Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 29, 2007

     They've started fighting.  I didn't watch all of Wednesday night's CNN debate among the Republican presidential candidates, but the parts I saw had, for a change, some genuine arguing.  Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, for instance, scuffling over who was tougher on illegal aliens.  Giuliani chiding Romney for having illegals work at his house;  Romney saying, reasonably, that if you hire a contractor to do work, you're probably not going to check his employees' papers.  Or Romney talking about illegals in the public schools in New York, and Giuliani asking, reasonably, should we have put 70,000 kids out on the streets in the middle of a crime wave?  Some in the crowd booed Giuliani during this exchange, but I think it was more for his calling Romney "holier than thou" than for anything he said on the actual issue.
     Then there was gun control, with the questioner firing his rifle and getting a lecture on gun safety from, I think it was, Fred Thompson, who's pro-gun, of course.
     But torture was the best.  Romney, in effect, imploded.  He was against torture, he explained, but it would be wrong for him as a presidential candidate to say whether waterboarding was torture and whether, as president, he'd authorize its use.  Huh?  Surely presidential candidates ought to be willing and able, if they're against torture, to say what it is.  John McCain, who was tortured while a prisoner in North Vietnam, owned this issue.  He said waterboarding was against the Geneva Convention and against existing U.S. law.  The consensus, anyway, seems to be that torture doesn't work very well.  McCain himself, tortured to reveal the names of the other pilots in his squadron (and how that would have helped the North Vietnamese anyway is a good question) named instead the members of the Green Bay Packers offensive line that year which, as a fan, he happened to know.  No one in Hanoi, presumably, was any the wiser.  Romney repeated that he was against torture but wouldn't define what it was.  Didn't sound very presidential, somehow.  But he has a nice smile.
    Anyway, they're finally really arguing.   And the best news of all--actual vote counting is just over a month away.  Can't wait.


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