My Take, In Case Anyone Cares

by Daniel Foster

A distillation, and enlargement, of my Twitter feed tonight:

–Everybody looked terrible–washed out, strung out, freaked out–in CNBC’s garish lighting. Interestingly, Michele Bachmann looked great.

–Gingrich is easily the most well-read and articulate candidate on the stage. Too bad he has contempt for everybody and everything around him. Imagine if he were, say, Rick Perry’s Cyrano de Bergerac? Obama would pull an LBJ and get out of the race.

–It should not be lost that Herman Cain called a person who could plausibly be third in line to his presidency “Princess Nancy.” I don’t care for Nancy Pelosi. I might even, in a stroke of inspiration, call her “Princess.” But I am not running for president.

–I don’t know why people are giving Romney crap for saying he wouldn’t eliminate Medicaid. It can be reformed, sure. But Medicaid outlays are a minor part of our federal redistributive program. And — gasp — they are actually aimed at the poor and destitute. If our social safety net were actually reserved for people who couldn’t help themselves, NRO would be out of business. We’d be living in utopia.

–Rick Perry. Jeez. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ. A guy who spent the last 60 days of his campaign focused on his energy plan can’t remember that he wants to eliminate the federal Department of Energy? I honestly empathize with the man. Lord knows I’ve frozen in public speaking or media gigs. But there’s no way to pretend this isn’t going to leave a mark.

–Ron Paul sounds so good sometimes. He was excellent on subsidies for higher education. Seriously. He also betrayed a hint of Burkean gradualism that I didn’t know he had in him. Audit the Fed then end it? Phase out higher-ed subsidies with tax credits? Slowly devolve Medicaid to the state? His more rabid fans will probably be disappointed.

–I have a feeling Romney’s tough talk on China is for show and he knows it. There are too many veto players in setting global trade policy that would never let a President Romney get away with a reckless trade war with China.

–Ron Paul also great on drawing distinction between capitalism and crony capitalism.

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