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Republican Debate

Tonight I watched the Republican Debate in New Hampshire as aired by Fox News. I have to say I rather enjoyed the debate. It thought most of the candidates were considerably more energetic than I’ve seen in previous republican debates. First let me throw out there that I’m pulling for Obama. I think it would be an incredibly interesting race if Obama and Paul got their respective nominations. Both candidates are HUGE internet/youth favorites and I think both are speaking their minds much more honestly than any of the other candidates out there.

Back to the debate, I think Ron Paul took it just for shear audacity. He’s not afraid to get up there and show the anger and frustration that I think a lot of America feels right now. He’s challenging the hawks on their claims about the consequences of a withdrawal from Iraq and for that I salute him. Being the aspiring skeptic that I am I can’t help but raise an eyebrow to many of the doomsday prognostications given by those who vehemently oppose the withdrawal of troops.  I think the argument made by many of the candidates tonight, that we can’t leave out of a sense of honor or to save face, is just insulting to the american people and the troops serving. How many soldiers and civilians must die and how much money should we spend to save face? Is there not MORE honor in admitting our mistake and taking the steps to correct it?

McCain says a date of withdrawal is a date of surrender. Who exactly would we be surrendering too? Can someone answer that? We are standing in the middle of a civil war, one which we set the stage for granted, but in that situation I don’t see getting out of the way as surrender, I’ve yet to hear an argument based on evidence and not rhetoric that indicates otherwise. Also, if you leave after MISSION ACCOMPLISHED how can it possibly be a surrender?

Finally, I’d like to express some frustration with Fox News, specifically the Hannity & Colmes that followed the debate. During H&C Fox is running the U-Vote “system” or whatever that gives the public the ability to vote for who they believe won the debate via SMS message. Results of the voting are being displayed in real-time during the H&C interviews with the candidates. Lo and behold the underdog, the crazy candidate Ron Paul took an early, dramatic lead with 30+% of the vote, outpacing his nearest competitor Giuliani by more than 2 to 1. To put what happened next in context keep in mind that throughout the broadcast Hannity has been repeating that “every vote counts”.  During one of the regular voting result updates Hannity flippantly attributes Paul’s lead to “That must be the Paulites out there redialing over and over again”. So this leaves us in one of two places, either we are to believe that the vote is inherently broken and that we should disregard the results OR that not EVERY vote counts, only the votes for the more mainstream conservative candidates, and that the outlying 30+ PERCENT of the votes should be disregarded as nuts. Way to support democracy there Hannity.

Thats all I got tonight, thank you for your time.