Harvest is here so I’m a one-woman canning machine. But along with this awesome time of year is my Superbowl…the election of 2012 where we banish Barack Hussein Obama to poorly written passages in history textbooks. The first debate has happened and even the New Yorker had to admit the real Obama showed up, the empty chair, the empty suit.
It’s only going to get worse for him from this point out. Romney is going to pummel him, wake him up with smelling salts and then pummel him again just for fun. I was a little worried about three months ago but all that has changed.
You’ve never seen so much Republican motivation to vote. I haven’t seen one Obama sign and I am in Illinois! Not one bumper sticker….not one t-shirt. (Update: Mr. Fox just informed me he saw one. Just one.) It is decidedly NOT 2008. It is 2012 and the people are feeling a worse squeeze than when the Lightbringer took office. Hate to break it to you Barry, but you just don’t cut it.
So I’m jazzed. I’m giddy. I’m walking on air because my country is about to return to sanity where folks earn what they work for, keep what they make and drill for oil we’re sitting on. So because of this good mood, I’m going to share my recipe for the fried green tomatoes with Chipotle ranch dip. I’m munching on. them right now and let me tell you….wow. If you have some tomato plants out back, chances are there are a bunch of green ones on the vine. Go grab some.
For years now I have been engaging in arguments with various lefties, from the typical casual liberal to the committed progressive to the more complicated personally-conservative social liberal (who never lowers themselves personally to the liberal standard, but is nonetheless outwardly supportive of liberalism for social connections or career reasons).
I am big on facts. The lefties I argue with are big on empty rhetoric. For years my initial reaction to any point made by a leftie is to bombard them with facts that completely and utterly destroy their argument. I thought that this was successful. To a certain extent, it is. I’ve never met a single leftie who could best me on the facts – I suppose this is because the vast, vast majority of lefties aren’t big on rational thought. I’ve even had people come up to me later and privately thank me for arguing with so-and-so, and that they themselves weren’t brave enough to stand up and do it for fear of losing a friend or whatever.
But the “success”, if you can call it that, was limited. Yes, I had won on paper, but it didn’t FEEL like a victory. My opponent left with the same absurdly smug aura of self-proclaimed righteousness with which he came. My cascading litany of facts and reason had fallen on deaf ears. I began to believe that these folks were unreachable, unbeatable. It did not matter how right I was or how wrong they were because their close-mindedness and intellectual bigotry would never allow them to engage in a substantive debate on the issues.
To someone like me, this defied logic. I am so driven by a desire to continually pursue the truth that it’s almost impossible for me to comprehend a person who can ignore that truth. But eventually it hit me: liberals do not see truth in the same terms as I do. Whether they realize it or not, whether they intended to or not, their ideology engages in explicit or de facto moral relativism. To them, “right and wrong” does not exist on a fixed linear scale.
To them, the ends justify the means.
In other words, “facts” are not absolute (and, therefore, not “facts” at all but rather tools for achieving a goal). No wonder these people were not swayed by my data. They naturally assumed that any fact with which I presented them was merely a tool that *I* was using to achieve my goal… because that’s what they would do in my position. This little intellectual loophole allows them to maintain their belief in their own righteousness no matter how many facts or rational counter-arguments are presented to destroy their ideology.
In a way, it’s bloody brilliant.
So lately my strategy has been shifting. Partly because I grew tired of long, relentless arguments in which I contributed copious amounts of detail only to have it cast aside or countered with some mind-numbingly inane bit of shallow “wisdom”. Partly because Breitbart identified the strategy first and began utilizing it himself.
Now, I just ask lefties to explain themselves. I simply ask “Why?”
Breitbart was brilliant, really. When he talked about challenging the left with the simple idea of asking them to rationalize their position, he explained that it naturally puts them on the defensive. Liberals aren’t used to having to explain themselves. They just dutifully repeat whatever glib talking point they happened to pick up that day, “RAAAAACIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSTTTT!!!!” being the most common lately. “Tax the rich!” is quickly taking over now that Romney is the presumptive nominee.
For a few months now I’ve been working on this. I admit, it’s hard for me. Pithiness is not my strong suit. But I have to say, it has yielded results. I do get a sweet satisfaction seeing lefties stumble over their own rationale, and it actually makes picking them apart easier. Where I used to deploy “shock and awe”, now I’m a careful sniper. I lure them onto my turf, let them think they can beat me at my own game, and then watch as they tangle themselves up in their own web of unsubstantiated rhetoric.
I can’t claim to have changed minds, but the strategy has definitely forced them to soften their argument. Where initially they were fervent in their position, by the end of the conversation they are subdued, even backtracking from their original stance. One person I recently debated even went from condemning all Republicans at the outset to openly calling for bipartisanship at the end.
This is not to say that simply asking “why?” is a complete substitute for facts and figures. On the contrary. While the typical “casual liberal” will never be able to explain his position, and you can dismantle him with very little effort, the committed progressive will actually be able to take it to the next level. He will come with a basic set of information with which to support his ideology. But remember, he will have one, or maybe two volleys at most. If you have three, you will probably win. If you have 5, you’re almost guaranteed a victory.
So know your stuff, friends, but I encourage you to try this out next time you’re arguing with a leftie. Channel your inner two-year-old. Make them enter your domain, make them commit to your playing field, make them explain WHY they are right, and please do report back and let us know how it goes!
What: GOP presidential debate in Florida
When: Tonight, January 26th 2012
Time: 8pm EST/7pm CST
How to watch: livestream at CNN.com
Who: Newt Gingrich versus Willard Mittens Romneycare and the Fifth Dimenstional imp known as Luap noR! *with Rick Santorum acting as a spoiler to benefit Romneycare
I’ll live blog transcribe the debate once it begins at 8pm EST/7pm CST. If you know of an alternate feed besides the one at CNN.com, please add it in comments. CNN’s feeds tend to stall out and drop midway through.
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What: Republican presidential debate in Florida
When: Tonight — Monday January 23rd, 2012
Time: 9pm EST/8pm CST
How to Watch: Livestream can be found here. Note: NBC has one of the worst track records in providing a reliable Internet stream to watch these debates. I can’t recall a single time they’ve hosted one where the stream worked properly. So cross your fingers.
I’ll live-blog-transcribe the debate once it starts at 9pm EST and 8pm CST. Refresh this page every ten minutes for updates.
Where do things stand?
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What: GOP presidential debate in South Carolina
When: Thursday January 19th, 2012 (tonight)
Time: 8pm EST/7pm CST
How to Watch: supposedly this livestream will work (though no livestream has worked well this whole debate season)
I’ll live-blog-transcibe this when the debate starts. Refresh this page every few minutes during the debate for the updated transcript.
It looks like Rick Perry’s very astute and strategic decision to drop out of the race and endorse Newt Gingrich has paid off for the Speaker: Gingrich leads Mittens by 6% at this point pre-debate. Let’s hope the Speaker really punches both Mittens and the agenda-driven media in the face hard tonight so he can have a decisive win on Saturday.
Governor Sarah Palin also took a punch at the agenda-driven media today by calling them “dumb-arses”. I just love the Governor. It’s become resoundingly clear that I love combatative people in politics: Governor Palin, Congressman Allen West, Governor Scott Walker…Newt Gingrich. I love people who are willing to throw punches and tell terrible people how terrible they are. Can you imagine Governor Palin as a Cabinet Secretary in a Gingrich administration? I sure can. I can also see Allen West as Vice President of the United States in a Gingrich Administration…with John Bolton as Secretary of State and Rick Perry as Secretary of Homeland Security. Man alive, the Left and agenda-driven media would have rolling heart attacks for four to eight years with this team in place.
Transcript begins after 8pm EST/7pm CST below:
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[ Click above to embiggen ]
What: GOP presidential debate in South Carolina
When: Tonight, Monday 1/16/2012 at 9pm EST/8pm CST
Who: Willard “Mittens” Romneycare, Newt Gingrich, the Fifth Dimensional imp known as Luap noR! back in his native Land of Zrrf, and The Two Ricks (one of which will be making his penultimate debate performance tonight before slinking back to Texas in defeat after running the worst presidential campaign in American history — can you guess which Rick that is?).
How to watch: Fox News Livestream — click here to access
I’ll live-blog-transcribe the debate for those who can’t watch it. The transcript will begin below at 9pm EST/8pm CST.
What are your expectations for tonight? HotAir has some thoughts up already.
GOP Debate sponsored by ABC “News,” local ABC affiliate WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register, Yahoo and the Republican Party of Iowa
TIME: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m Eastern time tonight
LOCATION: Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, Des Moines
CANDIDATES: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mittens Romney and Rick Santorum.
SPINMEISTERS: ABC “News” anchors Diane “Republicans are Nazis” Sawyer and George “Obamatron” Stephanopoulos
WATCH: ABC-TV (check your local listings)
LIVE STREAM: http://www.DesMoinesRegister.com/caucus
All questions will be “gotcha” questions along the lines of “When did you stop beating your wife?”
Most debates up to now have arrayed the candidates onstage based on poll numbers. However, with Ron Paul in second place, the organizers will be forced to come up with a unique and unusual seating chart that puts him all the way on the end.
Mittens will get 75% of the questions and follow-ups.
Newt and Mittens will rip each other to shreds, and will be giving unlimited time to do so. Ron Paul will laugh inside, where it counts.
Ron Paul will get three questions total. Despite polling at #2 in Iowa and New Hampshire, Diane Sawyer will ask Dr. Paul when he is going to announce his third party campaign. The second question will be about Dr. Paul’s “nutty” statements that the U.S. shouldn’t tell Israel what her borders should be. And for his final question, George Snuffleupagus will ask Dr. Paul when he’s going to announce his third-party campaign.
Rick Perry will nod off, but will receive more questions than Bachmann, Santorum and Paul combined, even though his poll numbers are in the basement.
Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum will pile on to both Mittens and Newt, mainly about Obamacare. Rep. Bachmann will remind the crowd that she was born in Iowa. About 100 times.
UPDATE: Here’s a benchmark by which to judge the TelePrompTer-free performances by GOP candidates…
Confirmed to appear: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mittens Romney, Rick Santorum
Posted on his website by Mike Huckabee:
This Saturday from 8-10pm ET, my show [Mike Huckabee] will have a 2 hour special featuring the GOP Presidential candidates—all of whom are going to be posed questions not by media “stars” but by GOP Attorneys General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma, Pam Bondi of Florida, and Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia; I will moderate. The candidates all get the exact same amount of time; the order in which they answer questions is determined by a random drawing and not by arbitrary decisions of “king maker” moderators.
The candidates will appear singularly on stage and are not allowed to discuss or attack other candidates, but must stick to questions which will focus on the federal/state relations of immigration, education, jobs, Obamacare, etc. It will be a very unique format and substantive—no “gotcha” stuff. I encourage you to tune in and please let your friends and family know about the debate as well.
Three Attorneys General are actually going to be asking the questions. And they all appear to be fans of the U.S. Constitution.
Holy moley. What a concept!
This isn’t going to be a live blog…I am not a transcriptionist. Just jotting down what I can as it happens, if I can type fast enough.
Newt is first.Pam Bondi is asking about empowering local board to decide which illegal aliens get to stay in the country.
Newt’s answer is about draft boards. He’s making a point about local citizens making decisions about local people. Talking about having a local family having to sponsor the illegals.
Ken Cucinnelli is asking about all the big-government solutions Newt has advocated in the past. Newt is saying it’s important to look at his total record (apparently the conservative half of his record.) Which Ken Cucinnelli points out.
Newt is saying that he has balanced a budget before, been there done that, etc.
First commercial break. I’m glad they’re not just throwing softballs.
Scott Pruett is asking about national problems that neither Congress nor the President should solve. His answer: Education, Medicaid, EPA functions. Newt points out the 10th amendment also covers moving power back to individuals.
My god, he’s starting to sound like Ron Paul…except he’s still talking about the government paying for education.
Pam Bondi: asks about Race to the Top and rigorous educational standards talked about on his website. Is it wrong to the federal government to intrude on the states when it comes to education? He says yes it is. Pam seems dissatisfied with his answer.
Question about Nancy Pelosi on the couch. Newt refers to a book he wrote that talks about free market solutions to environmental problems.
Who’s your favorite founding father…his answer is George Washington.
Good appearance but I don’t think he really put questions about his flip-flopping to bed.
Would I vote for him vs. Obama? I will have to think hard about it. My gut is telling me that once elected, he would go Cocktail Party on us and start reaching across the aisle again. I doubt that he would cut $1 trillion from the budget in his first year and balance it during his term. That’s the standard by which I’m judging all the candidates. So far only one has made a credible promise to do that.
Rick Santorum is up…first question is about the Patriot Act, which he voted for. (Which is why I can’t support him.) Notes that Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus.
Question about strengthening the family and how is that the business of the federal government. Rick says welfare programs undermine the family (I agree with this.) Marriage tax penalty, etc. Talking about a bully pulpit to promote marriage. He says he authored the federal welfare reform bill. Wants to send entitlements back tot he states (not eliminate them). Says the states’ role is the welfare of its citizens.
Question about pro-life. Since constitution doesn’t speak to abortion, what would he do…he says he wants a constitutional right to life amendment.
Pam Bondi…talks about fighting unsustainable environmental policies coming from the EPA. What environmental regulations would he approve? He talks an awful lot but doesn’t actually answer questions.
I cannot stay tuned in to Rick Santorum. Still waiting for an answer.
He somehow says he’s going to force Congress to do something.
Scott Pruitt is asking about separation of powers…why. Rick correctly answers that it was to protect the rights of the states and the people.
Talks about president’s obligation to uphold the law re the Defense of Marriage Act. Rick says he’s glad Eric Holder’s Justice Department isn’t enforcing the law. WTF? You’re okay with lawbreaking if you don’t agree with the law? Whoa…
Amazing how many of these big-government Republicans have become born-again Constitutionalists.
Rick Perry is up next. I won’t be blogging his answers or Michelle Bachmann’s. I am using the Democrat-Controlled Media’s excuse for not covering them…they’re “unelectable.” Because I say so.
(Actually it’s because I’m blogging and spending time with family and I can’t do both effectively at the same time.)
Okay, I’m catching Rick Perry’s talk. The attorneys general seemed surprised that he would be willing to use Executive Orders to just eliminate any passed legislation he didn’t like.
Blah blah about securing borders, prayer in schools, education. Thinks education money should be spent by the states.
Favorite founding father = Madison because of the Federalist Papers.
Perry just scored big points by pulling out a copy of the Constitution. I have to give him props for that.
Michelle Bachmann is up.
Opponent of Obamacare…asked why States can’t pass individual mandates.
She doesn’t actually answer the question.
Ordered every insurance company in the U.S. to offer “morning after” pill and contraceptives.
Scott Pruitt asked the question again. She’s claiming Obamacare will trump the state statutes. (I think she’s wrong.)
Pam: you’ve pledged to deport all illegal aliens. How will you pay for it and execute it. Notes that it costs states $32 billion a year for all the illegals. She says ICE agents would have to enforce the laws. Says federal government would have to pay.
Tort reform question about federal government caps on state jury awards.
Bachmann supports federal interference in how states manage state lawsuits and jury awards. (IOW, she’s a big-government Republican on this issue.)
Bachmann is asked about eliminating the Dept. of Education. Will that be enough to get the federal government out of education. She says no…must also repeal federal education laws. I agree with her here.
Question about interstate pollution…makes a good point that there are 50 state EPAs.
Ken Cucinnelli seems amazed at her answer…and she’s not really making sense. He has tried several times to get this question answered…and fails. I hope Ron Paul gets this same question, but they don’t appear to be repeating questions.
Question about what is the worst Supreme Court decision of past 50 years. She says the Kelo vs New London decision on eminent domain. She talks about upholding private property rights.
Question re federal human life amendment. Why federal and not State? I don’t think she answered the question.
Next up, Ron Paul.
Ken: what are the 3 primary domestic responsibilities of the fed govt:
- Protecting the borders
- Sound currency
- Enforcing the Bill of Rights – property rights, freedom of speech.
Q: 1995 – Oklahoma City…you are opposed to the Patriot Act. What alternative do you have?
Ron: You can’t prevent all crimes and all criminal acts. You can’t put a camera in every home. Its not a lack of laws that is the problem. We don’t need a comprehensive law at the federal level. We ignore the one law on the federal level that terrorism is a crime, not a war. The Constitution is clear…violent crime is not the purview of the federal government. States have laws against murder, robbery, etc. Nationalization of law enforcement…100,000 federal agents carry guns. Problem isn’t lack of laws.
Pam Bondi seems pissed off when she asks about 9/11.
Ron Paul: What we have been told for 10 years is that they came here to kill us because we’re free and prosperous, and if we don’t understand their motivations we will never be safe.
Q: Liberals say the Republican approach to the economy means dirty air, etc. How do you counter that?
Ron Paul: The problem with federal regulations is that bankers write the bank regulations. Drug companies write the drug regulations. The free market is the best regulator, along with property rights. Enron was taken care of by free market and judiciary. Bad actors went to prison.
All federal government health care mandates are unconstitutional.
Can’t get rid of Medicare, etc., overnight. To save the country we have to cut. Would cut 5 departments, go back to 2006 budget. Ron Paul’s program allows people under 25 to opt out of Social Security. There’s no authority for the federal government to spend a penny on education.
He talks about his transition programs to get out of unconstitutional programs like Social Security, Medicare, etc.
Q: Of the Federal government, state government and People, which should have the most rights?
- The People
- The States
- Federal government (shouldn’t have much)
- International governments (should have least)
Q: Which amendments to the Constitution do you disagree with?
Prohibition – caused a lot of damage until it was repealed
Ron Paul: more concerned with not following the Constitution…doesn’t get too riled up about the current amendments (the Bill of Rights were amendments and they were pretty good.)
W: What one book should every American read?
Ron Paul: If you’re asking about a non-religious book, read “The Law” by Bastiat. Find out the moral principles behind the law. Find out why if stealing is wrong, and you can’t steal, then it’s not right to send a politician to steal on your behalf.
Whew. Live blogging is hard work. They all talk a lot faster than I type. I don’t know how Kevin does this.
Mittens Romneycare is up next, and starts by sucking up to the panel.
I want to like the man. I do. But I just don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.
Now he’s talking about the wonders of Romneycare again.
Pam points out flip-flopping on education re No Child Left Behind. He talks about controlling federal teachers unions (I think he means national). Education should be at local level. Would he support school lunch programs, Pell grants, GI bill?
He waffles, does not commit. Says let the states do it.
Q: What does strict constructionist mean to you?
Like people who recognized it is their job to examine the constitution and federal laws as written.
Q: Given federal government’s complete failure to secure borders, what should Florida do?
He says he vetoed in-state tuition for illegals, and driver licenses for illegals.
Q: Federal role in labor laws?
A: Would not get rid of all federal labor laws. States should have right-to-work laws.
Yeah…turns out I’m pretty lame when it comes to live blogging.
Final statements….look for them on YouTube tomorrow…family calls again.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
My favorite talk radio host is libertarian Neal Boortz out of Atlanta. He was very anti-Ron Paul during the 2008 election (which saddened me greatly.) However, the times, they are a-changin’. Ron Paul debuted as a guest on the Neal Boortz Show about 45 minutes ago…and it was a great segment. Very happy for my candidate.
So happy, in fact, I called the show and got through! I got a mini-segment of my own with Neal, talking about the importance of electing a true fiscal conservative who is more concerned about saving the country than about getting re-elected.
I just got the limited-government message out to over 5 million listeners, and all it took was a toll-free phone call.
Anyone can do this! If you have a candidate you want to support, or a point you want to make about the Democrat-controlled media or the Obama Regime, call a talk show with a couple of talking points jotted down. Be polite, be respectful, be engaging, and get your message across.
As you know, HillBuzz.org has moles in deep cover working at many Democrat-Controlled Media outlets, so we’re often privy to advance drafts of the “gotcha” questions that will be hurled at GOP candidates during debates.
Security was extra-tight surrounding the CNN National Security debate, but our mole managed to leave these first-draft questions in a blind drop outside the World War II memorial for us to find.
Rick Perry. There’s a drug war raging along the southern border of Texas, with heavily-armed paramilitary forces invading Texas from the Mexican side. What are the three things you’d do…(snicker)…to stop the incursion. Three things (nudge fellow moderator). Can you remember three things? Just three. We’re asking you early in the debate, Mr. Perry. Try to focus. We’re doing everything we can to make you the Anti-Romney….throw us a bone, here.
Jon Huntsman, you have served as Ambassador to China for the Obama Administration, and clearly, you’ve done an excellent job, since China has yet to call our note. You have the international experience that every other Republican candidate lacks, since the rest of them—except for Mitt Romney, of course—are hayseed hicks from the sticks. Your hair and teeth are impeccable. Your family is stunning, you’re worth millions of dollars, and your tan looks remarkably life-like. And yet, you polled at 0.0% in the recent DesMoines Register poll of likely Iowa GOP Caucus participants. So tell me, Ambassador Huntsman, how can the average GOP voter in Iowa be so stupid? Why aren’t you the frontrunner, despite all the free publicity we’ve given you for the past four months? Take as much time as you need.
Mitt Romney, since we just gratuitously mentioned your name, you now have five minutes to talk down to the rest of the GOP contenders on stage. Let us know when you’re done, and we’ll ask you a follow-up “gotcha” question of your choice designed to make Rick Perry look bad.
Herman Cain, why are you even here? According to my notes, we in the Mainstream Media destroyed your candidacy weeks ago. (And if you say “999” I will come up there and smack you.)
Michelle Bachmann, you serve on the House Intelligence Committee. Does that mean you went there to become intelligent? And don’t you agree, that compared to Mitt Romney, you’re far too short to be president, and besides, you’ll never be the kind of Fashion Icon that Michelle Obama is. [Note…M.B. to get two questions max–be sure to cut her off during follow-ups]
Governor Romney, what do you think of the debate so far? Did you get that list of “gotcha” questions we prepared for you to ask Rick Perry? How about the Edible Arrangement–we left out the pineapple, as you requested. And the ham. Did you get the Honey Baked Ham platter? Great. Five more minutes for you, Mr. Presi-…I mean, Mr. Romney.
Ron Paul, you were a Captain in the Air Force and a flight surgeon during Vietnam. Your top three sources of campaign funds are the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. In fact, you receive more donations from active-duty military than all other candidates combined. How do you explain this, given your radical, fringe notion that U.S. troops should not be sent overseas without a Congressional Declaration of War, a declared mission, and the mandate to win? Isn’t this just proof that you secretly hate the military and have fooled those poor gullible saps into supporting you? How do you sleep at night?
Rick Santorum, you’ve really never broken 5% in the polls, but we need you here to split the pro-life vote and give Romney the nomination. We can’t think of anything to ask you, so we’ve agreed to ignore you the way we usually ignore Ron Paul. The receptionist will validate your parking on the way out.
Governor Romney, since we gratuitously mentioned your name, you get another five minutes to talk about anything that will make your competitors look bad.
Governor Perry, do you agree with Mitt Romney that the rest of this GOP field, besides Governor Huntsman, are a distraction from the real issues facing this country?
Governor Huntsman, how about you? Do you agree with Governor Romney that Romneycare is nothing to be ashamed of, since you were considering something similar in Utah?
Governor Romney, five minutes for you, sir, since we mentioned your name. And may I say that you are looking particularly presidential this evening. Lots of gravitas.
Mr. Cain, are you still here? Didn’t we ask you to validate Mr. Santorum’s parking?