Republican Debate: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good: Rick Perry taking on all comers on illegal immigration.
Bachmann and Santorum get indignant, playing to the audience’s simple-minded desire for moral certainty and the adrenaline buzz of outrage. Romney lectures like he’s speaking to a child. But Perry gives us a glimpse of the reality of the situation. It is something he has actually had to grapple with for ten years—he has done more than just fire up audiences with sound bites.
No, I’m not a Perry supporter. I believe in evolution and am concerned about global warming, to begin with. But as governor of a state with a 1200 mile border with Mexico, the man is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject of illegal immigration, and it is telling that he is more liberal on the matter than the other candidates—like George W. Bush, another Texas governor. This is the result of a serious understanding of a complex subject.
There is a deep connection between the U.S.A. and Mexico; we share a continent, a history, a culture, and deep economic ties. A good part of our land mass was “purchased” from Mexico, not all that long ago. We can’t just build a 2,000 mile-long Great Wall of China down the center of the North American continent and call it a day. It would be un-American, for a start.
The Bad: “The Obama Economy”
There is much to criticize about Obama’s economic policies. But blaming him for the recession, calling it “Obama’s economy” (Romney) or saying, “he destroyed the economy” (Bachmann) is simply incorrect. I hope everybody remembers that the housing bubble blew up – and burst—on Bush’s watch, after 8 years of his leadership. Bear Stearns collapsed in March 2008; Washington Mutual, Lehman, AIG and Merrill Lynch collapsed in September 2008—all before Obama was even elected. As a candidate, if you think you can do better than Obama in leading the country back to vigorous economic growth, start by convincing me that you know when the problems started, and what the true underlying causes are.Continued on the next page