Once again, we had an awkward moment in the debate, when a gay soldier was booed after his video was posted and his question asked of the candidates. Rick Santorum, the first to speak after the booing died, said nothing in regards to the reaction of the crowd, but went into a heartfelt tirade about the repeal of DADT and how it weakened our military. This received great applause.
This is the second time a particularly disheartening situation has arisen at a GOP candidate's debate. First, it was people yelling that an uninsured sick person should be left to die (again without any immediate reaction from the candidates). Now, we have a much larger group booing one of our national heroes because he is gay.
I would just like to say that this is reprehensible, discriminatory, and hateful, especially against a member of our armed forces. I don't want to get too worked up about it, so I'll leave it that, and just say that I'm just as ashamed of all those candidates who said nothing, and even more angry at Santorum, who agreed with them.
The content of this debate was almost identical to the content of the previous one. Perry and Romney were given the most air time, with Bachmann coming up third. Ron Paul, of course, was completely left out of Fox News's post-debate analysis (he was not mentioned once), while the new guy was talked about quite a bit for a little joke he lifted off of Rush Limbaugh. I would just like to point out that Limbaugh complained that Obama plagiarized him earlier this week and is threatening to sue because the POTUS used a phrase that was very similar (but not identical) to something Limbaugh wrote in the 80's, but has yet to issue a similar threat to Gary Johnson for using the exact same joke that Limbaugh has used in the last year. Anyway, the big things last night were jobs, immigration, and health care.
On the jobs front, all of the GOP candidates seemed to think that they were really being asked about Obamacare. On several occasions, Obamacare was brought up instead of jobs, and the candidates tried to link the two. One even said "companies aren't hiring because of Obamacare." I wonder who told them that, because it's really not accurate. Speaking with small business owners, they will tell you that theyr'e not hiring because there's no incentive for them to expand: no demand, no money, no subsidies, no markets, and higher insurance (which is what really chokes businesses).
Immigration was interesting, because none of the candidates said anything that even approached a comprehensive plan to deal with it. Instead, they all bemoaned the number of illegals, scored points of Perry for giving illegal's kids in-state tuition, and then moved on to something else.
Finally, there was health care. Apparently, after the first day in office, none of the candidates have any plan for how to handle the rising cost of health care. They all said that the first thing they would do is repeal Obamacare. Pretty soon, they'll be debating about who will be able to do it faster. After it's repealed, though, whoever is sitting in the Oval Office is still going to have to tackle the problem that they've just recreated. That thought doesn't seem to have crossed their minds, since none of them have said anything besides "Repeal! Repeal! REPEAL!!!"
Again, Ron Paul looked the best out of all of them, but he's been completing shunned by the right-wing mediamongers and has been marginalized into a non-entity. The only ones that the Fox analysts really liked was Romney, though of course that's always been case, ever since they realized Bachmann was a little too serious in her insanity to be a relevant candidate.
While watching online, I was able to participate in a number of polls that were powered by Fox and Google. The interesting thing about these polls was that I generally agreed with the majority on just about every one of them. It just goes to show that the people who watched the debate are all of a similar mind. On some major moral and economic issues, people are in agreement about basics. It's the way we get results that we disagree on.
The debate ended awkwardly, as only three of the candidates actually answered the final question, but it again highlighted that slight differences between the various candidates. It will be interesting to see how things progress from here. Personally, all this character assassination going on the right is making Obama look better and better, and I don't think that can be a bad thing.