Just a few highlights from this live blogging from TPro – CNN Tea Party Debate Live-Blog. Please note who sponsored the debate. A lot of true believers who smoke their tea without the filter tips. While we may only be talking about carefully measured degrees, these zealots cheer many things that give Main St conservatives pause.
9:50: Neocon favorite Rick Perry, the so-called “hawk internationalist” wondered if U.S. assistance to Afghanistan “is best spent with 100,000 military who have a target on their back in Afghanistan? I don’t think so at this particular point in time.”
If Perry had said this in 2006 he would have been labeled an anti-American leftist. The winds of public sentiment have changed. Thus Perry is suddenly a rep for Human Rights Watch.
9:48: FLASHBACK: Before it was known as Tea Party Express, CNN’s debate co-sponsor was known as “Move America Forward,” a Republican front group that organized pro-Iraq war rallies.
Because conservatives say so, it is now safe to be what they used to call surrender monkeys. This is not simply a gotcha, but a huge back-flip on what conservatives themselves called a matter of principle. It is also safe to express such feelings in light of President Obama reducing Iraq forces to a few thousand emergency response troops. And one of the best moments of the night:
9:21: Ron Paul the doctor says a 30-year-old who has an accident and needs intensive health care should’ve planned ahead and is responsible for himself. When Blitzer asks if society should let that young man die, some in the crowd shout in approval. Tea Party audience members heard yelling: “Yeah!” “Let him die!”
9:20: Ron Paul’s position: Freedom’s just another word for dying of preventable illness due to lack of money.
This is the way the base, the rabid dog-eat-dog leaders of the conservative movement think. If you do not have the money, then you deserve to die, you’re a drag on society. If they could only get rid of people who cannot afford gold-plated medical coverage America’s streets would be the softly glowing picturesque fantasies come true. And we’d all live happily ever after. There is no room for understanding much less compassion in the conservative vision for America.
9:14: Rick Perry defends his vaccine order by saying that he is for life. But what about his death penalty execution record?
Bachmann was horrified that children should be forced to be given a vaccine that might save their life some day. There are usually religious and political waivers allowed in such cases. making such basic vaccines mandatory has almost dome away with polio and measles. Society as a whole has saved money and lives. Which part do conservatives object to – saving lives or saving money.
8:59: Audience bursts into applause at mention of Perry’s plan to try Fed Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke for treason. Treason is a death penalty offense.
8:20: Crowd seems to side with Perry in battle with Romney of Social Security, giving him big applause when he quotes Romney’s book back to him, accusing him of calling Social Security a “criminal enterprise.” Romney responds by (correctly) noting that his charge was directed at Congress, not Social Security.
8:19: Mitt Romney says Perry’s use of the term “Ponzi scheme” is “over the top” and “frightening” to people. Says no one was forced into Social Security, gives strong defense of its social value. Challenges him to state is true position. Perry will not answer whether he still believes that Social Security is unconstitutional or should be returned to the states.
8:18: Romney to Perry: do you still believe that Social Security is unconstitutional and should be “ended as a federal program.” Perry still won’t answer the question. Says “I think we need to have a conversation.” Romney retorts that we’re having a conversation right now.
8:17: First question to Perry is about Social Security. He attempts to moderate his rhetoric, telling today’s seniors that they have nothing to worry about. It will be a “slam dunk guarantee that program will be there” for you. But doubles down on Ponzi scheme claim
The crowds support for Perry on Social Security is one reason to mention who sponsored the debate. These are the reality challenged conservatives who largely determine the conservative agenda. 2010 was historic in that regard. The last couple of Republicans ( with the exception of Maine’s two senators)who could be moderate on occasion were given the boot. They would love to destroy that Marxist Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. There are still plenty of Republican voters who do not see it that way. As Steve Benen notes Romney has some explaining to do himself. Mitt was once a supporter of gutting Social Security. This background research has apparently not gotten to the Perry camp yet so expect Perry to use it in future debates – Social Security takes center stage
Romney, meanwhile, is once again counting on public ignorance to advance his ambitions. To undermine Perry, Romney wants to position himself as a mainstream champion of Social Security, but there’s a lengthy public record that paints a very different picture.
[I]n 2007, when Romney was also campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, he supported his own radical change, repeatedly advocating for the privatization of Social Security, a plan pushed by Republicans and former President George W. Bush that failed in 2005.
At one debate, Romney was asked where he stood on privatization. Regarding Bush’s plan, Romney said, “That works.” […]
But Romney’s support of private accounts was hardly a one-time utterance at a single debate. Throughout that campaign, he touted the plan. […]
Romney did not abandon his support for privatization when his first presidential campaign ended. On page 160 of his book, No Apology, published in 2010, Romney again hinted at support for privatization.
Romney has spent a week arguing that Perry couldn’t possibly win a national general election because his approach to Social Security is too unpopular. But there’s the rub: Romney’s position on Social Security has been strongly and repeatedly rejected by the American mainstream, too.
I cannot imagine an anti-Social Security candidate winning the general election. While most of us have been reminded how short the American public’s memory can be, it should not be too difficult to remind them in 2012 that the conservative candidate either wants to destroy Social Security or wants to turn it over to the Wall St scoundrels that tanked the economy. If the tea nutter base controls events leading to the nomination, and I think they will, Perry will be the nominee. Was Rick Perry’s real Achilles’ heel just exposed? His worst moments at Monday’s debate stem from the best things he’s done as a governor
By Steve Kornacki
In theory, this was a good point. But Romney seemed to get nowhere with it. Instead, Perry turned it into an attack on the New Deal: “If what you’re trying to say is that back in the ’30s and ’40s the federal government made all the right decisions, I disagree with you.” The audience, which was apparently comprised of Tea Party activists (moderator Wolf Blitzer boasted that CNN had worked with 60 Tea Party groups to organize the debate), applauded. Romney pressed him: Does he think Social Security shouldn’t be a federal program? But Perry dodged the question and accused Romney of “scaring senior citizens.” The audience roared. This doesn’t seem like an argument Romney can win, at least not within the GOP universe. It’s too easy for Perry to deflect it as a Democrat-style smear — and too many opinion-shaping conservatives will back Perry up on it.
Perry got bad reactions on two things. he did vote to give illegal aliens who had been in the state three years in-sate tuition and he does not believe the US should build a border fence across every inch of its southern border( the border fence as it is, is a multi-billion dollar joke ). That fence reminds me of the ‘war on terror”. We were attacked by agents of al-Qaeda and conservatives decide to attack Iraq. They are never concerned with good results as much as they are with appearing tough. That is not how responsible adults are supposed to think, you know considering the hundred of thousands of lives at stake. No matter, the right-wing cult of personality got Bush the nomination and it will work for Perry just as well.
Paul Krugman drew conservative outrage on Sunday when he wrote that the anniversary of 9/11 had become a marker of “shame” for the U.S. (Scroll down for Krugman’s new post on the subject.)
The New York Times columnist wrote a blog post called “The Years of Shame,” in which he said that “what happened after 9/11” was “deeply shameful.” Krugman castigated people like Rudy Giuliani and President Bush as “fake heroes” who exploited the attacks for their own personal, political or military gain. He also said that many in the media had “[lent] their support to the hijacking of the atrocity.”
Krugman concluded, “the memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And, in its heart, the nation knows it.” He said he had turned off the comments on the post “for obvious reasons.”
Conservative commentators quickly seized on Krugman’s post. Blogger Michelle Malkin called him a “smug coward.” Writer Glenn Reynolds called the post “an admission of impotence from a sad and irrelevant little man.” A writer at the Big Journalism site called Krugman “vile.” And former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that he was cancelling his subscription to the Times.
Michelle Malkin helped spread the panic after 9-11 posting every falsehood about WMD in Iraq and connections to al-Qaeda. It takes a genuinely smug coward to leave those posts up, never apologize for the deaths of Americans or Iraqi children. Ditto for Glenn Reynolds who created his own circle jerk of cowardice and lies – linking to every nut ball urban myth he could find. Than when it was found out the link was to a lie, claiming he just links to people so it’s not his fault if people believe what he links to. Big Journalism is one of the sites that pushed the bogus James O’Keefe and Planned Parenthood videos. That these denizens of wingnuttia, these fake patriots, these buckets of gutter slime, who owe America a huge apology and millions of hours of community service think they’re the judge of what it proper is pathetic.
As for what Krugman said. It is a cultural crime in America to speak the truth about what conservatives did, using 9-11 as cover. Dick Cheney was a virtual font of 9-11 exploitation – Cheney’s Reprised Scare Tactic: Warns Of WMD Attack If Bush Policies Are Reversed
– On electing Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) president in 2004: “If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again — that we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.”
– On electing Democrats to control Congress in 2006: Al-Qaeda and other terrorists in Iraq are “trying to break the will of the American people. They’re very sensitive to the fact that we’ve got an election scheduled.”
These and similar comments by wing-nut pundits became collectively known as the elect right-wing conservatives or you’re all gonna die exploitation.
I’ve posted this previously – Republicans exploited 9-11 at their 2004 convention: