And here are my impressions of what happened last night (by the way, “debate” is in quotes because these dog-and-pony shows hardly qualify):
Guys who looked good:
John McCain demonstrated why, regardless of the fact that he’s got some issues I can’t abide, the man is a true patriot and knowledgeable, and would make, IMHO, a nice running mate for Mike Huckabee (I can hear some of you screaming at me right now). He shredded Flip Flopney on waterboarding, and Ron Paul on Iraq. And he’s right on both issues; I’ve decided that as a Christian, I can’t support waterboarding. Call me a weenie; I don’t care. McCain is right on this issue, and he came across really strong.
Mike Huckabee came off as the most affable candidate, but that’s old news, of course. His only stumble, which Tancredo seized upon, was his answer on space exploration. With his fiscal policy being his only Achilles heel that I can see, his answer there opened a door he didn’t need opened. But he came off quite presidential in all of his remarks; he isn’t going to change what he believes to please you or me, or to get elected. I like that.
Guys who looked bad:
Flip Flopney. I really thought he weaseled around on the torture thing, though he did have some nice moments.
Fred Thompson. He wouldn’t be in this category if not for the inane decision to run, as his commercial, an attack ad against Huck and Flip. This wasn’t the place for doing that, and it made him look cheesy. Nice answer on immigration, though.
Rudy. The man basically lied about Flopney’s house being a “sanctuary mansion”, and that was cheap. At the same time, he’s got an impressive record in NYC, and he accented it well.
Ron Paul. You know, he says a lot of things that are spot-on; he’s at his best when talking about getting the government out of our lives. But when he talks about Iraq, he can’t seem to distinguish between the fact that, in retrospect, we shouldn’t have gone in, and what we need to do now that we are there. He seems to justify “let’s get out” with “we shouldn’t have gone in”. No, Ron, it doesn’t work that way, and you look like a doof when you try to go toe-to-toe with McCain on this one.
Guys who don’t belong on the stage:
Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. Guys, you both have nice points to make, but the handwriting has been on the wall for awhile, and everybody seems to know it but you. You’re clogging up the stage. You’re taking up space and time. Throw your support behind somebody else, and go back to being effective House members. Now. Time’s up; out of the pool, boys.
CNN and Democrats. Anderson, if there are eight candidates on the stage, then give them some semblance of equal time. Get somewhere in the ballpark; don’t ask guys to come up there on the platform just to witness the Flip and Fred and Rudy Show. And putting a mic in the hands of the homosexual general? What in the world was that about, particularly now that we know who that dude was.
And the Democrats lose by virtue of two things: one, there were four or five guys on that Republican platform with better experience and better ideas and better willingness to come clean than almost any of the Dem candidates (with the possible exception of Bill Richardson, whose ideas stink). Two, and more importantly, your gutlessness in being unwilling to have a debate on Fox News is transparent. CNN is a lefty-leaning organization (and some of the questions that were chosen help in that assessment, as was the decision to give the mic to the general), but the Republicans went into that situation nonetheless. The next president is going to be dealing with real bad guys, like al-Zawahiri and bin Laden and Ahmedinejad, and those nutjobs, and you weaklings don’t have the courage to deal with Fox News.
Yeah, you’re ready to lead the country…like I’m ready to quarterback the Colts.
UPDATE: I promise I didn’t see this article until after I wrote this post, but Time Magazine agrees with me.
And by the way, that’s the correct way to put it: Time agrees with me. 🙂