COMMENTARY | This Republican debate, which I watched on television with millions of others, was among the most civil and no one seemed to attack the front-runner, Mitt Romney.
Gov. Rick Perry, in a shocking statement, declared he would send troops back into Iraq, which to me is among the dumbest statements I have heard a candidate make. The issue of whether we had a right to be there is a mute one; we have basically withdrawn and left a civil matter to a sovereign nation. It is not as if I do not like Perry, but in terms of foreign policy, I think he is misguided. He also went overboard comparing his role as commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard to commander-in-chief of our military forces. I am glad that he is in the twilight of his campaign.
Romney performed well. He appeared incredibly relaxed, no doubt due to his recent win in the Iowa caucus, substantial lead in the New Hampshire primary and a surprising lead in the soon to be held primary in South Carolina. He focused on his ability to beat President Barack Obama in a general election. He continues his attack on the fact that the president had extremely little experience in running anything prior to his ascendency and has had to learn on the job, to the detriment of the population.
One viewer asked how people of the same sex could engage in a loving, committed long-term relationship. Clearly, the person was referring to the legal issue of marriage. None of the candidates supports same sex marriage, although Romney does support civil unions.
I think that people should be allowed to choose their life partners without facing discrimination. However, after listening to Romney and to a lesser degree Santorum, I realize that the issue is not the rights which people receive but the very word marriage. I suspect even if a candidate allowed for complete equality between a civil partnership and a marriage that many in the gay community would object to the fact that it was not called a marriage.
Ron Paul supplied the best answer to any question when asked basically if he were a racist. He suggested that you not pay attention to something that may or may not have been his work, but rather his relationships with the various races. He then gave his quick dissertation that the drug laws are incredibly racist and disproportionately harsh on the poor and minorities. He stated that he would overhaul the laws and have them applied more uniformly. His answer showed incredible sensitivity.
I have not really made up my mind. I do not think that America can survive four more years of Obama and a dysfunctional Congress.