The L-dotters on the debate

It’s fun reading a lot of different reactions and opinions on a lively event I watched myself (though I saw only half of it). Several commenters agree with my assessment that Pawlenty made a fool of himself—that’s the very word they use.

However, a disturbing element is that many are calling The Ghost of Gingrich Past the winner. Others disagree, saying he may be a good debater, but has “character issues.” The fact that people could even be talking about him as among the ranks of leading candidate is distressing. Yes, the majority of comments about him were strongly negative: “Whatever his abilities, I don’t want him as president.” But no one saw what is truly wrong with Gingrich, that WHATEVER he says, no matter how smart and right it may seem, has no connection with anything else he says or stands for. With Gingrich, notwithstanding his ego, there is no entity there, only a mouth that keeps producing high-energy words. To be impressed intellectually by anything Gingrich says is to lose sight of the larger whole from which those words come, the unreality that Gingrich is, the 68 year old man who in all seriousness proudly describes himself as a three-year old who sees ideas as cookies for him to gobble up and then go searching for the next cookie.

And about the candidate about whom I say nothing, I can’t refrain from quoting this reaction, since it’s identical to my own:

Reply 28 - Posted by: Judith, 8/12/2011
… Ron Paul contorts his face with hatred and disdain when he talks about my country, not going to happen.

And here’s a good comment, with a kind of group portrait of the candidates:

Reply 31—Posted by: sorosisbehindit, 8/12/2011 8:10:51 AM

It was like that awkward family reunion of extended family. Pawlenty was the poor and bitter relative who criticizes the rich relative who drove up in a Jag; Romney is the stuffy rich relative you have to be nice to in case you ever need a job; Bachmann is the home school mom who lectures the other relatives on how they too should be doing what she is doing; Newt is the history teacher who gets into a long monologue with your Dad on the Viet Nam war, but cannot participate in the conversations about college football; Paul is the idealist who thinks we should not be eating turkey because of the way they are killed; Cain is the one you hope to be your partner when playing 42 dominoes; and the rest of them … you couldn’t pick out in a line up.

And more:
Reply 65—Posted by: bikerchic, 8/12/2011 10:44:52 AM

I will NOT vote for the two with a loose grip on sanity, and I mean in the general: Paul and Pawlenty. Pawlenty wasn’t defending—he was making irrational accusations against the person he thought would be the easiest target based on the height difference. And Paul … would happily hand over our country to any takers.

I would love Huntsman … if I was a democrat.

The others, seem to have some decency, but I am skeptical of all of them. Cain, I love him, but the guy who says what everybody’s thinking never gets to be president. Ever. Gingrich is good at answering questions, and everyone tells me he is a smart guy, and I am sure he is, but I don’t think much of him in a position of power, and his electability in a general, is approaching non-existent. Santorum, is earnest, and smart on certain subjects, but he doesn’t really grab most people’s attention. I think Romney and Bachmann were the only people there who are really seriously running.

Reply 70—Posted by: thenightowl, 8/12/2011 11:18:31 AM

Newt did a good job, but sounds more like a Congressman than a President to be. His voice is important because he’s been around awhile and is a talking encyclopedia on government and history.

Bachman held her own, but sounded too tightly wound even though she maintained her composure well. She will live to debate again.

Cain sounds strong on business and the economy, but our problems stretch beyond and his reach does not. Could he succeed in the broader world? Can’t tell from last night.

Romney sounds/looks presidential, but can his judgement be trusted outside of business? Does he have the spine for the problems we face? (I don’t get a good vibe from him on international problems.)

Pawlenty is heading toward the exit sign. He did not impress in any area except for his glib and prepared joke.

Santorum came across as strident and sanctimonious rather than strong and smart. He’s got some serious ego issues.

Paul exhibits a different kind of sanctimony than Santorum and comes across as stuck on particular constitutional points that are important in the long run, but are only a small part of solving some of our immediate problems.

Huntsman was nervous throughout the debate. His deer-in-the-headlights look was strange and creepy. He offered nothing real in the debate, preferring to hang his hat on his prepared talking points which told us he had a good record. (I didn’t see any leadership there.)

For all of them, talking a good game is one thing, leading is another. Considering only last night’s debate, Newt was the only one who impressed on domestic and international issues. However his past missteps, both personal and political, are real and offer a good reason to be wary of him.

I’m looking forward to hearing from the man from TX and the lady from AK.

Reply 73—Posted by: Scribelus, 8/12/2011 11:32:36 AM

Rep Paul’s remark about Iran’s nuclear capability has eliminated him from the field of serious candidates. He is a feral libertarian with the qualities of Monty Python’s “Kamikaze Scotsman”.

Reply 75—Posted by: foont, 8/12/2011 11:54:27 AM

After watching this “debate” (I can’t think of a name that accurately describes the event) I found myself wishing we could graft Newt’s debating skills and knowledge base to Bachman’s sense of purpose and dedication to principle.

I found Paul to be mostly incoherent.

Cain would be a great choice for Treasury Secretary.

Huntsman and Pawlenty speak “politicalese” fluently.

Santorum is right on moral issues. Because he is right on these he will not be the nominee.

Romney is not to be trusted. But he sure looks “presidential”.

All that said, I would vote for any one of these over Hussein.

Reply 77—Posted by: General Buck Turgidson, 8/12/2011 12:02:04 PM

Mitt Romney reminds me of the fraternity house president in the movie Animal House. Button down collar, gee wiz kind of guy. Pawlenty came across as a total jerk. Not going to win any friends beating up a short, nice looking lady standing next to you. Huntsman looks like somebody from the Adams Family. Creepy. Newt is Newt, smart but carrying more baggage than Delta Airlines. So, which one do you want to lead you into combat next summer? And it will be hand to hand battle. From the little I have seen of Perry, he seems a little cocky, which I like and I don’t think he can be intimidated. Hook him up with Palin as number two once again, and they would skin the mulato alive.

Reply 80—Posted by: timbelmont, 8/12/2011 12:29:11 PM

Maybe when Bachmann’s President she’ll appoint Pawlenty Ambassador to Zambia … that’ll teach ‘em!

Reply 83—Posted by: WAN from WIS, 8/12/2011 12:42:24 PM

Would it be demeaning/sexist to mention the usually stunning Bachman was noticeably less stunning for some reason last night? A migraine? (Did she leave the stage for medication?) Her make-up? While spot on most of the time, I agree with those who think some of her bright-eyed wisdom is … canned and repetitive. At least she didn’t remind us of her titanium spine last night … (thanks to Gov. Pawlenty for beating her to it?). Perhaps I ask too much for candidates to be quick-witted enough not to repeat clever campaign quips ad nauseam. I am not the greenest pea in the pod, but would limit MY quips to 2-3 campaign stops or one national mention. Back at her THIRD mention of her titanium spine, I shuddered. A certain sense of proportion seems missing. But perhaps I nitpick.

Reply 84—Posted by: joeyinempirestate, 8/12/2011 12:47:55 PM

MB looked super, just thought the lipstick was heavier and glossier than usual.

Reply 87—Posted by: TrueBlueWfan, 8/12/2011 1:32:40 PM

#83, I think you’re onto something. I noticed her hair could have used some poof. Maybe she’s trying to come across more down-to-earth. As to her answers, some do sound canned, and if I hear about her ‘5 kids and 23 foster kids’ again, I’ll scream. How long were those foster kids in her home? It could have been very short-term.

BTW, are they dying Bret Baier’s hair black? Last night and this morning it sure looked darker to me.

Reply 88—Posted by: TXknitter, 8/12/2011 1:48:10 PM

I was very disappointed in the way this “debate” was conducted. The nation is falling apart and the questions Chris and Byron served up were rehashed old “controversial” news stories which have been reported and dissected ad nauseum months ago. The anchors seemed to be going for some sort of reality show instead of a sober, intellectual Q and A designed to elicit specific sharp discussion.

Pawlenty—just embarrassingly weak

Bachmann—love her but is never specific only philosophical

Romney—showed up to do campaign talking points and play it safe. Establishment with a capital E.

Newt—would leave Obama bloody and destroyed in a debate but has character flaws so Pubbies don’t want him

Santorum- good man right on issues but no character flaws so Pubbies don’t want him

Sad that the whole point of last night seemed to be Romney not getting damaged (no problem there, reminded me of a mouse) so yippee, what a successful debate. Sad.

Reply 92—Posted by: bikerchic, 8/12/2011 2:32:54 PM

And anyone who thinks that it is the slightest bit persuasive that Iran has as much right to develop nuclear weapons as any other country needs a trepanation to let a little light through.

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

I am amused that the WSJ article about the debate refers to the race as “slow-moving” and having been “jolted to life.” Why should a Presidential race be “alive” or be fast-moving or need “jolting” fifteen months before the election and six months before the first primary? Has there been a lot of action this far ahead of past elections? My recollection is that nothing newsworthy usually happens until January of an election year—and that’s as it should be.

Paul K. writes:

An L-dotter wrote: “Cain sounds strong on business and the economy, but our problems stretch beyond and his reach does not. Could he succeed in the broader world? Can’t tell from last night.”

I like a lot of what Cain says but he’s an amateur and we can’t survive another amateur. Also, he has that black tendency to use words incorrectly, which drives me crazy. Last night he said he hadn’t known about the Palestinian ‘right of return,” but has subsequently been “documented” on that. Regarding his comments on Romney’s Mormon faith, he said “It was not a dispersion whatsoever on his religion.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 12, 2011 03:37 PM | Send

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