September 12, 2011

Live-blogging the Republican Debate.

Come! Hang out here. My son John is live-blogging too. He's great at this, so check him out.

7:04 — Somehow, CNN is incorporating the Tea Party. We'll see how that works.

7:06 — Thumping music. And everyone's in a black suit tonight. Kind of scary... but finally a lady! It's Michele Bachmann, in a red jacket. For a while there, I thought it was going to turn into a boxing match.

7:07 — WTF? The National Anthem precedes a debate? This is making me want to switch over to the Brewers game. Is CNN all hot to prove it's patriotic? Ridiculous!

7:09 — Santorum and Romney mouth the anthem. Perry looks staunchly patriotic. This is soooo cheeseball. The singer goes all angry-face. Freeeeeeeeeee! Yikes. Give me a break. CNN has set this up to repel us.

7:12 — Introductory statements. Blah.

7:15 — "President Obama stole over $500 from Medicare for Obamacare" — says Bachmann.

7:16 — Perry assures the oldies they'll have Social Security. But "this is a broken system" — and lots of other people have called it a Ponzi scheme.

7:18 — Mitt Romney challenges Perry for saying SS shouldn't even be a federal matter, that it's unconstitutional. Does Perry want to retreat from that? Perry does retreat, saying we mainly need to "have a conversation" about it. Romney pushes him again and asserts it's "an essential program." Perry hits him back with his own statement, that it's criminal. The audience is so supportive of Perry, cheering every Perry jab.

7:20 — I think CNN's scheme is to have packed the audience with the Tea Party faithful, making it a cheering section for Rick Perry. It's a bit irritating. I think Mitt knows what's happening, and he has a great opportunity to show that he can keep his bearings.

7:31 — Funny how no one will take away the seniors' drug benefit.  Even Paul. "We shouldn't have voted for it..." but we can't cut it.

7:40 — The American economy will "take off like a rocket ship" if you let small business folk get a return on their investment, says Romney. Pushed by Blitzer, Perry blurts out a slogan: "People are tired of spending money we don't have on programs we don't want."

7:43 — Romney says there are 7 things we need to do. He's counting them off. Are we going to be tested on this?

7:45 — "If you're dealt 4 aces, that doesn't necessarily make you a great poker player," quips Romney, asked how much credit Perry deserves for all his accomplishments in Texas. Apparently, Texas is the 4 aces. He ticks off 4 attributes of Texas. This could be an amusing Romney tic: numbered lists.

7:46 — Perry has some nicely Reaganesque speech cadences. Works well to make Romney seem rabbit-y.

7:48 — "There are people comin' to Texas — for 5 years in a row, the number 1 destination — they're not comin' because we're overtaxing them. They're comin' to Texas because they know there's still a land of freedom in America, freedom from overtaxation, freedom from overlitigation, and freedom from overregulation, and it's called Texas. We need to do the same thing for America." Well spoken! By Rick Perry.

7:50 — Huntsman says, no, it's Utah that is the best state of all.

7:59 — Bachmann wants to put the Federal Reserve on "such at tight leash that they will squeak."

8:00  — Perry stands by his "almost treasonous" remark, referring to the use of the Federal Reserve for political purposes. Think that's inflammatory? I don't. I think it's rather bland. And I love the total unrufflability of Perry. He seems so happy too, even as he represents viewpoints normally considered angry. I like his temperament. I think. Or is it a little odd?

8:01 —A young guys asks a classic question: "Out of every dollar that I earn, how much do you think I deserve to keep?"

8:13 — Very intense disagreement over inoculating schoolgirls against cervical cancer. Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum all sounded strong, even as Perry had to concede he's made a mistake. Bachmann accuses Perry of being bought for $5,000 and Perry says he's insulted that she'd think he could be bought so cheaply.

8:15 — John writes: "Perry keeps defending his HPV vaccination law by saying, 'My goal was to fight cancer,' and 'I will always err on the side of life.' Isn't that exactly the same principle used by supporters of government-sponsored health care, which Perry presumably thinks is tyrannical?"

8:22 — Michele Bachmann is on fire: "2012 is it. This is the election that's going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not."

8:34 — Huntsman accuses Perry of treason for saying we can't secure the border. And just before that, Perry got a lot of boos for defending the Texas law that lets young people in Texas illegally pay in-state tuition at public colleges.

8:35 — Romney takes a tough position on illegal immigration. "Of course we build a fence."

8:51 — What would you bring to the White House? Perry says, "the most beautiful, most thoughtful, incredible First Lady that this country has ever seen — Anita." That seems to overshadow the ones that went before, making it hard for Romney, who follows, not to promote his wife, but Romney does well, saying he'd bring back the bust of Winston Churchill.

8:52 — Huntsman will bring his Harley Davidson. Does he win the quien-es-mas-macho game?

9:00 — So... what did you think? Ron Paul empathizing with al Qaeda was a bit... off. Perry lost some ground with the rowdy crowd by empathizing with undocumented aliens. Huntsman and Bachmann were feisty. Perry was solid and articulate. Romney was fine. Cain, Santorum, Newt... they got their statements in well enough, but I can't see them as serious contenders.

245 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 245 of 245
MayBee said...

Obama's problem wasn't that he didn't have executive experience, it was that he didn't have executive instincts. There was never any evidence that he understood how to take a stand on something and make it happen. His preference had always been to depend on others to flesh out his general ideas of how the world should work. Everything he had ever done was the result of someone else creating an infrastructure to support Obama's attempts at success.

That is still his problem.

Anonymous said...

And the reason we keep electing Governors is not so much "executive experience" but because we want outsiders untainted by Washington.

No. This isn't the reason at all. Like, not one iota. But your post does give us an interesting view of your view of the world, and your intriguing demonology.

MayBee said...

I mean, it wasn't even that Obama didn't have executive experience in government. He just didn't have executive experience.
He had been elected to preside over the Harvard Law Review, but all accounts are that he didn't.
He was selected by Bill Ayers to chair two different foundations, and the results were so abysmal they were wiped off his resume for the election.
Even in the Senate, he didn't hold his own subcommittee meetings, even though he chaired one. He left that to Joe Biden.

The opportunities he'd had to execute weren't absent. His successes in his attempts to do so were.

PETER V. BELLA said...

@Maybee

Obama's problem was he had zero experience. In Illinois he was a house plant legislator. He was just here for the check. In the US Senate he barely showed up- almost a ghost pay roller.

Before politics he really did nothing of any consequence.

William said...

I saw snippets of the debate. Romney is definitely taller than Perry. They are evenly matched in hair quality although Romney's hair looks more fussed over. Perry has a much stronger jaw line which may help to offset his height disadvantage. Men with that jaw line won the west. He could probably bite off Krugman's head and chew it down with minimum effort. Romney was slender in a patrician way and looked more elegant. Given his wealth and inherited status, that might not be such an advantage. Perry looked fit in a stocky, thick necked way. He wouldn't look out of place on a rigging crew.....I wouldn't call a clear winner or loser to the debate. To Perry's advantage I will say that he is the candidate most likely to be offensive to the delicately flared nostrils of Maureen Dowd and that's worth something when choosing our next President.

Cedarford said...

William - "Romney was slender in a patrician way and looked more elegant. Given his wealth and inherited status, that might not be such an advantage."

Romney is not as many think. He grew up in a frugal household and his dad had money, but didn't want to spoil his kids. George Romney was a person who left Mexico with a suitcase and never had the time to graduate from college..he had to work. Romney worked hard jobs in the summer and his near-two missionary time was spent in a cold-water flat where he had a matress on the floor and no furniture. Aside from the time he was nearly killed in a car wreck.

He did not get into Stanford then BYU then Harvard Law and Harvard Business on a legacy...the guy was described by one Harvard business prof as "the sort of student with an electric intelligence and natural instinct for business I hope to see come in every 5 years or so".

No inheritance from his Dad. By 35 Mitt was already worth double what his dad was and insisted he get nothing in any Will if he outlived both his parents.

Saint Croix said...

Obama's problem wasn't that he didn't have executive experience, it was that he didn't have executive instincts.

No. His problem is ideological. He's a libtard. If he passed a libertarian agenda, instead of a socialist one, our economy would be humming along right now.

The problem with Obama is not failure in doing what he wanted to do. The problem with Obama is that he accomplished what he wanted to do.

Obama has been completely successful in passing his agenda. Clinton failed to pass Hillarycare. Obama succeeded. In part because he didn't put his wife in charge of it, right?

Clinton had economic success because he was thwarted in what he wanted to do. Obama accomplished what he wanted to do, and it's been an economic disaster.

Obama's problem was he had zero experience.

Wrong! He's had almost no foreign policy experience, right? He knows very little about it. And yet his foreign policy has been okay. Some bad moves, some good moves. It has not been the disaster that his economic policies have been.

The problem with Obama is his arrogance. He thinks he can run an economy. He is a hard-left ideological moron. He thinks if he gets a bunch of smart Ivy Leaguers in a room, he can (and should) run everything.

Grab a Republican at random off the street and he will be a better President than Barrack Obama.

You think if Barrack Obama was head of the Teamsters for ten years (executive experience!) that he would be a better President today? How? How would that be an improvement?

He doesn't need to run things better. He needs to stop trying to run everything. He is ruling us into the fucking ground.

How much administrative experience has Bachmann had? Zero, right? Do you doubt for a second that she would be better for the economy than Obama?

traditionalguy said...

The 5 candidates without a chance are Cain, Santorum, Huntsman, Paul and Bachman .

So what's so special about Herman Cain that he alone

deserves a sneering attack for offering to be the GOP President?

It is not Cain's intelligence which is superior.

It is not Cain's ability to communicate and lead, which are very good.

It is not Cain's offering weird ideas.

So what is it that disqualifies Cain so strongly compared to the other "without a chance candidates?"

As a Georgian the answer to that question is an easy one. He dares to be an intelligent black man in our Party.

That comforting narrow mindedness will destroy any social organisation as will a narrow minded refusal to allow intelligent women into leadership.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"was spent in a cold-water flat"

The hardships of France.

MayBee said...

It's true, Peter.

Every position he had was either pre-cleared for him prior to his election/selection, or the requirements of the job were reduced once he got the job. Or both. The exceptions were his Illinois Congressional election (he lost), the US general election (he won), and the office of the presidency.

sonicfrog said...

7:31 — Funny how no one will take away the seniors' drug benefit. Even Paul. "We shouldn't have voted for it..." but we can't cut it.

Just reinforces my point I made the other day that as much as the Tea Party says they didn't like George W's spendthrift ways, they are reticent to repeal any of it. Easier instead to focus only on Obama. But it's going to take a good thirty to fifty years of rewinding bad policies, across both party lines, to get to a place where the Federal Government is more sustainable.

MayBee said...

"Obama's problem wasn't that he didn't have executive experience, it was that he didn't have executive instincts."

No. His problem is ideological. He's a libtard. If he passed a libertarian agenda, instead of a socialist one, our economy would be humming along right now.

The problem with Obama is not failure in doing what he wanted to do. The problem with Obama is that he accomplished what he wanted to do.


I'm not sure we disagree. Obama's experiences indicate that he was never about bringing success to an organization. He was about
a)bringing himself to an organization for his own benefit
or
b)bringing his ideas to an organization, regardless of the effect on the organization

A good executive doesn't just lead lead lead until he's lead his organization into the ground.

yashu said...

Overall impressions:

At this point in the game, Perry's my favorite.

But I could live with Romney as POTUS (after all, ABO-- well, except for Ron Paul).

Newt's been great in the debates. All but redeemed himself in my eyes (after the shameful "right-wing social engineering" episode). Not presidential material, but I'm glad he's up on that stage.

Bachmann totally lost me tonight, yuck. Some may think she hurt Perry, but I think her shrill (& IMO bad faith) attack might've helped him in the larger picture, especially looking toward the general election. (Anti-vaccine hysteria in general is a real turn-off for me. Bachmann sounded like Jenny McCarthy.)

Perry's been painted by the MSM as this crazy right-wing extremist ideological hardliner; but after tonight (with Bachmann as foil, and given his stance on immigration) it's much more difficult to sell that caricature. Here's a guy with real conservative bona fides, the supposed "red meat" candidate, but he's not entirely predictable. He's not afraid to say things (and stick by them) that might scandalize the MSM-defined "middle" (on SS, the Fed, CAGW), but he'll also calmly articulate positions that might elicit boos from a Tea Party crowd (on immigration or Guardisil).

In either case-- and unlike other candidates there-- you don't get the sense that he's pandering or demagoguing, choosing his stance or his rhetoric depending on his audience or the situation: he's just saying what he believes to be true & right. And will also recognize & forthrightly admit that he's made a mistake: that's really refreshing to hear during the reign of the blameless faultless immaculate O.

In that sense, to me, Perry comes off as more of the "pragmatist" that O pretended to be (that Althouse voted for). He has a strong, clear ideological foundation, based on firm conservative principles, but he's dealt with & deals with issues in the messy real world (as they emerge in the experience of a governor) case by case, in praxis not theory-- not just voting "present" or theorizing & sniping from sidelines. (So, e.g.: building a wall might be great in theory, but isn't feasible or practicable in reality.) But he'd tell us up front what his positions on the issues are-- unlike a certain president who spends most of his time concealing & obscuring his real positions (thereby stagelighting the mirage of "pragmatism"). And will admit when he's made an error-- unlike a certain candidate who won't admit to making any mistakes re statewide health care reform.

I might not agree with Perry on all the issues, but I so yearn for a modicum of honesty & frankness from a president after living through the Orwellian fog of the last 3 years. He's not the most articulate guy up there, but I'm not looking for glib.

Others: I like Cain & like that he's there, but he's not a serious presidential candidate. Good on Santorum for smacking Ron Paul, but expect him to drop out soon. Huntsman-- the motorcycle macho thing, really?

Saint Croix said...

Obama's problem was he had zero experience.

Well, he's got experience now. He's got four years of experience.

He's also had major accomplishments.

He killed Osama Bin Laden.

And he passed a major overhaul of health care.

He signed Dodd-Frank into law, putting a Czar in charge of the entire banking system.

He's kept us from drilling for oil and shut down our economy through EPA regs.

He's run up a massive amount of debt, "engorging the beast" so that we would have to raise taxes and pay for a permanent socialist government.

Do you think these are accidents? It's his agenda! It's all intentional! He has absolutely accomplished what he has set out to do.

We are closer to socialism here in the U.S. than we have been in over 200 years.

Look at what he's accomplished!

I'm curious, how could a commited socialist be more successful than Barack Obama? Would it have been possible to push our country even further to the left? How has Obama failed to put his agenda in place?

Where I sit, he's been pretty damn successful at what he has tried to accomplish. It's the mark of a leader. To a right-winger, Obama is like Darth fucking Vader. And Obamacare is his Death Star.

You want to pretend he's incompetent, okay. I think you're underestimating him. And to avoid the ideological conflict astounds me. That's what this election is all about. 2012 is about first principles.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Re JAC's 8:15 comment: how exactly is it the goal of "government sponsored health care" to "fight cancer" and "err on the side of life"??

Those who advocated the passage of Obamacare had a lot of lofty goals. I never heard those two mentioned.


Wow, we must have been listening to very different people. I constantly heard people (rightly) complaining that lack of health insurance kills people. Just to give a specific example, Ezra Klein is one of many people who made this argument. I'm not sure what the point of having health insurance coverage would be if it didn't help you stay alive and avoid cancer! So I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

I think my point was pretty clear. Perry justifies his past action based on the fact that it was aimed at better health outcomes, even though it involved an intrusive government. He isn't in the best position to then turn around and complain about government health insurance on conservative grounds. (Sure he'll make those arguments against Obama since he happens to be running against Obama, but that's based on expediency in these circumstances, not any unwavering principle.)

Saint Croix said...

If we nominate a Republican who says, "I'll be just like Obama, except competent," I will pull my hair out.

MayBee said...

I'm not sure what the point of having health insurance coverage would be if it didn't help you stay alive and avoid cancer!

The best way to avoid cancer is to not smoke, watch your diet, stay clear of environmental toxins, and stay off certain long term hormone replacement therapies. Catching developing or potential cancer is also very important, although avoiding cancer as a primary reason for health insurance seems to be a woefully unfulfillable charter.

Ezra Klein also made the arguments that US companies were not competitive because they had to provide health insurance, that health care reform would reduce the cost of health care, would reduce the deficit and improve the economy, and that we could save money by offering less healthcare in the final months of life.

Saint Croix said...

lack of health insurance kills people.

Have you considered the possibility that promising people "free health care" might result in worse health care? And it might kill more people, more quickly?

Have you also considered the fact that no other country allows all the costly and expensive medical malpractice litigation that we do as a matter of course? If you sue a doctor in the UK, and lose, you have to pay their legal bills.

Obamacare is literally promising the worst of both worlds. We get the socialist "wait four months for your operation" health care, and also the American "sue your doctor and win the lottery" system to boot.

Utopia! Free health care for everyone!

What about food? I've heard that lack of food kills people, too. Way quicker than lack of health insurance. Should we also promise every American free food?

I'd like a ribeye, please. It's my right as a citizen.

Alex said...

Texas has low taxes and the worst infrastructure in the nation. You get what you pay for.

Hockey Bum said...

IT'd be nice if they included Gary Johnson instead of leaving Ron Paul as the token libertarian.

Cedarford said...

Saint Croix said...
Obama's problem was he had zero experience.

Well, he's got experience now. He's got four years of experience.

He's also had major accomplishments.

He killed Osama Bin Laden.


===================
1. You omit that when people talk Executive experience, they are talking about someone with successful executive experience. Obama is the equivalent of a CEO wanting another 4 years when he put his firm on the brink of Chapt 11 on grounds he might be a fuckup, but he is an experienced fuckup.

2. Obama killed bin Laden?
Who knew??
To me he is just a skinny jug-eared law lecturer. I honestly have my doubts he even knows how to aim and fire a weapon. Probably, like work a tough job that made him break into a sweat as a youngster, change a tire or check oil - firing a gun is something Obama never has done.

Saying Obama "killed bin Laden" is like saying FDR leading the charge inhis wheelchair "beat the Nazis in the D-Day battle" or Nixon should get credit for scooping up some astronauts and dropping them on the moon.

MayBee said...

Megan McArdle:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/myth-diagnosis/7905/

Richard Kronick of the University of California at San Diego’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, an adviser to the Clinton administration, recently published the results of what may be the largest and most comprehensive analysis yet done of the effect of insurance on mortality. He used a sample of more than 600,000, and controlled not only for the standard factors, but for how long the subjects went without insurance, whether their disease was particularly amenable to early intervention, and even whether they lived in a mobile home. In test after test, he found no significantly elevated risk of death among the uninsured.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I never said that it's logically inconsistent to be against abortion and in favor of the death penalty. My point is that, in both debates, the audience seemed really enthused about the prospect of someone dying when it comes to the death penalty and an uninsured 30-year-old. More than one person yells out "Yeah!" at that point in the debate, and there is a jubilance to both reactions. I don't think people who respond to those situations in that manner should employ the term "pro-life" to describe themselves just because their position on one particular issue happens to be on the side of life. It's a euphemism that I don't like (I don't like "pro-choice" either), and many people have pointed this out before me.

Chip S. said...

The US has the best health outcomes in the world for people with actual diseases. Enacting a 2,000-page monstrosity of a bill that dramatically overhauls key elements of that health-care system in order to achieve goals that could easily be attained through very narrowly targeted reforms does not qualify as "pro-life" in any meaningful sense.

And anyone who dislikes the widely understood euphemisms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" is perfectly free to replace them with the starker terms "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion." I'm pretty sure the "pro-lifers" would be fine with that switch. The "pro-choicers," not so much.

yashu said...

Apparently Palin was on FOX backing Bachmann's ludicrously over-the-top attack on Perry re Gardisil, charging him with "crony capitalism." A charge which is absurd on its face-- even if you disagree with Perry's decision on the vaccine.

Really, Palin? Really, Bachmann? Obama, whose administration is marked by the most widespread, massive, egregious cases of crony capitalism in living memory, sends his heartfelt thanks for thus cheapening the term & draining the charge of its power, helping to neutralize the issue in the general election.

Maybe this will shake the infatuation out of some of Palin's starry-eyed admirers. Ace has been demolishing Palin on Twitter here.

(Can i just say how much I love Ace? "I'm not big into keeping diseases alive on the theory that they are God's Sacred Microbes of Cancerous Chastisement" LOL)

My theory: any conservative who's lavishly praised by the NYT (as Palin recently was) risks serious infection, a metastasis & putrefaction of the ego.

Oh, and to liken "a 2,000-page monstrosity of a bill that dramatically overhauls key elements of [our] health-care system" (to use Chip's apt description) with a single vaccine mandated in a state which has an opt-out (and never passed anyway) = analogy fail.

caseym54 said...

I note it is real easy for folks in the snow belt to be tough on illegal immigration, but they don't have to deal with the problems or face the large numbers of Hispanic voters like Perry or Huntsman have done.

MayBee said...

Let's don't forget that Michelle Obama kept her hospital out of the HPV vaccine studies because subjecting black girls to that would have been too much like Tuskegee

Revenant said...

the audience seemed really enthused about the prospect of someone dying when it comes to the death penalty and an uninsured 30-year-old.

A single audience member yelled "yes" in answer to a question and you spin that as "the audience seemed really enthused about someone dying"?

Funny stuff.

Sixty Grit said...

Yeah, yeah, commies like to kill the innocent and spare the guilty. We get it. Now get back to killing the unborn and allow us to execute criminals.

Actually, after seeing what Nifong did in Durham I am less enthusiastic about capital punishment than I once was. With luck, it will remain nothing more than an abstract point of argument in my life, worthy of no real contemplation. And, due to bed-wetting liberals, the death penalty is no longer used in NC.

Robert Cook said...

The Republican wanna-bes had a debate last night? Heck, I was switching back and forth between the season finale of DESIGN STAR on HGTV and the latest episode of AMERICAN CHOPPER: SR. vs. JR. on Discovery Channel.

Somebody should have let the word out...at least then I would known what I wasn't wasting my time with. Did anyone else know this was happening?

Curious George said...

@ Chris Althouse Cohen:

You don't like "Pro Life" or "Pro Choice"...what terms would you choose?

BTW, your logic approaches the absurdity of garage mahal...

Ron Moses said...

Wasn't there someone else up there on stage? I seem to remember he actually had a few good things to say, I'm surprised he's not mentioned once in this liveblog.

[*psst* it was newt!]

J said...

Romney's a joke as are all of them (including Michele Bozoman) but Mittens showed a bit of spine in not agreeing with Tex Perry that social security was a criminal racket

master cylinder said...

Chris -this is who they are. Keep up the good fight.

Rusty said...

So you think only Democrats get abortions?

No. Just mostly democrats.
Sadly, garage, it is the birth control method of choice amoung black women in the United States.


As an aside.
You must have an inordinately large penis. You seem to step on it a lot.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Ezra Klein also made the arguments that US companies were not competitive because they had to provide health insurance, that health care reform would reduce the cost of health care, would reduce the deficit and improve the economy, and that we could save money by offering less healthcare in the final months of life.

I don't understand: is your list of some of the arguments made by Ezra Klein supposed to refute my observation that Ezra Klein also made another argument?

John Althouse Cohen said...

You don't like "Pro Life" or "Pro Choice"...what terms would you choose?

How about "opposed to abortion rights," "abortion-rights opponents," "in favor of abortion rights," "abortion-rights supporters"?

John Althouse Cohen said...

It seems that some people instinctively wanted to disagree with my point about Perry's incoherence on health care. But I notice that no one actually found any fault in what I said about Perry's blatant lack of principles. Let's face it: he takes one position on the relationship between government and health, then turns around and takes a directly contradictory position. If he "always" supports government actively ordering people around in an attempt to "save lives" or "fight cancer," then he's in no position to make the standard conservative arguments against government having a strong role in health insurance. (Guess what: if you want to stay alive and prevent or fight cancer, having health insurance is much better than not having health insurance!) I'm not saying anything about which of his views is correct, but they can't both be correct.

Saint Croix said...

I don't think people who respond to those situations in that manner should employ the term "pro-life" to describe themselves just because their position on one particular issue happens to be on the side of life.

People who do try to apply the pro-life idea across issues, like myself, or Cardinal Bernardine, are often opposed to the death penalty as well as abortion.

I feel a pro-life worldview--and a recognition that a government can do evil--cuts across politics and causes you to rethink your stance on issues. I became pro-life on abortion first, and then opposed to the death penalty.

You assume that the random Republican in the audience is pro-life. You can't possibly know this. Lots of libertarians support abortion rights but vote Republican anyway.

But even if he is pro-life, when you think about what it means to be pro-life, it affects how you think about other issues. If he is pro-life, he may very well be on a path to questioning his belief in the death penalty.

Or not.

I do not believe those people who support the death penalty are hostile to life. Many people believe that "an eye for an eye" protects human life.

My stance on the death penalty changed not because I think a vicious murderer has a right to live. My stance on the death penalty changed because I do not trust the government's ability to resolve factual questions with 100% accuracy. In short I worry about innocent people being executed.

Robert Cook said...

Regarding the question of whether only Democrats get abortions:

"No. Just mostly democrats.
Sadly, garage, it is the birth control method of choice amoung black women in the United States."


And you have citations to support your assertion?

MayBee said...

I don't understand: is your list of some of the arguments made by Ezra Klein supposed to refute my observation that Ezra Klein also made another argument?

No, it's supposed to point out that Ezra Klein would throw anything at the wall to see what would stick when it came to pushing whatever version of "health care reform" Democrats were pushing at the time. Some of it not factually supported. Much of it not supportive of the idea of choosing life first.

I'm not sure how Rick Perry's vaccine executive order fits in with your overall point about health care reform proposals, unless you are working from the starting point that Republicans are against health care and/or health care laws.

MayBee said...

et's face it: he takes one position on the relationship between government and health, then turns around and takes a directly contradictory position. If he "always" supports government actively ordering people around in an attempt to "save lives" or "fight cancer," then he's in no position to make the standard conservative arguments against government having a strong role in health insurance.

I'm sorry, but that reminds me of the kind of argument people make when they support zero-tolerance policies.
It also reminds me of Obama's straw man arguments. "There are those who think government has no role in health care...." and "There are those who think the government should have no role in our lives".

The idea that it's nothing vs. any other option isn't the reality. That Perry said Texas wanted girls to get the HPV vaccine (anybody could opt-out) doesn't open the door for every other way government can conceivably be involved in health care, including forcing people to buy health insurace.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
Regarding the question of whether only Democrats get abortions:

"No. Just mostly democrats.
Sadly, garage, it is the birth control method of choice amoung black women in the United States."

And you have citations to support your assertion?


Check with Planned Parenthood. They're rather proud of it.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'm not sure how Rick Perry's vaccine executive order fits in with your overall point about health care reform proposals, unless you are working from the starting point that Republicans are against health care and/or health care laws. ...

That Perry said Texas wanted girls to get the HPV vaccine (anybody could opt-out) doesn't open the door for every other way government can conceivably be involved in health care, including forcing people to buy health insurace.


This is the last comment I'm going to make about this, because I'm sensing we've passed the point of diminishing returns. Clearly you can go on and on about the supposed invalidity of what I said, but I stand by my observation about the fact that Perry picks and chooses his principles based on political expediency.

Here's the thing: you seem to think that what I was saying is that since Perry thought the HPV vaccination law was a good idea, he is therefore bound to think that Obama's health-care reform is also a good idea.

That would be preposterous, so of course I don't think that. They're two separate issues. The health-care law -- which I didn't mention in any of my earlier comments -- is a specific piece of multi-thousand page legislation that will also spawn other regulations, which may be even more complex. There may be any number of reasons to oppose that legislation that wouldn't apply to the HPV issue. Some of those arguments would even be made by people who'd support a further-left plan like single-payer.

So, I get it. They're different issues.

But again, I didn't say Perry would need to support Obama's health-care reform law to be consistent. I was talking about a broader issue, not that specific law.

The broader issue -- the fundmantal question that Perry doesn't seem to have any clear position on -- is: is it the proper role of government to ensure that people are getting good health care, not getting cancer, not dying prematurely, and so on?

You might say "yes" to that question, but still think Obamacare wasn't a good way to achieve that. So, you could consistently support Perry's mandatory HPV vaccination while opposing Obamacare.

But the issue about Obamacare isn't just whether Perry would give a "yes" or "no" answer to whether he supports it. I was referring to his principles that would drive him to oppose that law or other health-care plans that might come up in the future. Unless he's to the left of all the other candidates, I believe his principle would be that the government should not "take over" health insurance because that is not the government's role. Health insurance should be left up to free markets, because people are better than government at controlling their own behavior. This freedom includes the freedom to take risks, like going without health insurance or not getting vaccinated.

So, again, you can go on and on about how it isn't necessarily inconsistent to support Perry's compulsory STD vaccination for 12-year-old girls while opposing Obama's health-care reform. That's all well and good, but I didn't say (and didn't even mean to imply) anything to the contrary. I'm not so much interested in whether Perry would check the "support" or "oppose" box on specific pieces of legislation; I'm interested in his core convictions or lack thereof.

MayBee said...

Perry doesn't seem to have any clear position on -- is: is it the proper role of government to ensure that people are getting good health care, not getting cancer, not dying prematurely, and so on?

I would assume he (and most people) would say no, it is not the proper role of government to ensure people are getting good health care and not getting cancer.

John Edwards came the closest to advocating that position, when he was going to mandate people go to get yearly checkups.

Perry's actions are easily explained if he believes in promoting the well-being of the citizens of his state, but weighed against the cost (both in money and liberty) of an intrusive government. With an opt-out clause, the cost of liberty was low to non-existent. With a mandate, the cost of the vaccine was lowered. The benefit of the vaccine- the side of life- was high.

It seems neither radical, complicated, or unprincipled to me.

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