Don't know if there's enough Diet Coke in the world to keep be going through these two hours. Even Romney is passing on this Iowa Values Debate. But we'll give it a try. It's not on TV either, but there is a live webcast here. This is in a church. It is purposely a "Christian" test of the Republican candidates (in spite of Art. VI)
Ron Paul challenged on "so help me God." His oath is to the Constitution and Rule of Law - before God. Cain needs God. Bachmann on Washington kissing the Bible. "Without His Hand" we won't get back on track. She got baptized in Iowa (that's both political and religious pandering). She was a sinner and needed Jesus.
Perry's preaching now. Santorum on America's pain and trouble - number one value is rights come from God. He (God) has laws. Unlike Islam where civil and religious laws are the same our civil laws have to comport with God's law (hunh?) And he's on to abortion. Santorum wins elections by miracles. (This is a fundamentalist testimony meeting where even born-again Catholics are welcome).
Gingrich on the Creator. Rights come from Him. Belief in God is more important than the immediacy of secularism.
[Well, I have to take my first break to go pick up my son from work - family values and all, you know.]
[I'm back 3:29 m.s.t.] Cain was going on how pastors are afraid to speak out because of the tax code.
[by the way, this wasn't broadcast on the radio on any station I could pick up. But I think Utah is out of this debate in more ways than one]
Bachmann has a "biblical world view" He wrote the owners manual. [The only thing worse than political platitudes are religious ones - and we're suppose to pick one of these yahoos to vote for? Well, not me. God didn't make me to register that way].
Perry says founders had a very narrow view of the general welfare [well, that would explain slavery]. And he's on to the Tenth Amendment. And he's zeroing out all foreign aid including Israel. Sending money to China aborting millions of children. Santorum on "no fault freedom" which is the left's idea that you do whatever feels good which is not our founders' vision - a corruption of liberty and he references the newt [that's pretty slimey]. God gave us laws. The laws of this country should comport with God's laws. There is only moral and immoral - absolute right and wrong. One of the "seminal" battles in this country. The newt is now pontificating on responsibility to work to eat and bashing occupy wall street. "Go get a job right after you take a bath" (to thunderous applause).
"The States do not have the right to do wrong" moderator says he's quoting Lincoln. Do governors have the right to tell Washington "no." Cain says if it's wrong. Then he gets challenged on slavery. Cain says its a man-made description that some were not created equal.
[Ya know all this might be just fine if you were a fundamentalist, born-again Christian. It might even sound OK if it was from a Mormon mouth with some tweaking of language. But what if you are not those things and these people are in charge? How are they going to respect your differing religious beliefs?]
Paul - why have we drifted to ignore Constitution like Department of Education? Perry - and the Energy Department too [Yeah, right. Each state should have their own Nuclear Energy Commission]. Perry - states can't say no to Constitutional Amendments but everything else like marriage [there goes DOMA]. Cain on the health care mandate. Wow! Santorum said that States can't do wrong means God's law is higher than the Constitution. [Well, duh. But how do we make that work without putting in Santorum's version of the Taliban? By the way, and as I suspected, Santorum's "Lincoln" quote is a bit extrapolated out of context.]
The newt wants to "explore" the Fourteenth Amendment to see if Congress can declare citizenship at conception. [Maybe he can have a notary present at each instance.]
Paul twisting a little on everything is local and to the states. Bachmann on the image and likeness of a "Holy God" which needs to be protected by Government. Taxpayer subsidized abortion in "Obamacare" and Planned Parenthood turned loose in the public schools with chemical abortions. [I think she means birth control and is otherwise way over the top.]
Perry on same-sex couples adopting. [They are glossing over some gross inconsistencies that States Rights rule except on these moral laws that must be enforced nationally on everyone.]
The newt will abolish any court where a judge rules against prayer. And Santorum will abolish the 9th Circuit.
Now they're being encouraged on personal stories to bare their souls. Cain starts with his 10-year-old conversion at the Antioch Baptist Church. And talks about his diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer. And he gets tearful. And breaks down. Perry waxes nostalgic on his rural Texan upbringin'. And after the Air Force he had a hole in his heart that could only be filled by Jesus Christ. Christians have been forgiven. Dr. Paul's family oriented around church and work ethic. He's a Lutheran and been through catechism (and Billy Graham) so he made his commitment. Bachmann's parents got divorced (!) and she didn't see her dad for six years. [and she has nothing in common with the President? That sounds just like Dreams from my Father.] "Some issues are more important than politics." "The whole country will be coming together to save America." [She is scary.] Santorum on partial birth abortions. His personal story is all about his last child born with fatal condition. And that's why he's here because Obamacare will kill all those children [says he]. The newt is going to try. He has a friend with a son. Some doctors want babies to die. [This is really disgusting.] The newt sort of gets emotional about his friend's boy. [This is not a good version of "can you top this."] And he's on to death panels.
The preacher moderator calls them to task for being such good people going at each other in debates. Now he asks for failures in their lives. The newt starts [well, he does have the most.] He was hollow. He had an intervention and turned to God. He wouldn't be comfortable with an atheist for president. Ron Paul is his own worst critic.
[Sorry. I'm off. My married boy called from across the county. Family values and all, you know.]
[I'm back.] Last question was on life and war. Ron Paul goes on strong anti-war [now, we're getting somewhere]. Economics too relate to family values. Bachmann as a mother. She calls mothers and fathers when soldiers die. What is the moral justification for war? If we are attacked, or threatened with attack, then we have to make a decision to be safe. We have to have a clearly defined vital American interest with plan and exit strategy - overwhelming force and then we get out. We have to have detention like we don't have under Obama (hunh?) Cain on life, liberty pursuit of happiness - right to protect yourself - defense of freedom and liberty are moral justification for war. Perry we have to win big and quick. Don't let Congress decide rules of engagement. (hunh?) Put commanders truly in charge.
Santorum looks at the "long war" (I think he means the Crusades). Oil has changed the game and allowed those Muslims to have technology. "We have a moral obligation to partner with Israel" to stop Iran from having nuclear weapons. Strike and destroy facilities. The newt is onto Augustinian "just war." The newt will be tougher and more decisive. And he just declared war on Iran.
The problem is that this stuff will only work if we all convert to fundamentalist, born-again, Christianity. So far, God hasn't given me that "grace." It's worked a little differently with Him and me. So I guess I'm not sufficiently value-based to join the crusade of these candidates. I don't even like their political party. Good luck to those two Mormon guys!