Nastiness Abounds in the Republican Debate

Last night’s Republican presidential debate was enlightening. But it was not because of anything the candidates proposed; they trotted out the same threadbare theories we’ve heard before. It was revealing because of the insights it provided into the candidates’ character.

It was like peeking under a manhole cover and getting a whiff of the stuff running through the pipes below.

As Mitt Romney (above, left) thrashed Rick Santorum (second from left) – using the former senator’s voting record as his whip – Newt Gingrich (second from right) bared his fangs and went for President Obama’s jugular. (Ron Paul (far right) was his usual irrelevant self, treading that well-worn libertarian line that 12 percent of America’s Republicans know and love.)

I knew Gingrich was nasty, but I didn’t realize how nasty. He actually accused President Obama of promoting “infanticide.”

The truth is, of course, much less dramatic. As an Illinois senator, Barack Obama once opposed a bill requiring doctors to care for surviving fetuses. Obama argued that the bill would be struck down by the courts. Furthermore, Illinois already had laws to ensure that infants who survived abortions would be given medical attention.

Gingrich declared that “not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.” But in its “fact check” today, the National Journal found:

The media, including CNN, reported on and discussed Obama’s opposition to the legislation during his 2008 presidential campaign. 

I’ve heard this kind of bizarre lie before – from a relative who swore that Barack Obama “grabbed newborn babies, stabbed them in the heart and threw them down the sink.” I guess it’s one of those “talking points” that Republicans distribute to supporters.

Gingrich was the most vile but he was not alone in slandering the president. Romney and Santorum joined him in spreading the GOP fantasy du jour – that the president is waging war on religion by trying to ensure free birth control for America’s female employees.  And they waxed ominously eloquent making up false scenarios about America’s foreign policy. To listen to them, you would think this administration intervenes militarily to aid Muslim uprisings while ignoring the slaughter of Christians by Muslims. They also accused President Obama of allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, which would spread throughout the Third World and end up on the streets of American cities.

You and I know nothing could be farther from the truth. The Obama Administration has led the crackdown on Iran, which is backed by Russia and China. But with billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson funding them, you can expect both Gingrich and Romney to spread Zionist propaganda. Heaven help us if either of them gets to be president. America would be hip deep in another dreadful Mideast conflict, this time with the possibility of Russian – and even Chinese – involvement.

Fortunately, the prospect of a Gingrich nomination is now very dim, but Romney’s star is brighter this morning.  He ripped off Santorum’s “conservative” mask in the debate, leaving the former Pennsylvania senator bobbing and weaving to explain why he voted for bills that seemed to be the opposite of the philosophy he has been touting on the campaign trail. After all was said, the answer seemed to be that as a “team player,” Santorum went along to get along – as Washington insiders like him might say.

It looks to me like the beginning of the end of the Santorum surge.

But that leaves Romney.