GOP debate January 23, 2012 ("self-deport", Florida, NBC, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Ron Paul)


The worthless GOP debates move to Florida tonight.


CO-SPONSORS: National Journal and the Tampa Bay Times

MODERATOR: Brian Williams

PANELISTS: Beth Reinhard (see below) and Adam Smith (from the TB Times)

WHERE: University of South Florida in Tampa

PARTICIPANTS: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum.

TRANSCRIPT: When available.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: For a preview of this debate, see debates. As with all the rest, this debate will feature weak, superficial questions and few follow-ups. Any immigration ideas the candidates present will be flawed, and the moderators won't press them on their actual policies but instead will concentrate on gotcha.

Beth Reinhard covers immigration issues for both the National Journal and The Atlantic, and at both places I've pointed out how she's misleading her readers. Expect her to ask one or more misleading questions about immigration at tonight's debate. Only Gingrich might be able to point out how she's misleading, but he won't (or his response will be equally misleading) because he and her are on the same basic side of the issue.

SUGGESTED READING: The links in the list of candidates above and most importantly of all the alternative to bogus political debates. That plan would ensure that the presidential candidates promote vetted policies with only known side-effects. All the debates so far simply allow candidates to give their stock speeches without being challenged on the flaws in their plans.

UPDATE: It takes a lot to shock me, but the reaction of many to Mitt Romney's use of the phrase "self-deport" in the debate is a bit shocking, like taking the Time Masheen to Idiocracy.

Large numbers of people on Twitter - including Time Magazine columnist James Poniewozik, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, and Andrew Sullivan - tweeted their ignorance of that old phrase.

And, that's shockingly stupid because the phrase has been used for several years and by previous presidential contenders such as Tom Tancredo and Fred Thompson. On the other hand, the establishment media has worked night and day to ignore the related attrition plan and has repeatedly engaged in the related deportations false choice (see those links).

Regular readers will have heard the phrase countless times, but if you aren't one of those and you haven't heard that phrase, it's because the mainstream media (and politicians like Barack Obama) have been trying to mislead you. They know about attrition (the New York Times even acknowledged it four and a half years ago), they just tried to keep you from learning about it. How does it feel to be kept in the dark?

UPDATE 2: I changed "have" to the "haven't" I meant to write in the first sentence of the last paragraph. And, credit where it's due: even as much a hack as Adam Serwer explained to his readers what the phrase meant. Yes, he misled them about the Arizona immigration law (see my comments) but at least he wasn't as bad as the others: