Iowa Debate, Round One

by Kevin D. Williamson

General observation: T-Paw seems like he is running for president of the debate club. Michele Bachmann is running for Tribune of the People.

Ron Paul went straight to the Austrian econ stuff, which is great, except that not many people have read Mises. In Paul’s world, monetary policy and militarism are the end-all-be-all. That’s not an adequate explanation of our current travails. Asked whether he could get his agenda through a divided Congress, Paul said: “Welllllll . . .” and there followed a long pause. That’s Ron Paul.

Gingrich: Lean Six Sigma? Really?

Herman Cain is 100 percent correct to emphasize that whatever tax rates we settle on should be made permanent. Predictability is essential.

Pawlenty is nuts to think that we’re going to grow at 5 percent and thereby dodge the tough calls. Santorum is even more nuts to say that we can grow even faster than Pawlenty says. Cutting the corporate income tax is not going to turn around the American economy.

The Pawlenty vs. Bachmann stuff is fun, but Pawlenty does not seem to understand what an “accomplishment” in Congress is. True, there’s no signature Bachmann bill; her accomplishments are, as she points out, in opposing things. As a wise man once said, it is more important to oppose bad bills than to pass good ones. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that whatever my reservations about Bachmann, I’d like to see a veto pen in her hand.

Cain: “America has to learn how to take a joke.” His campaign sometimes feels like one, but I’m with him on the alligators.

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