The Republican presidential contenders photo-op was anything but a debate. The bulk of the program was taken up asking Rick Perry how he would respond to each of the other candidates’ comments. Ron Paul was the only one I heard whose remarks energized the minds of viewers, at least until Michele Bachmann interrupted the Perry love-fest by pointing out — in response to the issue of executive orders — that Perry, as Texas governor, had unilaterally ordered all young girls to be vaccinated with Merck’s drug, Gardasil. She went on to point out that Perry’s former chief-of-staff had been a lobbyist for Merck. Perry feigned offense at the remark! But she at least pried Perry loose from under his rock, revealing yet another corporate-stater posing as an advocate of the marketplace.
Ron Paul made reasoned and intellectually respectable comments — on the few occasions when questions were not being asked of Rick Perry. This time, Rick Santorum was the stand-in for Rudy Giuliani, the favorite son of the Boobus contingent, many of whose members were in the audience. Their resort to “boos,” as Ron was explaining why so many al-Qaeda types were angry at the American military presence in the Middle East, demonstrated how so many in the GOP have a vested interest in maintaining their flag-waving ignorance.11:31 pm on September 12, 2011 Email Butler Shaffer