For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Republican Debate In Orlando

Tonight's debate in Orlando, FL was a very lively one with fireworks-a-plenty. It started out with Chris Wallace playing let's-you-and-him-fight in which both Giuliani and Romney were presented with quotes about them from Fred Thompson which were critical in nature. They responded to Fred who responded back. The exchange was revealing about the inconsistencies in the conservatism of both Giuliani and Romney, while Fred responded well to Giuliani's attack about Tort reform.

Everyone but Giuliani and Ron Paul looked better than usual tonight. Rudy didn't look horrible, but didn't seem to measure up to past debates. No doubt he wasn't expecting Fred to be so aggressive.

Fred Thompson had a good night tonight with answers that were more clear and specific than the previous debate. And the final question of the debate directed at Fred's so-called "laziness" was answered with pleasure and wit by Fred himself, who gave a very brief biography of his experience and hurdles throughout his life, and in doing so revealed the ridiculous nature of the question. Artfully done.

But it was not Fred Thompson, nor was it Mike Huckabee, nor Tancredo, nor even Romney (who did very well on the health insurance question) who won tonight's debate, in my humble opinion. No, it was McCain...again. His answers were direct and to-the-point and at times very humorous. His comments about Hillary Clinton proposing a Woodstock music museum were very noteworthy: I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time. The last part being a reference to his stay at the Hanoi Hilton as a POW.

McCain's ability to shine in a debate disturbs me. All but written off when several key members of his campaign staff abandoned him, he has risen in the polls over the past few months due to his nothing-to-lose attitude and feisty demeanor at debates. I really don't think he has the patience or mindset to be president. Nor does his record reflect the consistent conservatism he claims to have---see McCain-Feingold, Amnesty Bill, and Keating Five just to name a few. The only thing about him which lends confidence (to me, at least) is his ability to manage a war. Every time he disagreed with President Bush on war policy, McCain was proven right. But that alone is not reason enough to elect someone to the highest office.

If more candidates drop out perhaps we'll have debates with more than a one minute answer period. That would help Fred a lot. He doesn't seem to take well to the shot-gun approach. But he may get the hang of it before someone else calls it quits. I look forward to seeing Fred in the next debate.