Debate Fatigue

Maybe it is because I stay up too late when I contemplate my column, but I think debate fatigue is setting in.

I still like the major republican candidates. I think the top four candidates are all good men. Yet at some point, and that point is long past, other candidates need to realize that their 15 minutes of fame ended 20 minutes ago, and they need to leave the stage. The initial debates were fun, free for all sessions that resembled early episodes of American Idol. However, listening to the earsplitting sounds of hacks gets old quickly, and people want the truly talented and meritorious to be on the stage.

As for the debate itself, CNBC is investing for dummies. Yes, Maria Bartiromo is hot, but even she looked bored. As for Chris Matthews, I wish the republican candidates would follow Zell Miller’s example and just challenge this agitator to a duel and be done with it. Ron Paul seems crazy enough to do it, but he and Matthews did everything but french kiss each other after the debate. Rupaul may put the fun in fundamentalism, but Matthews never figured out a way to put the word moderate in moderator.

Nevertheless, unlike the gutless democrats who are more scared of Fox News than Al Queda, the republicans debated on MSNBC. Besides, it was not like anybody would notice if any of them made a mistake, unless Fox News ran clips.

Debates are made out to be Superbowls, but they are really pre-season games. Therefore, analyzing every play is overkill. Here are some observations.

Sam Brownback, in describing America, said, “This place rocks.” Is he young and hip or what? Or what.

When asked about ethanol subsidies, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee had a competition to see who could be the most gutless. Being a free market conservative means being principled. Making an exception for ethanol subsidies due to the Iowa caucuses is cowardly. Using national security as an excuse for this cowardice is pusillanimousness at its worst. John McCain vowed to eliminate ethanol subsidies. McCain also refused to say he would force oil companies to take their profits and put it into alternative research. He said he “hoped” they would, but would not mandate it. McCain won easily on this one.

On social security, Thompson would grow the economy and index benefits to inflation.

Tom Tancredo is as Tom Tancredo does. He bashed CAFTA, doing what I call the Fast Track Backtrack.

Even by Chris Matthews low standards, a question about unions was phrased in an idiotic manner. The candidates were asked if unions were good for America, and that they should answer from the perspective of a union worker. Can anyone picture the democratic candidates being asked if corporations were good for America, and to answer from the viewpoint of a wealthy CEO?

Given the chance to blast unions (Yes, the debate was being held in Detroit, but not all of America wants to be like Detroit, a model of a failed city),  gutlessness again reigned supreme.

Rupaul likes unions. Mike Huckabee, who is developing a reputation for honesty and sincerity, pandered the whole night, especially in his praise of unions. Romney would not name one bad union. Rudy Giulani mentioned his mother being in a union. McCain did say that union membership should not be compulsory, but only Thompson talked about taking on unions. Thompson won hands down, with McCain doing ok in the round.

A lightning round of questions led to people wondering if they were watching Wheel of Fortune.

Giuliani would not tax the internet. Huckabee started out right on Schip, and then caved again. Romney. when asked about Arabs (the debate was actually in Dearborn, not Detroit), refused to back down about pursuing the bad guys. He avoided namby pamby political correctness. Thompson fumbled through a question about the dollar, while Giuliani correctly pointed out that the way to reduce the trade deficit is to make it as easy as possible to sell American products overseas. He hammered this point on several occasions, and was effective in doing so. Brownback said that his top economic advisor would be Alan Greenspan or Phil Gramm, both solid choices. McCain was brutally honest when saying he did not know how Ben Bernanke should proceed. He admitted to knowing less about economics than an economics expert. Giuliani, Romney and McCain all did fine in this round.

When asked if they would support the republican nominee regardless of who it was, Rupaul and Tancredo said no. They should have immediately been kicked off the stage and banned from future debates. Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback said yes.

Maria Bartiromo asked if London was going to replace New York as the global financial hub, which Giuliani and Romney both derided. Giuliani sparred politely with Bartiromo, and he bested her. Thompson said our relationship with Canada was fine, Huckabee wants to reduce pressure at airports to help the problems plaguing airports and airlines, and McCain wants a new agency to catch Bin Laden. Giuliani and Romney fared best in this round.

When asked about what the greatest economic threat was, Romney blew it by stating that it was a lack of optimism. Brownback is as Brownback does, stating that the breakdown of the fmaily was an economic issue. Unlike earlier, he did not do the Brownback Backtrack. Giulinai said it was problems in education. Perhaps he did not mention terrorism because this debate was specifically about economic issues.

Giuliani got in some knocks about Hillarycare, Thompson said the debates were boring until he arrived, and Brownback and Tancredo traded bizarre jokes about Brownback’s mother.

Maybe it was the moderators, but if this debate was any less substantial, it would have been confused for a debate among democrats. Then again, a democratic debate of this kind would have been 20 minutes on black economic issues, 20 minutes on gay economic issues, 20 minutes on Arab economic issues, and 20 minutes of Gravel speaking Gravelly. At least this debate focused on issues affecting on all Americans. It just was not done in a dignified manner.

Giuliani and McCain did spar over the line item veto, but they both had more fire at Hillary, effectively so.

Overall, Romney was less effective than in debates past. Even less effective was Thompson. Thompson’s detractors refer to him as “lazy,” with one columnist calling him “Deputy Dog.” I like him, but he did seem to be coasting through this debate on his likability. Perhaps in a more serious forum he will be more polished. He could have been lowering himself down to the level of the quality of the debate itself. Huckabee has had some solid performances, but this was his worst. He pandered the whole time. He is conservative on social issues, but does not seem economically conservative.

McCain and Giuliani won this debate.

As for the rest…oh who cares…as I said…fatigued.


17 Responses to “Debate Fatigue”

  1. micky2 says:

    I almost dont want to pay attention to these debates anymore.
    The first couple were cool , just to kind of feel everyone put.
    But were moving the calender up on everything these days , its ridiculous.Society has become so insatiable and the politicians know this from watching Christmas sales start earlier and earlier every year. And so they gladly will comply with the trend by shoving all this unsubstantial crap down our throats as much as 2 years before the election.
    McCains position on ethanol (the offshoot bitch of enviromentelism) excited me pretty much. I’m probably one of the first persons that noticed the expenses ethanol was putting on us by proxy and sheer lies.

  2. Delta says:

    I didn’t get to see much of the debate, but I do not seen anyone offering up substantive answers to the issues they are discussing. It only seemed like a debate when Matthews was challenging Thompson, and when Thompson, Romney, and Guiliani sparred with one another.

    On another subject: I found a chart on a news website that allowed me to see where EVERY presidential candidate stood. I then charted what I agreed/disagreed with and how much in regard to each candidates position. The result surprised the heck out of me!

    First, I disagree with a LOT of them and on a lot of things. However, I agreed the most on one that I had mostly ignored. What’s scarey is how many issues are not being debated at all.

  3. Jersey McJones says:

    As usual, a great Eric post. I disagree with some of it, but the presentation is flawless.

    And finally! I get to agree with Micky!!! Except for one thing. In other words, I 100,000,000,000 times agree with every single thing micky said, except “the offshoot bitch of enviromentelism.”

    Please. Read about the history of ethanol. Read about the dissent from the Left. Ethanol has been around forever. Farmer co-ops have been producing it for years to save on fuel for farm machines. The simple facts are: you can’t pipe it, the net energy yield is negligible, it raises food and feed prices, and finally, it’s fine for farmers but lousy for general consumption. I’ve known this for years and so have most liberal and conservative friends of mine. And considering that the ethanol states are all Bread Basket conservative, you certainly can’t put the onus entirely on the Dems, let alone real libs.

    Other than that, it’s great to agee with you for a change. 😉


  4. micky2 says:

    Ethanol is the offshoot bitch of enviromentalism.
    If you want some really good reading and facts on this I suggest checking out The Antisocialists blog. I disagree with him intensly on a couple issues, but he most definatly has this one right. As a matter of fact he coined the “offshoot bitch” phrase.
    That sleazy bitch ethanol has always had a mixed reputation, but only now do the sordid details begin to emerge in full, unfortunately not fast enough.

    “Ramp up the ability for ethanol,” said Hillary Clinton, despite having voted against it seventeen times—before she decided to run for president, that is, when the importance of winning corn-growing Iowa hit her like a sack of grain.

    “We’ve got to get serious about ethanol,” said Rudy Giuliani, sententiously.
    “Ethanol makes sense,” said John (”Wayne”) McCain.

    That bastion of leftist wisdom called Sixty Minutes describes ethanol as “The Solution.” Of course, being liberal, Sixty Minutes also recommends that we subsidize ethanol to the hilt—which means: you and I must pay for ethanol production, regardless of how much you and I care about ethanol, and regardless of how tenable ethanol actually is.

  5. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, I’ve followed the issue for years. It is not partisan. Both parties, seeking to court votes and campaign cash in the Bread Basket, support ethanol, ethanol subsidies, and farm subsidies in general. And a sad side note – if it weren’t for those subsidies, our trade deficit would be far worse than it even is now. That’s terrible. And on top of that, because we are able to dump subsidized agro on Third World markets, Third World farmers are forced off their lands and into ours – in other words, farm subsides are a driving force of illegal immigration! It’s nuts! 70% of the agro workforce is illegal aliens! Insane!

    Look, I would imagine that as many libs as cons are against most of these big agro subsidies and mandatory ethanol, but the structure of our republic is such that these barely populated farm states have a lot of power in Washington, in particular, the Senate. And it’s both Dems and Reps – from Harkin and Bayh to Brownback and Bond, they’re all in on it. I wish Iowa could be knocked off it’s early primary position.

    But to say that ethanol is a “leftist” idea is to be rather ignorant of the left. Try reading some actual left opinion. 60 Minutes is not very “left.” Good show – but hardly a leftist bastion. It’s really just a news magazine. Read the Nation and the Progressive – real left opinion and reporting. You’ll see that most real libs are against ethanol.


  6. micky2 says:

    It was brought on by the left and embraced by all, and it now cost me and extra 2500.00 a year to feed my family.

  7. micky2 says:

    I’m sorry , that number should be 1250.00

  8. Jersey McJones says:

    It was NOT “brought on the the left.” Read about it, please (unless you think Dick Lugar, ethanol’s staunchest propoent is a liberal). It was brought on by the automakers (many years ago – not so much now), Bread Basket farmers, big agro, and strangely enough – oil refiners (the one’s who actually receive the direct ethanol subsidies). Democrats and Republicans alike have pushed ethanol usage, which has been around for 100 years for cars and farm machines, from the congress to the White House for thirty years now. It is not a “right” or “left” issue. It’s a follow the money issue – as most issues really are. The “Left” hasn’t the power, especially in the past 30 years, to impose such a massive program upon us anyway. Look at me! I’m so far left I’m actually facing myself, and I’ve always spoken against ethanol mandates and subsidies. I don’t care if farmers want to coop production for their own uses, as they always have, but to force this into general consumption is a huge mistake, and yes, it’s an expensive pain in the …


  9. D. Ox says:

    Great post, great blog. I’ll have to pop by more often. I’m adding you to my blogroll of “Oxen and Oxettes”!
    All the best,
    D. Ox

  10. micky2 says:

    It is not a left-right issue as it stands today.
    It was brought upon us by the moonbat conservationist and enviromentalist of the 60s and 70s. It was brought mostly by Carter and that abortion he called a presidency.

    It’s time to get serious.
    Anyone can say anything they want about anything. That doesn’t make it true.
    If you’re credulous, anyone can make anything look convincing to you. But that doesn’t make it true either.

    “We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade” (Former President Jimmy Carter speaking in 1978 to the entire world).”

    “At the present rate of use, it is estimated that coal reserves will last 200 more years. Petroleum may run out in 20 to 30 years, and natural gas may last only another 70 years” (1980, Merrill high school textbook Science Connections).
    (moonbat science)”

    “The supply of fossil fuels is being used up at an alarming rate. Governments must help save our fossil fuel supply by passing laws limiting their use” (1993, Glenco textbook Biology, An Everyday Experience). ”
    ( More moonbat science)

    Here is an important principle for you to wrap your mind around:

    In calculating the amount of natural resources, whether the resource is oil, bauxite, bitumen, or gold, there is a vital factor to grasp; it is a factor that doomers of any persuasion do not understand and no longer have the capacity to conceive of. That principle is this: “No matter how closely it is defined, the physical quantity of a resource in the earth is not fully known at any time, because resources are sought and found only as they are needed.” (Emphasis on mine.) Even if the quantities of a particular resource were exactly known, which they are not, such measurements would not be meaningful, because humans have a near-limitless capacity for developing additional ways to meet our needs: developing fiber optics, for instance, instead of copper wire.
    Energy begets energy. The more energy we use, the better we become at developing, extracting, and refining ever more. Halting the use of fossil fuel would not, contrary to what you’re told, solve this (non-existent) fossil fuel problem: on the contrary, it would bring progress to a grinding halt: which is to say, it would shut down the conceptual mind and its unique method of survival. It would blast us back to the stone age. There exists no technology that can survey and measure the total quantity of oil and potential oil beneath all the land and sea, including tar sand and shale oil and the conversion of coal to oil.
    So where exactly the doomers get their dire predictions is unclear.
    What motivates these doomers is even more obscure.
    And more frightening.

    Ignore the catastrophic scare-mongering crap that books like The Party’s Over and The Long Emergency tell you In one form or another, this propaganda is as old as mankind—the only real difference is the agenda.

    Which agenda is: let your big friendly leftwing government regulate and control fossil fuels and all other energy besides, and let this same big friendly leftwing government control your property as well, and thus your lives.

    It’s called Environmentalism. But it’s really Neo-Marxism.
    And Marxism by any other name is, and always will be, the same plain old discredited Marxism.
    Which is exactly what many environmentalists, especially those of the better informed variety, want.

    Federal support for the ethanol industry grew from seeds planted in the 1970s by President Jimmy Carter and grew to maturity in the ’80s and ’90s, with prodding from farm-state legislators.

    Carter was a leftist conseravtionist envirometalistic moonbat, and still is till this day.

  11. Jersey McJones says:

    Jimmy Carter. That’s the best you can do. He just pulled it right out of his rectum, huh? Sheesh. You wouldn’t know a “leftist” if he stripped own, painted himself pink, and danced on your forehead singing the soundtrack from Hair.


  12. micky2 says:

    I watched carter put this crap ( that has been around for decades) right in front of this country, and sell us all the idea that we needed t, I was here this all go down in front of the world.

    Carter is the best I can do ???
    What have you done to prove anything ??? You’re just mouthing off jersey ,with nothing at all (once again) to back up your statements or claims !
    Come on man ! Get busy and do some research and homework and show me proof!!!

    I have transcripts of his speach, I even provided you with the link !!!
    And you try to belittle my arguement by saying “he pulled it out of his rectum?”

    NO ! my friend , he said it in front of the whole world !!!

    And lets get one thing straight. I used to be leftist moonbat stripped down in pink dancing at festivals untill I grew up . So dont even go there.

    Would you be willing to strip down, paint yourself pink, dance on my forehead to correct my knowledge ?.
    I saw this menallity in the 70s as a clear detrement to our world and moved away from it. It came with maturity. But since I have actually been on both fronts I believe knowledge and not assumptions or indoctrination would give me slightly more ability to speak on the subject a little more intellectualy and educated than you.

    So here we are again, I have once again handed you your butt.
    Because you have brought absolutly NOTHING to the table except for rhetoric and opinions.
    Yakkity yak and no substance.

    Oh , and once again you resorted to tell me things I dont know about myself as some means of defense on your part, when you do that , it really doesnt help your position.

    Frankly, it makes you look even weaker.

  13. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky you’re a blast.


  14. micky2 says:

    Let me give you some advice, so we can have more fruitful debates.
    Dont say things you cant prove.

  15. checkhead says:

    Good points on the debate. Although, the second tier might provide VP material (i.e. Rudy might need a social conservative like Huckabee to secure the Evangelical vote from going third-party).

  16. Jersey McJones says:

    Micky, I can prove everything I say. And it doesn’t take much to look up the information. Don’t be lazy. I’ve followed the ethanol issue for many years. I know where the political impetus for it comes. Only a fool would think that “leftists” make much of anything happen in America today.


  17. micky2 says:


    You’re a piece of work and one of the most diengenuous characters I’ve ever met. I do all the research and provide evidence and documentation and you tell me to not be lazy ? LOL , LOL.

    You said;
    “And it doesn’t take much to look up the information”


    My info backs up my statement about carter !

    You said;
    I know where the political impetus for it comes. ”

    Do you?

    Or like everything else with you , are we just supposed to sit back like your dumb little lambs and take your word for everything ?
    I really must know what goes on in the mind of a guy who thinks that he can constantly try to get away with always putting his word out as gospel and then gets his panties in a ruffle when he is asked to prove it or be challenged on it ?

    And then to top it off you put out another totally ridiculously uneducated statement like this one;
    “Only a fool would think that “leftists” make much of anything happen in America today.

    Step right up my friends
    Welcome to the show that never ends.
    See the Gypsy Queen,
    in a glaze of vasoline.
    She slips she slides on her belly like a reptile.

    And to your left we have the Grand Poopa of all knowledge
    Jersey Mcjones.
    Cast all your truths aside.
    And he will take you on the BS ride.

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