The most recent Republican primary debate of the 2012 election cycle was truly painful to watch but at the same time interesting and informing. Perry and Romney were the two clearly dominant candidates with the rest of the people on stage being simply the backdrop of the debate. Despite her good performance in the past two debates, Bachmann is likely going to be eliminated as much of her extreme base shifts to support Perry. As everybody with common sense could see a the outset of the primary, Paul, Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman, and Cain were all non-starters only running due to delusion, political advancement or monetary gain. The debate this week has in my opinion solidified the Republican field for president (barring Chris Christie's entry) into a fight between Romney and Perry
One interesting and potentially important development during the Republican debate is that the Republican candidates have started attacking each other. It took about 5 minutes for Perry and Romney to start sparring over who is the more regressive conservative, only to go downhill from there. Credit where credit is due, the Republicans are the most underhanded, vicious and libelous bunch in politics. Usually they turn their guns on the Democrats (Birthers, Clinton, SwiftBoat, etc.), but this primary has the potential to be extremely vicious. I for one look forward to the Republican party being divided and attacking each other. With all of the insane or corrupt views held by Perry and the flip-flopping of Romney, the different side won't even have to make things up to attack one another. Hopefully, by the time the Presidential candidate is chosen, they will be so smeared by the opposition that they are un-electable to the independents (unfortunately the party cohesion of the Republicans is so much that they will probably support the winning candidate even after the fight).
The most disturbing thing about the entire debate was that there was a complete disconnection from the facts for ALL candidates. If any of the candidates were to be elected it would truly be a disaster for the USA. The Republican party is simply operating on a completely synthesized set of facts and ideals which are completely made up by corporations, zealots, and think tanks. Unfortunately a disconnection from the facts does not mitigate the negative effect of denying the facts (if I don't believe in gravity it does not mean that I can fly, but rather that I could stupidly walk off a cliff and go splat). In the next section of the article I will expound upon the largest falsifications, simplifications or delusions of each of the candidates from last night's debate; this by no means indicates that the falsehood that I point out is the only ones told by the candidate, but that I believe it to be the worst of those told.
- ObamaCare --- One thing that all of the candidates seem to agree upon is that the ACA is an evil, job killing overreach of government that will be immediately repealed; the only problem with this analysis of the ACA is that it is demonstrably false on all counts. The single largest falsehoods told about the ACA were by Bachmann when she said that "ObamaCare took over 1/6 of the US economy" and that new regulations were already killing jobs. I simply won't even dignify the first comment with an analysis for the same reason I don't want to explain why the moon isn't made of cheese. Bachmann's story about how the ACA is killing jobs is amusing because not only will the new regulations have a negligible effect on job growth, but they won't be implemented for another year. Anybody who is bemoaning the ACA for being onerous is either deluded or a liar. As for the constitutionality of the ACA, the interstate commerce clause of the constitution makes the mandate (a Republican idea until a Democrat implemented it) completely constitutional. Romney, Perry and Bachmann all stated that they would offer waivers for the ACA on their first day in office, which ironically is unconstitutional.
- Energy Policy --- The Republicans universally blamed the increase in gas prices on Obama's policy while at the same time saying that green energy hasn't created jobs. The president cannot directly control gas prices without implementing price controls, which if Obama did, the Republicans would have a collective seizure. Ron Paul and Bachmann are sharing the crown for the craziest comment on energy policy during this debate. Bachmann and Paul both promise impossibly low gas prices, which are completely unsupported by economics. Speculation and the interactions of supply and demand are the two main controls on the price of gas (mostly speculation in the current case), thus the executive branch cannot control prices without overstepping its power. Green jobs haven't been created because the Republicans have aborted all attempt to fund the programs, thus preventing them from working.
- Social Security --- Rick Perry believes Social Security to be a unconstitutional "Ponzi Scheme"; enough said.
- Regulation --- The Republicans have long been the party of corporations and polluters. Every dangerous or toxic industry ranging from big oil to big tobacco has a stake in the Republican party, thus the Republicans are the party of no regulations. The Republicans are either bought or hold an extreme free market ideology which makes them want to completely deregulate corporations. I'm sure that drug companies would NEVER risk the lives of the consumers of their drugs even if the FDA didn't regulate them, nor would the oil companies turn the air to acid if they thought it would make them money. Regulations both keep the people safe and the companies honest, thus they are under attack by the corporate tools masquerading as public servants. The most insane comment on regulations in the debate yesterday was undoubtedly by Ron Paul on the FAA. According to Paul, airlines should all self regulate their security and flying patterns. The safety and security of the planes should all be privatized and decentralized and according to Paul, companies wouldn't cut corners and would all agree nicely on flightplans. Without the FAA and TSA, the airspace would be anarchy. Security on planes would decrease due to no baseline regulations and plane pilots would simply have to pray and hope that they don't collide with one another due to no centralized and dominant control. Ironically, the prices of tickets wouldn't even decrease due to the reduction of taxes on the airlines (as shown in the FAA shutdown).
- Taxes --- The modern right wing has consistently held the beliefs that all taxes are evil, the rich pay too much, and that tax cuts always produce more tax revenue than they cost. For a group of people who are supposedly good with economics, the right wing is remarkably stupid on this one issue. In truth, most intelligent Republicans don't believe their own lies on taxes, but are using them to both remove taxes on the rich and shrink government so that they can make more money. The less money that the rich have to give to support the less fortunate the more yachts they can buy, because come on, one yacht in simply not enough for the important people. While every candidate on the stage holds insane views on taxes, Cain's 9-9-9 plan is by far the most insane. Cain's plan is the most regressive tax plan suggested since the decline of feudalism, even Bachmann isn't so extreme. The government doesn't have enough money because the rich and corporations stopped paying taxes at the same time we started two wars; the Bush presidency is the gift that keeps on giving.
- Ronald Reagan --- Every candidate on the stage spared no words in their praise (read: blind worship") of Ronald Reagan, Saint of the Right Wing. None of them seem to see the irony that their beliefs are far from those of that old lefty Reagan. Reagan raised taxes, negotiated with terrorists, and offered amnesty to illegals, which puts him squarely within the ranks of the Progressive congress today. The rightward shift of politics in the past decades has no better illustration than this.
Long story short: The Republican candidates are either stupid or corrupt enough to operate in a fact free zone and if any of these people are elected it would be a disaster. Every time you think that the next Republican cannot be more insane, the next one pops out an I am starting to wonder if there is a point where even the right wing can look at a candidate and think that they are simply too extreme.
Bush I >> Bush II >> Palin >> Bachmann/Perry >> ???
Facts truly do have a liberal bias,
The Sarcastic Liberal