Friday, January 15, 2010

Quick thoughts after the GOP Texas gubernatorial debate

Buy at Art.comPerry is a twit. But you knew that.

Hutchison is a politician. But you likely knew that too.

Medina is a surprise. And a sign with what's wrong with only including the leading candidates in debates.

While Perry and Hutchison spent most of their time attacking each other, Medina actually talked about what she stood for. She's the only one I could tell you the platform for. (I'd rather vote for a person than against the other guy. But politicians don't work that way.) Now granted, Medina doesn't really have a record for Perry or Hutchison to attack, and Perry made a few attempts to just ignore her, so attacking her wasn't a priority. Hutchison even used her question to Medina to goad Medina into attacking Perry for her. Sigh. Don't fall for that Medina! She should have asked Hutchison if she had a question for her rather than one about Perry.

Perry and Hutchison spent their time calling each other liars (standard response: am not!), leaving me highly confused and doubting both of them. A few of the questions really needed serious discussion rather than a one-minute political answer, so I felt Hutchison's pain as she danced around the abortion question. (Dang. Can that die as a political issue already? Can't - and shouldn't try to - legislate morality. We got bigger issues, people!) Basic take-away on these two is that politics as usual. Whee?

I knew nothing about Medina before watching, other than that she was running and a quick soundbite on immigration issues I caught on a radio story advancing the debate. But - oh my. I think I might have found someone who I won't completely agree with but I could actually support. Here's what I can remember she said she was for:
  • less government intrusion
  • strong personal property rights
  • legalizing drugs (because we're wasting resources spent fighting the drug "war")
  • no gun control
  • using National Guard along the border to control immigration
  • accountability, transparency, efficiency
  • life as a principle (whether end of life or abortion)
  • abolishing property taxes and lower business taxes (wants to raise funds via sales taxes)
Now - I don't agree with everything she said. But I liked her general belief that government has way overstepped its bounds, freedom leads to prosperity and we should actually follow the constitution.

That said, sadly, Medina doesn't stand a chance because most people don't understand why those things are so important. They'll freak about the drugs thing (I think she actually said "we need to move past the emotional reaction" on that one), and the life issue is a wash (on the surface) with the other guys.

More homework necessary here, of course. But for once, I left this feeling like I could vote for someone rather than holding my nose and choosing the lesser of two evils. I'm not a Republican (or Democrat) but might have to actually vote in the primary to support the principles I want to see in office. Will let you know.

Debate format - having the candidates ask each other questions sounds good in theory, makes it more of a conversation, right? But in practice, it just led to further attacking and not discussion. Boo. Wish I had a better idea for this. Is it possible - at all - to run for office on your platform rather than only pointing out why the other guy is bad?

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