First of all, there was one word that was obviously missing from the entire conversation...jobs. Other than a passing reference from Gingrich in the beginning about balancing the budget by increasing employment (with not a word about how he'd do that), it never came up.
We all know that lately the economy has been improving. But we still have an 8.3% unemployment problem. In other words, a significant portion of Americans are either un or under employed. But the Republican candidates for President didn't have one thing to say about that last night.
The second thing Republicans can't talk about is the real Obama. Yesterday, E.J. Dionne summarized that beautifully.
They say that President Obama is a Muslim, but if he isn’t, he’s a secularist who is waging war on religion. On some days he’s a Nazi, but on most others he’s merely a socialist. His especially creative opponents see him as having a “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview,” while the less adventurous say that he’s an elitist who spent too much time in Cambridge, Hyde Park and other excessively academic precincts.
Whatever our president is, he is never allowed to be a garden-variety American who plays basketball and golf, has a remarkably old-fashioned family life and, in the manner we regularly recommend to our kids, got ahead by getting a good education.
Please forgive this outburst. It’s simply astonishing that a man in his fourth year as our president continues to be the object of the most extraordinary paranoid fantasies. A significant part of his opposition still cannot accept that Obama is a rather moderate politician quite conventional in his tastes and his interests. And now that the economy is improving, short-circuiting easy criticisms, Obama’s adversaries are reheating all the old tropes and cliches and slanders.
The truth is...the Republicans are scared to death of President Obama's actual record. They know that if they deal with him honestly, they lose. And so they lie. And try to convince someone about their "most extraordinary paranoid fantasies." Those were on display for all to see last night. Here are the ones that stood out to me.
ROMNEY: I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama.
SANTORUM: (On Syria) This president has -- has obviously a very big problem in standing up to the Iranians in any form. If this would have been any other country, given what was going on and the mass murders that we're seeing there, this president would have quickly and -- joined the international community, which is calling for his ouster and the stop of this, but he's not. He's not. Because he's afraid to stand up to Iran.
I guess Santorum missed the whole thing about a U.N. vote on the ouster of Assad that was pushed by the U.S. and vetoed by Russia and China.
But the real whopper of the evening came from Gingrich.
This is an administration which, as long as you're America's enemy, you're safe.
You know, the only people you've got to worry about is if you're an American ally.
I have a couple of words for the disgraced former Speaker of the House...bin Laden and Gaddafi. Nuff said.