6. Herman Cain. As if we didn’t know it already, Herman Cain isn’t ready for prime time and he showed it through his lack of foreign policy knowledge.
5. Pakistan. Pakistan was a major topic in this weekend’s debate. At the end of the day, Pakistan is not a friend to the U.S. They harbored Osama Bin Laden for years and fund “terrorists” behind our back.
At the same time, they think they are. U.S. drones have killed innocent Pakistani’s and many citizens feel that the country has sacrificed for the U.S. with little in return.
But the world is not a place where nations can choose friends and enemies. Nation’s must forge more nuanced relationships with foreign countries than people do on a personal level. This is where you keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
HOWEVER, the foreign aid question is worth considering. How much taxpayer money should be given to dictators overseas and merchants of teror? Where is the balance? It is well documented that America did not always do enough to give a hand up to nations struggling to rebuild after the World Wars of the 20th Century. In the 21st Century, now more than ever, no man is an island. No country is an island. So we cannot pull funding from all countries it will hurt is the long run. Societies that have roads, schools, food and jobs are nations that contribute and do not blow up buses and buildings.
Conversely, it also worth stepping back and evaluating our priorities. India could be America’s most important partner in the 21st Century as China and Russia get into bed together.
Pakistan is not a friend, but that does not mean we should not bend over backwards to keep them close. Rick Santorum seems to have a good handle on this basic concept. As a Senator his expertise shines through more than many of the Governors on stage. At some point, we have to make these relationships work and focus on the true threats of the 21st Century.
4. Rick Perry. On Saturday, we learned that there is a 1% Chance that Rick Perry isn’t dead in the water. He has life, money, forty-five days to pull it together and most importantly, republicans have no one else to turn to. He is the jobs governor.
From a spending and foreign policy perspective, it seems rational to re-evaluate every foreign aid relationship that we have starting at the beginning. Perry had it right. There are some countries, like North Korea, that use our money to exploit their own people. It is wise to re-evaluate these relationships. Point for Perry.
3. Iran. It is clear that republicans are beating the war drums with Iran. In 2007, new wars in the Middle East were so toxic that even George Bush and Dick Cheney decided against bombing Iran. We need to be careful before we get involved in a fight that will cost more than we will gain.
The compromise position is to free up Israel to protect its own interests.
2. Newt Rising. Gingrich seems to be rising in just about every RCP average poll over the past few weeks. This is too bad. While Newt is smart, an old white guy from the South that really isn’t that conservative will lose to Obama again, as he did in 2008. Newt’s got too many skeletons and no executive experience. Prior to every republican debate, Newt mounts his high horse and takes shots at the media, this isn’t a recipe for winning, it’s a recipe for getting ovations at republican primary debates. Newt is a loser in 2012. He may be the next big thing, following The apprentice, Bachmann, Perry and Cain, but for the sake of conservatism, I hope his wave crashes prior to January. Because he would be a loser in the general.
1. Romney. Inevitability is beginning to set in for Romney. Romney broke through a polling ceiling this week following Perry’s debate collapse, obtaining 32% support of Republican support in a recent poll, he is trying to appeal to the base in these debates and he is consistently winning debates. He will likely be the guy, and then he will lose to Obama.
The reality is that it is November 14th and candidates have approximately until Thanksgiving in two weeks to catch fire. If they haven’t done it by then, Christmas may cloud people’s lives too much to pay attention. Perry, Cain and Gingrich all have a small window to defeat Romney, but they are all going to have to work their asses off and do some creative campaigning to get noticed. Another debate is a little over a week away.
We need Rick Perry to get his act together in those two weeks, whether you like him or not, THERE IS NO ONE ELSE, if he can’t do it, I’ll do something I never thought I’d do. . . vote for Rick Santorum.