the Conservative Republican in the Debate?
by Roger Hedgecock --
can hear Roger Hedgecock every week-night from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Satellite
Radio at channel XM 166.
will one of these Republican candidates act like a conservative in these horrible
Not just talk like a conservative. They all "talk the talk," in increasingly trite
ways. They are parodies of themselves. Batty old great uncle Ron, earnest retired
professor Newt, snarky student body president Santorum, fighter pilot Perry, rigid
(I'm playing an adult on TV) Romney, Hurri-Cain, and bomb-thrower Bachmann.
Sniping, jabbing, clawing each other this week on a stage set in Las Vegas that
may as well have been designed by Simon Cowell. Moderated by Obamabot provocateur,
in his highest-ratings appearance ever, Anderson Cooper, who couldn't help laughing
out loud at the spectacle of Republican candidates making Obama's case against
In previous debates, I thought any one of them would make a better President of
the United States than the incumbent. Now I despair. The liberal chattering class
is leading these candidates around by the nose.
After the last debate in Hanover, N.H., ObamaPundits declared Rick Perry dead
unless he could make the case as the anti-Romney.
In Vegas, Perry came out swinging, interrupting, shouting, bullying. Something
about illegal gardeners. Mitt Romney said, "Let me finish," or some version of
that, some 26 times and finally put his hand on Perry's shoulder to restrain him.
The American Success Story, Herman Cain, unique among the candidates, actually
has a tax overhaul plan called 9-9-9.
Because it would tax Obama voters who currently pay nothing, the ObamaPunditry
spent the previous week hammering its defects, urging other Republican debaters
to attack it and Cain. Right from the start, Cooper pitted one debater after another
against Cain. It looked like bear-baiting, although some of the attack dogs resembled
Perry was the fiercest attack dog. He called Cain "brother" and vowed to "bump
plans" with him. Do the other candidates know that Perry is armed?
The "bear" got predictably irritated and the other candidates' staffs got the
message. Who cares that the public wants fundamental tax reform? Who cares that
the public sees the current tax code as a giant campaign slush fund fueled by
myriad special tax breaks? Propose a specific reform that deprives the political
parasite class of its money and power, and its media partners will tear you apart.
Cooper's job included using Obama attack lines. Take ObamaCare.
Provoked by Cooper's question, Rick Santorum took Romney out on "RomneyCare,"
using the exact same argument that Obama will use against Romney if the two of
them end up debating next fall. ObamaCare is a direct copy of RomneyCare. Obama
even used Romney's health care advisers to craft his plan. Romney as the Republican
candidate takes repeal of ObamaCare off the table, no matter how often Romney
vows to do it.
Newt Gingrich joined the attack until Romney reminded him that he (and The Heritage
Foundation) had supported the insurance mandate before they opposed it.
Not one question about Fast and Furious. In an effort to blame gun ownership in
the U.S. for border violence, a program budgeted by Obama and Attorney General
Eric Holder allowed thousands of guns to be illegally purchased in the U.S. and
disappear into Mexico to arm the already dangerous Mexican drug cartel. Not one
candidate spoke up.
Not one question about Solyndra. About crony capitalism. About Obama's inaction
on the Keystone XL pipeline. Did the candidates think that Cooper would ask questions
that would allow them to attack the most failed record of our times since Jimmy
Carter? If not asked, why didn't the candidates act like conservatives and bring
up these topics themselves?
Only Perry dared to stray from the question to state a case for oil and gas drilling
to create jobs. When challenged by Cooper to "answer the question," Perry said,
"You ask the questions, and I'll answer them." The only time a candidate challenged
Cooper. The only time a candidate dared to define a position that put Obama on
the defensive and not a fellow Republican.
Ron Paul has called for drastic cuts in the behemoth federal government. Cooper
asked Paul about it in the tone of a counselor urging a mental patient to open
up. Paul did his best, but looked frail, only sporadically coherent. His time
has passed, but I hope his budget ideas haven't.
It doesn't help Paul that he sees no threat from Iran (they aren't that "stupid")
and would immediately eliminate all foreign aid, including to Israel, and withdraw
all overseas American troops. The bloodbath that would follow is unimaginable.
The debate was held in Las Vegas, with 15% unemployment and two-thirds of its
homes under water. The worst economy in the country. No one brought up Obama early
on deriding businesses who convention in Vegas, condemning Vegas the way he would
later condemn corporate jets, causing mass cancellation of conventions and the
beginning of the Vegas Depression.
Harry Reid must have breathed a sigh of relief.
I just sighed.
The first primary is less than two months away, but the election is still 13 long
months from now. When will the Republican candidates insist on a moderator who
will let the voters hear more than 30 seconds of attack sound bites.
Voters deserve better. Voters want to hear how each of these candidates would
act to free the economy, limit government and restore the blessings of liberty.
on, guys and gal. We have to do better than this if we ever hope to take Obama
out of the game! G.