Sen. Schumer of New York shakes his head on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning and laments, as he often will when Republicans have any power at all, about the sad state of partisanship in the Congress. Democrats like their Republicans to be neutered and tutored.
Leaving that aside, Congress has only Congress to blame for greater partisanship given that they are the ones who gerrymandered uber-safe districts that produce candidates fearful of primary challenges, which thereby produces uncompromising politicians. And yet Schumer acts like it's a greater mystery than the Trinity as to how there could be such a divide in Congress. Sheesh Louise.
I likely sound almost as cranky as Jonah Goldberg, who can't get over how dumb MSNBC was for putting up a post-debate panel composed of apparatchiks. It's simple: MSNBC is choosing agenda over money and popularity and the correct response on the part of America is to refuse to watch the panel. I watched ten seconds of Chris Matthews before doing the right thing and turning off the television.
I thought the debate itself was engaging and somewhat helpful despite the best efforts of the moderators, including their farce of having someone with a Hispanic surname from Telemundo swoop in to ask a question about illegal immigration in a risible attempt to manipulate Republicans into tempering the rhetoric. (What's next, a death row inmate to ask questions about the death penalty?) The poor Telemundo guy was treated like a prop by MSNBC and ushered off the stage faster than a bad contestant on The Gong Show.
Perry's take on Social Security was refreshingly honest. As The Economist's live-bloggers wrote: "Social security is a ponzi scheme. Isn't the definition of a ponzi scheme that it relies on new members to keep paying out the sums promised to existing ones? Isn't that what social security does?... Perry should quote Paul Samuelson noting that Social Security is actuarially unsound and that 'A growing nation is the greatest Ponzi scheme ever contrived...'"
And Perry's unwillingness to obliterate the economy at the behest of the scientific community receives a warm welcome with me. With the global warming controversy, cooler heads have prevailed.
Other candidates who stood out were Cain and Huntsman, the latter whom I instinctively disliked simply because the MSM likes him but who did a credible job. I don't know enough about his positions (read: zero) though. I loved Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.
In the end though I'm leaning Romney. Perry may be plain-spoken but ultimately from what I've seen so far I don't think he can win in November of '12.