Alright, I watched the debate, some parts twice. Here is my very long “summary.” If you have any specific questions about why I think any of these things, please comment and I will give you details.

 

Domestic policy: They all have a plan. Each of theirs is better than Obama’s. I think Paul’s and Perry’s are the best.

 

Romney answered the idiocy that is going around about Bain very well. Bain is not evil, Romney is not doing, and did not do, anything untoward. In fact, if it weren’t for Bain (or someone) investing in these companies, they would have gone under and ALL the jobs would have been lost.

 

Santorum talked about unemployment benefits impressively. Gingrich showed more true colors when he said he wants to “help” people learn how to get a job, get a better job, then own the job (work for themselves). Um, is he running for the office of dad? Or for president? Blurry line, there.

 

Social Issues: They all kept bringing the topic back to Obama, which is good. They need to compare their views to Obama’s.

 

Santorum brought up that under Obama’s regulations, the foundations that are to help at-risk youth (mostly young girls) cannot tell them what good choices are. They cannot tell them that they should graduate high school, get married before having children, or be sure to be a working citizen (all things the Brookings Institute found to reduce chances of poverty to 2%). Obama pulled the funding on a Catholic group who assist young girls who were sex slaves in the human trafficking trade because Catholics oppose abortion. The list goes on and on…and Santorum kept taking it back to the facts of Obama’s policies. In fact, most of them did.

 

Perry seemed to do pretty well. He had some solid proposals, and realized it would take an amendment to the Constitution to make the Congress meet every other year. Right now, it states they must meet at least once per year. The idea that the Congress should go home and get real jobs like the rest of us while facing their constituents sat really well with the audience…and me. AND he was asked what he would do to help the housing market. He said he would reduce taxes and get rid of excessive regulation that is killing jobs and investment (Dodd-Frank, et al). The moderator said, “So you wouldn’t do anything directly about the housing market?” He said, “If we do those other two very significant things, the housing market would right itself. It’s not the federal government’s business to meddle in the housing market!” Good answer. So help me, he had many good answers.

 

Gingrich had some good one liners, but he is still more into “big solutions” which means “government intervention of some kind.” I would still vote for him over Obama because, unlike Obama, I think Gingrich actually loves America and knows how America is exceptional.

 

To sum up: they are all pro-life (some more adamantly than others), they are all for protecting the sanctity of marriage and the family as the core unit to any successful society, and they are all opposed to constricting law abiding citizens from buying guns. They are all for making us energy independent by actually using the energy we have available by the boatload in the US – while encouraging alternative energy development*, securing the border, and stopping so much federal spending (most of them are, at least on the campaign trail). Some have rockier pasts than others have, and maybe should have thought about that before they became the governor of a super liberal state and then trying run for president as a full-blown conservative.

 

*Here’s the problem. None of them (maybe Ron Paul?) seem to get that if you subsidize anything you will get too much of it, and not know what it is that you lost by not letting people figure it out for themselves. If specific horse and buggy alternatives had been subsidized by the federal government, who knows what would have happened. We probably would not have gotten the car. If someone could have gotten it in their head that the best way to replace the horse and buggy would be to have sails on a wagon, the government probably, with the right lobbying, would have subsidized that. There would have been several models, trials, R&D money sloshing all around, and Henry Ford would not have had any investors who cared to back his combustion engine because they would have had to pay higher taxes to support the grants for R&D to the sail manufacturers. See? Clear as mud, right?

 

Ok, foreign policy:

I was on board, at first, with Ron Paul’s brand spankin’ new approach to explaining his foreign policy….at first. He was talking about how we should, in general, observe the sovereignty of other nations (don’t invade Germany…check!); we should secure our borders (with him so far); beef up military spending on important stuff…not mansion-like embassies (I can see that…be simple yet elegant); and how we could get info out of terrorists if we capture them instead of killing them (KSM info stopped the “second wave,” as opposed to Osama, who is deader than a doornail not spilling any proverbial beans). I thought all of that made sense, if you look at it in the right light. Then, the crazy started seeping out his wrinkles when he said that we should have a Golden Rule approach to other countries.

 

Well, okay. I can see that. If we were run by a madman who was threatening to eliminate Iran from the map, kill ALL its inhabitants with the weapons we were set on building, denied that the 1979 revolution happened, and funded lots and lots of terrorists that kept attacking Iran, I can see that country calling for sanctions against our country. Sure. But, that’s not what he meant…

 

He said that we should negotiate with the Taliban because they just don’t want foreigners on their land. That’s all. They are different from Al Qaeda. Ooohhhh! Is THAT all?? Huh. I thought the Taliban harbored and funded terrorists (and still do, specifically those who plot to harm the US), loved Osama so much they protected him while he plotted against the US, oppressed Afghan women horribly when they took over that country, and terrorized minorities when in control there. He must have been talking about a different Taliban than the one I’m thinking about.

 

Perry mentioned the zero foreign aid magic words. I thought that was bold. And Gingrich and Romney both said, about the direct enemies of the United States of America, “Kill them,” to much applause. Ron said that was us being warmongers, but maybe he was napping when the “enemies” were defined as “terrorists who are currently at war with us and plotting each day to kill each and every American man, woman, and child.”

 

Oh, one big “no, no” for Romney. He said he would have signed the NDAA. BAD DOG! NO! HEEL! Ugh. He said he didn’t think Obama would abuse that law, nor would he. Uh, newsflash, Mitt, THEN DON’T HAVE A LAW THAT STATES YOU CAN DETAIN AN AMERICAN CITIZEN INDEFINITELY WITHOUT TRIAL FOR ANY REASON OF SUSPICION, WHERE THE WORD ‘SUSPICION’ HAS NOT EVEN BEEN DEFINED IN THE BILL! But, maybe that’s just me.

 

Now, I think that after the debate, someone who loves him might just knock him across the head and notify him of the horribleness of that bill. Hopefully he’ll be ready with a better answer next time. Something like, “When everyone else seemed so upset about the bill, I went and reread it (he can pretend he read it the first time, that’s okay), and I see the language for the vague and horrible danger it is for the American people.” That would be good.

 

All in all, if you missed the debate, just know that any of these five would be better than what we have now. And, if they are smart, whoever gets elected will place any or all of the other guys in cabinet or advisory positions. Just don’t make Paul the Secretary of State. You’re welcome.