I watched maybe half of the first GOP 2012 primary debate the other night on Fox. I actually thought the questions were decent, and while many pundits have written off the debate as the ‘second-tier plus Pawlenty’ I find this line of thinking to be a little silly frankly. Nobody knows how the primary will go, and while we all love to make predictions, mostly our predictions are wrong.
In any case, both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson were quite good, and it was as heartening to hear cheers for Paul’s foreign policy recommendations as it was disheartening to hear the cheers following any of Santorum’s drivel, Cain’s boilerplate, or the poli-babbling of Pawlenty who showed just how perfect a candidate he is by never once directly answering a single question. Funny how fools and liars lose their cover when standing next to honest men.
But one moment during the debate was enough to separate the honorable candidates from the future war criminals. When asked, “Raise your hands if you would waterboard terror suspects under any conceivable circumstance” Pawlenty, Cain, and Santorum all raised their hands. Paul and Johnson refused. Yet somehow pundits are calling the debate for Pawlenty.
It will get worse before it gets better.