Missed opportunities abundant in 10-11-11 debate

Election 2012… It’s something to which many of us, as conservatives, have been looking forward, since late-2008.  A lot of independents and some Democrats have been looking for it, as well, since early to mid-2009 now themselves to replace a failed Obama administration.

The October 11th GOP presidential debate from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire hosted by Bloomberg Television and the Washington Post was the latest look at the field of potential candidates in an oh-so-cozy little roundtable setting.

To be honest, I only caught the last half of the debate. I’m sort of thankful that I did not endure the first half, if it was as lackluster as the latter half.

Gov. Rick Perry was lethargic. He was passive. His efforts seemed half-hearted, at best. Basically, he was lacking energy. He missed a golden opportunity to take Mitt Romney to task over recently unearthed documentation on intimate meetings between Romneycare architect Jonathan Gruber and the Obama administration, by asking some full of beans question that allowed Romney to spin through it with stereotypical style.  He went on about “block grants” as a means of fiscal reclamation for America.  He dodged on a direct question from Karen Tumulty about Obama’s Solyndra fiasco by failing to touch on Obama’s crony corruption of the green jobs racket. Maybe that is because of his own state-level subsidies program that’s been called into question or maybe not. He did note, on that particular subject that, “Well, I don’t think the federal government should be involved in that type of investment, period. If states want to choose to do that, I think that’s fine for states to do that.”  Just a personal point of privilege, since I am the author of this piece, I do not think it appropriate for either the federal or a state government to siphon taxpayer money away from workers to redistribute to cronies behind closed doors, period. I don’t even think the average viewer needed Perry to tell them, “Debates are not my strong suit.” Overall, Perry’s performance was a Texas-sized fail in New Hampshire for his third debate performance where he needed to turn around from the last two debates in which he’s participated.

Herman Cain pushed his 9-9-9 plan hard and took several valid hits on it too.  For those not up-to-speed on the 9-9-9 center point of Cain’s campaign, it proposes to flatten the capital gains tax out to 9%, flatten the personal income tax out to 9% and to implement a flat 9% national sales tax. Note that last one says “implement.”  Can you imagine tax and spend federal government getting a new tax that they can eventually raise to give them an additional revenue stream? Now, as a local note, add that 9% national sales tax to your already high local sales tax over 9% here in our county and do the math on just a regular grocery run to the store.  While the “666” reference by Michele Bachmann may have been a little overboard in some regards, truly “the devil’s in the details.” Rick Santorum chimed in for a short time as well on Cain’s proposed plan.  The real gaffe on Cain’s part, at least to me, seemed to be his proposal to appoint Alan Greenspan to the Federal Reserve.  Now, I rarely agree with Ron Paul on much of anything but Paul’s analogy of Alan Greenspan’s past performance as chair of the Federal Reserve as “a disaster” is pretty much right on the money for me, all pun intended.  Needless to say, Cain spent much of the evening defending his 9-9-9 plan and his new contender status. He certainly didn’t do himself a favor with the Greenspan idea.

Michele Bachmann seemed to do best in attacking the Obamacare/Medicare bureaucracies. Beyond that, her most memorable injection last night was in the previously mentioned reference to Cain’s proposed 9-9-9 plan.  I’m seriously beginning to think Bachmann is angling for a VP slot on the ticket at this juncture. But, maybe I’m wrong.

Newt was….well…Newt.  I can’t really think of a lot to say about him from what I watched last night.  He has a lot of knowledge but no matter how grandiose one’s ideas, you have to be able to articulate them, as well as bring them to fruition.  Anyone, besides me, still see him sitting on that danged green couch from the commercials a few years back?

Rick Santorum sat quietly much of the evening, only to pipe up later on and insinuate that he wasn’t getting enough time.  Some things are by one’s own design sometimes, Rick.

Like Michelle Malkin, I’m ready to rename my mute button the “Huntsman button” after all the time Charlies Rose gave him. Frankly, I found myself thumbing through an LMC Truck catalog when Huntsman would speak.  Don’t forget that Huntsman held a position in the Obama administration.  That should give anyone a little pause on who he really is.

Aside from the normal spin on Romneycare and taking a stab at Perry on how many uninsured children live in Texas, my biggest thing I saw out of Romney was his defense of TARP and failing to say he would oppose doing the same in the next manufactured crisis.  It bears noting that Cain joined Romney in defending the Wall Street bailout with TARP too. Boiled down to it’s core, it’s big business/big government corporatism.  In plain and simple terms, TARP was the selling out of big business to save it with the trashing of free-market principles. 

So, who was the winner and who was the loser last night?

Winner: Barack Obama

Loser: The American Taxpayers

And, I really hate to say that but I haven’t seen much, yet, that seems to indicate that any of these folks are ready to take on Barack Obama.  I can only hold out hope that someone is going to seize the reins and lead America back onto the road to prosperity.

I’d really like to see a candidate I could wholeheartedly support. While anyone in this debate is better than Obama, some more so than others, I’d really like to see a candidate’s platform I could really get behind.  I’ve not seen that, yet.  Maybe it’s just a lack of ability on their part to adequately articulate it. But, at this juncture, I’m just not seeing it.

As I’ve said before, if you think the first term of an Obama administration is bad, imagine a lame duck second term of an Obama administration.

It’s going to be a long road to 11/6/12, folks.

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*NOTE:  The commentary in this article are solely those of the author and are not intended to reflect any position(s) of the JCGOP.

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