Thursday, September 8, 2011

What The Hell Was I Thinking -- The Politico NBC GOP Debate

Guest Post by Dusty

Yes, that is the question I kept asking myself tonight while watching the Republican debate tonight on MSNBC at the Reagan Library. Well okay full disclosure I asked myself this after I stopped yelling at the TV.

First off, let’s deal with the shallow thoughts that are always helpful to keep the ole blood pressure down, before we tackle the serious thoughts. Why did all eight of the candidates dressed the same? Did they all get the same memo today?

Dependent Thinkers Corporation


To: Rick, Mitt, Michele, Herman, Newt, Rick, Ron & Jon

From: Master

CC: Koch Bros

Date: 9/8/2011

Re: Dress Code for tonight’s Debate

For tonight’s debate we would like (read command) you to all dress in the suits provided. Men, you may select a tie of

your choosing from the wardrobe worker assigned to the Tea Room. Michele, the hairstylists has been instructed as to

which hairstyle has been selected for you tonight. Please don’t disappoint us as this night has been planned out

for quite a few months.


Mitt Romney, please call your hair stylist and ask her/him to lighten up on the dark dye for your hair. Gray hair in the front with the rest of your hair dyed dark black hair? Oh ouch very hard on the eyes and quite distracting. Oh and Mrs. Romney that tie just has to go, you let him leave the house with that tie on? Seriously donate it to Goodwill STAT!

Rick Perry, where to start, stand up straight we Americans like good posture and stop with the tipping of your head down when attempting to listen – not attractive dude. When someone asks you questions normally they expect an answer that relates to the question. You are not Sarah Palin nor are you Michele Bachmann just because they are allowed (or rather they don’t have the answers so they just jumble a bunch of words together) does not mean we will give you a pass, you are a guy deal with it.

Michele, oh dear I get it, you don’t believe in Climate Change or Global warming but did you really need to use an entire can of hairspray tonight? Yes, I do know that the big hairstyles of the 1980’s are back (loving it btw) but darlin’, (yep left the ‘g’ off for Sarah) we still need to practice being green. No not green dye, stay with me here, ‘being green’ means being nice to our environment. That means no more use of hairspray to excess. Your hair normally looks very nice so please stop going overboard.

Now on to the serious stuff. Most of the candidates made sure to hit all their talking points some harder than others. In my opinion the moderators asked some really great questions and tried very hard to keep the candidates on topic. The candidates appeared for the most part to be prepared for this debate. I will only cover the top three talking points. Then I will add a question to each talking point that I would have liked to have seen asked.

We’ll start off with the most popular talking point, don’t peek, what is your guess what was the most popular talking point of the debate?

Talking Point:

Yep you guessed it! ObamaCare must be repealed. Of course Michele Bachmann repeated over and over again she is going to repeal ObamaCare. Then all the rest of the candidates piled onto bashing ObamaCare while stressing one single talking point. They are all wildly upset over the Individual Mandates. Do I have to yell it from the damn rooftop or what? There is NO penalty for non-compliance with the Individual Mandate in the Affordable HealthCare Plan (ObamaCare). If a person choses to not purchase individual health insurance there is NO enforceable penalty. Why the media does not point this out when the candidates go off on a rant I don’t know but I sure wish one of them would tell me. Give Michele a little credit though she is the only one who admitted it will be very hard to repeal ObamaCare. Mitt said what was okay for the State is not okay for the entire nation with regards to healthcare. Texas passed a Cancer program via an executive order but he rails against ObamaCare?


How specifically has ObamaCare killed jobs?

Talking Point:

Let’s bash President Obama. He is inexperienced, has no private sector experience, he is not a leader, he dresses too nice- okay I made up the last one, we don’t know where he is going, he won’t give us any direction… need I really go on, if the man has OJ for breakfast I am sure one of them would be on the AM shows complaining he didn’t drink milk. Now Sarah would have been completely in her element for this topic, but alas she is not on the stage -- too bad so sad. For a little while there the only time the crowd reacted was when one of the candidates was bashing President Obama. However Rick Perry after implying once again President Obama doesn’t love this country he gave him credit for getting BinLaden and Gaddafi. Just my opinion but all these excuses ring hollow to me.


Have you spoken to President Obama personally to get to know him better and ask him questions to determine his point of view?

Talking Point:

No new Taxes & Smaller government. Mitt actually said he wants no taxes on those earning under $200,000 but those earners would need to invest it, not spend it, invest it. All the candidates kept saying President Obama needs to figure out how to FUND the government but they are not willing to raise taxes at all. I also think it was Mitt who lost me when he said people who don’t pay any federal taxes at all do not support the military. Isn’t Mitt the one who said Corporations are people? Guess GE doesn’t support our military? All candidates spoke at great length about smaller federal government and moving some programs down to the State and Local Levels. Herman Cain has his 9, 9, 9 plan.


How do you explain to the American people that you stand for smaller government in regards to taxes, regulation and health care but you will continue to fight against a woman’s right to choose? If parents should have the right to decide if their child should be immunized and what education their children should have then why isn’t that same woman allowed to make her own decisions concerning her reproductive choices.

While listening to this debate I made myself focus on the talking points and filtered out the fluff (only after yelling at the TV) to see if the current talking points actually fit into the Republican strategy for obstruction and disruption. This group of candidates are willing to support each other but have all joined together to continue with their misleading. Including a few outright lies about President Obama and our federal government.

I read a great article this week that finally explains the Republican Party’s goals for 2012 and the sad part is they are winning.

“A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that "they are all crooks," and that "government is no good," further leading them to think, "a plague on both your houses" and "the parties are like two kids in a school yard." This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s - a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn ("Government is the problem," declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).”

Congress favorability rating was reported this week to be at an all time low. The media has been reporting that President Obama’s rating are at an all time low- while not clarifying that his poll numbers have actually held mostly steady for the past two years. By constantly rallying against ObamaCare and focusing on a non issue like the individual mandate, implying President Obama does not love America and the government is broken, the Republican party is trying to sabotage the reputation of the our government.

I wish I had some easy answers or even a solution for this mess but sadly I don’t. This debate was interesting to watch and listen to but my final thought on this debate is that the candidates are not trying to win any new voters. They are all pandering to their own bases and I seriously doubt they won over any one of the ‘on the fence’, Democrats or Republicans. I didn’t hear any new ideas or solutions just more of the same whining and tired old talking points. Jon Huntsman was the only candidate who actually acted with any maturity, however he tried to go for drama “Our core is broken” and that is when he lost me. I am not interested in platitudes or drama and quite frankly I am not unhappy with the man in the White House right now.

Wouldn’t you just love to ask all eight of these candidates that if government is so horrible then why exactly are you running for the office of President?

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