Friday, February 01, 2008

Republican Debate at the Reagan Mountain Bunker

There was a creepy backdrop for this event: Air Force One of the Reagan era, looming behind the candidates like a triumphalist emblem of state power, half Nazi/museum, half Disneyland/Hollywood.

I was glad to see Ron Paul make it there whereas Rudey could not. When megadeath McCain and moneybags Romney got bogged down in bickering over who was more a bigger booster for a new Hundred-Years War, Ron Paul attempted to represent the adult wing of the Republican party, John Edwards-style. Unfortunately, Ron Paul seemed to be an adult from the 18th or 19th centuries. At this point, in the Republican Party, defending the US Constitution has become comparable to defending the gold standard, another Ron Paul talking point. Ron Paul could be said to represent the traditional, constitutional, libertarian wing of the Republican party, a Lincoln contemporary time-transported directly from the 1800s. Of course, no such wing exists, but it would be a good idea to crack the two-party system from within.

Huckabee, on the few occasions he was allowed to speak, was a witty and charismatic representative of the christo-fascist zombie american taliban wing of the Republican party. He appears to have not yet been zombified himself -- or perhaps he just wanted to ride that 20% of the American population, 40% + of the Republican party, who are reborn and re-animated, to the nomination. He stayed away from proposals to re-write the US Constitution to match "God's Word" and, instead, proposed new infrastructure such as highways, to appeal to the practical side of his growing trucker base. Keep on truckin', Huckster!

John McCain was described quite accurately, I thought, by CNN's Jack Cafferty as "smug, condescending, and snarky." He didn't really debate at all but kept returning to one point, which was that Romney had at least implied that Iraq ought to not be an eternal, open-ended conflict. He seemed like a stubborn old man who didn't bring a lot of smarts to the campaign. I felt like he was channeling some early or mid-1960s Vietnam hawk like Robert McNamara from McCain's formative years. McCain clearly represents the military-industrial megadeath wing of the Republican party.

Romney seemed to represent the millionaire businessman wing of the Republican party. He was responsive and articulate as he explained his ethnocentric and paranoid worldview in which Russia and China are basically evil opponents and the United States is fundamentally good. He made feeble attempts to position himself as a military-industrial and religious-fundamentalist Republican as well as a millionaire Republican, but these categories are traditionally not open to negotiation by such tools as logic and argument.

Romney seems to be the best debater. I don't know what Daily Kos were thinking when they proposed that Democrats with free time on their hands enter open primaries to vote for Romney. First of all, he would be a strong candidate. Second, it is presuming a religious bias while there may just as well be a sexist or racist bias as well. That seems like a very negative strategy to me, and carried to its logical extreme, would lead to Clinton/Dukakis running against Cheney/Quayle.

As seen on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

McCain later received the endorsements of Rudolf "9-11" Giuliani (who took no phone calls from #3 Judy during the event), escaped Austrian circus freak and Gubernator Arnold Schnauzerschnitzel, and the sun god Helios.

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