Republican Debate pt. 3.14

I recorded the republican debate so I could pause and jot down my thoughts (no live-blogging for this one).  One thing I hate about debates in general is the time constraints.  You get 1 minute to answer a question, people get 30 second rebuttals.  Yeah, we’ll hear some new ideas out of this!

I’d like maybe a 30 minute moderated discussion between 4 candidates chosen at random.  That would have split this debate in two and we could have had real ideas discussed.  Also, we need to have the moderators be “moderators”.  The Fox News debate actually re-asked questions if there was no “actual” answer.  Also, how about some real-time fact checking.  The 3 governors all claimed to have created more jobs than each other.  That’s a verifiable fact.  So…VERIFY IT!.

To the first point where I paused to write: Obamacare.  Perry, Romney & Huntsman each talked about letting the states handle healthcare on their own.  To the question as to why they haven’t done so (except Mass. where they have Romneycare), the answer was: The federal government gets in the way.  If the federal government would just let states and private businesses figure things out on their own, they would.  “But you haven’t.” “But we could.” “Then why haven’t you?” If states and businesses were so smart they could figure out how to solve problems with the situation as it is.  Here’s why I have a problem with the “if the fed stayed out of it” argument:  effective management/leadership tells you to deal with the world as it is, not as you want it.

I’m a huge fan of Jim Collins (author of Built to Last, From Good to Great, and How the Mighty Fall).  I’ve read and try to utilize the principles he outlines in my day to day work life.  One of the traps he talks about with businesses that fail is that they wish the world would correct itself rather than the companies making changes to meet the new world.  Take Blockbuster.  They could (and should) have invented Red Box and Netflix, they didn’t.  Now more people are choosing to get their movies using these two services, even though these services don’t get all the newest releases.  Blockbuster, instead of investing in new distribution methods and seeing which way the winds are blowing, decided to just sign exclusive deals with studios to force them not to release their movies via Red Box or Netflix immediately.  And it’s not working.

The route these Republican candidates are advocating is the Blockbuster method.  Since there are regulations we should get rid of them rather than figure out a way to work around them.  Or, to put it even simpler:  my convertible is locked with the keys in it, and even though the top is down, I’m going to call a lock smith.

Point 2

Energy:  You know that even if we drill more here, we still have to send that oil onto the world market, we don’t just get to keep it.  Oil that is drilled off the coast of Texas goes to the world market and then we buy it back.  Again we need a way of coming up with a solution that solves a problem by looking at the world as it is.  If gas is too expensive and we can’t just make gas go from $4 to $2, why not make a car that goes twice as far on the same amount of gas.  That would be the same as cutting the price of gas.  Oh yeah, and make that car affordable.  The government could reroute the tax breaks/subsidies for oil companies and reroute them to the American Auto Industry to make hyper fuel-efficient cars.

Point 3

Ron Paul is still the only person who ACTUALLY answers questions.  Partly why he’ll never be elected.

Point 4

I will agree that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid need to be fixed.  My problem is that Republicans don’t really want to fix it, they want to kill it.  Privatization means that you’ll lose your money with the stock market, as many people are seeing happen right now with their 401k plans.  Liberals should keep reminding people of that.

Point 5

OMG, Perry said, “At the end of the day, I will always err on the side of saving lives.” in reference to HPV inoculation law he passed (which I agreed with).  This New Yorker story about the wrongful execution of a death row inmate says otherwise.

Point 6

I really don’t understand why “English as the official language of government” is still so important to so many people.  Are you really effected by Spanish being used in some government agencies?  Also, do you really believe you’d be safer with a fence or gate between us and Mexico?  Finally, no one ever talks about the fact that many illegal immigrants work here and SPEND money here.  They do send half (for the most part) of their income back home, but the rest they spend here.  When they use false papers, they have fake Social Security numbers, which means they pay into the system and never take out.  They pay into income tax without taking that money back out.  They help subsidize our government.

And if you want to secure our borders, put more troops on the border, and get national ID cards…that costs money.  That’s government spending, isn’t that bad?

I also think that Huntsman may be to moderate to get elected.

Point 7

Why do Republicans ignore facts completely?  Rick Perry re-iterated the “we need a balanced budget amendment” argument, which Republicans still think is necessary.  I’ve never met a group of people who can more willingly ignore the world around them.  Most states are required to balance their budget.  Most states, unable to balance their budgets, cut TONS of programs.  Didn’t they see the news of cities laying off police and fire fighters (just google police layoffs).  The thousands upon thousands of teachers who lost their jobs across the country.  It was the fact that many states took draconian measures to balance their budgets.  Part of our unemployment problem is so many government workers and teachers out of work.  That wouldn’t be the case if states could carry a little debt.

Point 8

“Scientific theory that is not settled.”  I’m sorry but scientific theory is NEVER settled.  Astrophysics and Nuclear physics aren’t settled.  Science isn’t faith, it’s always subject to change.  The laws by Newton worked and allowed us to make predictions, then came Einstein, then came Hawking.  Theories are the best knowledge we have at the time.  When those theories are arrived at via the scientific method, they rarely get overturned, just enhanced.  I’m inclined to accept that climate theory is correct, for if it’s wrong, it’s not going to turn out that man had no effect on the climate, it’s going to turn out that he had greater or lesser effect.  But the idea that what mankind is doing is having a deleterious effect on our planet is most likely the same as Newton’s primitive theory of gravity.

Point 9

I had to hear that applause line to believe it.  The audience actually applauded when they mentioned that Texas had executed more people than any other state.  And when asked if he lost any sleep, Gov. Perry said “no”.  He claimed that the Texas justice system has a process that makes sure only guilty people are put to death. I linked to an article above that tells the story of just one man who was innocent of the crime he was put to death for.  Here’s just one example of our appeals process doing it’s job:

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was known for upholding convictions even when overwhelming exculpatory evidence came to light. In 1997, DNA testing proved that sperm collected from a rape victim did not match Roy Criner, who had been sentenced to ninety-nine years for the crime. Two lower courts recommended that the verdict be overturned, but the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld it, arguing that Criner might have worn a condom or might not have ejaculated. Sharon Keller, who is now the presiding judge on the court, stated in a majority opinion, “The new evidence does not establish innocence.” In 2000, George W. Bush pardoned Criner. (Keller was recently charged with judicial misconduct, for refusing to keep open past five o’clock a clerk’s office in order to allow a last-minute petition from a man who was executed later that night.)

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The debate didn’t really offer any new ideas, and the only two people who may have tried we relegated to the margins (Paul and Huntsman).  Most independent polls show that the majority of Americans  (over 50%) don’t share the same views being espoused by the Republican Party (the current incarnation, that is, many still have ACTUAL Republican ideals).  However, since these are the loudest voices, they are what is most likely to be elected.  And if elected will they actually implement their radical ideas.  They call Obama a radical for doing what he campaigned on, passing health care reform, and was elected to do by a clear majority.  Now that a clear majority don’t agree with Republicans, will they pass THEIR OWN laws that ACTUALLY go against what most Americans want?  Will moderates ever come back into power?

I’m hopeful, but I’m not holding my breath.


One thought on “Republican Debate pt. 3.14

  1. It is refreshing to see an analysis from an unbiased viewpoint. I like your observation on climate change – that at the end it will only be how much man impacted it. Also – comparing with what I have seen in my home country (India), I am more and more convinced that our modern day politicians speak more to their base in an effort to get elected rather than lead their base to move towards a solving issues mindset. Even in the 21st century, the best way to get elected seems to be to scare the voters with fudged facts.

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