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If Newt wins the nomination, last night was the watershed moment

If Newt wins the nomination, last night was the watershed moment

And the winner of the debate last night was ….

Don’t take my word for it.  Because if I said Newt, you’d say, well, you support Newt so….

And if I told you that last night Newt put himself in the position of the most presidential on stage, you’d say … blah blah blah.

So if you didn’t see it and haven’t formed your own opinion yet, consider what some people who do not support Newt had to say, such as Rich Lowry (post here):

And Ari Fleisher:

And Toby Harnden:

The most interesting part of the night was on the issue of immigration where Newt staked out a middle ground on immigration — control the border now, implement employer sanctions, and after the door is as shut as it can be, set up rules as to who can stay with many if not most deported but with humanitarian exceptions.

While immediately after the debate the Bachmann and Romney campaigns began to accuse Newt of wanting amnesty for 11 million people, Newt’s position is pretty much in line with the Republican electorate, and it is not amnesty.  The only pathway to citizenship he mentioned was for people who serve in the U.S. military.

This exchange on the Patriot Act with Ron Paul also was one of the highlights:

Particularly on the immigration issue, Newt announced his position with a command of history and a recognition of what can and cannot be accomplished.  More important, he was frank that his position may cost him votes, but that he was standing by it.

Contrast that with Romney’s no compromise stance on immigration, a stance no one believes he really means.  Romney’s reaction highlights both the “core” issue and goes to the main argument for his nomination, electability.

Romney supporters regularly portray Newt as not sufficiently mainstream or “moderate,” but on immigration Romney’s “deport them all with no exceptions” position puts him outside the mainstream of Republicans and the nation.

Newt was the President on the stage last night.  Many Romney supporters who said Newt was just the latest not-Romney must be wondering if Romney now is a not-Newt challenger.


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I’m against blanket amnesty but realistically it’s hard to maintain that you are going to boot families out of the country. I also know a family who was trying to legally adopt a child from another country and found the process byzantine. That’s ridiculous.

Our systems are so messed up right now because they’re too bloated. Local control would solve a lot of these problems. Some place where you could just go and talk to a real person. Unfortunately even local offices are bloated. I submitted a grant application once for a lousy $5000 grant from a local university; it was bizarre. There were, like, 20 people in this one office to dole out a couple of these grants and they all had different ideas about how to sell your grant idea.

I spent hours and hours and hours on that lousy thing and then didn’t get. Some of their questions were just downright stupid.

I really don’t want to see that for health care and it’s really not fair for people who are legally trying to get into this country or adopt children.

    Local control of national citizenship would be a disaster, because then you have either 50 States or, worse thousands of local districts, each with differing rules about who can or who cannot be a citizen of the nation. It breeds a “forum shopping” problem, where immigrants flood the lowest common denominator and then fan out into the country. For national citizenship, like national defense, it’s better to have one centralized authority that creates a standard set of rules.

    Every State already has rules about who is a “resident” (or citizen) of the state (you can be a state “resident” without being a citizen of the Nation). In certain states (*Cough* Texas), being a “resident” requires that you sleep in the state for 30 days and entitles you to certain rights under the state laws, regardless of your National citizenship.

    Now, I do kind of agree with Gingrich, that a local “review board” to make suggestions would be a fabulous idea, because then you get the local flavor of a person, which can then be reviewed by an administrative agency, and if they see something that raises a red flag, the federal agency can then intervene.

    Local control of granted money is a fantastic idea, which is why I am a strong supporter of block grants to the states. I think it would be better to eliminate most of the programs and reduce the federal taxes instead and increasing state taxes accordingly so that the states can manage them themselves. However, if the programs are going to continue, the feds should have as little involvement as possible, allowing the state “laboratories of democracy” to develop the best solutions for their own state-citizens.

      The local boards would not be deciding citizenship. Newt’s proposal is to never give these people citizenship. The local boards would be deciding only who will be allowed to stay in the country, presumably based on criteria that would be in the authorizing legislation.

    I had friends ‘booted’ out of the country. They came to America legally through the sponsorship program but were ‘booted’ out because their sponsor had a tax problem. My friends lived in NYC , worked in NYC always paying their own way, never took welfare, never violated any laws and even had a son born on American soil.

    To ‘boot’ them out all it took was a letter from the INS.

    I suppose they were ‘booted’ out without nary a peep from the media because at the time Democrat Presdient Clinton was in office and they were Danish and Italian not of the protected minority and did not belong to the Holy Roman Church.

    As I recall, Clinton ‘booted’ out more people than BushCo.
    I suppose the immigration problem can only be solved much like the Union problem and the War problem can only be solved, Democrats-only can be in power.

    It did tear the family apart though, a year later my friends divorced.

    Let’s be honest. Gingrich is supporting a position of modified/partial amnesty.

    His position wasn’t entirely unreasonable or out of step with the electorate; the way he presented his position is the problem.

    There are a lot of people in this country who have to play by all the rules. They’re not going to get amnesty for the rules they’d like to break. A lot of those people vote in Republican primaries.

    It’s a question of fairness and impartiality. Above all the law and the government should be fair and impartial, not compassionate.

[…] If Newt wins the nomination, last night was the watershed moment – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion […]

DINORightMarie | November 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

I am intrigued by this organization Newt mentions which he says has a plan to make illegals “legal” but NOT on a path to amnesty or citizenship. Is that right?

Rep. Bachmann was right to point out that it is a form of amnesty – making illegals legal is the definition of amnesty, is it not? – but pushing the 11,000,000 number is clearly NOT what Newt said. He said it would be a sub-set, and that the families who meet that type of criteria would be reviewed by a “draft board” type group. I believe he said, elsewhere, that that board would be at a local level, NOT at the federal level, since the localities are the best to evaluate each case.

However, this is a softer position than any of the others I’ve read. It might cost Newt some Conservatives, but gain some of those mythically-powerful “moderates.”

TBD. But I still think Newt is the strongest nominee. I love Bachmann’s staunch Conservatism, and Perry’s record as governor, as well as Cain’s freshness and business sense. But Newt is the statesman, and has thought through all these policies and issues, has a clear vision and mission, and can articulate it.

That is what shines when he speaks. 🙂

    workingclass artist in reply to DINORightMarie. | November 23, 2011 at 11:47 am


    “But Newt is the statesman…”

    Newt quit his speaker ship & congressional seat and spent the intervening period making money lobbying for pay & writing books.

    Gov. Perry has spent those years governing both administratively (as Agr. Comm) and at the executive level conservatively in the second largest state of the union and the Texas economy shows the results by diversifying it’s economy and being the #1 exporter for years in a row. 6 balanced budgets & a surplus Rainy Day fund that will be back to $7 Billion in 2013.
    Low Taxes, Tort Reform & Budget Cuts to control spending that upgraded Texas S&P credit rating while the nation was downgraded.

    What did Gingrich do the last 10 years…Lobby & Build a bank account by trading on his insider status.

    If Romney is the nominee might as well take Obamacare, AGW off the table.

    If Gingrich is the nominee might as well take Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Reform, Medicare part D & Healthcare Mandate, and past support for AGW off the table.

    Neither Gingrich or Romney has a record on conservative governance with regard to this economy to counter Obama…Only Gov. Perry does with the Texas record of results.

      You don’t have to take Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac Reform off the table under a Gingrich Presidency. In fact, you would probably see it MORE harshly reformed. Gingrich was hired by them to advise them, and they IGNORED it (to their peril).

      From what I understand, Gingrich came in and told them “all this ‘sub-prime’ work you’re doing? STOP! You’re historically over-leveraged.”

      Also under a Gingrich Presidency – the Healthcare Mandate is gone. To argue otherwise is to not have carefully listened to Gingrich’s statements. It may be replaced by a “catastrophic” policy requirement coupled with a national “Health Savings Account” program, but that will be FAR less expensive and not NEARLY so onerous as Obamacare’s intrusions into the health care marketplace.

      I like Gov. Perry. He’s a fine Governor, and would make a fine President. Gov. Perry has a great grasp of local economics and creating successful business environments. Right now Gingrich is better positioned and has a better grasp of the bigger picture.

        workingclass artist in reply to Chuck Skinner. | November 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

        The issues I stated for Newt go off the table during the campaign against Obama just like Obamacare does for Romney.

        It’s hard to com off as a reformer when you personally profited from the corruption and the democrats will use that. It is a worthy issue to vet and so far Newt’s answers are Clintonian parsing and not anymore convincing to the voter as Romney common touch.

    I think (if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly) that Gingrich’s plan regarding letting some of the 11 Million Illegal Aliens stay is to grant those with deep community ties some form of “Permanent Resident” status.

    It’s not citizenship, so they don’t get certain benefits. It also staunches the exponential immigration equation (where the illegal granted citizenship can then leverage that citizenship to “sponsor” their entire family).

    The analysis comes down to “how many of those illegals have ‘deep community roots'” (Whatever the Hell that ends up meaning). Likely it will look something like this:

    – You’ve lived here 10 years;
    – You have not committed any other crimes than avoiding border control inspection;
    – You have some record of income tax payments;
    – You have some level of community involvement.

    The bigger question will be how they will treat Mexican illegal immigrants given their nation is effectively in a state of civil war, and will that qualify Mexican illegals for “humanitarian” approvals of permanent residency.

Good grief – saunter on over the intarwebz and take a peek at Rubin and Commentary today. Rubin in particular is foaming at the mouth. Really. Foaming – barking mad.

I’ve cooked up a nickname for her, but it’s not nice, so I’ll leave it to the imagination.

(Hint: It’s “Cujo”).

I’m against amnesty. If someone is here illegally, the illegal part looms largest. Newt’s answer definitely caught my attention. He’s what I have dreaded all along–establishment, big-government, tax-and-spend Republican. So we go back to politics as usual. But, I think he has the stamina and the political/intellectual savvy to weather the category 5 storm that the liberals will unleash against the GOP nominee.

I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on television, so I’m clueless, but is there some sort of statute of limitations on illegally entering the country? It’s a sticky mess, to be sure.

    JayDick in reply to windbag. | November 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Newt has taken some big (or at least more powerful) government positions, but he was also a force in the ’90s restraint of Federal spending growth.

    As I continue to say, here and elsewhere, the most important issue in selecting a Republican presidential nominee is who is most likely to win. A candidate conservative enough to satisfy all my demands could not get elected. Obama must be defeated or our country is doomed.

    Right now, I’m undecided between Newt and Romney. I like Newt better and think he may have a better chance against Obama for the reasons you gave. But, I’m not sure he would have the broadest appeal in the general election. His answer on illegal immigration last night probably hurts him in the primaries but will help him in the general election.

    Hi Windbag:

    No. There is no Statute of Limitations on being present in the United States illegally.

    It’s technically an ‘on-going’ violation of the law (you’re committing it so long as you are here without permission), so a statute of limitations doesn’t really make sense.

workingclass artist | November 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

So let me get this straight…Gov. Perry is Slammed by conservatives over in-state tuition in Texas (“Heart” comment) and for a focus on Border Security but Newt gets a pass for saying that conservatives don’t have “family values” if we split up families with illegal immigrant grandparents?

Gov. Perry has been honest,consistent & experienced as a border state governor about this issue since he entered the race by focusing on Border Security which is the horse before the cart. He also had a strong and simple answer on a 21st. c Monroe Doctrine with regards to border security. which is a clear answer to groups like LaRaza as well as other countries using Mexico as a staging ground for entry into the US.

If conservative Newt apologists give him a pass on this they should be wiling to admit that even Perry is a bit more conservative then Newt on immigration reform.

Gov. Perry is still the only rational consistent states rights advocate leader with regards to the Federal Government & has a record to back that up.

    Agree workingartist. I cannot believe the hypocrisy I’m reading out there. Perry was crucified for giving in-state tuition, which was passed by his legislature and was a state issue, but Newt is glorified for wanting amnesty! I am disgusted how easily so-called Conservatives can change the spin when their guy is the one spouting amnesty. Professor, maybe you support amnesty and have no problem with Newts suggestion, but I do not want those who broke the law to be rewarded. I waited in line for my green card, the legal way. It took a long time and a lot of money. Newt, is a big time establishment Republican, just listen to him on global warming as well as his draft-boards for amnesty garbage. Once again, DC and Newt will decide who the winners and losers are, crony amnesty boards and special red card favors for their buddies.

      workingclass artist in reply to damocles. | November 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm


      Gov. Perry has been driving the narrative since he entered the race…And has been taking heat for it ever since.

      He drove the narrative on Social Security Reform.
      Global Warming “Hoax”
      Obama’s Euro-Style Socialism
      States Rights as it relates to federal overreach & Regulation
      Repealing Obamacare by revealing the burden on state budgets that will bankrupt them.
      Foreign Aid Spending & The UN.
      Reforming some & Eliminating other Federal Agencies.
      Realistic Tax Reform & no new national sales tax,VAT
      Border Security as it relates to National Security
      Texas Economic Model
      Values as these relate to Allies
      Military Spending & Congressional Oversight
      Immigration Reform as it relates to Border Security.
      Washington DC Overhaul/Reform

      Gov. Perry has been taking these stands for years & wrote about it in his book Fed Up!

      Gov. Perry has followed his rhetoric with policy proposals and editorials as he did the other day on Fast & Furious.

      Down here in Texas we see that as leadership & Perry has the record to back it up.

Midwest Rhino (not RINO) | November 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

As I recall, I think Newt tried to say (paraphrased) … “let’s look at the reality, for families here a couple decades, established as working church going families, are we really going to uproot them from these communities?”

That seems like a strong position to me, even for the primary. Those that do not pass the litmus test can’t stay, even if they’ve been here a long time. I can’t say how that polls with west Iowa primary voters, but most voters do have that much of a heart. And working church goers generally contribute to society.

Taking a harder stance than that probably makes the candidate less electable in the general. The other candidates that scolded Newt with false claims of “amnesty” appeared too strident and “heartless”.

    You are spot on. Newt’s comment may hurt him in the primaries with a few conservatives, but Romney’s comments will hurt him in the general election.

    Winning the general election is all that really matters. Four more years of Obama will be disastrous.

      mdw9661 in reply to JayDick. | November 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Newt’s proposal is not enforceable. It is the slippery slope with no greater chance of success than Reagan’s immigration law which gave amnesty to 2 million while inviting several times more.

      workingclass artist in reply to JayDick. | November 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Well this is the argument Perry supporters made to no avail.

      Face it people have been swayed by the superficial media swill that Obama is a great orator & debater and so they have panicked when neither Cain,Romney or Gingrich have a record to back up their appeal that will beat Obama.

      Gingrich’s record is from over 20 years ago and had as many negatives as it did positives which is why he quit.

Illegal immigration is a moot point. If spending is not brought under control, we will need to seal the borders to keep people in not out.

workingclass artist | November 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

So it’s bad that Gov. Perry call you heartless over in-state tuition in Texas but is perfectly fine for Gingrich to call you inhuman when both have the very same position. This is pure hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy! To justify superficial support of another Slick Debatin’ Washington Insider.

I’ll stick with a consistent conservative record of results…I’ll stick with the Aggie for the long haul.

Texas has jobs!

Legal resident, not citizen. Thats my take away. This comes closest to my position for over 5 yeares.

Lock down the boarder, HARD, military HARD, This could be done with returning servicemen. About 24 months worth.

In that time frame allow illegals the ability to exit the country.

I like Newts twist, or added feature. Have local communities establish immigration boards. These should be about voting precict size, to stiffle corruption (not eliminate, that’s an unatainable goal)

Those allowed to stay would be granted legal status, NOT citizenship

Here’s the enforcement. Non citizens and their offspring will not be allowed to vote………….hold elective office, own property, incorporate, qualify for govt grants, loans, etc. No students loans or affirmative action preferences and a laundry list of other restrictions. This is a choice those that came here with out benefit of going thru channels have made. not a punishment. A result of free people making their own decisions.

    A couple of quick notes on your restriction list:

    – You can’t prevent them from owning real property or incorporate (you don’t even have to be a resident of the United States to do those).

    – You PROBABLY can’t prevent them from being subject to “affirmative action” implementing legislation. To do so would PROBABLY violate the “alienage” and “national origin” requirements of strict scrutiny by a SCOTUS challenge that would say that any law doing so is not sufficiently “narrowly tailored” to achieve a compelling public purpose. Probably.

    – Their offspring, if born here, will be Citizens (barring some successful SCOTUS challenge or a legislative change defining birthright Citizenship).

    Most of the other stuff will probably ALSO fall under the “alienage” and “national origin” restrictions of having to pass a “Strict Scrutiny” test, which means that if it’s not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest, it’s not going to survive a SCOTUS challenge.

workingclass artist | November 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm


“Legal resident, not citizen.”

This does not address the issue with welfare.

Perry’s guest worker program does as it documents and legally grants temporary worker status as a foreign national & cut off welfare benefits (For those that qualify under a strict uniform standard). It allows for the lowest possible economic impact on regional industry by reforming the current E-Verify program that only works less than 51% of the time allowing for replacement of outgoing workforce.
It allows for the reasonable dispersal of property owned by illegal immigrants if they decide to self deport.
Those that stay stand in line in a reformed expedited and consistent immigration court system.

Gov. Perry’s stance is based on his practical experience in a large complex border state…The rest are theory.

    You have to remember something about why a lot of illegal immigrants are receiving the benefits of welfare programs: It is because they have a Citizen child who is entitled to those programs (i.e. the child is receiving the food stamps, or the SSI benefits or something else.

    At that point, legal resident status of the parent isn’t going to matter. I’ve seen only a small handful of immigration ALJs (Administrative Law Judges), and an even smaller number of Federal Judges, who are willing to deport the illegal immigrant parent of a citizen child unless that illegal immigrant parent has committed a Felony.

    Further, there are a LOT of “welfare” class benefits that “residents” of Texas are entitled to. You don’t have to be a US Citizen, you just have to sleep in the state for 30 days. Such benefits include: Emergency Medicaid, State-Local Mental Health Services, School based Health Centers, Public Health Programs, Programs for Children with “Special Healthcare Needs” (which is utilized by illegals 2:1 over citizens), EMS and Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund Eligibility.

Comments like those I’m seeing here bashing Newt’s proposals and equating them with blanket “amnesty” for illegals shed some light on why many people (myself EXCLUDED) think that when conservatives say they are against “illegal immigration” they really mean they are against immigration altogether. I’ll explain.

For dealing with the long-term illegal immigrant population, there seem to be but a few options that have been discussed so far, none of them ideal: blanket amnesty, selective amnesty, Newt’s idea, ignoring, or deportation.

Now consider (for the rest of this comment) the example of a family living here for 25 years, working hard, paying taxes, speaking English, culturally acclimated. The question has been asked, “Are you really going to deport them?” To all those who have given the knee-jerk answer, “Yes, they are here illegally!” I say the following:

They may have come illegally to this country. BUT! They have not been a drain on the tax base, rather they have contributed to it. They have not been at war culturally with the rest of the country, rather they have strengthened it. ASSUMING ALL OF THE ABOVE IS TRUE, and that therefore these people represent the ideal of an American immigrant, we could be gracious enough to overlook the relatively small matter of the manner of his arrival in light of his greater contributions. And if what bothers the detractors is that the illegal circumvented the process while legal immigrants had to suffer through it, I say two things: 1) the process of “overlooking” the illegal immigration would include some kind of penalty for the immigrant, short of deportation or prison time, and 2)the process of acquiring citizenship would be no faster for the illegal than for a regular legal immigrant. He’d still have to wait the 5 years or whatever it is, and everything else would be the same as well. The only difference being his automatic acceptance into being able to start the process.

Like I already said, twice, this would only apply to illegals who have proven themselves upstanding, self-sufficient and non-hostile. Everyone else, a one-way ticket outta here and never allowed back, even to visit.

workingclass artist | November 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm

“but I do not want those who broke the law to be rewarded. I waited in line for my green card, the legal way. It took a long time and a lot of money…”

Agreed. I’m a native Texan and many folks are legally sponsored in and have to wait up to 12 years doing it the right & proper way. I know some of these immigrants personally. It is a costly and corrupted system that the liberals have fouled up with the California Approach. We need realistic reform.

The priority should be securing the border & imho all of them are paying lip service to it but Gov. Perry has a record of border security especially since the federal govt. has jerked Texas around on funding (Texas a tax donor state with the 3/4 of the border receives less than 20% of federal funds for Border Security) and the NHS poaching our excellent agents to work in other states like AZ & NM since 2003 creating the first of a series of border crisis by 2005.

Gov. Perry as already been fighting Obama over this and regulation since he’s been in office…He’s well equipped to fight him on his record & his failing policies.

    There is absolutely no question that Texas is under resources and threatened on its border. It does need to, as Bachmann stated, end the magnets.

      workingclass artist in reply to mdw9661. | November 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Bachmann is an idiot who has never been to the Texas Border and promises she can build a wall in the middle of a 1200 mile shifting river (The Rio Grande) protected under 3 International Treaties, a Tri-State compact & congressional law as a heritage river.

      Like many desperate Bachmann statements they are either lies or erratic distortions.

      She is so desperate she’s now playing the gender card.

workingclass artist | November 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm


My comments relate to the hypocrisy of conservatives who blasted Perry & Texas over in-state tuition but give Big Govt. Newt a pass because he’s a slick debater…These conservatives also believe that Obama is a good debater when he’s not and think it’s possible to build a “fried Mexican Fence”/wall in the middle of a 1200 mile shifting river.

I’ll go with the conservative record in Texas which is projected to maintain it’s economic leadership role for the next 5 years because of the governing model Gov. Perry is proposing.

Fair & Predictable Regulatory Climate
Tort Reform at the state & federal level
Low Taxes that promote business growth
Spending Control & Balanced Budgets.

SoCA Conservative Mom | November 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Even though they don’t say it, every politician is for amnesty in one form or another. Allowing someone to be a legal resident of the country today will soften to citizenship tomorrow. The next day their human rights will be violated if they can’t have their family in the country as well. Family will be defined as the entire village they came from and all their relatives.

We need to consider changing the law regarding birthright citizenship as well.

Let’s do a bit of analysis on the other candidates. The Perry-Gingrich debate is getting pretty well played out in the other comments (some of which I have contributed to).

Rick Santorum had some good answers in his discussions about aid to Africa, but I think he missed the mark when discussing how that aid can be a stabilizing force. Herman Cain however picked it up and ran with it in discussing the effectiveness of the programs as a qualifier as to if they should continue.

Ron Paul again proved that he’s a Loony-Tune, and Gingrich swatted him like a fly (“Timothy McVeigh succeeded. … I don’t want a law that says ‘after we lose a major American city, we’re sure going to come and find you.'”). Ron Paul has bought into the whole idea of “Privacy” as a right as enumerated by the left. There is no “Right to Privacy.” There is a right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure in peoples persons, houses, papers and effects. The Patriot act, even though it has many flaws and failings, is (mostly) a reasonable use of governmental power to protect the citizenry. Ron Paul’s use of language about “giving up liberty for protection” and the “police state” is misplaced and disingenuous.

Further, Paul’s discussion about Taliban / Al Qaeda definition of association under DOD and assassination of US Citizens was over dramatic, and it made him sound like the wild-eyed conspiracy nut.

p.s. – notice the way that Gov. Perry appears to be leaning away from Ron Paul at about 4:00 into the clip as Paul is talking about a ‘police state.’ He’s trying to stay “out of camera shot.”

Speaking of poor performances – Bachmann’s answer immediately following Paul’s police state rant of “I’m with the American people and the Constitution….” was trite and cliche. It actually made me cringe. She did somewhat redeem herself with the “we don’t give Miranda rights to terrorists.” Given her intelligence committee position, this should have been her best debate. It ended up being sub-par.

Gov. Huntsman … reminds me of Dan Quayle with better speaking ability. He might have been a decent governor and a fantastic ambassador, but he’s TOO soft-spoken (apparently an occupational hazard, as I’ve seen it in other ambassadors I’ve known and/or studied under). He talks in too many platitudes and feels just too slick by half. I understand the “light-forces” approach that he was discussing about getting troops out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but without mission parameters that say we can go after targets being harbored (willingly or in secret), then there really isn’t any point. I think it was Gingrich who slapped him down in saying something like: we should be furious with Pakistan, and if they’re not going to take care of terrorists hiding in their borders, they don’t have any right to be mad at us when we do it for them.

Cain’s performance was acceptable, but not really anything special. Wolf Blitzer attempting to set him up with the “Religious Profiling” question and paint Cain into a corner (given Cain’s past statements) was well handled with Cain discussing ‘targeted identification’ and getting the Intelligence professional services to develop the profile of what a terrorist looks like.

Romney’s performance was better than I expected, and he had a couple of decent answers. His discussion of the difference between crime and war was great. Notice that when he was discussing the Presidential responsibility to protect life, liberty and property of American citizens (about 7:40 in the clip) Gingrich is nodding his head in agreement (it’s subtle, but it’s there).

Perry’s discussion about intelligence gathering was important. I think Gov. Perry could have been better, but didn’t damage himself as he has in prior debates. There’s still time for him to reemerge into the top tier of candidates, but that window is rapidly closing.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Anybody think I missed anything important?

Well, if you are interested in a Debater In Chief, Newt is your man, professor.

By the way, Rush praised Bachmann as the best last night. Selective tweets? The cognitive dissonance is strong.

    workingclass artist in reply to mdw9661. | November 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Bachmann discussed tactics as a member of congress with regards to foreign aid.

    Perry discussed foreign aid as a negotiation policy from executive perspective based on executive experience.

    That is the undercurrent in this race especially when applied to those candidates who have never held a leadership position and it becomes more apparent with each debate.

    The only candidate on that stage that can match Gov. Perry in leadership gravitas based on experience is Gingrich which may be why their positions are often simpatico because they aren’t based as much on theory but on practical applications within conservative theory.

    Newt did this 20 years ago as Speaker of the House and Leader of the Republican Party 1995-99 and Perry has done this for the last 11 years as Chief Executive of the second largest state that succeeded economically in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

    So the conclusion is both men have a demonstrated capacity to lead a republican legislature with conservative ideas and solutions. Both make impact with results.

    Which is the most relevant to today… The Newt of 20 years ago or the sitting governor of the most economically successful conservative state in the union.

edgeofthesandbox | November 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I heard on Hannity that Palin might endorse Newt before inevitable frontrunner emerges. If true, that could help him solidify the base.

I’m seeing too many sides of the immigration coin. Yes, parents who dragged their young children here have put their children at risk. But that child brought here at the age of 3 or 5 or 7 has been living here for 10 or 15 or 20 years. They speak English and grew up in our culture. Deporting them is going to be terribly difficult: what would we deport them to? They might not have a family or community to go back to.

Children who were born here to illegal parents were given, mistakenly I think, the idea that being born in this country gave them citizenship. To strip them of citizenship now might be legally very difficult.

Newt seems to be seeking a nuanced approach that would take these cases into consideration. A hard-line deport them all approach, while near to the heart of many, might be beyond our collective political will. If too many feel that approach is immoral, they will happily break the law to give aid and succor to what they perceive are victims of conservative heartlessness. To be sure a minority wants amnesty for all. We can’t do that. But some sort of legal card might convince many to buy into Newt’s. Legal card holders won’t get to vote, or sponsor other immigrants, perhaps to not receive some social benefits. They would be more than welcome to pay taxes.

A hard-line “deport ’em all” approach could be like prohibition: encourage more lawlessness.

Workingclass, your last paragraph is a false choice. Newt is no longer the Newt of 20 years ago, he has mellowed, made significant personal changes and has learned his lesson regarding playing footsie with Nancy Pelosi and her ilk. He has been involved in making many policy suggestions and continues to be involved in the world of politics. He has only been out of office for 12 years and in the meantime has been successful in the private sector.

I don’t doubt Perry’s skill and ability as a governor, but you have to admit his first few debates did not lend strength to the perception of his suitability for the presidency. By now the narrative has been written and he must do all he can to reverse the perception of being less than prepared for the rigors of presidential trials.

While I am firmly against illegal immigration, it is nearly impossible to deport every person here illegally. To ascertain which of those aliens who are here are most desirable by length of time in the country, job status, family and community ties and assimilation makes sense to me.

Besides, we can’t have the Newt of 20 years ago, we may take the Newt of now, but 20 years ago, was, well, 20 years ago.

While illegal immigration is illegal, allowing them some sort of legality short of citizenship might be a path a vast majority of people can get behind. I agree, the dispensation of justice should be clear of emotional overtones. Since we’re dealing with people, that’s not possible. Having a system to sort out those we choose to keep and those we sent back will hopefully get the vast majority of Americans on board. If 40% of the population think a “deport them all” policy is stupid and bad law, then they will turn a blind eye to law breakers, or help those who would be deported. Think jury nullification here.

Let me see if I understand Newt’s position: we seal the border. Then, those who have been here a long time (whatever that is) and have sufficient ties to the community (church membership, steady employment, so on and so forth, whatever those are) get to stay. {I hope it also denies them privileges under affirmative action, which needs to be totally abolished!} They stay with a “permanent alien” type classification which denies them the right to vote or sponsor others who wish to immigrate. Those who have been here a short time and are bad apples get tossed back.

We have a responsibility here. We, the collective all of us, have too long tolerated illegal immigrants. Businesses have enjoyed exploiting cheap labor. Unions and democratic-socialist-progressive-leftist think encouraging them helps Democrat party poll numbers. As a parent and a teacher and a spouse, it is very difficult to one day say “Hey, this relationship isn’t working and we need to make severe and drastic changes this instant.”