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SC Repub Debate

Just a couple thoughts on the Republican debate in South Carolina.

First of all, Tivo guide data for live events sucks. I’d forgotten to pad the ending, and they ran over by a few minutes, so I missed the end of the debate at first. They did replay it overnight, but the guide data did not say that. So I ended up staying up late enough to verify that it was starting, then just setting the Tivo to record enough that it would catch the end. Anyway, I finished watching the debate after I woke up.

Two real points though.

#1) Fred Thompson woke up. All of a sudden he was actually there, engaged, and actually stealing the show. There have been how many debates now with him in them? And in all of those he barely registered. Now he was in there and aggressive. He went after Huckabee, but he also was just much better overall. It was an amazing difference. Maybe he is just finally getting comfortable with this running for president thing? Maybe he’s getting serious because South Carolina is very soon and that is where he intends to make his stand. Dunno. But it was a big change. He was actually impressive. If he’d been like this when he first started his campaign, this race might look very different right now.

#2) Ron Paul was in good shape too. He for the most part refrained from his goofiest stuff and stuck to the stuff that while way outside of the mainstream, at least doesn’t make him sound completely crazy. He did an “meh” job parrying the question about the 9/11 Truthers. Those aren’t his views, he doesn’t support those views, but he can’t control what other people think. Fine. But it really doesn’t go far enough. Part of a President’s job IS to sway and influence other people’s opinions. In the Libertarian view definitely NOT by the power of government, but certainly with the power of words and ideas. It is not enough to say one doesn’t agree with the truthers, one should flat out say they are idiots with a questionable grasp on reality, and implore them to take another look at the clear facts. Now, having said that, I see no issue with continuing to take their money, or the money of people with any number of deplorable positions. If they want to give money to someone who doesn’t agree with them, that is their own stupidity and one should take advantage of it. Of course, that is most likely a big reason Paul won’t outright say they are idiots… there is a source of cash there that would possibly cut off. And that is a shame. Also though, the question itself was a misfire. The question SHOULD have been about the newsletters. The Truther question has been asked and answered many times. The newsletter, although it has been simmering for many weeks, only got widespread attention in the last week. Based on the weak responses he has given elsewhere, I think Paul would have given the same sort of “right, but not strong enough” sort of response as he gave to the truther question. Which just isn’t good enough. He really needs to do better. He did manage to swing me back to where I could probably vote for him though. Most of this debate performance was right on track.

#3) As for the rest of the pack, while I know neither of the two I mentioned are in very serious contention right now, nobody in the rest of the group really stood out for me at all. They all gave their standard sort of performances I thought. I’d avoided commentary on the debate though until I finished watching it, so I’m sure when I go looking I’ll find out that everybody thinks Romney won it or something strange like that. Oh well!