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Indecision 2008 – Muslim Edition : Musings on the Republican Debate 2007

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Indecision 2008 – Muslim Edition : Musings on the Republican Debate 2007 (by Hassan Mushtaq)

Cross-posted on Dailykos.com. Please visit & comment to support. Click here.

Following Democrats debate recently (review posted here), the Republicans had their first Primaries debate yesterday. The debate was in sharp contrast to the Democrats’. Firstly, I was not at all impressed by Chris Mathews. He has gotten mixed reviews; some people are suggesting he did excellent job, while others, including myself, think that the questions did not cover many important issues, that not enough time was given to few candidates, and that he lost track a few times. In his defense, there were 10 candidates, so it was hard to handle it in 90 minutes of debate.

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The major difference between the Democratic primary debate and this debate that I noticed was that while the Democrats spent more time on Iraq, foreign policy, domestic issues like healthcare etc., Republicans spent more time on social issues likeabortion, stem cell research, gays rights, etc. And what was the deal with idolizing Reagan? Why not Bush? Well, I guess I know why…they want to have a chance at winning! The transcripts of the debate are here.
Now some observations on the candidates:

  • Ron Paul is the man! Why am I discussing him first is that he would get my vote.. I cannot force anyone to vote for one guy or another. Neither am I suggesting that the Imams or anyone else endorse him in public (I am not stopping them either). I am just stating my personal preference, having observed him for past four years, and writing him emails (to run for president), in other words, I know where he stands. He has a proven record in Congress; there is a lot of information out there on him, on Wikipedia and other blogs as well. He of course also has his own website. He was the only Republican candidate in the debate, who was against the war from the start. He was the only one who maintained that if he became President, he would protect privacy laws and oppose warrant-less searches; he would oppose any violation of habeas corpus. He voted against the PATRIOT act every time. Have I provided enough reason to warrant/justify my preference for him?
  • Rudy Giuliani did an okay job in the debate. He was different from the rest of the Candidates on the issue of abortion. He mentioned 9/11 less than I expected, and when he did, it was in the proper context. But he is the one who suggested that the Democrats would be weak on defense from “Islamic terrorism”. Yeah that was another common theme of the debate; Islam was mentioned quite a few times with negative connotations, like Islamic Fascists, Islamic Terrorism, Islamic extremists etc. I doubt he would get any Muslim votes, but I am sure he is not going to get any black votes. He had the stupidest moment in the debate when he was asked how he would reach out to the African-American community, and he went into talking about crime and welfare. Ouch!! Also he knew slightly about the difference between Sunnis and Shias.
  • John McCain looked like the typical grump/angry old man. A few weeks ago he was on the “Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, and Jon took McCain to task. That is a must-see interview. I cannot understand why McCain thinks Bush’s Iraq plan is suddenly going to work. He insisted that the war was very terribly managed, but is now on the right track! Why does he think it is any different than before? Perhaps because he is now supporting it? By the way a while back he sang a song; the lyrics go like “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”. Does he seriously believe Americans have the desire to go into another war? Later, he insisted that it was all in jest. Okay sure… next time, when someone sings about bombing your house, I hope you won’t ship him to Gitmo the next day. You will? Is there an Iranian Gitmo equivalent, anyone??
  • Mitt Romney was governor of one of the most liberal states in America, Massachusetts. Since then he has repented, and now wants to be President. Hmm… repentance, then President… Does he plan to do some sort of Presidential penitence, like bombing some more “Islamo-fascists”? He is Mormon, and that is important for Muslims to know. Mormons are some of the strongest supporters of the Middle-East wars. It’s something to do with Israel I think, though they believe that the new Israel is right here… in Utah. In any case, he was pro-choice (people who believe women have the right to kill their unborn babies) then, but now he is Republican-version pro-life (people who believe that you cannot take human life before birth). He was pro gun-control then, now he is claiming he has been a hunter all of his life. Mitt, killing cockroaches and bugs in the backyard does NOT count as hunting… I know politicians can stretch definitions sometimes, but that won’t fly, sorry! These things aside, he has good debating skills and he has endorsement from the ‘House of Bush’. Do not be surprised if he takes Jeb Bush (younger brother of current president) as his running mate, if God forbid, he gets nominated. Well, if Ron isn’t getting elected, then in fact it is good that Mitt gets elected… because people are probably not willing to vote in yet another religious extremist, on a mission from God, to the White House.
  • Tommy Thompson surprisingly had some well thought-out plans for Iraq (besides Ron Paul’s plan, of course, to get out, and stop being the world’s policeman). Thompson suggested that the Iraqi government should vote on whether they want American forces there or not first. Secondly in order to fix the Iraq civil war, Iraq should have 18 autonomous states and oil revenue to be shared, with 1/3 going to federal government, 1/3 to states and 1/3 to the people, and 1/3 to Exxon. Hmm, too many 1/3s… well, I made the last 1/3 up. But seriously, dude, how is Exxon, Chevron, Shell, going to make money? They have employees with children to feed too… have some mercy now.
  • Sam Brownback says Iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism around the world. Can somebody validate that assertion by numbers? Just like Bush and Iraq. Ok, next.
  • Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor resonated well with the Christian base of the Republican Party. “I am more Christian than him”.
  • James Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, did not have anything different to offer, which brings us to the next candidate… our friend, the American version of Hitler (replace Jews with Muslims in that analogy):
  • Tom Tancredo, representative from Colorado, is a one-issue candidate, hate ‘them’. He just hates Mexicans. He also hates Muslims. He equated Israel’s existence to America’s existence. Makes complete sense of course. After all America is Israel’s other state. So, if anything happens to Israel, America is obviously affected. What a genius!
  • Duncan Hunter: Duncan who? He is a representative from California, yawn.

If you watched the debate or have some other comments on the 2008 Presidential elections, then feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

The preceding analysis was written by our guest-writer, Hassan Mushtaq, who is an underground political junkie. Amad added a few colorful comments (just mentioning this so Hassan doesn’t get in trouble :) )

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Amad

    May 7, 2007 at 7:11 PM

    Hmm.. no comments? I guess the Republican party doesn’t interest Muslims much anymore… any surprise there?

    The Republican agenda seems pretty clear– fear, fear and fear. And while we are at it, let’s throw in some loaded terms such as Islamic fascism, Islamofascism, and some other garbage.

  2. Hassan

    May 16, 2007 at 2:21 PM

    Republicans had their another debate yesterday. I missed it due to some prior committment, but when I came home and saw internet abuzz with the exchange that Ron Paul and Rudy Guliani had. The transcripts of whole debate and specially the Ron Paul comment, can be easily found on internet.

    Since no body showed any interest, so I am not going to write in detail analysis of debate. But kindly, if you can vote, please read up on Ron Paul, before you decide whom to vote.

  3. Hassan

    June 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Ron Paul would be appearing on daily show with Jon Stewart coming Monday.

  4. Ralf

    June 6, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    Excellent commentary, thank you. By the way, I am not Muslim, very Christian but very pro Ron Paul, if you know what I mean. I do not believe America should continue being Israel’s other state. But, their lobby is deeply entrenched and hard to beat. That’s why Ron Paul doesn’t really have a huge chance, or pretty much any balanced presidential candidate. I think the only one they mistakenly let slip through their controlling lobby schemes was Carter. But now they’re giving him hell for his book…
    Anyway, just wanted you to know there is a big, big part of America which is conservative Christian, but not neoconservative, and believes in freedom, non-intervention, esp. not on the side of a blood-thirsty children-killing rogue state, hey am I going to get deleted from here soon, what? no, I was just joking….
    best to all

  5. Hassan

    June 6, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Yesterday Republicans had their third debate, and the format was biased that it gave more average time to three supposed to be front runners. I thank God that He cut Guliani’s mic couple of times to stop some nonsense being heard. Most of them were trying to terify audience to vote for them. I am not sure if it is going to work this time.

    Anyway, Ron Paul was as usual awsome, my second choice would be Mike Huckabee, rest are so scary.

  6. Amad

    June 6, 2007 at 1:06 PM

    Thanks Ralf for dropping by. I know there is a significant portion of conservatives who are as you suggest. But they don’t get the light of the day for reasons you suggested in your article.

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