I stated most of this on the Free Republic forums last night, but I want to expand on it a bit.
Once more, Newt so outshone everyone else on the stage it is getting to be absurd. No other candidate comes close to having his knowledge and understanding of world affairs--or domestic affairs. None of the others comes close to seeing the big picture with as much clarity and vision as he.
Newt has so much information at his disposal, such an in depth understanding of the issues, it is almost frightening. He thinks strategically and his vision of how our policies should be implemented is all-encompassing. His responses reflect a man who has given these issues thought well beyond the current election cycle.
Newt is one candidate who has spent considerable time thinking, not just about how he can get elected, but what he will do as President and how those actions will impact world events and our lives here at home.
That being said, the reaction to his very reasonable comment on illegal aliens will have a predictable reaction from many conservatives--it is possible to be correct and not be politically savvy. Newt said what is right, not what is politically correct for a conservative.
His stance on immigration is very similar to that of Rick Perry and his reasoning is much the same. I know that conservatives bridle when the word compassion or "heartless" is bandied about, largely because those terms have been greatly abused by the left in bashing conservatives, but sometimes those words do have weight and meaning.
One can advocate conservative ideals without being "heartless." In conservative circles, family is considered paramount and the argument Newt makes about illegals who have spent their lives here building a life is legitimate.
Is it justice to tell someone who has spent 15 or 20 years in America--being studiously ignored by those in authority--and who has now established roots in his community, that he must all of the sudden pick up his belongings and go back to a country which is now alien to him . . . or is it just petulance--peevishness at having someone successfully flaunt our laws through our own neglect?
Most of our criminal laws have a statute of limitations--is it unreasonable or unwarranted to have the same policy with respect to our immigrations laws--especially for someone who has become a valuable contributing member of our society?
As for the rest of the field:
- Bachmann really was strong tonight. She appears to be making a comeback. I could see myself supporting her quite easily. She too has extensive knowledge and understanding of the issues and is capable (in a more limited way and to a lesser extent) of constructing a coherent, rational, and conservative vision for our nation's future.
Michelle has come a long way from where she began this race. Michelle for vice-president? Perhaps, she certainly is qualified for the position and would be a powerful spokesperson for conservative values.
One word of advice Michelle--enough with the "My husband and I raised X-number of children--we got it. We all got it the 20th time you said it. To keep repeating it borders on sanctimony.
- Rick Perry had another good night--the best debate performance of his candidacy--quite strong and he may see a rise in the polls. He no longer stumbles, he has a clear understanding of most issues, and he is consistently conservative and the most relentless of the candidates in upholding the traditional "family values" portion of the traditional Republican Party platform.
I continue to like Rick Perry. I wish he had not had such a rough and unpolished beginning to his debate appearances. Had this Rick Perry appeared at the beginning of his campaign, he would probably be dominating in the polling.
- Cain--another very weak performance for Herman. Again, the man sounds like he is asea when he attempts to discuss world affairs and foreign policy. He literally is floundering for answers and attempts to cover for his lack of knowledge and understanding by reaching back to the few simple catch phrases he has learned.
Cain really is very provincial in his understanding and grasp of the grand world scheme. He lacks the sort of knowledge that one would expect in any world leader--indeed, he lacks the level of understanding that one would find in most of us who closely follow politics and world affairs.
It's sad really. He's dropped a long way in my opinion. When he first announced and began to make waves, he was my favorite and I advocated for him quite strongly on the political forum of Glock Talk (from which I was banned for "speaking truth to liberal trolls) and later on The Conservative Talk Forum.
I now see Herman Cain as the least qualified candidate of the group. Herman Cain's problem is not simply "making mistakes," it is a complete lack of understanding. The man needs several years of studying the world, reading the newspapers and learning about international events and how the world and government works before he's ready for the office.
Realistically, Cain is about where Sarah Palin was back in 2008, a good person with good instincts and a bright future, but unprepared for the burden he's seeking.
The Presidency is not a place for OJT, you have to have at least a semblance of understanding, knowledge and competence from day one, because for even the most prepared person, the job is almost overwhelming.
- Mitt Romney, like him or hate him, he still comes off as very competent, well informed, well thought out, and very electable. He has a real grasp of the subject and an informed, if somewhat contrived or consensus driven, understanding of where this nation needs to go.
I envision his Presidency as a "caretaker" Presidency. A "President Mitt" would not do anything to damage our nation, he just wouldn't have the vision to lead us to greater heights. At any other time, Mitt Romney would be another one of those "just fine" Presidents, not spectacular, but not horrible. Unfortunately, our nation is in such dire straits, that we can't afford the luxury of a "caretaker President.
Mitt is polished, accomplished, and knowledgeable. He comes of as well spoken and unwilling to make any waves. He is an attractive candidate and he may well wind up with the nomination in spite of everything we conservatives may do.
- Ron Paul is still a joke, even more out of the norm and further from reality than ever. In a response to the question of whether we needed the long and much maligned P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, he attempted, once again, to draw a parallel between the lone American terrorist Timothy McVeigh and those against whom we have been fighting in this "War On Terror" over the past decade.
He attempted to argue that our justice system had successfully dealt with that case and should therefore be capable of dealing equally well with any terrorists we face today. He was eviscerated by Newt's simple retort alluding to the fact that Timothy McVeigh was successful in accomplishing his objective and what we need is not some after-the-fact investigator to clean up after thousands have been killed, but the ability to interdict and prevent such attacks before they occur.
Paul's argument was further "killed" by Mitt's differentiation between domestic criminals and the rights they inherently possess as citizens, and terrorists--even American citizen terrorists (A.K.A. "Traitors")--who are at war with America and who either never enjoyed those rights, or have surrendered those rights by acting as or for a foreign power.
. . . there is a very real difference between the two and Paul (as well as most liberals) simply are unable to make that differentiation. I am once more struck by the numerous and striking similarities between the stands taken by libertarians like Paul and the simplistic, emotionally driven beliefs of run-of-the-mill liberals.
- Huntsman had a good night. In some ways he outshone Mitt Romney and he certainly has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of many of the issue, but that man can say more about nothing using high sounding language than anyone else on the dais--of course he is a diplomat.
For me, the real killer is his insistent defense of doing nothing in response to China's continued manipulation of their currency and his seeming advocacy for their nation, and his advocacy of the man-made global climate change.
He'd be better than Obama, but that is damning with faint praise. Almost anyone would be more competent and capable than Obama
- Santorum just doesn't work for me. He says a whole lot of very good things. He is strong on family values, strong on defense, resolute in our war against terror and the necessity of not falling into the same trap we did in the late 1980's in abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban, but there is something that is just off-putting about him--I don't know--maybe too angry, too sanctimonious, too . . . something.
Sorry Rick, your heart and head are clearly in the right place, but you are not an "attractive candidate" and will not be the nominee of our party. Time to go back home and run for a return to the Senate--there you could enact some of your ideals.
The clear winner was Newt. Perry, Bachmann and Mitt are vying for 2nd with Mitt having a clear edge if for no other reason than his position in the polls and his campaign organization.
Last thing, anyone of these candidate--with the possible exception of Ron Paul, that's possible exception, would be far superior to the Clown Prince, Spoiled Brat, Narcissist in Chief we currently have. Far, far superior in ever facet of the job.
Long Live Our American Republic!!!!