Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CNN Helps Ron Paulvorkian Poke the Eye of Newt

By Jim "The Right Guy" Lagnese

Whatever you think of Ron Paul, CNN definitely gave Dr. Paul more time than he has received in the last debate and then some. In last night's debate, the true believers might see it as a vindication of Ron Paul and a chance to push his candidacy beyond the single digits he's been in all along. His detractors will say it framed him for the batshit crazy lunatic he is. Some fully expected not only the tin foil hat, but the matching aluminum foil gauntlets as well. Never say that Dr. Paul is sartorially challenged. Of course, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Ron Paul is 100% right on economic and domestic issues. Where I part with his adherents are that they think he's 100% right about everything. Ed Koch used to say, if you agree with me 75%, vote for me, if you agree with me 100%, you need a psychiatrist. So it goes with Dr. Paul. I believe he fails in two ways: One, his foreign policy principles and objectives are a little short sighted and na├»ve. The notion that somehow we had any complicity in the 9/11 attacks is insane. I also think he doesn't understand how to deal with real threats. It's not as if his positions offer some practical leeway in dealing with a panoply of situations, but rather they are subject to a set of principles that back him into a corner both philosophically and empirically. I really don't believe he has the depth to handle a situation that really would require some sort of legitimate use of military force, and I use the term legitimate in the context of what he believes.

By contrast we have Dr Newt, the ersatz narcissistic sociopathic professor that looks as if he's spent too much time at the Golden Corral while thinking it was the OK Corral. I don't think there are more polar opposites in this campaign than Drs Paul and Newt and CNN surely gave them both ample opportunity to prove it. Can we demonstrate even one area where they agree? Immigration? Gingrich promotes what is basically amnesty. Healthcare? No way. Earlier this year, Newt promulgated his own version of Obamacare.  I'd have to wonder what wonderful neocon scenarios Mr Gingrich would love to test out if he had the chance. He's a very bright guy, but I wouldn't trust him. I think there is a disconnect between what he believes, what he says and what he really wants to do. The problem with both of these gentlemen is that they do not have the polished people skills and amicability that would endear them to voters. I don't think most people like either of them. My wife tells me Dr Paul is more like Dr. Kevorkian and Newt is a cross between Professor Kingsfield and the Mucinex booger snot. No matter how good their ideas are, do people want to listen to them?

In the last few debates, there has been one candidate that has the ability to explain things more simply without being facile and has at least a more anodyne demeanor and that is Mitt Romney. I hate to admit it, as I have called him both a Sears and Nordstrom Mannequin in the past, but the man does his home work, tries to relate and explains things in a way most of us would understand without being patronizing or condescending. Is he the most ideologically grounded? No. Is he as avuncular as Herman Cain or Ronald Reagan? No. Would he do a good job? I think so and that is more than I can say about BO or most of the people on stage. I'll also add that Michelle Bachmann had a fantastic night at the debates and really showed some nuanced thinking in her analysis of our foreign policy issues.

So, in the battle of the Doctors, who won? You tell me, I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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