Last night, CNN and the Tea Party Express hosted their first Republican primary debate. Herewith the results of the CNN Tea Party Debate.
CNN Tea Party Debate prizes
Disclaimer: your editor apologizes to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for using two “awards” that it makes each year to a teacher and a student. Readers may guess which award goes to whom.
The Shovel Award
This goes to the man who can “shovel it on” with the greatest eloquence. Winner: Mitt Romney. He made you want to cry out in outrage, “That’s a lie!” But he never batted an eyelash nor missed a trick.
The Bucket Award
This goes to the man who can catch it with the greatest dexterity. Winner: Rick Perry. Everyone ganged up on him (even Michele Bachmann). Sometimes he deserved it—like when he had to defend ordering teen-age girls to get a vaccine against an STD (see below). Or when he tried to defend his “Texas DREAM Act.” At other times, he didn’t. But he handled himself very well. His defense of his Social Security position was brilliant. He alone (except maybe for Dr. Paul) was willing to give the American public a hard dose of the truth. (Hint: it is a Ponzi scheme.)
The Of Thee I Zing Award
This award takes its name from Laura Ingraham’s book of that title. It goes to the man who fired the “zingers” that struck home most often. Winner: Newt Gingrich. At every opportunity, he delivered a good one-liner. For example, Wolf Blitzer asked Gingrich whether it was “fair” for “oil companies” to get lots of “government handouts.” His reply:
You know, I thought for a second, you were going to refer to General Electric, which has paid no taxes.
The president of General Electric is one of Barack H. Obama’s cronies, and everyone knows it.
The Comeback Award
This goes to the person who made up the most lost ground. Winner: Michele Bachmann. She made up, at the CNN Tea Party debate, for the bad press she got after the “submission question” at Ames. She also gained the ground that the MSNBC moderators did not let her gain in Simi Valley.
Best Throw-back of a Red Herring
This goes to Dr. Ron Paul. It was also Wolf Blitzer’s low point as moderator of the CNN Tea Party Debate. “But—but—but Mr. Congressman, should society let an uninsured man die?” What tripe. Blitzer knows that the rule on a person who cannot pay for medical treatment is: treat him first, and collect from him later on. And Dr. Paul reminded everyone sharply that the members of a sound society know how to take care of themselves. (Even the Bible, though it tells everyone to help out with a really big load that no man can carry alone, also tells each man to carry his own regular-sized load.)
On the other hand…
The Order of the Lead Balloon
This also goes to Ron Paul. Rick Santorum challenged him about Jack Hunter’s blog post blaming America for the September 11 attacks. And Paul’s answer was an unmitigated disaster. First he said that if America did not stop offending the radicals, she would expect more of the same. Then he repeated Osama bin Laden’s grievances against the United States. When Paul got to the part about American support for the Republic of Israel, the crowd drowned him out with boos. And when he went on with what he had to say, he made a statement (about “hundreds of thousands of Iraqis” dying at American hands) that was simply not true.
A broken clock tells the correct time twice a day. Paul showed that even the best-designed clock can fail if one spring fails.
The Order of the Gadfly
One hardly need describe this award. Winner: Michele Bachmann. She attacked Mitt Romney on his hypocrisy on running socialized medicine in Massachusetts while campaigning to repeal it nationwide. Likewise, she attacked Rick Perry for (by executive order, yet!) ordering adolescent girls to accept a vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus, a sexually transmitted disease. With regard to that last: everyone knows that the best protection against any STD is a scrupulous chaperon.
The Life of the Party
This one goes to Herman Cain. No matter what he said—and he has some good ideas and better perspectives—he said it with his trademark smile. Even his voice smiles. And without him, the CNN Tea Party Debate might have turned into a knock-down drag-out brawl.
Who else but the man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama. He took the worst abuse of anyone, though he was not even present. The one thing that everyone agreed on: whichever of them wins, all eight will pull together to make sure that Barack H. Obama will fail of re-election.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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