Well, tomorrow's the day. Utah is one of the 24 states voting on "Super Tuesday". I'm voting for Ron Paul despite the fact that Romney is at 84% in Utah in the poll I heard about on the radio this morning. It's too bad the polls become such self-fulfilling prophecies – numbers like that make me wonder if I might as well just give up on the Republican primary altogether but I'm registering my vote for Paul tomorrow regardless.
Paul got less than 8 minutes of the two-hour debate in the last pre-Super-Tuesday Republican debate on CNN but the upside of that is you can hear a lot of Paul condensed to very little time.
Here's the tape [If you really want to get right to the good stuff drag the slider to about 3minutes and 10seconds]:
0-1:20 Paul says our economy is in bad shape. Says we're bankrupting the country and the standard of living is going down especially for the middle class. Talks about fiscal policy and monetary policy and throws out terms that cause people's eyes to glaze which is really too bad since Paul understands these things far better than any other candidate in the running.
1:20-2:00 Paul answers the question about whether it is OK for Schwarzenegger to implement his plan for "greenhouse gasses" by saying that CA should be free to do whatever they like. In typical Paul fashion, however, he overestimates how informed his audience is and mentions in passing that he thinks it's too bad that nobody ever discusses property rights when they talk about pollution. This is an area Paul could really shine since his discussion of pollution is really unorthodox and pragmatic. He believes allowing big corporations to pollute public water, air, and land violates the property rights of those whose land or water gets polluted. This is simple truth, regardless of your political persuasion and yet you don't hear many politicians talking about it. It avoids simply siding with big business (all-too-typical Republican stance) against public health or siding with some indefinable "global village" against the property rights of big businesses (all-too-typical Democratic stance).
At any rate, Paul pushes right past this opportunity to press for what he correctly identifies as a topic that really needs addressing: talking about how silly the "mainstream conventional wisdom" is about conservative or liberal. Even most talk-radio extremists agree that those words get overgeneralized and abused [and apart from this strange notion where it's considered "conservative" now to police the world, Paul is the only traditional "conservative" on the stage]. But Anderson Cooper shuts him down with a lie about a question that addresses "exactly that" "in like 2 minutes or 2 questions." Big surprise -- the question and opportunity to speak on the topic never comes.
2:00-3:00 Paul is glad Huckabee is also making the point that it is absolutely ludicrous that we are borrowing from the Chinese to fund our government largesse. He notes that nobody else is talking about cutting spending (which I think is strange too because I would expect Romney to talk more about it . . . only he can't since he has signed onto this idea of pre-emptive worldwide military strikes which are unimaginably expensive). Paul notes our military expeditions are hitting $1trillion a year (with a lot of it being unbudgeted "emergency" addons during the year each year). He points out that our official foreign policy calls for taxing our people to blow up bridges overseas, then taxing our people to rebuild bridges overseas while all along we're falling behind on checking the aging infrastructure and bridges in our own country because there is simply not enough money to do both.
3:00-3:10 Paul starts a short answer about why he feels Sandra Day O'Connor was not a strict enough Constitutionalist but the CNN moderator Anderson Cooper frankly doesn't care and cuts him off at an awkward point (after less than 5 seconds) to simply turn it over to McCain.
3:10-5:10 Paul's best question and answer of the night. Paul is asked if he agrees with McCain's quote about keeping troops in Iraq for "100 years or more". Paul's answer is the reason I'm praying he's still in the media after tomorrow.
5:10-7:15 Paul's other best answer of the night. Even if you don't agree with him on foreign policy, this is the right answer on the economy. The fact that none of the other Republican candidates is willing to talk about these things is remarkable in my opinion.
7:15-7:55 Paul notes that though he doesn't pretend to know what Ronald Reagan would do that Reagan and he often campaigned for each other from before Reagan finally gained traction within the party. Furthermore, Reagan solidly agreed with [perhaps Paul's most infamous "crazy idea"] Paul that the U.S. needs to return to the gold standard to save the dollar. He backed that claim up with a great Reagan quote about it.