I watched the debate last night from St. Anselm's College, the debate among the Iowa survivors. A few notes:
Romney - His utterances appear to be a mish-mash of well rehearsed and vetted responses that political consultants (the best that money can buy) have provided him. It doesn't really seem that Romney believes a lot of his own "pablum." His bleating about "America the Beautiful" rings hollow in the face of the bald fact that neither he nor any of his richboy sons ever chose to spend some of their oh so valuable time in the US military. Better things to do? The military is something for the lower classes to do? His responses to questions over his leadership of a largely destructive Wall Street M&A company that specialized in wrecking distressed companies to profit from sale of pieces of the wrecks are always to claim that he knows how to "run" the US because he was so good at the wrecking. Among other things this ignores the very different nature of business and government. At the most elemental level business exists to make money by selling things and minimizing costs while government exists to spend money it collects in taxes or creates and provide services otherwise unavailable. Perhaps the nost enjoyable of his bleatings was the moment in which he referred Diane Sawyer to Ron Paul on a point of information concerning the US Constitution.
Gingrich - Ron Paul has called him a "chickenhawk." In other words, that would be someone who thinks other people should fight. The basis for this is Gingrich's failure to serve during the draft and the VN War. He appears to love wars in which he, personally, will not fight. When confronted by this "awkwardness" he goes on about his father's 26 years of service in the US Army as though it were his own. He also goes on to cite his "experience" as a child in seeing his father go to war as though that is somehow ennobling. This is rubbish and someone should "call" him on it. Been there, done that, and it is not an informative experience.
Perry - Sad. The fool actually said that he would send US forces back into Iraq by force so that the Iranians would "stop taking over the country." Even Sawyer managed to stop contemplating her own beauty long enough to express surprise. "Well, these Iraqi individuals" as he referrred to the government that we "mid-wifed" into being "should be talked to..." Perhaps a constitutional amendment barring presidents from Texas might be contemplated. Paul could be excepted by name.
Santorum. Last night's SNL sketch on him should be savored. Santorum, aside from the Google joke, still seems to justify my earlier comment that he must have been some Sister Mary Margaret's favorite little boy student. So far as I know he is not an Opus Dei type but he surely looks like one, sounds like one, and walks like one. He really seems to be running for Holy Roman Emporer. His world view seems medieval. His obsession with what he calls "radical Islam" is transparently a call to arms against the Islamic World. He clearly believes that "radical Islam" is a threat to.... What? The USA? Or is it really Israel? His attitude ignores the simple truth that Islam is not one thing. It is many, many things as is Christianity. As I recall, there are a lot of widely differing Jewish sects as well. The number of Muslims who are real threats to the USA is minuscule. Those people are being well "dealt with" by SOF, clandestine intelligence and alliances with foreign police. The COIN wars have been nothing but welfare for generals and self-serving theorists. If Santorum is president look for an official renewal of the crusades.
Paul- He is running to change peoples' minds about the role of government. He knows very well that he is unelectable. The "we are all 'Austrians'" outburst is indicative of that intent.
Huntsman- Out after NH.
Except for Paul, a sorry lot.
On the other hand we have the incumbent, a disguised Rockefeller Republican who opted for black identity because he didn't think he could be "white." Colin Powell made the same decision years ago under the influence of his wife. Obama is a man who wrings his hands and then signs laws like the Defense Authorization bill that authorizes the armed forces to arrest and hold American citizens on American soil and to hold them indefinitely without benefit of habeas corpus. In apology for this outrage he says that he will not arrest Americans in his time in power. Apres lui, quoi, le deluge? Did he put a "frowny face" after his signature? pl