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — October 22, 2007 @ 12:26 pm
  39. Doug,

    We’re not going to leave a stable country behind no matter who gets elected or what they do. That ship sailed after Bush committed to sending too few troops, disbanded the Iraqi military, and uprooted the entire societal order with de-Ba’athification. Iraq is a creation of colonial days ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Mesopotamia ), it’s an artificial construct that the people no longer appear to want, and the only thing that held that country together was the sheer brutality of Saddam Hussein’s rule. It’s breaking apart now because it was never a unified country to begin with (a process which Bush sped along, but didn’t create). All we’re doing by leaving our troops there is getting them killed to try and stop an inevitability…the breakup of Iraq. And to save face (which is also the reason Bush still insists on fighting a war where he doesn’t have sufficient resources to proceed). The war’s a lost cause, Doug, one that we never should have been involved with in the first place.

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 1:34 pm
  40. Must be nice to live in bubble Doug. Reality bites.

    IMF chief warns dollar may suffer ‘abrupt fall’

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=071022154152.yz1uni1v&show_article=1

    Bravo !

    Comment by GeneG — October 22, 2007 @ 1:36 pm
  41. Doug,

    And Iraq’s linked to the entitlements because it’s part of the same neo-conservative philosophy of increased statism, and they’re both contributing to an impending economic crisis. I don’t think they’re as directly linked as rho suggests, but they are linked by the underlying philosophy that created them.

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 1:39 pm
  42. Ending the Iraq War tomorrow will do nothing whatsoever to solve the entitlements mess. Believing that it will is as bad as Democrats who believe we can tax our way out of the crisis.

    Why would you say that? Something on the order of $12 billion a week is being spent on the Iraq war alone. We need that money. We have a massive unfunded liability in SS and Medicare, and it’s either cut spending, raise taxes, or borrow/print money. Only one of those options won’t decimate the American economy.

    Comment by rho — October 22, 2007 @ 1:42 pm
  43. Doug,

    And if you want to understand why what we’re doing in Iraq is doomed, here’s a link to the manual on counterinsurgency that General Petraeus wrote:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-24.pdf

    This is the manual that Bush continually cites as proof that Petraeus can win the war. Read it, compare it to what’s going on in Iraq now, crunch the numbers (particularly the troops to population ratios), study the requirements for winning a counterinsurgency, then come back and tell me that Iraq possesses anything close to what the characteristics Petraeus says he needs for successful resolution of this war. I think you’ll find that Bush’s optimism is false and utterly groundless.

    In addition, I’d also recommend this book, upon which Petraeus based many of his conclusions:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pacification-Algeria-1956-1958-David-Galula/dp/0833039202/ref=sr_1_4/102-5077039-1621747?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193079238&sr=8-4

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 1:55 pm
  44. I agree with Doug. Ron Paul is my guy, but he needs to leave foreign policy out of questions that are about dometic policy. His stance on abortion, spending, taxes, role of government could really resonate with the average Republican, long enough to get them to consider that their position on the war is wrong.

    Comment by Seer — October 22, 2007 @ 5:18 pm
  45. “Paul’s problem in these debates is that he turns almost every question back to the war. That may be great for stirring up the grass roots, but it’s not what your average Republican primary voter wants to hear in response to every question.”

    That is precisely NOT Paul’s problem. His problem is that he has too many positions on esoteric issues like the gold standard or abolishing the Federal Reserve that the people don’t understand and are therefore distrustful of. He therefore comes across as impractical. Paul needs to focus on a few major issues and none more than the war in Iraq.

    I suspect that his broken record on Iraq was a deliberate policy. With Iowa and New Hampshire being the first two key races and with both being anti-war, Paul needs to do everything he can to establish his position on that issue and he doesn’t need to get bogged down in having to defend himself on some other issue, especially one of the esoteric ones.

    Comment by Rob — October 22, 2007 @ 6:08 pm
  46. “I don’t know about that. Cutting and running at this point, without at least making a semblance of an effort of leaving a stable country behind, is going to cause problems in the future that we will, by default, be required to deal with.”

    Wake up, Doug! We’re going to cut and run in Iraq. The only question is when and under what circumstances. Furthermore, there can be no settlement among the Iraqis as long as U.S. troops are there. As long as we support the Shiites, they will dig in and make demands that the Sunnis won’t meet. If we try to shift our support to the Sunnis, we will make a mockery of our claims to be building a “democratic” Iraq, and anyway, the Shiites might then very well ask us to leave.

    So we might as well get out and let the Iraqis solve the problem among themselves. That might require a great deal of violence. But we could be surprised to find that it doesn’t really require that much.

    Comment by Rob — October 22, 2007 @ 6:16 pm
  47. Rob,

    I agree with what you said, although I’m not going to be as optimistic as you about the chances for a less-violent resolution (it’s going to get very, very wet over there). But I do think that the longer we stay the bloodier the conflict’s eventually going to be, so leaving sooner rather than later is preferrable. And neither side is one we particularly want to back anyway.

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 6:43 pm
  48. the current point begs the real point: US policy is building an indefinite (20-50 years) military committment in iraq. ron paul mentioned this.

    14 air bases, huge militarized embassy, guaranteed garrison. this needs to be repeat over and over and over.

    if the pentagon plans for an empire, they should just come out and tell the american people and lay out plainly their justification for empire and then tell the american the expected repercussions of this.

    Comment by oilnwater — October 22, 2007 @ 10:17 pm
  49. oilnwater,

    Actually, I think the more likely ending to that is we end up abandoning it all in a couple of years when we withdraw. I don’t doubt that Bush is attempting to make the war something so intractable that his successor won’t be able to remove us, but I think the end result will still be us leaving and cutting our losses (meaning we leave everything we’ve built to the Iraqis). The end of the war is inevitable, but it won’t end with a stable Iraqi government. It’ll end because we finally decide that we’re okay with letting the Iraqis kill each other as long as it means no more troop deaths. We’ll never be able to sustain a 20-50 year commitment there. The Iraqis won’t tolerate it, the volunteer military won’t survive it, and our economy will eventually worsen and turn the American people against it. All building these bases and the embassy does is hasten the rot.

    Comment by UCrawford — October 22, 2007 @ 10:28 pm
  50. you’re assuming that the attacks on Freedom of Association, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom from unwarranted S&S, and the deteriorated economy won’t have weakened our populace into a greater chance of long term compliance as this MidEast involvement deepens.

    Comment by oilnwater — October 23, 2007 @ 12:30 am

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML