Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

GOP Debate thoughts

First let me say that this was the most subdued debate I've seen. The candidates sounded, for the most part, flat. Maybe it's the constant campaigning, but all of them looked tired except for Ron Paul, who liked to shout a bit tonight. (And no, don't cite to me the times the crowd went nuts when he spoke. They went nuts quite a few times tonight for all of the candidates.)

I can honestly say that no one really stood out. Rudy cited his accomplishments, and stuck to his talking points. So did Romney. McCain sounded like, well, himself, only a bit mellower. And in the beginning, they all got a chance to take a little, humorous swipe at Fred Thompson for not being there. A couple were amusing, but Romney used the line he used earlier this week. It was amusing on Monday, but not so much today.

There were a couple of minor dust-ups tonight between candidates. McCain and Romney went at it over whether the surge is "apparently" working or it "is working." (Hint to Governor Romney, I suggest you read up. We can appreciate your desire to wait for Petreus, but the people reporting on it's success have no wavering on the point that it is working and producing significant results.)

Paul and Huckabee had a tit-for-tat over the fact that while Paul wants to pull troops out of Iraq, we have a commitment to meet, and we don't back out of commitments. This was a classic example of the antiwar candidate and a pro-war candidate going at one another. (This was also one of the times he was shouting.)

Now I will say this about McCain. He made a mistake tonight, and I'm chiding him for it. when asked about torture, he told a little tale of a friend that he has that said no information gotten by torture is reliable. OK, I get the point. That's been a common argument, but McCain's idea of torture and the laws definition of torture don't mesh. But in the end he said that if we use it, our enemies will take that as condoning it's use and they'll use it on our soldiers. They have been a few of our soldiers in Iraq that have been captured. When they have been, they have gone through extensive torture, and the body is usually desecrated by the terrorists (removal of hands, heads, etc.). Senator McCain, they don't need justification because they're already doing it, but we adhere to higher standards in this country and we don't torture our prisoners.

As for the hypothetical at the end, the Iran scenario, I only have one complaint about this (other than Ron Paul's answer which was don't prepare for war unless we have to, engage in diplomacy, try to ease tensions, etc.) was Hunter's answer. His initial answer that "I don't like hypotheticals."

To that, I'll say, then I don't ever want to see you in the white House. Presidents and their advisers deal with hypotheticals daily. "If this happens, this is how we respond." That's among the thoughts roaming around a place like the White House (except for the previous administration's eight-year vacation). We have analysts at sixteen different intelligence agencies that do nothing but wargame out hypotheticals. From there, they go to the president if the issue is pressing, and his own team work the problem through. You can't back away from one aspect of the job because you don't like them. Now granted the hypothetical presented about Iran didn't have a lot of details to it. It was fairly vague, and didn't address the one issue at hand.

"Iran was susected" of having a nuke, or was close to it when IAEA inspectors were thrown out. Even today all we have is suspicion, nothing hard yet. The hypothetical wargamed out by DoD, the Pentagon, DHS, etc. that was presented in this past Sunday's Telegraph would have been a much better scenario, and might have evoked some different reactions. In that one, there was no mistake Iran had a nuke. they'd just conducted a test of one.

Other than that, I was fairly bored by this debate. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, or maybe I was feeling like I was falling asleep, but there just didn't seem to be the energy of past debates.

Publius II