Some belated, sobering thoughts about Tuesday’s debate.
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Okay, let me interrupt this criticism with a note that Romney gave good answers on how regulations harm community banks and on why “permanent changes to the tax code” are preferable to temporary and targeted tax breaks. But aside from those, he was nothing but platitudes — wrapped, I’m sure, in his trademark coiffed hair, relaxed posture, and pleasant tones, and topped off at the end of each answer with an oh-so-earnest smile.
Lord, please save us from candidates who want to be president to either equal or out-do their presidential or near-presidential or considered-for presidential or national-military-leader fathers. Romney the father complained about being brainwashed; now Republicans are on the verge of being brainwashed by the son.
Rick Santorum: First, the criticism: No matter how justified it is for a candidate to resent, in debate after debate, being given only about one-third or one-fourth as many opportunities to speak as the front-running Forehead gets, don’t, repeat don’t, complain about the unfairness of it all. Whines don’t age well.
Other than that, Santorum again was first-rate. He’s right that his proposal for zero corporate income taxes on manufacturers would be an economic winner and, unlike 9-9-9, be likely to be passed by Congress. He’s right that states without any sales taxes would howl at a national sales tax (and, he might add, states already with a sales tax over, say, 5 percent, would balk at being the collection agents for double-digit levies). He’s right to go after specifically those regulations that “cost” more than $100 million. He’s right to say that Romney’s “waiver” approach to Obamacare would end up with red states subsidizing California and New York. He was right, unlike four of the others, to have opposed TARP. And he was both right, and eloquent, in insisting that “the breakdown of the American family” is not just a moral issue but an economic one, and that poverty is exacerbated by, and ever concurrent with, broken families. As the lead Senate sponsor of welfare reform in 1996, Santorum (along with Gingrich and several other House leaders) is as responsible as anybody for helping lessen the incidence of poverty, in part specifically through policies aimed at keeping families together.
Of course, in a competitive election, “presentation” does matter very significantly, and if Republicans want to rid the country of this disastrous president Obama, they have every right to want a candidate who “projects” himself well enough to win. The question is, why can’t they get somebody who also has good substance to project?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?