Quick observations from the CNN GOP debate

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign at St. Anselms College in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

CNN did a terrible job with this debate. With so many candidates, it would have worked much better with one or two moderators. Instead we had to listen to simplistic questions from the audience, and we rarely got most of the candidates to answer the same question.

I didn’t agree with hardly anything that was said by the candidates, but most of them did fine for the first debate. Tim Pawlenty, however, looked weak as usual when he passed on the opportunity to slam Romney on health care. I just don’t think he has what it takes to survive the primaries.

Mitt Romney did fine, but nobody really challenged him tonight, so we’ll see how he does if Rudy Giuliani enters the race. Giuliani will hammer him. Romney also talked in circles about the auto bailout.

I was surprised by Michele Bachmann. Again, I don’t agree with anything she says, but she was very comfortable onstage and she handled herself well. This is terrible news for Pawlenty who is trying to get some of the evangelical vote, and so it’s also good news for Romney, who would love to have Bachmann draw the evangelical vote from more viable candidates.

Herman Cain was very erratic, so we’ll see if the Tea Party crowd remains impressed with him.

  

Piers Morgan is a hack

piers

I just watched one of the worst interviews I’ve ever seen. Piers Morgan interviewed Rudy Giuliani, who took his expected shots at President Obama’s Libya policy, and Morgan didn’t ask a single question challenging anything Giuliani had to say.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. First, few “journalists” ever challenge Giuliani. Like Michael Moore, Giuliani usually peddles his bullshit without any worry that he’ll be challenged by his interviewer.

I looked up Morgan on Wikipedia and discovered that he’s a former host of Britain’s Got Talent and a host of America’s Got Talent. He also won Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. What a surprise. Maybe he can invite Trump to his show and let him howl about Obama’s birth certificate without any tough questions.

Somehow, the geniuses at CNN gave this guy Larry King’s time slot. Besides being a tremendous bore, Morgan manages to make Larry King look like Bill O’Reilly. He didn’t even pretend to ask Giuliani a tough question. When Giuliani proclaimed that Obama and the United States should have insisted on regime change in Libya and led Britain, France and the United Nations to achieve that goal, it didn’t dawn on Morgan to ask Giuliani how that could happen given that the Chinese and Russians would have certainly vetoed any resolution that went as far as regime change.

He’s just the latest CNN fail . . . .

  

Ohioans are against deportation of illegals

The most recent poll in Ohio has some interesting news regarding the issue of immigration.

Let illegal immigrants stay here.

That’s what 56 percent of Ohioans said in a poll conducted this month by the University of Cincinnati Institute for Policy Research — and people polled in Southwest Ohio topped that figure.

In this corner of the state, 60 percent said they favored a government policy that allowed undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and become U.S. citizens if they met unspecified requirements in a certain timeframe.

That puts Ohioans in sync with the rest of the nation, according to a Gallup Poll last year, said Eric Rademacher, the institute’s interim co-director.

If you only listened to Fox News, Lou Dobbs and talk radio, you would assume that the entire nation is outraged by the conecpt of earned citizenship for illegals (which some call amnesty). Last year many in the media assumed that this issue would be crucial in the 2008 elections. Yet we don’t hear anything about it.

All of the Republican candidates who tried to exploit conservative anger about immigration flamed out in the primaries. Even one-time “moderates” like Rudy Giuliani flipped last year and tried to demogogue the issue in order to get the Republican nomination. He got crushed in the primaries.

America is getting serious again. We’re going through tough economic times, so it’s harder for politicians to distract the electorate with side issues like Bill Ayers, guns and illegals.

The next president will have a huge opportunity to pass a common-sense compromise on this issue that beefs up border security and provides a rational method for illegals to earn the right to stay in this country. The political rewards from such a compromise would be significant as well.

  

The attack on community organizers

The lamest part of last night’s festivities involved the mocking of Obama’s service as a community organizer.

Here’s the response from a group called Catholic Democrats:

Catholic Democrats is expressing surprise and shock that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech tonight mocked her opponent’s work in the 1980s for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She belittled Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s experience as a community organizer in Catholic parishes on the South Side of Chicago, work he undertook instead of pursuing a lucrative career on Wall Street. In her acceptance speech, Ms. Palin said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” Community organizing is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching to end poverty and promote social justice.

Joe Klein goes further:

So here is what Giuliani and Palin didn’t know: Obama was working for a group of churches that were concerned about their parishioners, many of whom had been laid off when the steel mills closed on the south side of Chicago. They hired Obama to help those stunned people recover and get the services they needed–job training, help with housing and so forth–from the local government. It was, dare I say it, the Lord’s work–the sort of mission Jesus preached (as opposed to the war in Iraq, which Palin described as a “task from God.”)

This is what Palin and Giuliani were mocking. They were making fun of a young man’s decision “to serve a cause greater than himself,” in the words of John McCain. They were, therefore, mocking one of their candidate’s favorite messages. Obama served the poor for three years, then went to law school. To describe this service–the first thing he did out of college, the sort of service every college-educated American should perform, in some form or other–as anything other than noble is cheap and tawdry and cynical in the extreme.

Perhaps La Pasionaria of the Northern Slope didn’t know this when she read the words they gave her. But Giuliani–a profoundly lapsed Catholic, who must have met more than a few religious folk toiling in the inner cities–should have known. (“I don’t even know what that is,” he sneered.”) What a shameful performance.

It’s amazing to me how low someone like Giuliani will go. He performed well on 9/11, but since then he’s been cashing in on his “celebrity” giving high-priced speeches. When he ran for president he spent $50 million and got one delegate. Perhaps the American people know a fraud when they see one.

In a year where we have economic troubles with ordinary Americans struggling, the GOP decides to attack someone for doing this kind of service early in their career.

None of this is surprising. The GOP has won plenty of elections demonizing and mocking their opponents. This year, with Obama and Biden, they have opponents that will fight back.

  

Giuliani hits a new low

Rudy gives another mocking speech. Is making fun of Obama being a community organizer or voting “present” going to do any real damage? Then he brings in the whole “celebrity” attack.

Well, we know they would get the attacks going, and I knew Giuliani would be the guy to do it. His better attack lines related to lack of leadership experience. He added some flip-flop stuff and some funny lines. Overall, this was the speech the Republicans were looking for.

He also attacked Hillary. Was that a good idea?

Overall, he got the crowd going and gave a great performance. It was probably the most effective speech so far, though that isn’t saying much.

  

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