So, there was a Republican debate the other night ...

Republican presidential contenders go head-to-head at Reagan library

* Michele vs Ron: Judging by the new polls from the Washington Post/ABC News and NBC/ Wall Street Journal, it’s Texas Rep. Ron Paul not Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann who is sitting in third place at the moment.

Will Paul get treated like a top-tier candidate in terms of the number of questions directed his way and the moderators’ willingness to include him in the big confrontations of the night? Or will he be treated, as he has been at virtually every debate since he began running for president four years ago, like an amusing sideshow?

If Paul does get more serious treatment that likely means a reduced role for Bachmann who was a centerpiece of the last debate in Iowa in August. (Debates are a zero-sum game; there’s only 105 minutes to be parceled out, so giving Paul more time means taking time from someone else.) Bachmann badly needs a strong performance to re-ignite a faltering campaign and to give that sort of showing she needs time to make her case. She might not get it.

* Whither social issues?: Given that polling suggests that even self-identified social conservatives are heavily focused on the economy, it will be interesting to see how much of the domestic policy portion of the debate is dedicated to things like abortion and gay marriage. The likes of Bachmann and Santorum have to hope there is a heavy focus on social issues while Romney and, to a lesser extent, Perry are rooting for a conversation dominated by economy and jobs talk. (Perry’s 2007 decision to issue an executive order mandating vaccines for the human papillomavirus is viewed as anathema by social conservatives.) Also remember that independents tend to be less motivated by hot-button social issues so the more time the Republican candidates spend talking about abortion and gay marriage the worse for them come next November.

Originally, this post was meant to cover the debate "pre-game," but sometimes, life gets in the way of blogging. Therefore, the Ron Paul v. Rick Perry "More Reagan than Thou" debate will have to wait, along with the rest of the pre-debate soap operas too.

Trust

Aren't you sick and tired of politicians who promise the moon while campaigning, then fail to follow through, or worse, do the exact opposite of what they promised? Watch this terrific grassroots-made video chronicling Ron Paul's steadfast adherence to constitutional principles.

Economy

Long-term unemployment has reached epidemic levels. Family budgets are already tight, yet food and energy costs keep climbing higher. Banks are not lending. Government debt has blown through the roof. And Keynesianism's 75 years of unpaid bills are coming due.

The politicians and talkingheads keep telling us the economy is improving. But you know better, don't you? You don't need some "expert" or useless bureaucrat to "explain" to you what you can see with your own eyes ... America's economy is hanging by a thread.

Watch another excellent grassroots-made video which proves once again that, Ron Paul is the only Republican (or Democrat for that matter) who understands economics.

Post-Debate Analysis

Ron Paul's Secret Weapon

The question after the latest Republican presidential debate is why Ron Paul keeps winning them. MSNBC has been widening the margin by which its own survey is showing that the congressman from Texas did the best job; it's now up to 57%. One can imagine there might be non-substantive explanations; Dr. Paul, say, has so many followers on the Web, who may be primed to respond to these polls. Our guess, though, is that more than the other candidates Ron Paul gives the impression that he is animated by a clear and coherent set of principles in which he deeply believes. His sense of principle is his source of power, his secret weapon.

This was evident in the way he eclipsed the others, starting with Michele Bachamann, in respect of gasoline prices. Mrs. Bachmann was right to bring up the price of gas; it's a bitter symptom of . . . of what? Not only our policy of restricting the development of our own energy resources, as Mrs. Bachmann argued, but more fundamentally of our system of fiat money. Dr. Paul jumped in after Mrs. Bachman to point out that gasoline hasn't become more valuable. One can still get a gallon for a silver dime. It's the dollar that has collapsed. Governor Perry has warned darkly of how Texans would deal with Ben Bernanke. But neither he nor any of the others at the Reagan Library approaches the issue in the principled way that Ron Paul does.

Dr. Paul was the only candidate who kept referring to the Constitution, the principles behind which he has clearly thought about for a long time. He talked about enumerated powers in laying out the grounds on which he'd take the federal government out of education and health care and other "mandates" for which Congress lacks an enumerated power. We understand there is a debate about the extent of Congressional powers; some of them, such as regulating interstate commerce, are enormous. But while the other candidates are driving themselves crazy over policy, Dr. Paul is standing on principle.

"Everything we do is a mandate . . . that's why you have to look at this as the cause of liberty." It is a wonderful phrase, "the cause of liberty." The polls keep showing that when a candidate sticks to it in a principled way, he wins the debate.

Liberty, freedom, independence ... all but forgotten words in America today, replaced by "unitary executive," "homeland security," and "wealth redistribution." It's time to restore America, our "land of the free!"

Ron Paul Emerges as Formidable GOP Presidential Contender

Something interesting happened in that moment during the Republican presidential debate when Texas Governor and GOP front-runner Rick Perry turned to Ron Paul during a break, continuing a spirited exchange while physically grabbing him and pointing an index finger toward Paul's face.

Ron Paul and Rick PerryPerry showed America that Ron Paul is a legitimate contender and force to be reckoned with in the Republican presidential race.

[N]ot only did Paul grab a win in a subsequent MSNBC debate poll after the event, as votes from his passionate supporters and others poured in, giving Paul a quick 50 percent positive response ahead of Mitt Romney (17 percent) and Perry (14 percent), but Paul continued throughout the next day to emerge on the Internet as a victor.

A picture from the debate showing the episode in which Perry turned to Paul during the break lit up media sites, and the talk began to shift from that debate moment to what Paul stands for and is running for in his presidential bid. Almost overnight, the Texas House Republican became a formidable candidate in the GOP presidential nomination race.

Paul doesn't have a John Wayne-like swagger. He's not the Gipper. And, sagging cheeks often get him posed in pictures with a scowl. Some think he's scowling anyway, since Paul is quite the outspoken political persona, unafraid to speak out on controversial subjects from historic legislation to problems he sees with the Federal Reserve. But he's got something that grabs in this race, and it got noticed in the debate.

Ron Paul on Those Debate Photos: No harsh words were exchanged according to Paul, who said "The most challenging words were said on stage when not only I, but others, called him on some of the programs in Texas."

Ron Paul brings substance to a poorly moderated debate

The only thing that this debate had in common with the rest of the Republican debates was that the moderators did not moderate, and that Ron Paul walked away as the only candidate to provide any substance...once again.

Although he did not receive nearly as much time as the so called front-runners, Ron Paul was the only substantive candidate on that stage. As always, Paul's arguments against a powerful federal government were well received by the debate audience as they always are. On the immigration issue, Congressman Paul was the only candidate with enough sense to realize that the problem can't be solved unless one looks at the cause, such as special benefits that immigrants receive. He also made the clever argument that if Republicans were against healthcare mandates, then they should be just as philosophically against mandates such as the minimum wage. While other candidates may have received more attention from the media and the debate moderators, none of them were able to refute any of Paul's claims about the economy or civil liberties. Dr. Paul, once again, had something that none of the other candidates had; substance.

Murray Sabrin says "ignore the pundits, Ron Paul is winning big."

Ron Paul is winning big

Because the other candidates are sounding more and more like Ron Paul as the primary season unfolds.

On virtually every major issue, the seven dwarfs have taken pages out of the Ron Paul handbook for restoring the American Republic. On military adventurism, some of the candidates sounded like Ron Paul who has been calling for ending the reckless nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq that has cost the American economy trillions of dollars, destroyed property and killed hundereds of thousands military personnel and civilians, and having opposed the illegal military action against Libya.

Although Ron Paul has been a critic of the Federal Reserve since he was first elected to Congress in 1976, Newt Gingrich virtually plagarized Paul’s critique during the debate. Even Rick Perry plagiarized one of Ron Paul's criticism–Social Security among many federal government programs is not authorized by the Constitution and young people should be given the opportunity to save for their own retirement so we can end the inter generational chainletter once-and-for-all.

On taxes and spending and government regulation, the seven pretenders claimed to be for limited government but support the welfare-warfare state to one degree or another.

And on civil liberties, Ron Paul is standing heads and shoulders above his opponents for his scathing critique of the TSA's abuses at the airports.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Ron Paul is the most flattered candidate seeking the Republican nomination for president, because the seven dwarfs are sounding more like the good doctor, peacemaker and free market advocate.

Restore America Now - Ron Paul - 2012

For more on Ron Paul, please see:

  • http://therepublicanmother.blogspot.com republicanmother

    The after-debate poll on NBC shows Ron Paul winning by a landslide, but their bar graph refused to show it for a long time, looking to be even with Romney, even though he had twice as many votes. That's the kind of dirty dealing the Establishment is down to. I think Ron did well with the limited time he was given and asserted himself well when they skipped the only MD on the health care question. They're playing Mitt and Rick up, but most people paying attention ought to see through that as our currency circles the toilet. I just want an adult who knows what's going on and isn't part of the group causing it.

  • http://catholibertarian.com/ Teresa

    Ron Paul was given a sufficient number of questions and time last night. I hate the fact that some conservatives/libertarians are marginalizing Rick Santorum and pigeon holing him into one category - social conservatism - when he has a clear success record of dealing with welfare reform, other economic issues, and foreign policy matters. He also takes a tough stand against both illegal immigration and Muslim extremists. Economic and social issues are intertwined so to ignore one of those issues would be a detriment to our fiscal sanity.

    • theCL

      Economic and social issues are intertwined

      Well, sort of, in the way all things are intertwined ...

      A perfectly moral society cannot make bad economic theory work, anymore than a society absolutely corrupted can make good economics fail.

      Social conservatives look to government in the same way as the left - the fixer and savior of society. The same means to different ends. Yet both degenerate society in the long run.

      Morality can't be found down the barrel of a gun. It must come from within, and requires a nourishing family and community. Neither of which can be created by government.

      I'd like to see social conservatives hold their politicians to the same strict standards they demand of their neighbors. Theft is theft. Murder is murder. A lie is a lie. Clean up Washington, your state capitols, and take away their powers, and you'll find that liberty really is the mother, not daughter, of order and polite society.

  • http://therepublicanmother.blogspot.com republicanmother

    We're marginalizing (at least I am) Santorum because he's a complete hack. Just look at who donates to his campaign, his involvement with the K street fiasco, and the enormous knife sticking out of Pat Toomey's back.