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What I learned from the Iowa GOP Debate

Updated on August 16, 2011

As a lot of folks I watched the Iowa Republican Debate last Thursday, hosted by FOX News. On stage that night were several contenders already familiar to interested followers of the GOP Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.

This debate was much more fiery than previous ones of this year. And while I could make commentary here about the topics and respective answers from the contenders, as well as try an intellectual interpretation of the obvious -and now legendary- contention between Pawlenty and Bachmann or even the results of the consequential straw poll, nah I won't. But I've had a few days to muse over and consider what all was said on stage that night, and I've come to a few conclusions. These conclusions may not comprehensively reflect the feelings of the general audience but I'm not going to try holding back my gut feelings here. And who knows, if any of the contenders are reading they may learn a thing or two about what the average SAHMW thinks of their general demeanor and their qualifications as voiced by their answers. I am a voter, you know.


What I learned...

1. Jon Huntsman is a lot like Indiana Jones: he's a guy and he gets dressed by putting his trousers on one foot at a time. And yeah, he's also not a girl, just like Indiana Jones. But most importantly, Huntsman is like Indiana Jones because he has a plan to save the world. He's not giving away the secret of that plan, of course, not even to himself..but who cares as long as he defends this nation against it's greatest enemies. Who those enemies are Huntsman ain't saying, but you can bet your Fedora they're as sneaky as spiders in a Chinese birthday cake.


2.Now I already knew Ron Paul was a Libertarian and an unwavering Constitutionalist, both things I admire greatly. But what I didn't realize so well until Thursday was this: Ron Paul lives on a planet. This planet isn't earth, but a nicer, gentler place where Al-Qaeda and the Taliban don't exist and the leaders of Iran and Israel spend all day making daisy chains for one another and the national anthem of red China there is Give Peace a Chance. Damn, I wish I lived on that planet. But since I don't maybe Ron will be generous enough to send me an invite to his next potluck mushroom dinner. In the meantime I'll continue to admire Ron Paul for his unflagging devotion to upholding the Constitution for Americans, and pray he never gets into the White House. Because if it's one thing Dr. Paul obviously doesn't understand about liberty is that it doesn't come without a fight.


3. I learned that Rick Santorum actually has balls. OMG yes, he really does. And thank god he isn't the totally anal puritan everyone else figured he was. Because if he had been then I wouldn't have won the ten dollar bet I had going on with Father Michael from St. Lucille's Chapel. Poor Father Mike; and he was going to donate it all to Jon Huntsman's race if he'd won!


4. Herman Cain is one man you just don't want to spin the truth on. He'll correct you quicker than President Obama can hit the redial number for Pizza Hut. And unlike Obama everyone knows that with Herman when change is required it won't be charged to the taxpayer.


5. Mitt Romney looks like he just stepped off a Hollywood sound stage. He's handsome, he's tanned, he has great hair and a pleasant speaking voice that rivets with manly assurance with every word he utters. And with those big, grasping, hairy hands I'm sure Mitt has just the right stuff to take on Edward Cullen in a fight. Mitt just better hope Rick Perry doesn't join team Jacob or I think he'll fall quicker than Bella boarding the self-pity train. And like with Bella I think the smartest move Mitt can make from here on is to keep his fickle mouth shut. Just stand there and look nice, Mitt; women love the tall, dark and strong guys as long they don't have a foot in their mouth.


6. Naaahh, can't be! Was this the same Newt Gingrich that showed up in the previous debates - or was that just some pod person pretending to be Newt Gingrich? Yep, the Newt Gingrich of Thursday gave sensible, informed answers and in an assertive manner that demonstrated his vast knowledge of the contemporary world-wide political arena. I was more than just a little impressed. I had marked Gingrich off my maybe-list some weeks ago, but now I've had to pencil him back in.

In fact, if this Newt talks more like this during the next debate I ain't gonna care how deep in dept his wife has him in with Tiffany's. I'm sure that bill is peanuts compared to the President's tab at Pizza Hut, anyway.


7. Tim Pawlenty didn't challenge Mitt Romney in any of the debates of this year, at one point under the pretext that all the contenders had agreed beforehand not to get snide on each other. And while some of us may have thought this indicated Pawlenty's lack prowess in defending his now-infamous RomneyCare jibe, Pawlenty showed us Thursday just the kind of strong, fierce manly man competitor he really is..by taking punk shots toward the only woman on the stage. Congrats Tim, you showed us all your wicked Minnesota balls..balls of cheese.

Minnesota Nice...your aunt fanny's vintage bottle of whine! But you officially withdrew from the race this weekend, Mr. Pawlenty, so THANK YOU.


8. One fact that became acutely clear on Thursday night was that Michele Bachmann needs a new wardrobe advisor. Wilted-lime green doesn't work for most people, and poor Bachmann is no exception.

Aside from this, Mrs. Bachmann also proved she's a force to be reckoned with, one that won't shrink under adolescent attacks from either the press core or the likes of cheese balls, I mean Tim Pawlenty. She's tough on the inside where it most counts and graceful and feminine in decorum. I admire this in a woman. Panelist Byron York, however, seemed to be looking for shock value when he asked her for details on a previous statement that she is "submissive" to her husband. Feminists watching in were probably drooling for blood at that moment and conventionalist Republicans may have squirmed. To tell the truth, I wasn't impressed with Bachmann's response either. She seemed embarrassed about it, providing an answer alluding that for her the idea of submissive means she is respectful of her husband and vice versa.

From this viewer's seat I think she copped out on that one. And that's a pity. There's nothing wrong in being adamant about being submissive to your mate if that's what is comfortable for the partners. For when it comes to marriage, I feel it is a sacred institution between two consenting adults, and what is mutually agreed upon within the parameters of their relationship is the couple's business alone.

Another way to look at this is that nobody gives a hoot if a male U.S. President has an unconventional relationship with his wife. Just imagine, if you will, a similar scenario going on in the WH -and I'm not naming names here, just a realistic what if: say we have a male President..one who kisses his wife's butt at every occasion. A President who allows his wife's big mouthed TV host friend to tag along on all-expense-paid trips. Or a President so pussy-whipped he has to hitch a ride with the VP if he wants a good ole barbecue sandwich because the Mrs's has invited her diet-Nazi friends over for brunch and the last thing she needs is a man with smoked hickory on his breath. A President who has to drink his beer at ballgames because after the last White House kegger the first lady moved up a dress size and then opened a new charge account at the same hoity-toity shop the French Presiden't wife shops at. A President who has to sneak out to the shadows of the WH back lawn for a smoke and has to spend his 49th birthday alone because wifey is over visiting the Spanish royalty. A President who yields his own eating preferences by giving up salt on his favorite foods because that's the way wifey wants it; the same President who lives with the frightening knowledge that during the next trip to Hawaii he's going to once again hear that cruel question, "Honey, does this swimsuit make me look fat?"

Of course, these situations are all completely fictional, cough, cough, but if they did happen I dare contend that very few people are going to get on the male President's case over the boundaries agreed upon within the relationship he and his wife have together. It is their business. Likewise, if we get a MRS. President who is submissive to her husband, I say what is agreed on between the two of them is nobody else's beeswax; it is not open for debate by any one, it is their thang and if everybody else just minded their own thangs the whole world would be a little happier place to live in.

And this is exactly how Michele Bachmann should have addressed York's question. The feminists and liberals may have taken to their sick beds, of course, but I for one would have stood up to applaud Mrs. Bachmann and pledged over my support of her candidacy right then and there.


A last few things I learned from the debate are these:

9. Whether he's behind the desk inside a studio or inside a big hall with a crowd of excited, loud people, Brett Baer will always look like Superman and smile as sweetly as Peter Parker.

10. Whether he's reporting from inside a big noisy public hall, outside in the rain, from the eye of a tornado or even ground zero at a working nuclear test facility, FOX correspondent Carl Cameron always seems a little too snookered to care. And he almost has that Peter Parker smile going on, too.

11. Ron Paul supporters are the loudest, most excitable group of people on the face of the earth. And among political supporters, also the rudest.

12. The name Rick Perry is more powerful than a speeding locomotive and according to most Texans, his engine is twice as big.

13. I'm looking forward to the next George Lucas blockbuster: Jon Huntsman and the Forbidden Answer of Doom.

14. I'm looking even more forward to the next J.K. Rowling adaptation: Ron Paul and the Prisoners of Denial

15. My favorite candidate is still Herman Cain, but Gingrich and Bachmann are growing on me.

16. Tim Pawlenty is that green slimy stuff that grows on cheese balls left too long in a damp refrigerator.

17. Mitt Romney needs to stop hoarding all the porkchops-on-a-stick; Mr. Obama's rumored to be coming to town and he might appreciate some real food outside of the White House.

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  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Thank you Minnetonka and I'm glad understand it was meant to be humorous :)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Funny, informative stuff Beth. I enjoyed it thoroughly :-) I especially got a kick out of your description of Pawlenty being like: the green slimy stuff that grows on cheese balls. I love a great sense of humor. LOL :-)

  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Why Mr. Evan G. Rogers, I couldn't agree more :)

    And in addition to ending the wars we should always be prepared to defend ourselves as well. Gods blessings on you.

  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Hey Ghost, how you doing sweetie! Loved your comments, you always have a way of cheering me up on a bad day. I just found out both my parents are sick, so thanks so much :)

    And yes, indeedy, if those tickets come through you'll be the first I contact! lol

  • Evan G Rogers profile image

    Evan G Rogers 6 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

    Hey Beth - Indeed, history IS history. But we need to learn from it. We made a mistake, and we need to stop continuing the mistake as we have been.

    End the wars. Now.

  • profile image

    Ghost32 6 years ago

    ROFLMAO! beth, when you started out with Huntsman as Indiana Jones, I was perplexed--but by the end of that paragraph, I was HOWLING! How ACCURATE!

    Ron Paul: If you get two tickets to that potluck mushroom dinner, can I go with?

    Rick Santorum: Um...I still think he's a totally anal Puritan. Wish I'd come up with that description.

    Herman Cain: You're preaching to the choir on this one, beth. I'd vote for Herman in a heartbeat.

    Mitt Romney: Barf.

    Newt Gingrich: Semi-barf plus quarter blee-ech! Besides, he's got a funny-looking head. And I did NOT consider his challenge of Brett Baier's question a wonderful thing, as did a bunch of pundits.

    Uh...want me to share how I REALLY feel about Newt?

    Tim Pawlenty: Exactly. The guy gave me the creeps from the get-go; hasta la vista, baby!

    Michelle Bachmann: Lime green? Man, I need to get my color vision checked! Just can't see that at all--to me, her suit looks stone gray with a hint toward the brown side.

    Bachmann is my #2 pick (after Sarah Palin), but I have to agree with you that her answer on the "submissive" question could have gone better. Had I been in her place (please, don't imagine that while you're eating), my response would have been:

    "That question runs to the deeper concern, i.e., if I'm elected President, will my husband be calling the shots. I assure you that my Presidential decisions will be my own."

    Which she has actually said in other interviews.

    Voted Up and Across.

  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Thanks, point2make and yep :)

  • point2make profile image

    point2make 6 years ago

    Good observations Beth I enjoyed the play by play. I agree with you about Ron Paul. I do like some of his positions but his supporters are indeed a sensitive lot. Reminds me of another politicans supporters from time to time. They all need to relax a bit.

  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Evan, I agree the U.S. has a history of interfering where it didn't belong. Vietnam is a good example. If our leaders (at the time) hadn't sent troops there my father wouldn't have fought and suffered for needless purposes. I also believe that it's way past time we came out of Afghanistan. However, history is the past and contemporary society can't live and function by wallowing in guilt of past wrongs of our forefathers. Installing the Shah in Iran was long ago. We have to live in the here and now and be realistic about who and what are threats. Iran is a threat today, not because of what people did before I was even born, but because it's present leaders believe that anything contrary to their ideology should be wiped off the face of the planet.

    Btw, I happen to like Dr. Paul personally. He is a kind man, he is a good physician and he is honest to his convictions even if I don't always agree with his views. And I also think he's far more of a gentleman than some of his overly sensitive supporters are.

  • bethperry profile image
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    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Hey Tony, thanks for dropping by. Always nice to hear from you!

  • Evan G Rogers profile image

    Evan G Rogers 6 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

    You clearly don't understand history.

    Al Qaeda and Iran are only threats because - as Ron Paul pointed out in the debate - we've been over there overthrowing their elected governments and bombing their innocent civilians since the 1950s.

    Ron Paul lives on a planet, all right. It's a planet where no one seems to have empathy or a memory.

    Oh, and it's obvious you don't actually respect his "unwavering" support for the Constitution: Otherwise you would readily acknowledge that all of our actions in the Middle East have been unconstitutional.

  • tony0724 profile image

    tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

    Beth a most interesting assessment of the candidates. I am happy to see Pawlenty has given up the man is really nice and nice just ain't gonna cut it in these days and times.As far as Huntsman goes he is a Dem trying to pass himself off as a candidate in the wrong party.And if Herman Cain is not the President he needs to be given a job on some type of economic panel. He is far to smart not to be utilized in some capacity. As for my pick , anybody but OBAMA !