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What last night's GOP debate proved is that no current Republican presidential candidate should come anywhere near the Oval Office, except as a visitor.
Here's what I heard.
1) Let's militarize the border with Mexico.
Fences, real ones or electronic ones, continuous along the Mexican border. National Guard soldiers on the border, and more of them. Drones, armed or otherwise, constantly flying over America's militarized border. A militarized border in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Rick Perry: So you can secure the border, but it requires a commitment of the federal government of putting those boots on the ground, the aviation assets in the air.
We think predator drones could be flown, that real-time information coming down to the local and the state and the federal law enforcement. And you can secure the border. And at that particular point in time, then you can have an intellectually appropriate discussion about immigration reform.
When the land of the free is sufficiently buttoned up, perhaps similar to North Korea,.....then and only then will Texas Rick be willing to have an "intellectually appropriate discussion" about reforming immigration. That, of course, assumes that Mr. Perry is capable of participating in an intellectual discussion....of any kind.
2) Abolish Social Security and replace it with a privatized, Wall Street driven, plan.
Governor Perry: I think the Republican candidates are talking about ways to transition this program, and it is a monstrous lie.
It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you're paying into a program that's going to be there. Anybody that's for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it's not right.
If Vice President Cheney or anyone else says that the program that we have in place today, and young people who are paying into that, expect that program to be sound, and for them to receive benefits when they research retirement age, that is just a lie. And I don't care what anyone says. We know that, the American people know that, but more importantly, those 25-and-30-year-olds know that.
Mitt Romney disagrees with the Texas gunslinger....
Social Security is a failure. You can't say that to tens of millions of Americans who live on Social Security and those who have lived on it.
And under no circumstances would I ever say by any measure it's a failure. It is working for millions of Americans, and I'll keep it working for millions of Americans. And we've got to do that as a party.
Romney sounded down right progressive.
Perry wasn't buying anything Willard was selling....
You cannot keep the status quo in place and not call it anything other than a Ponzi scheme. It is. That is what it is. Americans know that, and regardless of what anyone says, oh, it's not -- and that's provocative language -- maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country..
What I've covered thus far was the cerebral part of last night's debate. Yes, that IS hard to believe...but then this was a 2011 GOP candidates debate....so, not really all that unexpected. I've saved the exceptionally wingnutty parts for last.
3) Doing away with ObamaCare....
Mitt Romney: ....one thing I'd do on day one if I'm elected president is direct my secretary of health and human services to put out an executive order granting a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states.
Rick Perry: On day one, as the president of the United States, that executive order will be signed and Obamacare will be wiped out as much as it can be.
To actually do away with congressionally passed legislation which the president has signed into law....would require another piece of congressionally authored legislation also signed by the president. In the United States, presidents don't get to make legislation nor write executive orders nullifying already-passed laws. The same goes for the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The two GOP frontrunners were simply making stuff up that would sound pleasing to the ears of wingnut followers who want to take their country back from the dreaded Dark Knight. Make no mistake. Romney and Perry's answer is utter hogwash, unworthy of candidates seeking the presidency.
4) Punishing the poor....
This one is my favorite. All GOP debate participants agreed that after 10 years of historically low U.S. tax rates...what we need is lower tax rates. These folks are truly like the sticking needle on a 33 1/3 rpm record album, aren't they?
But Willard Romney just had to punch the poor a little bit.....
You know, I must admit, I have a bit of a hard time with the idea that there are people who don't feel like they're supporting our troops by contributing tax revenue through -- through the income tax or through other tax vehicles.
I don't want to raise taxes on the American people, but I think everybody ought to feel that they're part of this effort and that they're providing for our military, providing for our roads, providing for our schools. That ought to be part of what -- what every American experiences.
Set aside the fact that most poorer working Americans pay local property taxes, state taxes and federal payroll taxes. What Mitt Romney is saying is that those in America who don't pay federal income taxes because they don't make enough, you know, income.....are, somehow, missing out on being oh-so-patriotically supportive of our numerous wars of imperialism. Mitt has "a bit of a hard time" knowing that not all poor working Americans pay for the dropping of our freedom bombs. Romney is only saying that, naturally, because he doesn't want poorer Americans to miss out on being a part of...."what every American experiences."
All this from the GOP frontrunners. The answers last night from the also-rans were even more out of touch with reality.....eliminate FEMA, Medicare, the minimum wage....all the standard neo-confederacy nonsense from the New Bizarro Right.
Now....here's the really bad news....there will be a few more GOP debates in the coming weeks.