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GOP Debaters Talk Job Creation In Retail Nation

Note to the Republican Party Debate Committee: you are free to appropriate the term “preseason exhibitions” from the NFL, since it looks like they won’t be using it any time soon, to better describe these first few warm up debates between your presidential nominee candidates this year. What did we learn last night?

Herman Cain believes in the Constitution, and the intent of the nation’s founding fathers, except he really isn’t interested in extending their idea of religious freedom to American Muslims. Mitt Romney looks like he has trained himself to say “Obama is a failure” whenever he doesn’t want to really answer a question. Tim Pawlenty is still Tim Pawlenty, which means his hall pass will expire in November of 2012 and he can get back to bowling and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Michelle Bachmann needs to turn in her law degree if she is willing to endorse using both state’s rights AND a constitutional amendment to defend DOMA. Ron Paul comes in several flavors of crazy. “Rocky Road” was last night’s flavor. Rick Santorum believes in the sanctity of life at the beginning and the end……’s the middle part between birth and death he’s not so keen on honoring.

The “this or that” questions by CNN moderator John King were…well, they were stupid. Maybe the staffers from the entertainment show TMZ should have chosen the questions.

“Mr. Gingrich – which did you like better – your first wife or your second?”

“Mr. Romney – which did you like better – your first 100 million or your second 100 million?”

“Mr. Cain – which did you like better – the first election you’ve won or…wait, you haven’t ever won an election to anything.”

“Mrs. Bachmann – which did you like better – the first federal government subsidy for your farm for your second?

“Mr. Paul – which did you like better – your first conspiracy theory or your second?”

What I’d like to really know, Mr. Gingrich, is how a man comes back from a two week cruise in the Greek Isles without a tan. The insta-pundits declared last night that Romney didn’t hurt himself, but he didn’t really help himself either.

The question of the night from the audience was a doozy. “What are you going to do to bring manufacturing jobs back to this country?”

Not even Ron Paul has the guts to say that we have become a retail nation, a country of strip malls and big box retailers who all stock their shelves with goods from overseas. The fundamental difference between now and the manufacturing heyday of the 1950’s and 1960’s is that we are buyers, not builders. CEO’s in general are not interested in creating jobs in America if he can get the same labor for less than half the cost somewhere else. It’s not that these guys aren’t patriotic – Wall Street will decimate their stock prices if their labor costs rise. Deregulating industry won’t bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas. Our companies have gotten too used to paying super low wages in their foreign operations to suddenly switch back to paying stateside workers two, three or four times as much overnight.  

Who is the GOP nominee candidate with the best chance of beating Barack Obama in 2012?  The one who is willing to minimize the importance of social issues and maximize the importance of the economy in their campaign.    


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