Friday, May 6, 2011

Passing Thoughts on the South Carolina Republican Debate

by the Left Coast Rebel

LCR contributors have chimed in. An independent conservative, a libertarian, and a true conservative/tea party activist put forth their well-spoken thoughts on last night's GOP debate in South Carolina.

I watched it as well but didn't have time to blog, so here goes my take:

Pawlenty: Let's begin by setting our target square on the establishment: Tim Pawlenty or "T-Dawg", as he's loving referred to by those who should know better. Pathetic defense of his support of Cap And Tax, almost breaking into a Jimmy Swaggart, "I have sinned" moment that automatically disqualifies him from serious fiscal conservative support:

Way too polished and rehearsed. An actor. A thinner less chiseled-chin-and-hair Mitt Romney.
Would throw the Tea Party under the bus as John Boehner has done. None of this is new news. Deeply flawed candidate in-so-far as conservative/Tea Party/small 'l' libertarian ideals goes. The type of politician that this nation can ill afford given our fiscal situation. Pawlenty = David Frum favorite of the night.

Rick Santorum: The kind of Republican that towed the social conservative line hook line and sinker yet spent this nation into oblivion during 2000-2006. Voted for Medicare Part D. 'Nuff said. Not up to the Herculean task of righting this nation's financial ship. Could hardly watch his performance. We won't get fooled again! Santorum = Big-government Republican, Throw a Bone to Social Conservatives favorite of the night.

Herman Cain: Like the guy, I really do. Love his charisma, energy and life story. Was disappointed, however, in the substance -- or lack therof -- of many of his answers. Seemed a bit cagey and came in squarely short of his awesome performance at CPAC. Love the guy, I really do, but he needs to do better next time and stress his true-conservative bona fides. Herman Cain = Tea Party Member/Registered Republican That Has Nowhere to go in a Field of Has-been Big-government GOPers favorite of the night.

Ron Paul: Great performance and exactly what one would expect post-2008. No one knows the Constitution, the dangers of unlimited foreign engagements, perilously-forgotten Austrian economics theory and viable solutions to the financial disaster(s) that we face like Dr. No does. Monumentally loses the public when he decries waterboarding for Gitmo detainees. Also loses on drug legalization with the conservative base (although I agree) . The thing that makes Paul so appealing is also his worst enemy: he never, ever, ever minces words and speaks his mind. Wish he could ease into positions that clash with traditional thought, instead of unleashing full-frontal assaults. Love him or hate him, that's Ron Paul and he's the grandfather of the Tea Party Rebellion. Amazing that he excites the youth more than any candidate, bar none -- and he's 75 years old! Ron Paul = Libertarian +Tea Party + Youth favorite of the night.

Gary Johnson: My favorite going into the debate. Came out wonkish and libertarian awkward. Has the best track record of slashing spending as Governor of New Mexico but wasn't able to present. Needed less focus on marijuana, (don't know why Johnson focuses so much on pot when national bankruptcy is imminent but I respect his honesty). Needed more focus on his economic prowess and proven track record of fiscal conservativism in a Democratic-leaning state. With a little debate coaching and more focus on his strengths, can come out near the top next time. Gary Johnson = Split Off Votes of Libertarian + Tea Party favorite of the night.

Thoughts, anyone?

Cross posted to LCR.


  1. Ron Paul the TEA Party favorite of the night? Not.

  2. As a sort of 'outside observer', I think his appeal to the young is/was
    what you noted 'Monumentally loses the public when he decries waterboarding for Gitmo detainees. Also loses on drug legalization', as
    well as pulling out of Afghanistan & Iraq. He is painfully honest, truly
    libertarian....thereby turning off as many as he turns on.

  3. BB: Yes, his goals in Iraq are the same as those of the terrorists.

  4. Well, at least you libertarians see Pawlenty for what he is. He could very well be a GOP frontrunner one day. Think about that. You guys really ought to get more active in the Democratic party. You're favoring of the GOP is not giving you anything you really want.

    Here's one superficial thing I noticed about how each of the debators came off:

    Santorum - As if he was practicing being an angry tough-guy in the mirror after drinking way too much coffee.

    Paul - Utterly impatient. The broader GOP audience probably didn't comprehend half what he said. He rushed through very heavy concepts.

    Cain - Wierd. Probably insane.

    Johnson - Stoned. (I kinda like him too, though)

    My wife and I laughed our faces off through half the debate. At other times we cringed, in that some people said things we actually do like, but, as you said, awkwardly. And then we cringed when people said things that were obviously stupid and wrong and everyone got it - even the GOP audience. We paid attention to Paul, especially, because he's actually quite brilliant. A little crazy, perhaps, but quite brilliant.

    It was an interesting debate. The only one there who may one day be a serious contender is Pawlenty. I think he's shooting for Veep.


  5. JMJ - We agree on one thing, Ron Paul is quite brilliant. As such he would make an outstanding leader. Quite unlike Barrack Hussein Obama!

  6. Do you think President Paul will pardon the Kenyan?

  7. "President Paul"? Paul's popularity now is an artifact of very early pre-election politics. When things settle down we will get down to the fact that his ideas are in the interest of 5 or so % of the population.

  8. dmarks - I disagree, his interests are actually in 95% of the population. The very fact they are oblivious to this is... We'll, their loss.

  9. Will - Yup, Paul/Johnson! Now there would be REAL change!


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