This or That: Declinism or Defeatism? After Tonight’s GOP Debate in New Hampshire, How About Both?

It could’ve been worse. Maybe. 

Mitt Romney. Tim Pawlenty. Newt Gingrich. Michelle Bachmann. Rick Santorum. Herman Cain. Ron Paul. Earlier tonight, the GOP's presidential wannabes took the stage in New Hampshire for a debate amongst Republican presidential hopefuls. Moderator John King audibly mumbled and grunted through their answers, as if attempting to manually punctuate the candidates’ sentences for them. Occasionally, he stopped to ask individual candidates to choose between two competing bits of inane pop-culture trivia (iPhone or Blackberry? Conan or Leno?) in a game he called “This Or That.”

The pick-your-side questions, he explained, were intended to allow viewers to get to know the candidates a little better. But the quick, generally substanceless exchanges gave viewers little insight into the specific policies that each of the candidates would support, or how exactly they would make the sort of tough decisions required of a president. It wasn't that policy wasn't a factor; it was that it was discussed mostly in soundbites and rambling generalities. The candidates didn’t really discuss policy issues so much as allude to the fact that those policy issues do, in fact, exist.

That almost certainly helped Romney. A former business advisor, he came off looking slick and professional, as if running for America’s Consultant in Chief. When he wasn’t talking, he watched the other candidates with a condescending perma-smirk plastered across his face.

Newt looked ornery and vaguely bored, except for the time he got to talk about why NASA, which he called "a study in why government can't innovate," is responsible for America’s sad lack of awesome moon bases. Santorum came across as nervous and over-eager, like a puppy dog eager to return a Frisbee to his master. Cain didn’t get a question for twenty minutes, and then sputtered through a flip-book of management catchphrases: As a businessman, he said, you learn to “make sure you’re working on the right problem.” As president, when it came to tough issues, he’d “take it to the people” and “do what’s right, not what’s politically right.” He favors “common-sense solutions.” (Is there an anti-common sense candidate?)

Paul relied on familiar maxims of a different kind. He repeatedly highlighted his hatred of the Federal Reserve, used the word “malinvestment” in a question about government assistance to business, declared that the government should get out of the marriage business, and promised that “free markets will give you 10 or 15 percent economic growth!”

Pawlenty, asked whether he prefers Coke or Pepsi, picked the market leader: Coke. It’s clear that in the Romney/Pawlenty slugfest to come away the front-runner, Pawlenty was hoping to come away as the number-one candidate himself. He didn’t. After displaying an initial reticence to follow up on his recent attacks on Romney for RomneyCare, the Massachusetts health overhaul that inspired ObamaCare, Pawlenty played second fiddle for the rest of the night.

Of all the candidates, Bachmann may have fared the best, though it surely helped that expectations were so low. While Romney smirked at the other candidates, she took notes. Romney played the players; she played the cards. It worked. 

Most viewers, though, would’ve done just as well to spend the two hours of the debate playing a couple rounds of Go Fish themselves. There was precious little in the way of substantive policy talk this evening, even ignoring King's inane games. The candidates all agreed that they hated ObamaCare, and they all attempted to pin the nation’s economic woes on the Obama piñata. Santorum came out swinging against the “oppressiveness” of the health care law and “what the president did on energy.” Bachmann proposed the “mother of all repeal bills” and said that the Environmental Protection Agency should be renamed the “Job-Killing Agency of America.” It’s not subtle, but I guess it gets the job done.

The candidates piled on Obama at every chance. The Obama administration is "anti-jobs," "anti-American," a "destructive force," said Newt. Romney dropped punchy declarations like "This. President. Has. Failed." But few were willing to put forward their own solutions with any specificity. When Pawlenty was questioned about Medicare, he said that his proposal to save the program would be forthcoming. Asked to defend his perhaps overly optimistic (alright, alright—totally loony) five percent growth projections, he would only point to growth numbers in China and Brazil (not exactly fair comparisons) and accuse critics of just not having enough Care Bear Stare power, or something. Don’t believe his growth targets are plausible? That’s positively un-American! “This president is a declinist,” Pawlenty said. "It's hogwash. It’s a defeatist attitude.”

Maybe. But after a dud of a debate like this, a certain measure of defeatism seems warranted.

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  • Helen Tasker||

    Are we going to die?

  • Harry Tasker||

    Yep!

  • Mildred Patricia Baena ||

    You did tell her about us, didn't you Harry?

  • Harry Tasker||

    Yep!

  • ||

    It's a clear case of declinism. But enough about the Miami Heat!

    Two hours and when they finally got to Afghanistan, they let Cain and Paul take a stand (Cain: I'll let the generals decide. Paul: Get 'em all out now!). Then the moderator switched to Libya, so that Bachman could express her horror of Obama turning the leadership over to -- gasp -- the French!

    I watched for two hours, learned nothing. Best answer of the night was when Cain was asked about the best pizza and said deep dish. At least somebody up there actually knows something.

  • ||

    no! Thin crust is the future! More toppings - less filler.

    Much the same critique as with Flava Cain - he has no substance at all.

  • Comment Tater||

    Thin crust is the future!

    Win the Thin Crust!

  • ||

    You didn't learn anything? I learned that it's perfectly acceptable to use an individuals group identification, when considering them for a cabinet position.

    Does that mean it's ok to not vote for Herm in the primary, because he's black? I'm sure the blacks commit more crimes than Muslims.

  • jacob||

    +1

  • ||

    Hahaha, that Cain likes deep dish shows how bad it is. Fuck your toilet bowl "pizza."

  • -_-||

    "Bachman could express her horror of Obama turning the leadership over to -- gasp -- the French!"

    I guarantee you that played very well for a whole bunch of reasons. A great answer that punched Obama in the nuts.

  • ||

    At last, a substantial basis upon which to determine who to vote for.

  • Robert||

    Deep dish is an attempt to sub quantity and variety for quality. You don't make pizza better by hollowing it out and filling it with wet stuff.

  • A Serious Man||

    We didn't learn anything, did we?

  • Hugh Akston||

    That should be obvious enough from the fact that there is another election planned.

  • ||

    +1

  • Terr||

    That it's time Newt should exercise the Newcular option?

    I'm sorry (no I'm not); this will never get old for me.

  • MJ||

    Did you really expect to?

  • MWG||

    This classic scene sums up nicely tonight's debate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtNHuqHWefU

  • Stan Marsh||

    All of these Republican candidates look and sound like shit!

  • Joe M.||

    I thought the duck was pretty good.

  • affenkopf||

    That was a dog.

  • BenDU99||

    CNN was terrible. The Fox News debate was run about a thousand times better. What a joke of a news organization CNN has become. Coke or Pepsi? Really?

  • CNN's explanation||

    We have a duty to the Socialist Internationale to portray Republicans as boneheads.

    "Workers and Peasants, UNITE!"

  • Paul||

    Workers and peasants unite? Rly?

    That's the old, gauche socialism. That's the socialism of Eugene Debs. The new socialism is "public partnerships" and billions thrown at too-big-to-fail enterprises-cum national resources that employ the well-pensioned peasants.

  • JoshInHB||

    The new phrase should be

    Banksters and Bureaucrats UNITE,
    the peons still have some money to steal!
    .

  • cynical||

    Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.

  • Syd Henderson||

    Royal Crown.

  • Kolohe||

    This would have been 1) a great answer 2) a great way to give a shout out to both the 80's and Reagan, a the latter of which was, curiously, the only thing mostly absent last night.

  • ||

    Only if they pronounced it right:

    Aura-see Co-Cola.

  • this is the south calling||

    It's called R-oh-C! Lot you know, yankee.

  • ||

    Yankee? Yankee? Southern-born, southern-bred and ed, and never wanted to live anywhere else (though many parts of the world are--or seem to be--nice places to visit).

  • Ben P.||

    Hell, I'm a Yankee, and I'd vote for the Royal Crown products ev'ry time. There used to be this great little Mexican food joint on the Las Olas Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale that served RC products on draft, and had great, inexpensive food, and I'd kill at least two or three weekend nights a month down there, slurping down some great chicken-rice soup, and munching a couple of tacos, and washing it all down with some of that there RC. Those were the days, man.

  • ||

    Crown Royal would have been a better answer.

  • ||

    After listening to Newt and Cain's answer on Muslim political appointees, the question for America is Marxism or Fascism?

  • America||

    Which ever one gives me stuff.

  • Ben P.||

    After listening to these guys last night, the question was GROUCHO Marxism or Fascism.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Whoever decided to replace a timer and simple buzzer with John grunting like a fucking chimp through the whole answer and pissing his pants about keeping answers short after every question is a genius.

  • asdf||

    hahaha

  • Name Nomad||

    Clearly the correct answer is "Moxie." Since none of them mentioned that, I'll have no one to vote for.

  • Zeb||

    Werd.

  • Comment Tater||

    Coke or Pepsi? Really?

    "Coke or meth" would have been a lot funnier.

  • ||

    Freedom or security?

  • Ted S.||

    What about those of us who don't like carbonated beverages?

    (Seriously; I don't like beer either.)

  • mr simple||

    Then I guess you can just get out of america, you commie bastard.

  • -_-||

    You don't like beer? You can't be a Democrat Man of the People. You don't like champagne? You can't be a Republican Robber Baron.

    Guess you'll just have to do some heroin and support Ron Paul!

  • ||

    CNN = Coke News Network?

    ...or simply Corporate News Network?

  • BenDU99||

    As for the candidates themselves, I thought they were all pretty bad. Sadly even Ron Paul. He was much better in the Fox debate.

    Romney is slimy scum. T-Paw is maybe the biggest pussy ever. Oh, did you know he grew up in a steel union or something?

    Bachman was the only one that pleasantly surprised and that's probably because I expected nothing from her.

    Hopefully Ron Paul can bounce back.

  • Terr||

    Newcular Titties. Get it right, Suderman.

  • Funny||

    Every time!

  • ||

    I'm surprised CNN didn't ask him about that: "Newt: Short for Newton or Newcular Titties?"

  • ||

    Gingrich is dead in the water. Is he even running anymore? Bachman is hoping to pull an Obama and make the jump from junior senator to unqualified Presidential candidate and then to the white house. Gary Johnson is a fucking two term governor, he's climbed Everest, and he spent the last year stumping for his Our America Initiative and he doesn't get on the bill. That was a deliberate slam from CNN.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I guess they hit their libertarian quota with Ron Paul.

  • Zeb||

    They should make a new rule: Anyone who has climbed Everest gets to be in any debate he wants to be in.

  • Ben P.||

    I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • ||

    COMMENT OF THE DAY- CHINA IN PROSPECTIVE

    [Comment by Hsun Tze – (www.Chinadaily.com.cn.)]

    I [Hsun Tze- Master Hsun]would rather describe Sino US relationship as that of important stakeholders rather than partnership.

    It is not that of adversaries nor true friends. It is neither here nor there but the relationship is vital to the world as both are big and powerful.

    Perhaps the relationship can be better if the USA learns to have real mutual respect and acceptance that there is equality in the relationship. If there is any benefit than it should be for the world to enjoy and not just the two powers.

    So far, the USA has shown itself wanting to be the leader in the world. It wants to be the policeman as well as the judge and arbitrator. As long as this exists, there can be no genuine partnership. China cannot be a second Japan who have to listen to what the USA master say. China is a sovereign country. It must stand up and do the righteous thing, uphold its dignity and go for peace but never fear war.

    If the USA can bring itself down to Earth and accept that all countries have their own ways of doing things (i.e. a live and let live policy) then partnerships can be a reality.

    The ball is in the US court.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

  • Kolohe||

    This comment was 1) almost lucid 2) almost short 3) almost correct.

    You're making progress Herc.

  • ||

    THE NEW [VW]

    THE SUPER DEBTOR NATION- The new [VW]

    [VW's and Double Dips]

    Now in the good old day's [VW] stood for the German Beatle and not for letters out of the alphabet to describe economic recession to recovery, we had one of those little Red German Beatle's and sort of liked it but this new [VW] isn't our cup of tea. So, what in the world is all this [VW], that these over educated, over-paid and looking in the rear view mirror of our [VW] talking about, well most of the time they don't know and were only guessing, the [V] is not for Victory as in Victory at Sea by William Rodgers, but for the economy taking a dive doing a bounce and then getting back up to were it was before the dive, the [W] is just two [V's] connected, or a double dip, and we are not talking about a double dip ice-cream, the economy takes one dive, get back to were it was in the first place and then takes a second dive and once again bounces back to were things were in the beginning, and if you think that this is all going to turn out were things are going to return to where they were, we have a couple of weak infrastructure bridges we would like to sell you. Now, these soda jerks are saying there will be no double dip, but there will be a [JOBLESS RECOVERY]. What, a jobless recovery, we have how many out of work and they are going to remain out of work, which means the middle class working stiff is going to have to support the continued unemployment checks being paid out, let alone the soup lines, and homeless shelters, you have got to be kidding, of course there will be no double dip no [W] shaped economic recovery its not even a [V] shaped recovery its simply a dead cat bounce, the economy took a dive and a whole lot of unemployed cats are still going to be in the unemployment line that's the down stroke of the [V] and at the bottom having taken a dead cat bounce.

    [Big Ben and Chermany]

    Now, Big Ben and that's not the clock in London, or Ben Franklin, but Ben Bernanke, is placing the entire blame on the worlds economy upon [Chermany] that's a new economic country made up by those over rated economic boys, made up of the countries of The Peoples Republic of China and The German Federal Republic, they are THE CULPRITS, the Chermanyor's, they are standing in the way of World Wide economic recovery, that the almighty Empire, the American-Israeli Military Industrial and Economic Complex, with its broken economy and monopoly money [QE's] Quantitative Easing's, base currency has the right to dictate to the world what to do and how to do it. But, the problem is we are now in the [21st] Century, were more than just [Chermany] are willing to tell the Super Debtor Nation what to do and where just to stick it, this blame the other guy approach to economics just isn't cutting the mustard. Ben is complaining that [Chermany] and Israel have purchased to much of the Empires debt, but was singing a different tune when the almighty dollar was on the skids, and they were buying to stop the slide, talk about being two faced, this guy talks out of one side of his mouth one day and the other by evening end.

    [Thrown under the [VW] bus]

    So what is the working class stiff, sitting in the local diner, drinking his cup of hot black Joe, after getting his last unemployment check, looking at, just harder time's ahead, his standard of living after his cash runs out from that last check will be out of the local homeless shelter at best or made on the streets at worst, the poor working class Joe, after additional tax's to pay for those on unemployment, and no raises in sight, spending those [CD's] Certificate of Deposits set aside for college for the kids and retirement, and facing broken promises about health care, education, a monopoly dollar, as Ben continues to cry about foreign financial support from [Chermany] and Israel, but continues to print monopoly money for them to purchase, well if you got a job and income, but your seeing your standard of living slipping on a daily bases, with the outlook for your kids not so good, John Q. Citizen can only look in the mirror and too see just who they should blame, for not paying more attention to just who they voted into office across the board, and ask what were they thinking if at all. An Old Ben can say along with his economic know nothing that there will be no [Currency War] which is in progress, caused by [QE2] Quantitative Easing II, dumping, (€437B/$600B), Four-hundred-thirty-seven Billion Euros / Six-hundred Billion Dollars, in cheap major reserve money, as it holds down interest rates to nearly [0%] Zero percent, and that there will be no protectionism that is already going on, as Ben keeps blowing more and more, hot air into the worlds asset balloon bubble market when sooner or later the inflationary pressure will POP!!! it, but saying it isn't so doesn't mean a thing too the guy on his back thrown under the [VW] bus, with a Peace Sign painted on the side for yet another unnecessary monetary and hot economic stimulus war, paid for by monopoly money and soap bubbles.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

  • Mike E||

    I think the best part of this is that it isn't even blog whoring.

  • Wind Rider||

    Sad part is he makes more sense than most politicians. . .but then again that's easier than kicking a puppy.

  • Mike E||

    About a paragraph in it gets cloudy. When a politician speaks, it takes about a second.

  • Amakudari||

    I like how he combines anti-Semitism with hatred of [Chermany].

  • Triumph||

    []! []! []!

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    My breakdown. I know you've all been waiting.

    Romney: how the fuck did he "win"? He came across exactly as the unprincipled slimeball politician that he actually is. The punidtocracy loved him. This is why we consider the punditocracy to be slimy co-conspirators and a big part of the problem. His long rambling answer about whether it's time to get out of Afghanistan could have been summarized as "No", except for the break in the middle for self-congratulatory mastrubatory patriotism ("thank you for your service to our country" .... you wanna thank me for my service? then howbout answering my question with out a lot of fuckin doubletalk, you fucking asshole).

    Pawlenty: I don't hate him yet. I'm still buying the Aww-shucks midwestern deal, actually. Maybe I'm just a dumbass for that. John King: the reason Pawlenty didn't like the whole "ObomneyCare" thing is called "politeness". Most people here in flyover country don't actually like getting in other people's faces in real life unless there is about to be some punchin, and it didn't seem like that kind of party at all until you tried startin shit. If you had wanted an actual substantive answer, you could have got it by asking a dryly worded question. But you didn't want that, you wanted fireworks. That kinda sorta makes you an asshole.

    Newt: Actually did OK. Except for the spaceship talk. But did actually convince me that he was probably taken out of context on the whole Ryan proposal. I still wouldn't ever vote for him, because if he had done his job in 94 we'd already have a lower deficit. But he pussied out.

    Bachman: did ok actually. She is really really fucking pro life though, isn't she. She actually gave the right answer when pressed really hard about gay marriage and the 10th amendment, but it was like pulling fucking teeth.

    Santorum: What a fucking asshole. Go home and shut up. He was the only guy that I just hard to start muting, for the sake of my new TV. Let me be clear, I hate this fucking guy.

    Cain: Lost a little ground. But the questions he got were kind of crappy. He needs to express what his general principles are besides "Solve the Problem". He's a people person damnit! He takes the specifications from the public to his staff. Well, he doesn't actually physically carry the specifications, he has people for that, but CMON .... I still actually kind of like him for not feeling the need to pretend that he knows everything about everything. Apparently that pretension is a requirement though, dambit.

    Paul: I Love you man. You've got my vote. But I doubt you convinced anybody that didn't already like you. Too bad. Practice looking happy about choosing Blackberry over IPhone in the mirror.

  • Paul||

    Nice missive on Cain.

  • MJ||

    "He came across exactly as the unprincipled slimeball politician that he actually is. The punidtocracy loved him."

    Being an unprincipled slimeball who will not rock the political establishment's boat is the way to the punditocracy's cold black heart. Romney is the establishment's candidate.

  • Robert||

    You wouldn't think that about the punditocracy from listening to John Bachelor's panel. The pundits do say he's the establishment's candidate, but pundits are not pro-establishment. In fact, the way pundits make their living is bashing the establishment.

  • get a clue||

    "pundits make their living is bashing the establishment."

    Pundits are part of the establishment.

  • ||

    It is interesting that the Obama Administration seems willing to try anything to get the economy moving--except slashing tax rates on income and investment.

    If somebody said that the Obama Administration would prefer the economy continued to stagnate--if the only thing that would make it start humming again were deep tax cuts on income and investment?

    I don't think that would be entirely unfair. And I hope tax cuts are something that whoever the Republican nominee is harps on day and night.

    I am so sick of seeing capitalism blamed for what's wrong with the economy. I'm so sick of it, it almost makes me want to vote.

  • OO||

    whoops - about half of the stimulus were tax cuts. broaden ur sources beyond radio entertainers.

  • -_-||

    Please provide your source. TIA

  • OO||

    do ur own research hoss

  • -_-||

    You made the claim. You provide the source, pony.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Orrin's too dumb to spell "cat" unless his iPhone spots him the c and the t. You're expecting an actual source from him?

  • -_-||

    "You're expecting an actual source from him?"

    My never-ending faith in human nature makes me want to believe that he will come through in the end.

  • Zeb||

    "slashing tax rates on income and investment"

    Has your income tax rate been slashed?

    I don't think personal income taxes need to be the top priority now. Cutting corporate taxes and lowering spending are far more important.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Uhh, no--they were "tax credits" that were paid for with debt.

    Perhaps you should broaden your own sources beyond the local "independent" fish wrap.

  • ||

    "whoops - about half of the stimulus were tax cuts. broaden ur sources beyond radio entertainers."

    I don't listen to the radio--you should broaden your kung fu beyond personal attacks.

    I'm not talking about giving one time tax credits to people who qualify for the earned income tax credit. I'm not talking about giving people a tax credit for buying a car or a home. I'm not talking about temporarily excluding some of the money individuals receive in unemployment compensation.

    I'm not talking about giving businesses a tax credit for using renewable energy. I'm not talking about letting businesses speed up depreciation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O.....incentives

    I wasn't talking about any of that.

    I'm talking about slashing income tax rates. I'm talking about slashing or getting rid of the capital gains tax.

    You can tell because I wrote, "It is interesting that the Obama Administration seems willing to try anything to get the economy moving--except slashing tax rates on income and investment."

    And thank you for proving my point!

    Because he really has tried everything else, hasn't he? ...and he won't try that!

    Oh, and just for your edification, there shouldn't have been any confusion about what I wrote--because I wrote it a second time!

    "If somebody said that the Obama Administration would prefer the economy continued to stagnate--if the only thing that would make it start humming again were deep tax cuts on income and investment?

    Now if you really want to contradict me, you'll scamper off and find a link show how I'm wrong about all that. ...how Obama really has slashed income tax rates. ...how Obama really has fought to slash the capital gains tax.

    But you can't. Because he hasn't. ...and he never will as long as he's in office.

  • ||

    If I were Obama? I'd start with the bottom tier. ...in getting rid of the income tax.

    People who make less than $40,000 a year pay a very small slice of total federal tax receipts anyway--and they're the ones who are suffering from unemployment the most.

    Slashing the income tax--down to nothing if possible--would drive down the price to employers of paying those people their take home pay.

    If they don't have to pay as much or all of the income tax, then it doesn't cost potential employers as much to hire them--because they don't have to pay them as much money to cover their income tax bill.

    It's as simple as that.

    So why doesn't Obama slash or eliminate the income tax for people making less than $40,000 a year?

    Is it because he doesn't care about unemployment?

    I don't think so. I think he cares; I think his reelection may depend on where unemployment is a year or so from now. So why doesn't

  • ||

    Think I left a tag off the end there.

  • ||

    The rest of the comment said that the reason he doesn't do it is because he's blinded by ideology.

    And if he lets leaves the unemployed to twist in the wind because of his narrow-minded ideology, then he's unfit to be president.

  • OO||

    so u dont like obsma's choices of tax cuts. strange since most folks seem to like any & all tax cuts. again, radio entertainers arent the best choice for info

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    A tax credit is not a tax cut. I realize how difficult it is for you to comprehend this, but that's the case.

  • ||

    Tax credits aren't tax cuts, and I'm talking specifically about slashing income tax rates and capital gains taxes. ...and whatever you do, you have to make it at least as permanent as a small businesses' long term plans.

    Investments are long term plans. Hiring people is a long term plan. One tax credit one year doesn't effect anybody's long term plan.

    If we want to encourage investment and hiring--then we should stop artificially discouraging investment and hiring through taxes.

    It isn't complicated.

    Obama has never proposed slashing income tax rates. Obama has never proposed slashing the capital gains tax.

    And he never will. Because he's a rigid ideologue.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I don't think tax cuts are even necessary right now. What we need is spending cuts and stability. Cut spending, lock in tax rates, stop spewing out new regulations every day, and lift any moratoriums like the ones that are stopping energy development.

  • ||

    We could bat that back and forth day and night.

    Suffice it to say that if scary deficits are the only thing that will make legislators curb their spending?

    Then if slashing tax rates makes those deficits even scarier, that may make the fat cats in Congress tighten their belts. Starving the beast still makes sense to me. If you think the government needs to lose weight, then why would you oppose slashing taxes and putting it on a diet?

    There is another possibility however.

    The Laffer Curve isn't dead yet. Slashing tax rates can and has created more revenue in the past. And just because certain facts are now flying in the face of popular assumptions--doesn't mean they aren't facts. We might see more revenue--over the long haul--if we slashed income tax rates.

  • JoshInHB||

    It is interesting that the Obama Administration seems willing to try anything to get the economy moving--except slashing tax rates on income and investment.

    Or rolling back regulations.

    Or lifting the oil production moratoriums

    Or doing something about insolvent financial institutions

    Or not spinning out tons of new regulations

  • -_-||

    Or not getting involved in more wars.

  • Jim||

    I'm still so deliriously happy over the Mavs last night that even this shit-fest couldn't bring me down.

    GO MAVS!!!

    And...GO RON PAUL!!! BEAT THE HEAT (OBAMA)!!!

  • MJ||

    I'm happy that the NBA finals are over. Now ESPN can concentrate on sports which are actually compelling.

  • ||

    Like the soccer, baseball, tennis, golf and hockey you weren't watching while the bball finals were on.

  • ||

    +1. Watching basketball is like watching table tennis, only less fast-paced and oversaturated with sponsorship graphics.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    [When Pawlenty was] asked to defend his perhaps overly optimistic (alright, alright—totally loony) five percent growth projections

    [Ron Paul] promised that “free markets will give you 10 or 15 percent economic growth!”

    So does that make Paul 2-3 times loonier than Pawlenty?

  • asdf||

    Nothing is unrealistic about 5% growth.

  • Daze||

    How are Gingrich, Cain and Santorum considered serious candidates but Gary Johnson isn't?

    Gary Johnson would make a good LP candidate.

  • Just another person commenting||

    Not if he wants to try to win. And I hope he does.

  • ||

    Until Johnson proves his commitment to hating Muslims, he will never be a serious candidate.

    He probably doesn't think that we should amend the Constitution for an issue as significant as banning gay marriage either.

    Johnson is clearly not in it to win it.

  • ||

    One of these days, someone will have the bright idea of having a British combat veteran ask the DADT question. It would go something like this:

    "I am a British combat veteran, who served in Basra. The British Army allows openly gay soldiers to serve in combat duty, and I can tell you from first hand experience, that gay soldiers are just as good as killing Muslims as straight soldiers. Why are you afraid of letting gay soldiers serve in the United States Army?"

    It would be fun watching the bigots try to wiggle around that one.

  • Matrix||

    It's not that they themselves are bigots. They just know the ones who support them are bigots, so they will tow the line to get the votes.

  • -_-||

    A pol wants to get votes? How novel! It would be much smarter to pander to the 3% of voters who want gays to serve openly in the military. Genius!

  • Zeb||

    It's "Tow the lion" or "toe the line". Please pick one or the other.

  • -_-||

    Oh, yeah, the American people will really listen to a member of a foreign military lecturing the US about what the US should do wrt gays in the military. You must be an advert professional or something. You really understand the lay of the land.

  • Zeb||

    I liked Paul's answer to the gays in the military question. People shouldn't be judged because they are members of a group, but by behavior. No fucking your fellow soldiers while deployed seems like a reasonable rule. Don't let us find out about your secret boyfriend, less so.

  • -_-||

    "People shouldn't be judged because they are members of a group, but by behavior."

    Are we allowed to judge people who are members of a group defined by their behavior, e.g. the group of all convicted murderers?

  • creech||

    I was hoping he would just channel Goldwater: "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight."

  • lotto||

    No one is arguing that gays can't kill people. Straw man.

  • ||

    I think that such a statement would would make the heads on several of the members of this debate panel explode.

  • alan||

    free markets will give you 10 or 15 percent economic growth!

    This is really the kind of free market advocacy that I hate as it is 1) not true, or only true under certain limited conditions, 2) emphisises a utilitarian imperative, and 3) ignores the importance of culture. If ten percent of the adult population were to suddenly take up fly fishing, or take on the reading of Aquinas ten hours a day as the next hep fad, it would certainly effect consumer demand in such a way that would lower productivity and profoundly change the quality of our lives, and more importantly, how we define that value. Free markets is not a competitive sporting event with socialism to see which can churn out the most factory product. It is a moral imperative defined by the freedom of choice.

  • Matt||

    Correct. I think Ron just got a bit carried away there and did a little ad libbing. That's not an argument/promise he usually makes.

  • Robert||

    If we suddenly got free markets, over the next few years we certainly would see that rate or better of economic growth, just because of the release of a pent-up "supply" of it. It would then settle down to a lower figure.

    Repealing the narcotics laws alone would account for an enormous amount of that, which however would probably be spent within 2 years or 3 at the outside. Getting rid of the capital gains tax would have a similar one-time effect followed by a much reduced but still substantial benefit in the long run.

    The 1st year wouldn't show as much of the growth because there'd be a lot of liquidation.

  • ||

    C'mon guys. This was the most libertarian debate evah. Even Ron Paul on one side said he felt much more appreciated, and David Gergen on the other, said disparagingly that nobody on the stage thought government was good for anything. That's all an improvement isn't it?

    Do you guys spit in fresh beer just to have a full glass of that backwash flavor?

  • alan||

    Salvation in politics. I'm just not a strong believer in that.

  • ||

    How about slavery in politics? Do you believe in that?

  • alan||

    I believe in having a decent enough skill set it little matters what the nimrods do one way or another.

  • chronos||

    Having a great skill set, but ignoring politics won't save you in the end.

  • ||

    "Of all the candidates, Bachmann may have fared the best, though it surely helped that expectations were so low."

    They were only low because douchbag journalists like Suderman made them low. Anyone who has ever watched Bachman for five minutes understands she is sharp as hell. She would wipe the floor with either Mr or Mrs Suderman in any kind of debate.

    If you don't like or agree with her, fine. She is not my favorite candidate either. But the "she is just stupid or crazy" condescension is something I would expect from the NYT not Reason.

  • .||

    Drink?

  • alan||

    Crazy? Crazy hot, maybe. I never got the Palin attraction, I mean obviously she is, but she was never the type I really go for. Bachmann though. Goddamn. That women gets all my feelers and sensors thumping.

  • ||

    Pailin is just too much of a mom. She does have the smoking hot body. But the glasses and the makeup and the hair just ruin it. Bachman is cute. I wouldn't call her smoking. But I think her hair and makeup are done better than Palin and that is what makes the difference.

  • alan||

    A matter of vices for me. Palin is likely as clean cut as she comes across, but Bachmann, well, I know fun when I see it.

  • ||

    You would be surprised. Palin didn't have all those kids because she doesn't like to fuck.

  • alan||

    Realistically, Bachmannn being a woman in politics has been mindful of her 'p's and 'q's to a greater extent than my fantasy of her. However, she reminds me of every female office manager who ever hit on me, or just had me come to the backroom to eat up some office time share pack of smokes. I instantly like her on that basis on a personal level, though politically, she's a hard sale in some ways. Not so hard in others (opposition to TARP).

  • ||

    I like Bachman. She is Palin without the reality show circus factor.

  • ||

    In a three-way with Palin and Bachman, who would get more of your attention?

  • Comment Tater||

    Palin didn't have all those kids because she doesn't like to fuck.

    Not fair. The bible says she has to fuck.

  • ||

    First, she isn't particularly religious. That is just something that gets projected on her by her weirdly obsessed fans and critics. And second, while the bible may say she has to, it doesn't say how much.

    No woman with a lot of kids is frigid.

  • ||

    Not fair. The bible says she has to fuck.

    Does it say anything about anal?

  • .||

    Does it say anything about anal?

    I think there is something about it being an abomination to the Lord mentioned in the Pentateuch.

  • ||

    Hey now. Bachmann's uterus takes a back seat to no woman. If she has to pop out a sixth kid to prove, she'll do it.

  • OO||

    palin & bachman are too old w too many kids. stretch marks & meat curtains

  • ||

    Of course being a liberal, you consider Nancy Pelosi to be quite the catch. And it is possible for a woman to have kids and turn 40 and still be worth banging.

  • OO||

    nope on pelosi just like those 2. not into wrinkles, stretchmarks, nor hanging labias. didnt say all women 40+ but the pickings are far fewer than 40- women.

  • ||

    True. The pickings are fewer. Bachman is 54 for Gods's sake. I am thinking among women in their 50s, she is about as good as it gets.

  • Just another person commenting||

    Given her parting comment about what she had learned in the previous two hours, I'm not sure "sharp as hell" is how I would describe her.

    Just how sharp is hell anyway?

  • ||

    Very sharp. It can cut through paper. And the last line was a throw away line. I can forgive her for that. I just can't for the life of me understand why anyone would be surprised she did well in a debate.

  • Robert||

    I have it on good authority that Hel is actually flat.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm not crazy about her completely, especially the anti-choice crapola, but Bachmann may just be an acceptable (and importantly electable "compromise" candidate. I need to learn more about her though.

  • ||

    She is running for President not governor. What could she do about abortion as President? At most she would cut off federal funding for it. And even if your pro choice, I doubt that you think the feds should be paying for them.

    Abortion really is a state level debate.

  • Cytotoxic||

    She could overturn Roe vs Wade and then it would be a state matter-which is horrible. All human rights should be guaranteed at the federal level. Granted, her decentralized approach is kilometers better than many anti-choicers, but I like my 'dictatorship of freedom' better.

  • ||

    That is only because you assume life doesn't begin at birth, which is hardly a indisputable proposition. If life begins at conception or sometime before birth, then freedom and human rights demand that abortion be illegal.

    We are never going to settle that question. So why not leave it up to the individual states and the electoral process?

  • OO||

    why? only life before birth has the right to live? why should they be any different? plenty of the born are killed every minute

  • ||

    "plenty of the born are killed every minute"

    Sure. It is called murder.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because ball of cells =/= thing with rights. Pregnant women = endowed with rights.

  • MJ||

    There is no human right to kill another human being. It's sad that you are a single issue voter, who'll chuck liberty over the side to support an illegitimate right.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, I'm willing to support her in spite of that.

  • ||

    She could overturn Roe vs Wade

    I thought she was running for President, not Sole Justice of the Reconstituted Supreme Court.

  • Ronnie||

    I can't help but notice that all of the people who are pro abortion have already been born.

  • OO||

    thx yogi. grandpa master of the obvious like that's something special

  • ||

    I actually have wondered for quite some time why abortion rights are considered a major litmus test for the presidency. It's not like the president can do much directly on abortion, and, to the extent that he can appoint a Supreme Court justice or two, the likelihood is that he won't be able to get through anyone with an extreme position on the issue, certainly no one who is vocal about overturning the Roe v. Wade line of cases.

  • Skip||

    When Bachman isn't talking about Christian stuff, even the Left can't deny she is smart. She went to LAW SCHOOL for crying out loud! That is practically the only qualification lefties believe in for politicians.

  • ||

    The funny thing about the Christian stuff is that if she were a lefty talking about how Jesus says we should give up all of our money to the government, the Left would have no problem with her religion. Any religion that doesn't support the cause is evil fundamentalism to them.

  • -_-||

    The left in America supports religion in the same way that the government of China does - it approves of a religious org so long as it subordinates itself to the will of the State.

  • OO||

    foolish considering "the left" hasnt recinded their tax exempt status.

  • -_-||

    That's a Constitutional fight that the left doesn't want. It would be a great way to alienate the religious and even many of the non-religious.

  • Zeb||

    I hope you don't think that this is new or unusual. Religion has always been used by the state as a tool to maintain power.

  • -_-||

    In general terms, there is nothing new about a state allying with a religion to maintain control. It is new in America, though, to have a major political party adopt such a blatant double-standard as the DP has wrt religion. Preaching politics from the pulpit is fine if done by a D pol or candidate, but R supporting churches must be investigated by the FEC if they publish voters' guides. Maybe my memory is failing me, but I don't remember the RP using a government agency to go after D supporting churches.

  • Fluffy||

    Bachmann may not be a drooling retard, John, but I would not call her "sharp".

  • ||

    I would. Have you watched her? You have a visceral hatred and bigotry towards anyone that is not an atheist. So of course you don't think she is sharp. In other news, Nathan Bedford Forrest didn't think Frederick Douglas was that sharp.

  • ||

    It is human nature fluffy. I am the same way. Whenever someone tells me they are an atheist, I assume they are shallow and stupid. Everyone has their bigotries.

  • ||

    Stupid if you disagree, I guess. But what's shallow about atheism?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    John,

    I've met Bachman at a few events and she ain't no rocket scientist. Sorry to bust your bubble. She is very personable, but don't try telling me that she is some brainiac.

    My warning would be that she is way more of a christian fundie than she is currently letting on. She made her bones in MN as a big time socon. It is only since the Tea Party craze started sweeping the nation that she has recast herself as more anti-govt than socon.

    Don't forget the mash she put on GW after the 2007 State of the Union speech.

  • ||

    I don't really care. If she were an atheist I wouldn't care either. All the culture war stuff gets fought out at the state level. As I said, she is running for President not Governor.

  • ||

    And why didn't the New England family doctor guy (don't you hate people who constantly drop their professions into conversation? It should be called 'Sanjay Gupta Syndrome' since Gupta hasn't spoken a sentence since 1985 that didn't begin "as a doctor...") just be honest and say "I am a typical greedy boomer and I want to know what you working stiffs are going to do to ensure I never have to work again?"

  • Patrick||

    Seriously, I don't yell at the TV as much as I did in my younger days but I couldn't contain myself with that asshole. Concern trolling on CNN with a smug look on your face and shitty NE accent about how you have been "contributing" to MC and, horror of horrors, you may only get 85% back??? GASP!

    Grandkids? Eh, fuck em.

  • ||

    The "family" part was a nice smug touch too. I guess if you are a doctor who treats single people you don't have the same moral authority.

  • Matt||

    I liked Cain's response to that guy. And his line about throwing the grandKIDS off a bridge instead of the grandparents if we don't fix the budget.

  • Just another person commenting||

    Personally, I liked Ron Paul's answers for the most part. I thought he was the most direct, and while his 10 or 15% growth numbers might be a bit high, the rest of his reasoning made sense to me. If strong economic growth is what we want, then we need a much freer market than we have now. No one else there seemed willing to make that point.

  • ||

    And it should be the centerpiece of every running Republican's election campaign!

    I haven't heard Obama correctly identify what makes economies grow yet!

    The only time I've seen him even pretend like he knew what made economies grow was when he was trying to get ObamaCare passed--as if widely expanding government entitlement programs would somehow make businesses more competitive?

    We need more investment. We need to slash the cost of hiring unemployed people. He wanted to increase the cost of investing. Slashing income taxes really would cut the cost of hiring unemployed people...

    Barack Obama is completely blinded by his ideology. His ideology has made him oblivious to common sense on the economy...

    Pointing Barack Obama's blind spot is how you win this nomination. That's how you kick Obama out of the White House too.

  • ||

    Well said. On Drudge today there was a link to Robert Gibbs saying that "elections can't be about assessing blame for the economy". Can you believe that shit? Since they can't plausibly blame Bush for things getting worse under Obama, the line is going to be "it just happened". It is a real life version of the famous Heinlein quote about people slipping back to poverty being called "bad luck".

    Obama has no answers and falls apart when he is challenged. That is why the Republicans can't send up some stiff like Romney or Paulenty. They need to put someone up there with some balls who will go right after him in the debates.

    There is a story about Obama psyching himself up for his 2004 DNC speech saying "I am like LeBron, I got game". He really is LeBron. If you go after him, he will fold in the 4th quarter.

  • Spoonman.||

    Sadly, this is why Rick Perry will win. Obama can't run on the jobs created during his presidency, because nearly half of them have been in Texas. Rick Perry can run on that.

    Now, I don't think Obama or Perry are responsible for that, but since we've decided that executives can affect the economy in this country, it may work.

  • ||

    If Perry runs and gets Palin's endorsement, it is game over. I am not a Perry fan. But he is apparently very close with Palin. With her endorsement, I don't see how he loses.

  • -_-||

    Sadly, Perry is a political wind sniffer like Bush.

    An unmentioned, but important subtext is a resentment that has been simmering for nearly 20 years in NY over the increasing importance and influence of Texas with respect to New York. In the early 90s, TX surpassed NY in population and in the number of fortune 500 companies based in the two states. Furthermore, TX beat out NY as the location for construction of the Superconducting Super Collider, a project which NY would never have been in the running for if not for NY's political influence. The inside scoop was that once NY lost out, the NY congressional delegation killed funding for the SSC out of spite.

    Then, of course, came Tom Delay, GWB, the 2010 elections (which put Texans into a number of key House leadership positions) and the latest census results which have added 4 congressional seats to TX and taken 2 from NY.

    You can bet that there are some in the NE Republican establishment who are loath to see another President from TX even though Perry is a reliable party hack.

  • ||

    So if you don't like the candidates, vote Obama. Santorum, Cain and Bachman won this. Romney was a media pet that many are falling for but has too much baggage. Personally I think Obama is the worst in all history who badly needs replacement.

  • ||

    I haven't seen the polls, but my guess is that Romeny's the consensus pick among media people who live in the northeast.

    There's too much about Romney not to like--despite what the polls may say right now. I don't think people have really been paying too much attention to the primaries yet anyway.

    Before tonight, I bet an absolute greater number of people knew who the vice-president was--then knew who the frontrunner in the Republican primaries was. ...and most people couldn't name the vice-president to save their lives.

    It's still really early.

    The only good thing I can think of to say about Romeny is that he isn't Obama. I remember when the Democrat nomination was Howard Dean's to lose--right up until Iowa. Anything can happen between now and then--and hopefully will.

    I'd rather have a kook in there than Romney. He kind of reminds me of a Republican version of Al Gore in a way...

    They're both robots.

  • ||

    Romney needs to explain to the country what he actually believes in besides "It is good to be Mitt Romney". His biggest accomplishments in life seem to be creating Obamneycare and getting the feds to fork over a few billion dollars to save the Utah Olympic bid. The country is falling into a depression and about to go broke. Running around saying Rainman style "I am an excellent manager" isn't going to get it done.

  • ||

    Exactly.

    It seems to me that Democrats in the northeast like him because he's not one of those scary Southern republicans...

    And that ain't gonna play in the primaries.

  • affenkopf||

    Personally I think Obama is the worst in all history who badly needs replacement.

    Not even close (yet).

    Wilson.
    FDR.
    Lincoln.

  • ||

    When Libertarians go on a "God save the Confederacy" Lincoln bashing bender, they don't help themselves. No President who, even if by accident, ended the bondage of millions of Americans should ever be listed on a worst list.

  • -||

    He didn't end slavery. The Federal victory ended it. Lincoln never fired a shot and was a lousy commander in chief. If the rebels had won (or stalemated), the Proclamation would have been worthless.

  • ||

    Lincoln called the shots, hired and fired the generals and mobilized the country for the war. He also had the will to see the war through when many were screaming for peace. He absolutely deserves all the credit he gets for saving the Union and by extension ending slavery.

  • -||

    I'd give Grant and Sherman more credit than Lincoln. His utter ineptness as commander in chief prolonged the war by years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths, and his Proclamation was merely the first step in a hundred-year struggle for civil rights for blacks. It didn't end racism. No proclamation can do that. And it wasn't a particularly bold move, as all other civilized nations in the world had already taken that step. Lincoln wasn't the first Western leader to abolish domestic slavery. He was the last.

  • ||

    So what? He was the American who did and thus should never be listed as a "worst" anything.

    Further, he wasn't incompetant as commander and chief. He just couldn't find a decent general in Virginia. And ultimately, those battles in Virginia didn't mean a damn thing. The war was won and lost in the West. Virginia just got all of the press.

    And even if you think the NOVA theater was paramount, the mistakes that prolonged the war were not Lincoln's. It wasn't Lincoln's fault McCellen refused to attack outside Richmond and let Lee bully him off the peninsula during the seven days. It wasn't Lincoln's fault that Burnside and Hooker fell apart after losing a battle (Fredericksburg and Chancelorsville respectively) and refused to put the kind of pressure on Lee that Grant later did after the Wilderness. Lincoln, until he found Grant, just could not find a commander who was a winner. It is not like people knew McClellen was a loser until he took command. Choosing him as commander made a lot of sense at the time. And McCellen, even though he was a loser in the field, was a great training general and was largely responsible for building the Union Army. He just didn't know how to use it.

    The Civil War battles were so incredibly bloody that many an otherwise competant commander fell apart after contact with the enemy. That is what happened to Burnside, Hooker, Pop and McCellen. They would fight a battle and completely fall apart after seeing the human cost of it.

    Most people don't realize that Lee kicked the living shit out of Grant at the Wilderness. Longstreet rolled up Win Hancock's corps like a rug. It was a worse defeat for the Union than Chancelorsville. The only difference was that unlike Hooker, Grant didn't fall apart and kept coming.

    It took Lincoln three years to find two commanders crazy enough to do what was necessary. Any other President would have had the same problem.

  • ||

    Wars, especially civil wars, are won mostly by not losing them. Lincoln gets credit for that.

  • ||

    One other thing. As much as I like Grant, he took on Lee after Lee had a depleted army and had lost his two best corps commanders (Jackson was dead and Longstreet was severely wounded at the Wilderness). One of the great what ifs of the war is North Anna. North Anna was right after Spotsylvania. Lee was in a "V" position and was in a position to use his shorter interior lines to split Grant's army in half and destroy it piecemeal. But he got sick and there just wasn't anyone with the authority to competence to take his place. We will never know, but had Jackson or Longstreet been there to take command, Grant may have had a very bad day.

  • -_-||

    Lee was a great commander - when he was fighting defensively. When on offense, he pretty much sucked. Never say that in the South, though, if you want to keep your teeth.

  • ||

    Even on the defensive he was overrated. Even his biggest victories were overrated because he didn't have the men to lose. He lost 1/3 of his army at both Chancelorsville and Second Manassas. The South didn't have that kind of man power to lose.

    The whole Lee cult started after the war. And it was started by Early, who Lee wanted to relieve, and Lee's deadbeat nephew Fitz Lee. The South needed a post war hero. So they covered up all the inconvenient facts, like Lee lost the war, and mythologized Lee.

  • Zeb||

    Brazil was the last to abolish slavery, I believe.

  • -_-||

    And Brazil had 10x as many slaves as the US, 5m vs. 0.5m methinks.

  • cynical||

    "He absolutely deserves all the credit he gets for saving the Union and by extension ending slavery."

    Only one of these things is worth the loss of even a single human life.

  • -_-||

    Having an intact US as a foil against the Soviet Union saved one helluva lot more than one life.

  • Jim||

    Sorry, but that's so ridiculous that it has to be challenged.

    There was no way to know how history would have played out had the US split. Maybe the Russian Revolution, or World War I, never happens. Maybe the War ends before the Russian Revolution (US loans kept the allies going for a long time). Maybe Confederate intervention saves the tsar. Maybe the north by itself has enough know-how to create nukes, which are what keeps the USSR in line. Maybe the north & south decide to sign a mutual defense treaty against the USSR and we get the same stalemate we had in actual history. Maybe the Soviets aren't as expansionist and paranoid about western intentions if the US doesn't assist the allies in occupying certain parts of Russia for the tsar during their civil war (imagine how far we'd trust them if Russian troops had taken and held San Francisco for the Confederacy; but Americans tend to conveniently forget this fact).

    Anyway, you can see that Lincoln fighting the Civil War can hardly have anything knowable to do with "saving lives" in the Cold War a century later.

  • Robert||

    Actually that's an interesting albeit oblique invocation of Russian North America. The czar was very good to the US, selling Alaska at a sweet price rather than letting it fall to the British. What's not as well known is that the Russians were in Hawaii before the Americans too.

  • -_-||

    There was no way to know how history would have played out had the US split.

    True. I was just throwing out a notion. As things played out, it was a damn good thing that there was a unified US to oppose Marxism and its spread.

    Maybe the Soviets aren't as expansionist and paranoid about western intentions

    That's just rubbish. The USSR was ideologically expansionist and its leaders were empire builders. The argument that the West made the USSR behave the way it did is pure propaganda. The same type of garbage arguments are used to justify NK's militarism.

    Anyway, you can see that Lincoln fighting the Civil War can hardly have anything knowable to do with "saving lives" in the Cold War a century late

    Alternative paths of history are never knowable. That doesn't mean that they can't be speculated about. I think you are off-base in thinking that European political philosophy would have been influenced much if the North had let the South leave the Union.

  • sarcasmic||

    When Libertarians go on a "God save the Confederacy" Lincoln bashing bender, they don't help themselves.

    You got that right.

    The man is a fully ordained saint for fuck's sake.
    Perfect in every way.

    Any critical analysis of him must be motivated by racism and a desire to put blacks back in chains.

    States right equals racism.
    Don't like the expansion of federal power under Lincoln and you are a racist.
    State sovereignty equals racism.

    There is no other possible explanation.

    None.

    Libertarians are racist.

  • ||

    Lincoln wasn't perfect and wasn't a saint. But he was a hell of a lot better than the slave holding southerners. If you are going to claim slaveholders gave a shit about states rights or anything but expanding slavery please explain the fugitive slave act first.

    When Libertarians go on a Lincoln bender they end up saying that the Constitution is more important than getting millions of Americans out of bondage. I love the Constitution as much as the next guy. But people are the point of political institutions. Libertarians like everyone sometimes forget that.

    If strict adherence to the Constitution means leaving millions of Americans in a state of slavery, fuck the Constitution.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're so right.
    War was the only way to abolish slavery.
    There was no other way.

    This is clear by the fact that no other country ended slavery except by killing hundreds of thousands of its citizens.

    And you're right about the Constitution as well.
    Being a libertarian means strict adherence to the Constitution minus all Amendments.
    That means supporting slavery, opposing the right of women to vote, etc.

    Libertarians are racist bigots.

  • ||

    Take it up with the Southerners. They are the ones who went crazy and started shooting because they thought Lincoln was going to take away their slaves.

    If slavery could have been ended peacefully, why did the South leave the Union and go nuts and start shooting?

    It is easy for a bunch of white people in 2011 to say that it was no big deal for slavery to go on for another few decades. There is no way around it. If you object to Lincoln and take the side of the South in the war, you are saying that it is better for the country to be split in half and millions of Americans live as slave for a few more decades than to give up a strict interpretation of the Constitution. And that is crazy.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    It wasn't a Civil War. That is when two or more groups fight for control of one country. The South seceded, just like the colonies broke from England. How many Confederates were tried for treason after the war? None. Because they didn't break any laws. Lincoln also used the draft, so you could say he enslaved the free in order to free the slaves.

  • OO||

    neoconfederate horseshit. the rebs were granted amnesty

  • Concerned Citizen||

    But what law(s) did they break?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Maybe Lincoln didn't pursue treason charges because he didn't want it to come out in court that he baited the South into firing first, and that it truly was a war of Northern Aggression. Thanks to Lincoln, the States are now branch offices of the Federal Gov't. Not trying to defend slavery, just taking a critical look at the "official" version.

  • ||

    But the draft ended with the war. Slavery would not have had the South won

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Really? No more slaves were drafted to fight WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam? I must have missed something.

  • ||

    Because being drafted is just like being a slave. REasons why no one takes libertarians seriously.

  • .||

    Because being drafted is just like being a slave. REasons why no one takes libertarians seriously.

    Maybe you ought to ask someone who was drafted, John. You sure as hell never were.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Well speaking of my own state (NC) we didn't "go nuts and start shooting" when Lincoln got elected. NC tried to stay neutral and didn't leave the Union until Lincoln insisted NC help invade the States that had already seceded or be invaded ourselves.

  • sarcasmic||

    "you are saying that it is better for the country to be split in half and millions of Americans live as slave for a few more decades"

    Yup.
    That is the only alternative.
    There were no other possible alternatives.
    None at all.
    Either or.
    You nailed it.

  • ||

    What other alternatives were there? The South wasn't giving up their slaves in 1860. And if they had been allowed to succeed, they would have continued slavery for God knows how long.

    So it was either fight a war or let slavery go on for the indefinite future. What other alternatives where there?

  • sarcasmic||

    The war was not over slavery.
    Secession was motivated by slavery, the war was not.
    The war was to solidify federal dominion over the states, and to end any notion of state sovereignty.
    The North did not invade the South to end slavery, they invaded the South to show them that the federal government is boss.

    Other countries ended slavery without killing two percent of the population.
    I'm sure someone could have figured something out.

  • ||

    "Other countries ended slavery without killing two percent of the population.
    I'm sure someone could have figured something out."

    That something was letting slavery go on. And if keeping the old system meant keeping slavery, fuck the old system. If you don't like what happened, blame the South for keeping slaves and fucking up the old limited government system. They are the ones who abused states rights.

  • sarcasmic||

    "That something was letting slavery go on."

    Then how come other countries no longer have slavery?
    The practice ended everywhere else in the world without massive bloodshed.
    How did it happen?

  • sarcasmic||

    If the South had seceded because they thought Northerners smelled funny, Lincoln still would have invaded.

  • .||

    What other alternatives were there? The South wasn't giving up their slaves in 1860. And if they had been allowed to succeed, they would have continued slavery for God knows how long.

    So what? If they had been allowed to secede, they would no longer have been part of the country and their slavery would no longer have been any of the Union's concern...unless you think the Union should have been policeman of the world at the time. You can bet there was alot more behind the North's objection to secession than mere concern about the immorality of slavery.

  • ||

    No, I just think they should have been policeman of their own country. The South was part of the Union and the Union had a moral obligation to end slavery.

  • sarcasmic||

    "The South was part of the Union"

    Once the South seceded they were not part of the Union.
    They had left the Union to form their own country.
    That is what secession means.

    "and the Union had a moral obligation to end slavery"

    The Union didn't invade the South to end slavery. They invaded to bring the South under federal dominion.
    Why is that so difficult to understand?

  • -_-||

    "This is clear by the fact that no other country ended slavery except by killing hundreds of thousands of its citizens."

    How many other countries were as economically vested in slaves as were the Southern States? Some parts of Latin America might have been, but who needs slaves when you have peons?

    Slavery wasn't going to end in the US without a fight. If the slave states had been allowed to secede, then there would have been a long period of meddling in the States by European powers and meddling by abolitionists from the Northern States in the internal affairs of the broken-away Southern States. Better to rip the band-aid off fast.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Lincoln was a fucking tyrant. Slaver Confederates were morally depraved fuckbags. OO, you generalizing, cock-munching, horse-fucking mother-fucker.

    You remind me of those ball-gobblers I keep running into as far south as Texas that insist every Confederate citizen and official was a slave-holding, nigger-hating, war-mongering piece of shit that deserved to die. Go fucking die.

    As for the war, I call it the War Between the States. Slavery was a component, of course, and nobody is denying that, or claiming that it's anything but an abomination, but the War was not fought to free the slaves -- it was fought to impose federal supremacy unto the states, to "save the union".

    """""""I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.""""""" -- Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

    Die-hard League of the South types are idiots. Liberal "uber-Yankee"-type shit-munchers like you are equally moronic. Get that through your thick fucking skull.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thank you John and Mr. Face. There is nothing so embarrassing to libertarianism and historically discredited as Lincoln bashing Neo-confederate horseshit. Not even non-interventionism.

  • .||

    Slavery wasn't going to end in the US without a fight.

    "If the slave states had been allowed to secede...," there would no longer have been slavery in The United States of America.

  • -_-||

    Slavery wasn't going to end in North America without a fight.

    Better?

    How about

    Slavery wasn't going to end in the territory which comprised the US at the time that the slave states attempted to secede without a fight.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Slavery wasn't going to end in the territory which comprised the US at the time that the slave states attempted to secede without a fight."

    Lincoln could have purchased the slaves' freedom. That would have been less costly in treasure, not to mention blood, than going to war.

    Or just let them secede and keep their slaves. Before long slavery would have ceased to be economically viable thanks to advances in technology.
    Willing and motivated workers with the aid of machinery are more productive than unmotivated slaves. Even slaves with machinery.
    Plantations employing willing workers would have out-competed slave holders, and the vile practice would have ended on its own.

  • -_-||

    Lincoln could have purchased the slaves' freedom.

    Can you give an historical example of a people surrendering their culture simply because someone offered them some money? I guess you could cite some pre-agrarian islanders or something, but can you name an advanced society giving up their way of life for money?

    Before long slavery would have ceased to be economically viable thanks to advances in technology.

    That doesn't mean that the culture would have changed. It is just as likely that the slave states would have used protectionism to preserve their way of life even if it meant impoverishing themselves.

  • sarcasmic||

    No historical example of something happening is not proof that it cannot happen.

    "even if it meant impoverishing themselves"

    That goes against basic human nature.

  • JoshInHB||

    When Libertarians go on a "God save the Confederacy" Lincoln bashing bender,...

    Whatever happened to Old Mexican anyway?

  • Zeb||

    He had to work or something.

  • asdf||

    Cain bombed dude, rofl what did you watch?

  • ||

    Really? I thought he did a great job trying to take over Newt's title as the GOP's biggest bigot.

  • -_-||

    It's not clear that dumping on Muslims would hurt a candidate in either the primary or the general election, no matter how big a tantrum is thrown about it in certain circles.

    Also, I doubt if saying, "I would subject a Muslim to a higher level of scrutiny before including him in my administration" would bother most voters, especially those voters who aren't automatic D voters.

  • mike||

    Cain? Realy? I watched with a group and thought the best comment on Cain was 'why is this guy always trying to multi-level market us?' I honestly see nothing in Cain.

    As to Sanatorium.. granted no major gaffe other than looking like he was about to break out in sweats.. probably should start wearing boxers too as those briefs must have been riding up on him. The guy is stiff beyond belief.

    I thought Bachman killed any notion of Palin joining the race. I'm not convinced of her committment to a non-neocon lifestyle but she is clearly far ahead of Palin in terms of intelligence and ability to present and articulate an argument.

  • ||

    Now that I think about it, Mitt Romney would make a great Democratic Primary challenger to Obama. But I can't figure out how a guy whose main accomplishments in life are handing the Democrats the blueprints for Obamacare and getting the federal government to cough up a few billion to save the Utah Olympics is doing running as a Republican.

  • Kolohe||

    I think Cain did fine. He's no more an empty platitude monster than the rest of them were (sans Paul) and while his 'uncomfortableness' with Muslims is still Not the Right Answer, nobody else's opinion is all that different and Newt fricking doubled down on questioning their patriotism.

    Cain also at least paid lip service in the 'what part of illegal don't you understand' part of the debate by correctly saying that the immigration bureaucracy is a hot mess and needs to be shaken up. And Cain gave the exact correct answer on TARP, though it may not be popular here or amongst the Republican base.

  • ||

    The Hermanator always does fine. Him and Bachman were the only ones up there who have any balls, which is why they scare people like Suderman.

  • -||

    John John John. Nobody, anywhere, is "scared" of Bachmann or Palin. Nobody.

  • ||

    No liberals are not afraid of Palin. They just obsess over her, turn her emails into a wikitroll project and follow her bus around because they have nothing better to do.

    And right now Obama is presiding over a depression. Honestly, I am not sure there is a candidate going who won't crush him come 2012. Unless the economy turns around or he figures out a way to show even the least bit of competence at the office, he is doomed. No one is giving the "feel good vote for the black man" this time.

  • -||

    No liberals are not afraid of Palin. They just obsess over her

    Yup. She's a real-life "reality" show, shallow and irresistible, the perfect time-killer.

  • ||

    Shallow as opposed to what? The black Jesus in the White House? There has never been a shallower major American politician with shallower reasons for support than Obama.

    "I have always wanted to vote for a black President!!" "Hope" "Change"

    Nothing shallow about that.

  • -||

    Why can't they both be shallow?

  • ||

    They can be. I just don't see what is so shallow about Palin. Every time I hear her speak, she talks a lot of sense. Everyone says she is shallow but they can never give any examples beyond one fucking interview over three years ago.

  • -||

    That's because all her "interviews" since then have been carefully choreographed and tightly controlled in-house productions. She never holds unscripted press conferences or grants interviews to "unfriendlies." You have to laugh when FOX News (her employer) "interviews" one of their employees, on tape and edited (rarely live). Palin's world is a small, insulated bubble, and contained within are a few memorized ideas, some good, some idiotic. She hasn't the experience or intellect to think outside that bubble, to think conceptually.

  • ||

    That is just completely untrue. I don't find the ability to hold an unscripted press conference to be indicative of anything beyond the ability to do that. The woman is too savvy and understanding of the public to say she doesn't have intellect. And neither I nor you have ever met the woman or have any idea what her "inner circle" is really like. You assume she lives in a bubble because like most people you project on her what you want her to be.

    I frankly couldn't care less whether any politician can "spar with the media'" The media are a bunch of ignorant jackass. I know that I would be terrible at an unscripted press conference because I couldn't conceal my open contempt for those people.

    Her refusal to give the media the time of day is perhaps her most appealing feature. Fuck them.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is an inverse relationship between attractiveness and intelligence.
    Add the annoying voice factor in and Palin must be stump dumb.
    A snapshot and a soundbite is all that is needed to determine her level of intelligence.
    Always judge a book by its cover.

  • sasob||

    There is an inverse relationship between attractiveness and intelligence

    True story: When I was a kid in the early 60's I remember reading a newspaper article about some researcher who claimed his studies indicated that - in this country, at least - women with larger breasts were less intelligent.

  • -_-||

    That's because all her "interviews" since then have been carefully choreographed and tightly controlled in-house productions. She never holds unscripted press conferences or grants interviews to "unfriendlies."

    Then what caused that whole Paul Revere kerfuffle? Why should any candidate, if they don't have to, allow interviews from an organization which has, as its sole intent, the goal of tearing them down politically?

    Palin may be treading new political ground by bypassing the old media. Will it work? Who knows. The old media gatekeepers hate it, but it might be a good strategy for Palin.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    No liberals are not afraid of Palin. They just obsess over her, turn her emails into a wikitroll project and follow her bus around because they have nothing better to do.

    I read an assessment of Palin on the web that outlined this bit of pathology--that it's primarily rooted in the left-wing cosmopolitan SWPL disdain for the more rural, traditional populations in this country(Thomas Frank being the modern godfather of this philosophy). They see Palin as the embodiment of everything they hate about people in those types of communities, and Palin serves as a convenient scapegoat for them to project that hatred.

    His theory was that they obsess over her because, emotionally speaking, they just can't help themselves.

  • cynical||

    Are women afraid of Brad and Angelina?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Unless Cain's answer on TARP was NOPEYNOPE then it was wrong.

  • F. Hart||

    Damn, I want to fuck Michele Bachman. Anybody know her shoe size?

  • OO||

    old woman w corns

  • Zeb||

    She doesn't look nearly as good without the half inch of makeup she puts on for TV appearances.

  • Name Nomad||

    I hope Cain wins the nomination just so that I can put up a big sign on my lawn that says "Vote out whitey" with a red X through Obama's face.

  • ||

    +1000 I would love to ask liberals "why won't you vote for a dark skinned black man?"

  • -||

    They don't photograph well. That's why so few of them are news anchors or movie stars. I am not making this up.

  • ||

    I know you are not. Politics aside, I wish the first "black President" would have been dark skinned and had an upbringing a little more in touch with black culture than Obama. Obama really is just a white dude with a black father.

  • -||

    Oddly (in a sadly racist way) it still counts as "black." Why blacks themselves perpetuate the "one-drop" rule is a mystery (if tribalism is a mystery).

  • -_-||

    No mystery - there is power in numbers.

  • sarcasmic||

    He's a white dude with an African father.
    I say that because there's a cultural difference blacks and Africans.
    Africans aren't raised to believe that all their problems are caused by white people, and that when anything goes wrong in their lives it is because they're black.
    That's unique to American black culture.

  • ||

    Yeah but his dad was a Kenyan communist. They are raised to think all of their problems were caused by the British. I think that his "daddy never loved me" complex is half the reason why he has spent so much time pissing on the British.

    Our last three Presidents have had daddy complexes. "What do you think of your father?" should be a question at every Presidential debate.

  • Zeb||

    I enjoy describing Obama as our first half-white president.

  • WTF||

    Holy crap, that's an awesome idea. If Cain is the nominee I am so going to do that just to piss off the neighbors. And my mother-in-law.

  • ||

    Luckily I spent my time watching "Black Sabbath" - the 1963 Mario Bava classic. Okay, it isn't that much of a classic, but it beats listening to talking heads pontificate.

  • ||

    Of all the candidates, Bachmann may have fared the best, though it surely helped that expectations were so low.

    The more I think about that statement the angrier it makes me. Why would expectations be low? What has Bachman ever done that would create such low expectations? Would Suderman have ever written.

    Of all the candidates, Obama may have fared the best, though it surely helped that expectations were so low.

    Hell no. OF course Bachaman has more experience in public life than Obama did in 2008. But Bachman is a woman and a conservative. In the douche bag journo circles that Suderman runs it it is perfectly acceptable to be a condescending dick to such people but never to the Black Jesus.

  • jacob||

    Fuck Bachman. That idiot sided with Reid/Obama/Pelosi on the PATRIOT Act vote. She could have easily sided with Rand Paul and voted against it.

    And, her explanations for why the PATRIOT ACT is good for America seem to be on par with fifth grade logic.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann pair up, lesbian orgies and mysterious goings-on ensue within the White House.

  • ||

    You say that like it would be a bad thing.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    I'm not even 30 yet, so they're a little out of my age range. :P

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Experience, man, experience...

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Think of the money we would save too with B/P in the whitehouse. After all we'd only have to pay them $.60 for every dollar we spent on a male president, right?

  • sarcasmic||

    IOW it will be like Hillary's perfume parties all over again.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Half-OT: So I just spent a day reading up on Hong Kong, and it's gut-wrenchingly disgusting and tragic that a previously third-world Asian shithole is an economically freer place than our decaying republic, and also happens to be faring better than us because its government isn't as intrusive. Are we ever going to embrace liberty and free-market capitalism, or are we doomed?

  • Rich||

    Are we ever going to embrace liberty and free-market capitalism, or are we doomed?

    "We" are probably doomed. However, liberty and free-market capitalism are still possible, for some. BTW, I recall one world traveler commenting recently that of all the nations he had visited, the most capitalistic was Vietnam.

  • sarcasmic||

    We're doomed.
    It is the natural evolution of government to become totalitarian.
    This is because intentions are all that matter in government.
    When legislation does not accomplish its intended goal and has adverse consequences, instead of repealing the legislation, more legislation is created.
    The only exception to this that I can think of is alcohol prohibition.
    Other than that government is a cancerous tumor on society that will only die when it kills its host.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....c_2007.jpg

    Holy shit. When's the last time New York looked that good?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    1910

  • Res Publica Americana||

    Is it just me, or does New York look exactly like you would expect it to with its ludicrous social and economic atmosphere -- increasingly derelict and in a state of creeping disrepair?

  • GILMORE||

    Santorum came out swinging against the “oppressiveness” of the health care law and “what the president did on energy.”

    That reminds me of the eponymous line from this sketch =

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bd9lkZ1epY

    @ 1:50

    Hell, the whole debate reminds me of that sketch.

  • Greg||

    Honestly now, what did anyone expect from a GOP debate run on CNN? What's next, a Dem debate on Fox? Give me a friggin' break. Gary Johnson should have been there as well.

  • -_-||

    Gary Johnson reminds me of one of those testosterone-deficient, pencil-necks that hardcore feminists marry and then walk all over. The only difference is that if a feminist marries a rock-climber, he usually has only climbed half-dome and not hired a bunch of Nepalese to drag his sad white ass to the top of Everest.

  • Matt||

    Wow, what a horrible thing to say. Especially considering that the guy's a widower. No surprise that you're too chicken to even provide an alias.

  • -_-||

    Sooorrreee. I didn't realize that GJ had been awarded victim status. My bad.

  • ||

    Should be very interesting to see how that all turns out. Wow.

    www.complete-privacy.no.tc

  • Res Publica Americana||

    "Government intervention, initiated by the later colonial governments and continued since 1997, has steadily increased, with the introduction of export credit guarantees, a compulsory pension scheme, a minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, and a state mortgage backer."

    That's about Hong Kong, MWG. I was happy until I reached that. Fucking governments.

  • MWG||

    I don't know the details of Hong Kong's interventions. But M. Friedman wrote about what you're talking about back in 2006.

    http://teaching.ust.hk/~econ150f/HK_Friedman.pdf

    Despite all that, they remain the freest economy in the world.

  • Res Publica Americana||

    I know, I've spent hours reading up on it, but I hope it just stops at that and gets reversed and never advances beyond those levels, because it would truly suck if the world's freest economy got skull-fucked as badly as ours by statists.

  • ||

    The saddest thing is that Hong Kong is economically more free than the US, even though its ruled by Communists.

  • mattthe6th||

    Big surprise Peter the koch tool critic of Ron Paul is related to the federal reserve issue. I hope before they die koch brothers admit that they never really held libertarin beliefs and they can't believe that the bunch of limp wristed, cynical, soto-intellectuals that made up their readers couldn't see what was right in front of them.

  • ||

    *poodle-intellectuals

  • CE||

    This seemed more like the CNN Headline News debate than a CNN debate. Let's pick a presidential nominee... I know, we'll give them 30 seconds to answer!

    Why not just let everyone answer the same question? Why not give them 2 minutes for each response? Why not let them ask each other questions? Why no closing statements? Granted, 2 hours isn't much time for 7 candidates, but there are really only a few big questions that people care about: What would you do as president to revive the economy? How would you deal with the runaway federal debt and the ungodly deficits? Do we really need a third war in Libya, a fourth one in Pakistan, and a fifth one in Yemen? What would you do differently than Obama/Bush?

  • Robert||

    Why have anyone else ask them any questions? If it's a debate, it should just be one issue: Why I should be president and the rest of you shouldn't.

  • Robert||

    When and why did we start calling these press conferences with multiple candidates (or possible candidates) "debates"?

  • CE||

    The best moment of the debate was watching Herman Cain explain why he was for the TARP bailouts, until he learned that some of the money wasn't going to the banksters who placed losing bets, and was becoming just normal pork barrel stuff.

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