There was a Republican presidential debate this evening that was hosted by CNN. The main topic was foreign policy. Wolf Blitzer was the moderator. I think he actually does a reasonably fair job when you compare him to most of the rest of the mainstream media.
The participants of the debate consisted of 7 pro-war candidates and one peace candidate.
Jon Huntsman, while no peace candidate, is a little less awful on foreign policy than the rest of the other pro-war candidates.
Rick Perry is still a horrible debater.
Mitt Romney is still an establishment stiff.
Rick Santorum is still irrelevant.
Michele Bachmann is still far worse on foreign policy than she is good on economic issues.
Newt Gingrich is still a snake.
Herman Cain is still dumb as a rock. If you don’t think so, just ask Cain if he is dumb as a rock and he will answer that he has to check with his expert advisors first before he makes any judgement.
Then there is Ron Paul. He is the peace candidate. He was absolutely brilliant tonight. He may not be perfect in his delivery, but he was driving every point home. His words were accurate and well put. His analogies were great.
Gingrich was talking about how we have to distinguish terrorism from criminal acts. Who will decide this? Gingrich? The word terrorism is thrown around by Republicans as much as the word racism is thrown around by Democrats.
There was a report that came out of Missouri in 2009 from the Department of Homeland Security that was labeling people as potential terrorists who were “right-wing extremists”, veterans, and those who supported third-party candidates. If they are terrorists, then according to Gingrich, you can just go ahead and execute them without any proof or any trial.
I loved Ron Paul’s response to Gingrich’s comment about Timothy McVeigh. Paul said that the government can install video cameras in the homes of every American in an attempt to prevent wife beatings and child abuse, but then the American people are the victims. This was a great analogy that he made. He was pointing out that Gingrich’s policies would turn us into a police state (if we aren’t there already).
While many pro-war Republicans will despise Ron Paul after the debate, his performance probably changed a few more minds and opened a few more eyes. He is chipping away. Also, I’m sure there were probably a few Democrats out there that liked what he was saying and will perhaps start paying more attention to what he is saying on economic issues.
I still don’t know if Ron Paul has a chance to win the nomination. He is doing well in polls in Iowa. He is in this thing for the long haul. He will continue to change minds and influence the debates. This is very encouraging for libertarians.