These guys have GOT to stop spending so much time biting at the lure that the moderators are dangling in front of them.  Brian Williams snapped the pole with Romney on the end in front of Gingrich and he bit. Romney was offered Gingrich for rebuttal and he gobbled with gusto. At least when Santorum got a question he went positive on his own merits, for the greatest part of the night. Paul did pretty well about this, and only criticized positions, not necessarily individuals. As my sister pointed out, if she were those boys’ mother, she would have taken them by their ears and sent them to their rooms for such childish behavior. I concur. She added that there is a difference between debating and two little boys having a pissing contest. I couldn’t have said it better.

Romney did catch (calmly!) the Gingrich spin on what he said he would call the “Mitt Romney tax.”  Gingrich said that he would make the tax rate what Romney pays. Romney said, wait a minute, in your plan what would the tax rate be for capital gains? Gingrich said zero. Romney countered that his tax rate, under that plan, would be zero. Busted, Newt. Romney lives off capital gains taxes. The capital gains he makes are from returns on investments made with income he ALREADY paid taxes on at a much higher rate.

Santorum had a great point of how Gingrich and Romney supported bailouts of “Wall Street.” Santorum didn’t support the bailouts. He wisely discussed how destructive capitalism was supposed to work to reset the system (that’s what bankruptcy and the slew of laws that go with it is for), but that with the bailouts, the free market was strangled such that now the tax payers are stuck with the bill. Paul agreed and discussed how the federal government created the collapse with ridiculous regulations and laws that made risky loans a requirement. Thus, the way to fix it is to get the feds out, repeal the laws and regulations that are continuing the problem, and let the system heal itself. If the feds had done this right away, our economy would be booming by this point, as history has proved again and again.

I think I need to sit down with politicians and journalists and tell them the difference between “talking to the people of a country” and propping up dictators. Smart sanctions cripple the government (good), regular sanctions cripple the people and allow the dictators to blame America for the problems of the dictatorship (bad). So, to say that “sanctions” work is too vague. What kind of sanctions? Who do the sanctions cripple? Ron Paul and Gingrich had what seemed like two totally different answers about dealing with dictatorships. They said they disagreed with each other, but that’s impossible because they talked about two completely different topics. If I say, “I think that the grammatical rules of the English should be fundamentally changed,” and my opponent says, “No, I disagree, we should not change the wording in Beowulf,” we are not even on the same topic.

Paul said that he thinks that talking on Iran would be a stupid thing to do and that by “blockading” the country we are committing an act of war. He likens it to someone blockading the Gulf of Mexico. But, that comparison does not match because we are not run by leaders who are calling for the return of the 12th Imam and for ushering in a season of global bloodshed (in other words, nuts).  Santorum knows Iran and laid out the best reasoning for a defensive posture where we mean business and actually protect America.

For the portion about immigration, they all seemed to do fine and advocated legal immigration and not ‘rounding people up.’ One thing I didn’t know what that Santorum’s father was left in his home country by his grandfather until he could legally bring the rest of his family. He is the perfect example of someone who could counter the false “racism” cry on immigration issues. But, Paul nailed the English only federal requirement. Gingrich and Romney made good points about how being one country means being able to communicate as citizens of that country…it’s unifying. Gingrich laid out how there are 200 languages spoken in Chicago alone. Do we offer ballots in 200 languages for everything federal? That would mean that each federal bill would have to be posted on a federal website that is built in every language spoken in the U.S. Each federal judge decision would have to be written in each language, etc. If someone, right now, sued for this, the lack of a national language would require the government to do this. It is not feasible. But, Paul stated it succinctly, when he said that at the federal level, we must have one language, but the beauty of our system of government is that the states, cities, and/or localities can offer ballots in whatever languages they choose.