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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at https://www.planetizen.com/user/63 and http://www.cnu.org/blog/194

I just saw the 1930s federal “redlining” map of St. Louis.  I would have thought that this map roughly corresponded to the social map of today’s St. Louis: that is, most of the city’s poor areas would be redlined.  In fairness, it does seem that most redlined areas are still tough areas today- but the reverse is not the case.  Only a small portion of today’s tough areas were redlined then, as decay spread far beyond the small redlined zones north and south of downtown.

I saw the 9 pm Republican debate last night, but I didn’t have a chance to see the 5 pm “minor candidates” debate.  So I decided to do something a bit different about the latter debate: read the transcript and add my comments below in CAPS.

My bottom line: I realize that the people who actually watched the debate thought Carly Fiorina was great.  But when I read the transcript my reaction was very different.   I thought Lindsay Graham was the most substantive and presidential person of the group (even though I very much disagree with some of his opinions).  Perry was solid.  Pataki and Santorum were respectable but a little blah as well.  Gillmore didn’t have much to say.  Fiorina struck me as pithy but with very little substantive understanding of issues, and Jindal gave one very impressive-sounding answer (defending his performance in La.) but otherwise was very unimpressive.

First question to Governor Perry from Texas.

Welcome, Governor.

PERRY: It’s good to be with you.

HEMMER: You were in charge of the 12th largest economy in the world, and you recently said that four years ago, you weren’t ready for this job.

HEMMER: Why should someone vote for you now?

PERRY: After those four years of looking back and being prepared, the preparation to be the most powerful individual in the world requires an extraordinary amount of work: not just having been the governor of the 12th largest economy in the world, which I might add, we added 1.5 million jobs during that period of time over that 2007 through 2014 period, a period when America was going through the most deep recession it had been through since the Great Depression.

I think Americans want someone to have a track record of showing them how to get this country back on record, someone who will stand up and every day project that best days of America are in front of us.

And I will assure you, as the governor of the state of Texas, and as those last four years have shown me, the preparation to be ready to stand on this stage and talk about those monetary policies, those domestic policies, and those foreign policies, Americans are going to see that I am ready to be that individual.

PERRY DIDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION AT ALL. QUESTION WASN’T “ARE YOU QUALIFIED”?  QUESTION IS “WHY ARE YOU MORE QUALIFIED THAN YOU WERE FOUR YEARS AGO.” NOT GOOD

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Now we go to Carly Fiorina.

Carly, you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard. You ran for Senate and lost in California in 2010. This week, you said “Margaret Thatcher was not content to manage a great nation in decline, and neither am I.”

Given your current standings in the polls, is the Iron Lady comparison a stretch?

FIORINA: Well, I would begin by reminding people that at this point in previous presidential elections, Jimmy Carter couldn’t win, Ronald Reagan couldn’t win, Bill Clinton couldn’t win, and neither could’ve Barack Obama.

NONE OF THEM WERE IN 11TH OR 12TH PLACE OR WHATEVER PLACE SHE WAS IN- STILL, POINT TAKEN I GUESS.

I started as a secretary and became ultimately the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, almost $90 billion in over 150 countries. I know personally how extraordinary and unique this nation is.

I think to be commander in chief in the 21st century requires someone who understands how the economy works, someone who understands how the world works and who’s in it; I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton; understands bureaucracies, how to cut them down to size and hold them accountable; and understands technology, which is a tool, but it’s also a weapon that’s being used against us.

Most importantly, I think I understand leadership, which sometimes requires a tough call in a tough time. But mostly, the highest calling of leadership is to challenge the status-quo and unlock the potential of others. We need a leader who will lead the resurgence of this great nation and unlock its potential once again.

Thank you.

NOT A TERRIBLE ANSWER (THOUGH OF COURSE GIVEN HER BUSINESS RECORD I DON’T FIND IT TERRIBLY PERSUASIVE).

HEMMER: Senator Santorum, you won the Iowa caucus four years ago and 10 other states. But you failed to beat Mitt Romney for the nomination. And no one here tonight is going to question your conviction or your love for country. But has your moment passed, Senator?

REALLY, REALLY STUPID QUESTION BECAUSE IT IMPLIES THAT ANYONE WHO LOST NOMINATION ONCE IS SOMEHOW DONE.  REAGAN LOST THE NOMINATION TWICE (1968, 1976) BEFORE GETTING ELECTED IN 1980.

SANTORUM: I would say the message that got us the win in Iowa and 10 other states against pretty overwhelming odds, is the message that’s going to deliver us in this election.

SANTORUM: You know, we didn’t start out four years ago at the top of the heap. We were behind where we were today. But we stuck to our message. We stuck to the fact that Americans are tired of Washington corporate interests and Democrats who are interested in just politics and power and they’re looking for someone who’s going to fight for them; looking for someone who’s going to grow manufacturing sector of our economy, so those 74 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree have a chance to rise again. Someone who’s going to stand up, and be very clear with our enemies as to the lines their going to draw and stand with them.

I’ve got a track record. The reason I did so well last time is not just because of the vision, it’s because I have a track record in Washington, D.C. of getting things done. Iran sanctions — the Iran sanctions that brought them to the table, those are sanctions that we put in place when I was in the United States Senate, and a whole host of other things that put me in a position of saying, I not only have a great vision, but I can govern effectively in Washington.

“SANCTIONS THAT WERE PUT IN PLACE WHEN I WAS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE”- DID HE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM?

Santorum: My moment has not

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal, you’re one of two sitting governors on the stage tonight. But your approval numbers at home are in the mid 30s at this point. In a recent poll that showed you in a head-to- head against Hillary Clinton in Louisiana, she beat you by several points.

So if the people of Louisiana are not satisfied, what makes you think that the people of this nation would be?

JINDAL: Well, first of all, thank you all for having us.

You know, I won two record elections. Last time I was elected governor, won a record margin in my state. Martha, we got a lot of politicians that will kiss babies, cut ribbons, do whatever it takes to be popular. That’s not why I ran for office.

I ran for office to make the generational changes in Louisiana. We’ve cut 26 percent of our budget. We have 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office. I don’t think anybody has cut that much government anywhere, at any time. As a result, eight credit upgrades; as a result, a top ten state for private sector job creation. And we fought for statewide school choice, where the dollars follow the child, instead of the child following the dollars. We’ve been the most pro-life state six years in a row. My point is this: I won two landslide elections, I made big changes. I think our country is tired of the politicians who simply read the polls and fail to lead. Both Democrats and Republicans have gotten us in the mess we’re in — $18 trillion of debt, a bad deal with Iran, we’re not staying with Israel.

BY MY COUNT, I FOUND THREE CREDIT UPGRADES (http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2014/06/09/sp-ratings-2014 )- STILL PRETTY GOOD ANSWER THOUGH- ON THE OTHER HAND, IT DOESN’T REALLY EXPLAIN WHY HE’S SO UNPOPULAR

I think the American people are look for real leadership. That’s what I’ve done in Louisiana, that’s what I’ll do in America.

HEMMER: Senator Lindsey Graham, you worked with Democrats and President Obama when it came to climate change, something you know is extremely unpopular with conservative Republicans.

How can they trust you based on that record?

GRAHAM: You can trust me to do the following: that when I get on change with Hillary Clinton, we won’t be debating about the science, we’ll be debating about the solutions.

GREAT LINE

In her world, cap- and-trade would dominate, that we will destroy the economy in the name of helping the environment. In my world, we’ll focus on energy independence and a clean environment.

When it comes to fossil fuels, we’re going to find more here and use less. Over time, we’re going to become energy independent. I am tired of sending $300 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts. The choice between a weak economy and a strong environment is a false choice, that is not the choice I’ll offer America.

A healthy environment, a strong economy and energy independent America — that would be the purpose of my presidency, is break the strangle hold that people enjoy on fossil fuels who hate our guts.

NOW THAT THE US IS PRODUCING SO MUCH ENERGY, ISN’T THIS WHOLE “EVIL ARABS CONTROL OUR OIL SUPPLY” THING A BIT OUTDATED?

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

MACCALLUM: Governor Pataki, four years ago this month, you called it quits in a race for the presidency in 2012, but now you’re back. Mitt Romney declined to run this time, because he believed that the party needed new blood.

Does he have a point?

PATAKI: I think he means somebody who hasn’t been a career politician, and who’s been out of office for awhile. I think the last eight years in the private sector have allowed me to see government from the outside, and I think that is a positive thing. Yes, I thought about running four years ago. I was ready to lead, but I wasn’t ready to run.

But I look at this country today, and I look at how divided we are, I look at how politicians are always posturing and issuing sound bites but never solving problems. What I did in New York was bring people together, an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But I was able to get Democrats to support the most conservative sweeping policy changes in any state in America.

REALLY?  IN THE ACTUAL NEW YORK THAT PEOPLE LIVE IN, THE ONE WITH HIGH TAXES AND RENT CONTROL?  OR BIZARRO WORLD NEW YORK?

And when I look at Washington today, we need to bring us together. We need to solve problems, we need to rebuild our military so we can stand up to radical Islam, we need to get our economy growing much faster by throwing out the corrupt tax code and lowering the rates. We have to end crony capitalism in Washington, where the lobbyists and the powerful can get tax breaks and tax credits, and the American people don’t get laws in their interest.

I can do that. And I can do it regardless of what the makeup of Congress is because I did it in New York state. So we need new leadership — yes. I will be that new leader.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

From one side of the stage, the other — the other, Governor Jim Gilmore.

You were the last person on stage to declare your candidacy. You ran for the White House once and lost. You ran for the Senate one time and lost. You haven’t held public office in 13 years.

Similar question, is it time for new blood?

GILMORE: I think the times are different now. I think the times are much more serious.

Because Obama and Clinton policies, the United States is moving further and further into a decline. I want to reverse that decline. That’s why I’ve entered this race, and I think I have the experience to do it.

Former elected prosecutor, attorney general, governor, I was elected to all of those offices.

A person who, in fact, has a long experience in foreign-policy issues, which is different from many of the other governors and prospective governors who are running. I was an Army intelligence agent and a veteran during the Cold War, assigned to West Germany.

HE WAS IN THE ARMY 30 YEARS AGO?  THIS IS SOMEHOW RELEVANT TO TODAY’S WORLD? HA HA HA

I was the chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security and Terrorism for the United States for five years.

WHAT’S THAT?  I was a person who has dealt extensively with these homeland security issues. I was a governor during the 9/11 attack.  WELL THAT QUALIFIES HIM FOR,UM, UM, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I understand both of these issues, how to build the economy and doing that as a governor who’d built jobs, had cut taxes and also a governor who understands foreign-policy, and that’s why I entered this race.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Alright, everybody. Now to the elephant that is not in the room tonight, Donald Trump.

Let’s take a look at this graphic that shows the huge amount of political chatter that he is driving on Facebook right now, some of it good, probably, some of it bad. But he is dominating this conversation. Governor Perry, you two have been going at it. But given the large disparity in your poll numbers, he seems to be getting the better of you.  SO WHAT?  WHY IS THIS RELEVANT TO WHO’D MAKE A GOOD PRESIDENT?

PERRY: Well, when you look at the celebrity of Donald Trump, then I think that says a lot about it.

One thing I like to remind people is, back in 2007, Rudy Giuliani was leading the polls for almost a year. I’ll suggest a part of that was his celebrity. Fred Thompson was the other one, a man who had spent a lot of time on that screen.

I’ve had my issues with Donald Trump. I talked about Donald Trump from the standpoint of being an individual who was using his celebrity rather than his conservatism.

How can you run for the Republican nomination and be for single- payer health care? I mean, I ask that with all due respect. And nobody, nobody on either one of these stages has done more than I’ve done and the people of the State of Texas to deal with securing that border.

We sent our Texas ranger recon teams. We sent our parks and wildlife wardens. I deployed the National Guard after I stood on the ramp in Dallas, Texas and looked the president of the United States in the eye and said, “Mr. President, if you won’t secure the border, Texas will,” and that’s exactly what we did.  SO IF TEXAS HAS SECURED THE BORDER DOES THAT MEAN WE CAN JUST DECLARE VICTORY AND STOP ARGUING ABOUT IMMIGRATION?  I AM NOT VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT IMMIGRATION BUT SOMEHOW THIS SEEMS A BIT OVERSTATED.

We need a president that doesn’t just talk a game, but a president that’s got real results.

MACCALLUM: Alright, I want to ask that same question, because it’s true, really, of all of you on this stage that, like it or not, Donald Trump is — there’s a huge disparity between the poll numbers that you have and the poll numbers that he has, given also the fact that Rudy Giuliani said he thought that there may be some Reagan qualities to Donald Trump.

So Carly Fiorina, is he getting the better of you?

FIORINA: Well, I don’t know. I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign.

Here’s the thing that I would ask Donald Trump in all seriousness. He is the party’s frontrunner right now, and good for him.

I think he’s tapped into an anger that people feel. They’re sick of politics as usual. You know, whatever your issue, your cause, the festering problem you hoped would resolved, the political class has failed you. That’s just a fact, and that’s what Donald Trump taps into.

I would also just say this. Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask, what are the principles by which he will govern? WHAM!  SHE SURE KNOWS HOW TO ATTACK

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

HEMMER: This Saturday, August 8th, two days from now marks one year since the strikes began against ISIS in Iraq and followed in Syria one month later. This week, a leading general in the U.S. Marine Corps says, “One year later, that fight is at a stalemate.”

Governor Jindal, give me one example how your fight against ISIS would be different over there?

JINDAL: Well, to start with, unlike President Obama, I’ll actually name the enemy that we confront. We’ve got a president who cannot bring himself to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”   WELL, DOES HE THINK SAYING THE MAGIC WORDS “RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM” INSTEAD OF RADICAL TERRORISM OR ISLAMIC TERORRISM WILL MAKE ISIS GO AWAY?  THIS ANSWER MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I AM IN A HARRY POTTER MOVIE?

Now, Bill, he loves to criticize America, apologize for us, criticize medieval Christians. SO NOW YOU’RE DEFENDING THE CRUSADES? AND DO YOU REALLY THINK CRITICIZING THEM IS SOMEHOW CRITICIZING AMERICA? How can we beat an enemy if our commander-in-chief doesn’t have the moral honesty and clarity to say that Islam has a problem, and that problem is radical Islam, to say they’ve got to condemn not generic acts of violence, but the individual murderers who are committing these acts of violence.  PARTISAN CHEAP SHOT.

We’ve got a president who instead says, we’re going to change hearts and minds. Well, you know what? Sometimes you win a war by killing murderous, evil terrorists.  IF YOU DON’T CHANGE PEOPLE’S HEARTS AND MINDS, THEY BECOME MURDEROUS, EVIL TERRORISTS. We’re going to take the political handcuffs off the military.  MEANINGLESS CLICHÉ We will arm and train the Kurds. We will work with our Sunni allies. They know we will be committed to victory.  WHAT SUNNI ALLIES?  IF THE SUNNIS IN IRAQ DIDN’T LIKE ISIS, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE ENOUGH RECRUITS TO TAKE AS MUCH TERRITORY AS THEY HAVE

We had this failed red line with Assad and it discouraged folks that want to help us on the ground. Finally, we’ll take off the political handcuffs. We’ll go to the Congress. This president has gone to Congress and said give me a three-year deadline, give me a ban on ground troops. I’m going to go to the commanders and say give me a plan to win. You can’t send your troops into harm’s way unless you give them every opportunity to be successful.

OVERLOOKS KEY PROBLEM: THE  BATTING AVERAGE OF CIVILIZED, NON-GENOCIDAL, DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES IN FIGHTING TERRORISTS AND GUERRILLAS (THAT IS, PEOPLE WHO HIDE AMIDST THE CIVILIAN POPULATION RATHER THAN WEARING UNIFORMS) IS PRETTY CLOSE TO ZERO.  BOMBERS AND SUBMARINES ARE GREAT AT FIGHTING OTHER PEOPLE WITH BOMBERS AND SUBMARINES.  THEY ARE NOT  GREAT AT SEPARATING THE INNOCENT FROM THE GUILTY.  ISRAEL (WHICH HAS ONLY 8.5 KAJILLION TIMES AS MUCH EXPERIENCE FIGHTING ISLAMIC TERORISTS AS THE USA) HAS BEEN UNABLE TO WIPE OUT HAMAS OR THE PLO. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THE US CAN DO A BETTER JOB?

HEMMER: And the senator to your right has called for 20,000 American troops in Syria and Iraq so far today, Senator Graham, and I’ll give this question to you. Why should the American people after two wars in Iraq sacrifice yet again on a third war?

GRAHAM: If we don’t stop them over there, they are coming here just as sure as I stand here in front of you.  IF THEY WANTED TO COME OVER HERE, THEY’D JUST COME OVER HERE INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME FIGHTING OVER THERE, WOULDN’T THEY? TERRORISTS DON’T HAVE UNLIMITED RESOURCES

One thing I want to be clear about tonight. If you’re running for president of the United States and you don’t understand that we need more American ground forces in Iraq and that America has to be part of a regional ground force that will go into Syria and destroy ISIL in Syria, then you’re not ready to be commander in chief. And you’re not serious about destroying ISIL.

SEE COMMENTS RE JINDAL.  IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT MORE AMERICAN GROUND FORCES IN IRAQ AND SYRIA WON’T WORK ANY BETTER THAN THE LAST COLLECTION OF AMERICAN GROUND FORCES IN IRAQ, YOU ARE OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF BOTH AMERICA AND ISRAEL OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES- THOUGH UNFORTUNATELY ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IS JUST AS BAD. .

According to the generals that I know and trust, this air campaign will not destroy ISIL. TRUE We need a ground force in Iraq and Syria, and America has to be part of that ground force.  According to the FBI and the director of national intelligence, Syria’s becoming a perfect platform to strike our nation. I’ve got a very simple strategy as your president against ISIL. Whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to defeat them.

RECKLESS STATEMENT, BUT I SUPPOSE IT WASN’T MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY.  HERE’S THE QUESTION I WISH THE MODERATOR HAD ASKED: IF “WHATEVER IT TAKES” REQUIRES THE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO DESTROY EVERY INCH OF GROUND OCCUPIED BY ISIS, WOULD YOU FAVOR THAT?  IF NOT, WHY NOT?

HEMMER: Senator, thank you.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s get to our first commercial break. There is plenty more to discuss tonight. Coming up, immigration, more on ISIS and homeland security as well as we continue live tonight from Cleveland, Ohio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: It is debate night, and welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Let’s get back to the questions right now with Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right. Let’s talk about ISIS and the threat to the homeland that we have seen growing in recent months. This goes to Governor Pataki.

Sixty-nine ISIS-inspired terrorists have been arrested in this country, in homeland plots, and the FBI assures us that there are likely many more to come.

The president is reluctant to label these terrorists Islamic extremists, but you’ve said that you have no problem with that label. Then comes the hard part.

So here’s the question. How far are you willing to go to root out this problem here at home? Would you put mosques, for example, potentially, under surveillance? And keep in mind that conservatives are increasingly concerned in this country with religious liberty.

PATAKI: Martha, religious liberty doesn’t include encouraging a fellow American to engage in violent jihad and kill an American here. That is not protected free speech. That is not protected religious belief.

That is like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, and that is illegal, and I would do everything in our power not just to go after those who are here who we know who are here, before they can radicalize other Americans to carry out attacks, and it’s not just the ones they’ve arrested.

Think back to Garland, Texas. But for that Texas police officer, we could have had a mass murder. We have to shut down their internet capability. We have to shut down, whether or not they’re in prisons preaching or on — in mosques preaching. No radical Islam that is allowed to engage in encouraging violence against Americans, that is not protected speech.

Let me just add one thing about ISIS over there. We have got to destroy their training camps and recruiting centers.

I was governor of New York on September 11. I know that we are at greater risk today than at any time since then of another attack. We have got to destroy their training camps over there before they can attack us here.

DO THEY HAVE TRAINING CAMPS?  OR IS THEIR ENTIRE TERRITORY A TRAINING CAMP?

I don’t agree that we’re going to occupy and spend another decade or a trillion dollars. What we need to do is destroy their ability to attack us here over there, and then get out.

IF YOU’RE WAITING TO FIGHT AN UNWINNABLE WAR, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO IT AS CHEAPLY AS POSSIBLE.  I THINK I’VE FOUND A PERFECT PATAKI SLOGAN: “IF YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL IN IRAQ, YOU MIGHT AS WELL FAIL AT HALF PRICE.”

You know, I have two sons. Both served. One as a marine officer in Iraq, one as an army officer in Afghanistan. I do not see — want to see one parent or loved one worrying about getting a call in the middle of the night.

I would not place one American life at risk unless it was absolutely necessary. But to destroy ISIS, it is necessary.

MACCALLUM: All right. This question to Carly Fiorina. The FBI director Comey says that terrorists can thrive here at home because they go dark and they recruit behind the cyber walls that are built by American companies like Google and Apple.

Comey says this is a big problem. Rand Paul says that the government forcing these companies to bring down those walls would be a big privacy issue and a dangerous way to go on this. You’ve been a tech leader in this country. Which side are you on?

FIORINA: Let me say first that it is disturbing that every time one of these home-grown terrorist attacks occurs, and, as your question points out, they are occurring with far too great frequency, it turns out we had warning signals.

It turns out we knew something was wrong. It turns out some dot wasn’t connected, and so the first thing we have to do is make sure that everyone and every responsible agency is attuned to all of these possibilities and symptoms.

We even had warnings about the Boston Marathon bombers, and yet the dots weren’t connected. So we need to get on a different mindset.

Secondly, I certainly support that we need to tear down cyber walls, not on a mass basis, but on a targeted basis. But let me just say that we also need down — to tear down the cyber walls that China is erecting, that Russia is erecting.

FIORINA: We need to be very well aware of the fact that China and Russia are using technology to attack us, just as ISIS is using technology to recruit those who would murder American citizens. I do not believe that we need to wholesale destroy every American citizen’s privacy in order to go after those that we know are suspect or are — are already a problem. But yes, there is more collaboration required between private sector companies and the public sector. And specifically, we know that we could have detected and repelled some of these cyber attacks if that collaboration had been permitted. A law has been sitting — languishing, sadly, on Capitol Hill and has not yet been passed, and it would help.

“A LAW”?  WHAT WOULD THIS LAW DO?

MACCALLUM: So, would you tonight call for Google and Apple to cooperate in these Investigations and let the FBI, in where they need to go?

FIORINA: I absolutely would call on them to collaborate and cooperate, yes.

HEMMER: Excuse me, Martha. I have not heard the bell just yet, so you’re all very well behaved so far.

Governor Gilmore, 30 seconds.

GILMORE: Well, yes, indeed. I chaired the National Commission on Homeland Security Committee for United States. We warned about the 9/11 attack before the 9/11 attack occurred.  I’M SURE THERE’S A NONSILLY WAY OF SAYING THIS

I was the governor during the 9/11 attack when the Pentagon was struck. SO WHAT?

And I’m going to tell you this, we need to use the benefit of our law enforcement people across this country, combined with our intelligence people across this country. We need to use our technological advantages, because what we’ve warned of is an international guerrilla movement that threatens this country. It’s going to happen in this country, there are going to be further attacks.

I THINK I’VE FOUND A GOOD GILMORE SLOGAN: “A KEEN GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS”

We have to be prepared to defend the American people, prepare them for a long war, stand up for the defense of this country, and stand up for the values of this country…

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor. I’ve got to move on to immigration here.

Senator Santorum, you would argue you have one of the tougher positions on illegal immigration in the entire 17 candidate field at the moment. We often talk about this issue on the abstract level in Washington, D.C., but you know how it’s being talked about in states like Iowa and New Hampshire among illegals in our country today — 11 million plus.

And some are asking, what would you say to a child, born and raised in America, who could see their family broken apart by your policy?

SANTORUM: My father was born in Italy, and shortly after he was born my grandfather immigrated to this country. And under the laws of this country, he wasn’t allowed to be with his father for seven years. Spent the first seven years of his life in Fascist Italy, under Benito Mussolini. Not a very pleasant place to be.

I asked my dad after — obviously, when I found out about this. And I said, “Didn’t you resent America for not letting you be with your father in those formative and very threatening years?” You know what he said to me? “America was worth the wait.”

HE’S VERY LUCKY HIS FATHER WASN’T JEWISH.  OTHERWISE HE’D BE TOO DEAD TO FEEL THAT WAY, OR TO FEEL MUCH OF ANYTHING.

We’re a country of laws, Bill. We’re a country of laws, not of men, not of people who do whatever they want to do. I know we have a president who wants to do whatever he wants to do, and take his pen and his phone and just tell everybody what he thinks is best. But the reason America is a great country, the reason is because our compassion is in our laws. And when we live by those laws and we treat everybody equally under the law, that’s when people feel good about being Americans.

And I put forth an immigration policy that is as strong in favor of the folks who are struggling in America the most than anybody else. It’s the strongest pro-worker immigration plan. It says that after 35 million people have come here over the last 20 years, almost all of whom are unskilled workers, flattening wages, creating horrible opportunity — a lack of opportunities for unskilled workers, GOOD SAVE.  THOUGH I HAVE TO ADMIT, “HORRIBLE OPPORTUNITY” WOULD HAVE BEEN AN AMUSING GOOF  we’re going to do something about reducing the level of immigration by 25 percent.  “DO SOMETHING” SEEMS A BIT VAGUE.

We’re going to be tough at the border, we’re going to be tough on all of the illegal immigrants that everybody else in this field — we’re going to be different. We’re going to be actually out there trying to create a better life for hard-working Americans.  IF I HAD A DOLLAR FOR EVERY POLITICIAN WHO PROMISED TO BE “TOUGH” WHEN THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO, I’D BE AS RICH AS TRUMP

HEMMER: Governor Perry, try and answer this question again.

What do you say to the family of illegals? Are you going to break them apart? FAMILIES, NOT FAMILY

PERRY: Bill, here’s the interesting position on this. Americans are tired of hearing this debate — want to go to, what are you going to do about illegal immigration? For 30 years this country has been baited with that. All the way back to when Ronald Reagan signed a piece of legislation that basically allowed for amnesty for over 4 million people, and the border is still not secure.

The American people are never going to trust Washington, D.C., and for good reason. We hear all this discussion about well, I would do this, or I would do that, when the fact is, the border is still porous. Until we have a president of the United States that gets up every day and goes to the Oval Office with the intent purpose of securing that border, and there’s not anybody on either one of these stages that has the experience of dealing with this as I have for over 14 years with that 1200-mile border.

PERRY: We have to put the personnel on that border in the right places; you have to put the strategic fencing in place; and you have to have aviation assets that fly all the way from Tijuana to El Paso to Brownsville, Texas — 1,933 miles looking down 24/7, with the technology to be able to identify what individuals are doing, and ID when they are in obviously illegal activities or suspicious activities, and quick response teams come.

At that particular point in time, then Americans will believe that Washington is up to a conversation to deal with the millions of people that are here illegally, but not until.

If you elect me president of the United States, I will secure that southern border.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER THIS MAKES SENSE BUT FOR ONCE RICK PERRY SOUNDS GOOD.

HEMMER: Governor, thank you.

MACCALLUM: On that note, next, the candidates take on the future of the U.S. economy when we come back after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MACCALLUM: Welcome back, everybody. It is the bottom of the hour, and we are back, live from Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, kicking off the first 2016 Republican primary debate.

HEMMER: And so right now, we’re 30 minutes in. Going to jump back into the topics and continue our discussion of national issues on the domestic level.

The issue that is really number one on the minds of many voters, that’s the economy and jobs.

MACCALLUM: So let’s start here with Senator Graham.

Senator Graham, 82 million Americans over the age of 20 are out of the workforce.

GRAHAM: Right.

MACCALLUM: Forty-five million people in this country are on food stamps. Nine million are on disability.

All of these numbers have been rising sharply in recent years.

There is an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance.  NO RELATION TO THE ECONOMY, THEN.  WHAT A DISGUSTING QUESTION. How do you get Americans who are able to take the job instead of a handout?

GRHAAM: I think America is dying to work, you just need to give them a chance. GOOD SOLID ANSWER, GOOD REFUSAL TO TAKE THE BAIT  To all the Americans who want a better life, don’t vote for Hillary Clinton. You’re not going to get it. She’s not going to repeal “Obamacare” and replace it. I will. She’s not going to build the Keystone Pipeline. I will. She’s not going to change Dodd-Frank. I will.

Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to grow this economy. Until you change the policies of Barack Obama, we’re never going to be safe. She represents a third term of a failed presidency.

I’m fluent in Clinton-speak; I’ve been dealing with this crowd for 20 years. You know, when Bill Clinton says it depends on what the meaning of is is, that means is is whatever Bill wants it to mean. When Hillary Clinton tells you I’ve given you all the emails you need, that means she hasn’t. So to the people who are dying for a better America, you better change course, and she doesn’t represent the change that we need.

Do we all agree that ISIL is not the JV team? If I have to monitor a mosque, I’ll monitor a mosque. If I have to take down a cyber wall, I’ll take it.  WOULDN’T THAT TAKE A LOT OF TIME AWAY FROM BEING PRESIDENT?  (OK, I KNOW THAT’S NOT WHAT HE MEANT BUT I COULDN’T RESIST MAKING FUN OF HIM A BIT)  If I have to send more American troops to protect us here, I will do it. She will not. She has empowered a failed agenda. She is going to empower a failed solution to an American economy dying to grow.

Elect me, I know the difference between being flat broke. BETWEEN BEING FLAT BROKE AND WHAT?  I ASSUME HE MEANS “I KNOW WHAT ITS LIKE TO BE FLAT BROKE”, RIGHT?  Apparently, she doesn’t. In Hillary Clinton’s world, after two terms in the White House where her husband was president, she said she was flat broke. Hillary, I’ll show you flat broke. That’s not it.

HE SEEMS TO BE WANDERING A BIT INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON THE ECONOMY (WHICH IS WHAT A BETTER CANDIDATE WOULD HAVE MADE THE QUESTION ABOUT)

MACCALLUM: All right. Senator Santorum, let’s get back to the question at hand, which is whether or not Americans have become too reliant on assistance or too willing to take assistance. Do you believe that we need to change the culture in this country in terms of whether or not we should be encouraging people to get off of it and take the job when it’s available? Some are able and not doing that.

SANTORUM: I think it’s — yeah, I think it’s a one-two punch. Number one, we have to create better paying jobs. I mean, that’s just the bottom line. We haven’t. And that’s the reason that I’ve said under my presidency, we’ll create jobs and make American the number one manufacturing country in the world.

If we want to create jobs for the folks that you’re talking about, who are having trouble getting off government benefits, primarily because of their low skill level, there is no better way — it’s worked for 100 years in America — putting people back to work in manufacturing is it.

I’m going to be introducing a plan which I call the 2020 Perfect Vision for America. It’s a 20 percent flat rate tax, it’ll take a blowtorch to the — to the IRS. It will create a manufacturing juggernaut in this country.  I DON’T SEE HOW THAT WILL CREATE A MANUFACTURING JUGGERNAUT, BUT HIS HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE And you combine that with reforms of our welfare system.

You’re looking at the — at the man who introduced and fought on the floor as a freshman senator and passed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 over two President Clinton vetoes. Got 70 votes in the United States Senate. Bipartisan issue. And I ended a federal entitlement. Never been done before, never been done since.

What we need to do is take the rest of the federal entitlements, not just welfare, but food stamps and Medicaid and housing programs and do the same thing we did with welfare. Work requirements and time limits. That will change everything.  TIME LIMITS TO MEDICAID?  SERIOUSLY?  NOT WELL THOUGHT OUT.  THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, EVEN IF WE HAD FULL EMPLOYMENT A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD PROBABLY NEED MEDICAID ETC BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY WOULDN’T MAKE ENOUGH. ESPECIALLY MEDICAID, BECAUSE FOOD IS CHEAP IN AMERICA BUT HEALTH INSURANCE IS EXPENSIVE.

MACCALLUM: All right. New question, same topic, goes to Governor Gilmore. You know, based on your record and what we’re discussing here, which is potentially cutting back some entitlement, cutting back benefits, it’s tricky business as we all know because people will argue that that’s their means to escape poverty. So they’re going to look at you when you want to do that and they will call you heartless. What will you tell them?

GILMORE: I’ll tell them that we’re going to grow the economy so that we can give people better opportunities so they don’t have to rely exclusively on benefit types of programs. Some do, but many Americans are dying to have an opportunity to grow and to create something inside this economy. And I’m glad that I have a chance to answer this question.

I’ve had the growth code (ph) there for about five years, and it’s this specific program. We’re going to do a tax cut for all Americans. We’re going to have a three-bracket tax code, 10, 15 and 25 percent. We’re going to combine all commercial activity in business into one place in the tax code and charge it 15 percent, which is going to suddenly make us competitive with the rest of the world. And we’re going to eliminate the death tax.

GILMORE: With a couple of additional tweaks, we know what this will do. It will cause the economy to grow, to explode, to create more jobs. And first of all, we’ve got to recognize that there is problem that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have caused. And that problem is too big regulations like the EPA, too much new taxes on business that we have seen and “Obamacare.” These are drags on the economy, it’s a deliberate drag. I propose to reverse that and get this economy moving again.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

Your last topic brings us to the state of Ohio.

You know, the saying, right? No Republican wins the White House unless you win here in the Buckeye state. Well, here in the Buckeye state, the Governor John Kasich took the federal money for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

And Governor Jindal of Louisiana, you passed on those tax dollars. Why do you think Governor Kasich got it wrong here?

JINDAL: Well, this goes to the question you were just asking. Look, under President Obama and Secretary Clinton, they’re working hard to change the American dream into the European nightmare.  I DON’T THINK GERMANS THINK THEY ARE LIVING A NIGHTMARE.  They do celebrate more dependence on the government.

Give Bernie Sanders credit. At least he’s honest enough to call himself a socialist. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, they’re no better. USELES RHETORIC If we were to expand Medicaid, for every uninsured person we would cover, we’d kick more than one person out of private insurance or remove their opportunity to get private insurance.   I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND THIS.  DOES HE?

We’re going to have too many people in the cart rather than pulling the cart. This isn’t free money. I know some people like to say, “well, this is free money.” We pay federal taxes. We are borrowing money from China today.

Yesterday, the president stunningly admitted this. He said, “we don’t have leverage with China to get a better deal on Iran because we need them to lend us money to continue operating our government.”

The president of the United States admitting that he’s weakening our government’s position, our foreign policy standing, because he can’t control spending in D.C..

There is a better way to provide health care. The Oregon study showed this. Simply expanding Medicaid does not improve health care outcomes. In Louisiana, instead we’re helping people getting better paying jobs so they can provide for their own health care.

LISTEN UP, BOZO.  WHEN HEALTH INSURANCE IS HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS A MONTH (AND FOR MANY PEOPLE, THOUSANDS) PEOPLE EARNING 10, 20, 30 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR CAN’T AFFORD IT.

HEMMER: So Governor Kasich was wrong, just to be clear.

JINDAL: I don’t — look, I don’t think anybody should be expanding Medicaid. I think it’s a mistake to create new and more expensive entitlement programs when we can’t afford the ones we’ve got today. We’ve got to stop this culture of government dependence.

HEMMER: I didn’t hear an answer regarding Governor Kasich, but for now I’ll go to Governor Pataki. Yes or no?

JINDAL: I’ll say this. I don’t think anybody should expand Medicaid. I think it was a mistake to expand Medicaid everywhere in Ohio and across the country.

HEMMER: Governor Pataki, three term governor of New York. Is he right, Governor Jindal from Louisiana?

PATAKI: I think he is right. I don’t think you expand entitlements when so many people are dependent on government and when the money the federal government is offering is going to be taken away from you after just a couple of years.  NOT REALLY TRUE.

But getting back to Martha’s question about how we end dependency, do we have to have a cultural change? The answer is no. And I know this, because when I ran for governor of New York, one in 11 of every man, woman, and child in the state of New York was on welfare. On welfare. Think about that.

And people said “you can’t win, you can’t change the culture.” But I knew that good people who wanted to be a part of the American dream have become trapped in dependency because the federal government and the state government had made it in their economic interest not to take a job because the benefits that they didn’t work were better.

I changed that. We put in place mandatory work fair (ph). But we allowed people to keep health care. SEEMS SLIGHTLY INCONSISTENT WITH WHAT HE SAID ABOUT OBAMACARE, MEDICAID ETC.  – TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.  We put in place child care support.

HEMMER: Yes or no, would you have expanded Obamacare in the state of New York, had you been governor at that time?

PATAKI: No, it should be repealed. And by the way, when I left, there were over 1 million fewer people on welfare in New York state than when I took office…

HEMMER: OK.

PATAKI: … replacing dependency with opportunity.

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor Pataki.

In a moment here, we’ll talk to the candidates about an issue today on Planned Parenthood, and also the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s all next here in Cleveland.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Welcome back to Cleveland, Ohio. Want to get back to the questions and the issues in this debate now, with my co-anchor, Martha.

MACCALLUM: All right.

Well, there’s been a lot of discussion on Facebook, as you would imagine, about the Iran nuclear deal. Let’s just take a look, as an opener, at this one question that comes from Logan Christopher Boyer of St. Louis, Missouri.

He says, “How will you disarm Iran and keep the Middle East from becoming nuclearized?

So let’s open this discussion about Iran with this question that comes to Governor Perry. Governor Perry, here’s the question for you:

Critics of the Iran deal say that it puts America on the same side as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, of Hamas, of Hezbollah, of the backers of those groups of people who chant ‘Death to America,’ in the street, that this deal puts on that side of the equation.

But our traditional Middle East allies, led by Saudi Arabia, have also funneled support to Islamic radical groups who want to kill Americans.

So which side do you believe we should be on?

PERRY: We need to be on the side that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That’s the side we need to be on, and that’s the side of the bulk of the — of the Middle East.

We need to have some coalitions in that part of the world to go after ISIS, but we also need to send a clear message. And hopefully — you know, Senator Graham, I — I know where he’s going to be on this, but we use Congress, and we use Congress to cut this funding. WHAT FUNDING?

One of the great challenges that we have, $150 billion is fixing to go to a country that killed our Marines in Lebanon, that used their weapons to kill our young men in Iran. And the idea that this negotiation — I will tell you one thing. I would a whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would’ve gotten a deal where we didn’t give everything away.

But the issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only no, but “Hell no” to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror, Susan Rice has said that, SAID WHAT? and we need to stand up and strongly and clearly tell the ayatollah that — whoever the next president of the United States is going to be, and I’ll promise you, if it’s me, the first thing that I will do is tear up that agreement with Iran.

MACCALLUM: Alright. I want to go to Carly Fiorina on this, but I want to ask you some of what I just asked to Governor Perry.

The issue is that the allies that we are with sometimes have groups within them that funnel money to terrorists as well. This is a complicated situation. Are you OK with us being on their side?

FIORINA: Yeah. Sometimes it’s a complicated situation, but some things are black and white.

On day one in the Oval Office, I would make two phone calls. The first one would be to my good friend, Bibi Netanyahu, to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel.

The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime/anywhere, for real, inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.  COHERENT, EVEN IF I’M NOT PERSUADED SHE’S RIGHT.

FIORINA: I hope Congress says no to this deal. But realistically, even if they do, the money is flowing.

China and Russia have never been on our side of the table. The Europeans have moved on. We have to stop the money flow. And by the way, as important as those two phone calls are, they are also very important because they say this. America is back in the leadership business. And when America does not lead, the world is a dangerous and a tragic place.

THIS PARAGRAPH SEEMS VERY SELF-CONTRADICTORY. ON THE ONE HAND, SHE ADMITS CHINA AND RUSSIA WILL IGNORE WHAT THE USA DOES.  AND THE EUROPEANS HAVE “MOVED ON” WHICH SOUNDS TO ME LIKE SHE’S SAYING THE SAME THING ABOUT EUROPE.  GIVEN ALL THAT, HOW WILL “US LEADERSHIP” MAKE THE WORLD A LESS DANGEROUS PLACE?  THIS SOUNDS LIKE FOREIGN POLICY AS THERAPY- THE MORE ENEMIES WE MAKE, THE BETTER WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES BECAUSE WE ARE “TOUGH” AND “LEADERS.”

This is a bad deal. Obama broke every rule of negotiation. Yes, our allies are not perfect. But Iran is at the heart of most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East through their proxies.

SO WRONG IT HURTS.  SUNNI JIHADISTS (INSPIRED BY OUR SO-CALLED ALLY SAUDI ARABIA’S WAHHABIST IDEOLOGY) ARE CREATING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN SYRIA, IRAQ, LIBYA, EGYPT, TUNISIA ETC. (AND FRANCE, AND DENMARK, AND ….) IRAN IS, BY CONTRAST, THE STRONGEST FORCE PREVENTING ISIS FROM TAKING OVER ALL OF IRAQ.  HEZBOLLAH AND HAMAS ARE NASTY BUT THEY AREN’T KILLING PEOPLE OUTSIDE THEIR JURISDICTION ON A DAILY BASIS.

MACCALLUM: Very, very briefly, would you help our allies in that region to get nuclear weapons if Iran has them?

FIORINA: Let me tell you what I would do immediately, day two in the Oval Office. I would hold a Camp David summit with our Arab allies, not to talk them into this lousy deal with Iran, but to say to them, “what is it that you need to defeat ISIL?”

ASSUMES THAT ANYONE OUTSIDE THE USA AND IRAN CARES ABOUT ISIL AS MUCH AS WE DO- LOL.  THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT ISIL IS FIRST AND FOREMOST DIRECTED AT EXTERMINATING SHIITES, SO THE PEOPLE MOST MOTIVATED TO FIGHT THEM ARE THEIR SHIITE NEIGHBORS IN IRAQ, IRAN AND SYRIA.  OUR SO-CALLED ALLIES DON’T LIKE ISIL, BUT I DON’T SEE ANY EVIDENCE THAT MOST OF THEM ARE ALL THAT MOTIVATED TO FIGHT ISIS EXCEPT MAYBE THE KURDS).

You know, Obama has presented the American people with a false choice every time. It’s what I’ve done or not done, or it’s war. It is a false choice.

King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I’ve known for a long time, has been asking for bombs and materiel. We have not provided them. He has gone to China.

REALLY?  I GOOGLED MILITARY AID TO JORDAN AND FOUND REFERENCES TO SAME

The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven’t done so.

REALLY? I GOOGLED US ARMING KURDS AND DITTO.  CNN RATES HER STATEMENT FALSE   http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/06/politics/republican-debate-fact-check/

The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. We’re not doing it. We have Arab allies.

UNLIKE THE LAST TWO PARGRAPHS, THIS DOESN’T STRIKE ME AS OBVIOUSLY WRONG- SO IT COULD BE TRUE.  I DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR INTEREST TO RESEARCH WHETHER IT IS THOUGH.

They are not perfect. I know every one. But they need to see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America, and we can help them defeat ISIS.

HEMMER: Next question on the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s been 42 years, Senator Santorum, since Roe v. Wade, and many consider, in this country, to be a case of settled law.

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. Is that now settled law in America today? SANTORUM: It is not any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln, who, in his first inaugural address, said “it won’t stand.” And they went ahead and passed laws in direct contravention to a rogue Supreme Court.

REALLY?  WAS THIS BEFORE OR AFTER THE CIVIL WAR?

This is a rogue Supreme Court decision, just like Justice Roberts said. There is no constitutional basis for the Supreme Court’s decision, and I know something about this.

The — one of the times the Supreme Court spoke that I thought they were acting outside of their authority was in a partial-birth abortion case. You know, these Planned Parenthood tapes, what they’re showing are partial-birth abortions.

Abortions being done where the baby’s being delivered first, to preserve those organs, and then they crush the skull. Well, the Supreme Court found a bill that I was the author of unconstitutional.

What did I do? I didn’t stop. I didn’t say “oh, well we lost. It’s the law of the land.” We worked together. The House and Senate, under my leadership, and we passed a bill, and we said, “Supreme Court, you’re wrong.”

We’re a coequal branch of the government. We have every right to be able to stand up and say what is constitutional. We passed a bill, bipartisan support, and the Supreme Court, they — they sided with us.

UM, NO.  THE SUPREME COURT DID NOT OVERRULE ITSELF. CONGRESS PASSED A DIFFERENT BILL. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Carhart

Sometimes it just takes someone to lead and stand up to the court.

HEMMER: Alright, Senator, thank you.

To Governor Gilmore. For years, presidential candidates have not said they would have a litmus test for justices nominated to the Supreme Court.

Recently, Hillary Clinton broke that precedent. She said she would apply that on the case of Citizens United, which deals with campaign finance laws in America today.

Is it time for conservatives to impose a litmus test on abortion?

GILMORE: Well, as you know, I’m a former elected prosecutor, a former elected attorney general, trained at the University of Virginia in constitutional law, and I don’t believe in litmus tests except this.

I believe we should be appointing Supreme Court justices who will follow the law and not try to make the law. Now, the challenge we’re seeing today is that the Supreme Court is being converted into some type of political body.

They have to have some legal basis and precedence for being able to follow the law instead of making the law up, and my goal is — in appointing Supreme Court justices, would be to point — to appoint justices who would follow the law. Bill, I want to say one more thing about…

A RESPECTABLE IF DULL ANSWER

HEMMER: So, no litmus test?

GILMORE: Not — not on that, no. But let me say one more thing. I want to — before my time runs out I want to get back to this issue of ISIS versus Iran. It is Iran that’s the expansionist power. ISIL is trying to create themselves into a new state.

Our job has to be to recognize the conflict between the two. I have proposed there be a Middle East NATO so that we can combine our allies there to stand up to Iranian expansion, and at the same time join together to begin to stop and this ISIL thing before it becomes an actual state.

YOU THINK IT ISN’T AN ACTUAL STATE? WHY NOT?

AND AS FAR AS IRANIAN EXPANSIONISM, I THINK THAT’S A BIT OFF- THEY ARE PROPPING UP A WEAK GOVERNMENT IN SYRIA AND SOMEHOW ARE INVOLVED IN THE YEMEN CIVIL WAR, BUT I THINK THAT’S QUITE A BIT LESS EXPANSIONIST THAN THE SAUDIS’ EXPORTING OF FANATICAL IMAMS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

HEMMER: Thank you, governor.

MACCALLUM: All right. With that, we are going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with much more from Cleveland. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: As the first debate of the nomination season continues, welcome back to Cleveland. Let’s get back to the questions right now, and the issues here in the U.S.

Martha?

MACCALLUM: We want to get back to Planned Parenthood. And this question goes to Governor Pataki.

Governor Pataki, you’re the only pro-choice candidate running. A Republican holding that position has not won a single primary in 35 years.  HAS THERE BEEN A PROCHOICE REPUBLICAN RUNNING?  With the recent Planned Parenthood videos that we have all seen, shedding new light on abortion practices, I know that you have said that you would defund Planned Parenthood.

PATAKI: Yes.

MACCALLUM: But has this story changed your heart when it comes to abortion?

PATAKI: My heart has not changed, because I’ve always been appalled by abortion. I’m a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception. But as Bill said earlier, Roe v. Wade, it’s has been the law for 42 years, and I don’t think we should continue to try to change it.

But we can do is defund Planned Parenthood, and by the way, put in place an absolute permanent ban on any taxpayer dollars ever being used to fund abortions. Also, when you look at these videos, they are horrific and show just a hideous disrespect for life. What else we can do is that we should believe in science.

PATAKI: You know, Hillary Clinton’s always saying how Republicans don’t follow science? Well, they’re the ones not listening to the scientists today, because doctors say that at 20 weeks that is a viable life inside the womb.

ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA CHANCES ARE PRETTY CLOSE TO ZERO AT 22 WKS, RISE TO 50-50 AT 24 WEEKS.  SO AS PRESIDENT CLINTON WOULD SAY, IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD “VIABLE.”  BUT EVEN IF HE’S EXAGGERATING ABOUT THE DETAILS I SEE HIS POINT. And at that point, it’s a life that we have the right to protect, and I think we should protect.

So, I would pass legislation outlawing abortion after 20 weeks. It is Hillary, it is Biden, it is the others who insist on allowing abortion well into viable (inaudible) wrong, and that should be stopped.

MACCALLUM: All right.

On the same topic, let’s go to Governor Jindal.

Carly Fiorina, also on the stage, said that she would go so far as to shut down the government over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Would you do that? Would you be willing to shut down the government when it comes to defunding this group?

JINDAL: Well, a couple of things. Planned Parenthood had better hope that Hillary Clinton wins this election, because I guarantee under President Jindal, January 2017, the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government will be going in to Planned Parenthood.

SEND THE POLICE AFTER YOUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS?  THAT SOUNDS LIKE RUSSIA

This is absolutely disgusting, and revolts the conscience of the nation. Absolutely, we need to defund Planned Parenthood. In my own state, for example, we launched an investigation, asked the FBI to cooperate. We just, earlier this week, kicked them out of Medicaid in Louisiana as well, canceled their provider contract. They don’t provide any abortions in Louisiana.

But in terms of shutting down the government, I don’t think President Obama should choose to shut down the government simply to send taxpayer dollars to this group that has been caught, I believe, breaking the law, but also offending our values and our ethics.

It is time for Republicans in D.C. to fight. Too often, they give up, they negotiate with themselves. They said they would get rid of the unconstitutional amnesty. They didn’t do that. They said they would repeal Obamacare if we gave them the majority. They didn’t do that either. They said they’d shrink and balance the budget. They haven’t done that. Absolutely, they should fight to fund — defund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think the president should shut down the government simply to send our taxpayer dollars to this group.

NICE RHETORIC- INSTEAD OF SAYING “REPUBS SHOULDN’T SHUT DOWN THE GOVT” SAYS OBAMA SHOULDN’T

MACCALLUM: All right.

Lindsey Graham, this conversation will no doubt go to the war on women, and that cutting funding to this group could be a very broad brush against all of you or anybody who will hold this nomination as being against women’s health, against these organizations that people will say provide positive things for many women.

GRAHAM: I don’t think it’s a war on women for all of us as Americans to stand up and stop harvesting organs from little babies. Let’s take the money that we would give to Planned Parenthood and put it in women’s health care without having to harvest the organs of the unborn. The only way we’re going to defund Planned Parenthood is have a pro-life president.

You want to see a war on women? Come with me to Iraq and Afghanistan, folks. I’ve been there 35 times. I will show you what they do to women. These mythical Arab armies that my friends talk about that are going to protect us don’t exist. HE’S RIGHT ABOUT THAT!

If I am president of the United States, we’re going to send soldiers back to Iraq, back to Syria, to keep us from being attacked here and keep soldiers in Afghanistan because we must.

I cannot tell you how much our nation is threatened and how we need a commander in chief who understands the threats to this nation.

If you’re running for president of the United States and you do not understand that we cannot defend this nation without more of our soldiers over there, you are not ready for this job.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator.

Executive power. It appears that you all have a little bit of an issue with it at the moment. I want to move through this as quickly as I can, from stage left to stage right.

On the second day of his presidency, January 22nd 2009, President Obama signed one of his first executive orders. That was close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Still open today. What would be your first executive order?

Governor Gilmore, start.

GILMORE: Well, it’s not a matter of what the first executive order would be, Bill. The matter is what orders exist now that shouldn’t exist?

The president has done an executive order with respect to illegal immigration that is illegal. Illegal.\

MISLEADING, I THINK COURTS ARE SPLIT ON THIS

And it creates a — a contempt for the law, for the rule of law. If i were the president of the United States, I would go and look at every executive order that exists right now and determine which ones want to be voided, because the president shouldn’t be legislating: not through that vehicle or any other. We should be relying upon the leadership of the Congress to pass the laws.

HEMMER: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: Change the Mexico City policy, not take one dime of taxpayer money to fund abortion organizations overseas, and restore the NSA that’s been gutted.

DOUBT THIS IS TRUE, BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW.  SO DOES THAT MEAN WE CAN SAVE MONEY BY LAYING THEM ALL OFF?  I SUSPECT HE’S OVERSTATING HIS POINT FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT

We’re going dark when it comes to detecting the next attack. We have gutted our ability to detect the next attack. And I would not stand for that as president of the United States. I would take the fight to these guys, whatever it took, as long as it took.

HEMMER: Governor Jindal, your first executive order would be in the White House would be what?

JINDAL: To repeal these unconstitutional illegal orders, whether it’s amnesty or whether it’s this president going around the Congress, whether it’s in Obamacare, to restore the rule of law. I’d also go after these sanctuary cities, do everything we can to make sure that we are not — that we are actually prosecuting and cutting off funding for cities that are harboring illegal aliens, and then finally making sure the IRS is not going after conservative or religious groups.

I would sign an executive order protecting religious liberty, our first amendment rights, so Christian business owners and individuals don’t face discrimination for having a traditional view of marriage.

HEMMER: Governor Perry.

PERRY: It’ll be a pretty busy day, but that Iran negotiation is going to be torn up on day one. We’re going to start the process of securing that border. I’m also going to take a bottle of White-Out with me to get started on all those executive orders that Mr. Obama has put his name to.

HEMMER: That will be a long day.

PERRY: It will be a long day.

HEMMER: Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: Just ditto to that.

We’re going to suspend — I’ve — I’ve said this for four years. We’re going to suspend and repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs and is — is — is impacting our freedom.

And second, the First Amendment Defense Act, which is protecting religious liberty, if it’s not passed by then, which I suspect it won’t, because the president will veto it, I will institute an executive order to make sure that people of faith are not being — not being harassed and persecuted by the federal government for standing up for the religious beliefs.

HEMMER: First order, Carly Fiorina?

FIORINA: I agree with my colleagues. We need to begin by undoing — I would begin by undoing a whole set of things that President Obama has done, whether it’s illegal amnesty or this latest round of EPA regulations. But let me go back to something that’s very important. We have been debating right here the core difference between conservatism and progressivism.

Conservatives, I am a conservative because I believe no one of us is any better than any other one of us. Every one of us is gifted by God, whether it is those poor babies being picked over or it’s someone whose life is tangled up in a web of dependence.

Progressives don’t believe that. They believe some are smarter than others, some are better than others, so some are going to need to take care of others.

ITS FUNNY, THAT SOUNDS JUST LIKE WHAT PROGRESSIVES SAY ABOUT CONSERVATIVES.

That is the fight we have to have, and we have to undo a whole set of things that President Obama has done that get at the heart of his disrespect and disregard for too many Americans.

HEMMER: Governor Pataki?

PATAKI: Bill, I defeated Mario Cuomo. In the first day in office, my first executive order, I revoked every one of the executive orders that he had — he had enacted over the prior 12 years. I would do that to Barack Obama’s executive orders.

But I’d sign a second one, as I did in New York, as well, having a hard hiring freeze on adding new employees except for the military or defense-related positions. I’d sign that executive order.

When I left the workforce, New York State had been reduced by over 15 percent. We can do that in Washington. I will do that in Washington.

HEMMER: Thank you all.

MCCALLUM: Moving on to the next question, President Obama promised hope and change for the country, yet 60 percent of Americans are not satisfied with the shape that the country is in right now. Many think that America has lost its “can do” spirit and that it’s not the nation that it once was.

Ronald Reagan was confronted with a similar atmosphere, and he said that it could be morning in America again. JFK said it was a new frontier. FDR said that we had nothing to fear but fear itself.

On this level, Carly Fiorina, can you inspire this nation?

FIORINA: This is a great nation. It is a unique nation in all of human history and on the face of the planet, because here, our founders believed that everyone has a right to fulfill their potential and that that right –they called it life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — comes from God and cannot be taken away by government.

We have arrived at a point in our nation’s history where the potential of this nation and too many Americans is being crushed by the weight, the power, the cost, the complexity, the ineptitude, the corruption of the federal government, and only someone who will challenge the status quo of Washington, D.C. can lead the resurgence of this great nation.

I will do that.

MCCALLUM: We’re talking about tapping into historic levels of leadership and lifting the nation in this kind of way that we’re discussing.

So Senator Santorum, how would you do it?

SANTORUM: I came to Washington, D.C. in 1990. That sounds like a long time ago. It was. It was 25 years ago, and I came by defeating the Democratic incumbent. I came as a reformer.

I started the Gang of Seven, and it led to the overtaking of the 40-year Democratic rule of Congress, because I didn’t — I stood up to the old-boy network in Washington, D.C. because I believed that Washington was not the solution, that Washington was the problem, just like Ronald Reagan said. I was a child of Ronald Reagan.

And I went there, and for 16 years, I fought the insiders and was able to get things done. That’s the difference. We need to elect someone who will stand with the American people, who understands its greatness, who understands what an open economy and freedom is all about, but at the same time, has a record of being able to get things done in Washington like we’ve never seen before.

Reforms, everything from moral and cultural issues to economic issues. Those of you health savings accounts. Health savings accounts are something that we introduced. It’s a private-sector solution that believes in freedom, not Obamacare that believes in government control.

SANTORUM: Those are the things we brought, and we were able to get things done. If you want someone who’s not going to divide Washington, but gets things done, then you should make me your president.

HEMMER: Thank you, senator.

MACCALLUM: (inaudible) Lindsey Graham?

GRAHAM: Thank you.

First thing I’d tell the American people, whatever it takes to defend our nation, I would do.

To the 1 percent who have been fighting this war for over a decade, I’d try my best to be a commander-in-chief worthy of your sacrifice.

We’re going to lose Social Security and Medicare if Republicans and Democrats do not come together and find a solution like Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. I will be the Ronald Reagan if I can find a Tip O’Neill.

WELL DONE!

When I was 21, my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. We owned a liquor store, restaurant, bar and we lived in the back. Every penny we needed from — every penny we got from Social Security, because my sister was a minor, we needed. Today, I’m 60, I’m not married, I don’t have any kids. I would give up some Social Security to save a system that Americans are going to depend on now and in the future.

Half of American seniors would be in poverty without a Social Security check. If you make your president, I’m going to put the country ahead of the party. I’m going to do what it takes to defend this nation. This nation has been great to me, and that’s the only way I know to pay you back.

VERY GOOD

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator. I need a two-word answer to the following query. In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama described Hillary Clinton as, quote, “likable enough,” end quote. What two words would you use to describe the Democratic frontrunner? Governor Pataki to start.

PATAKI: Divisive and with no vision. No vision at all. HEMMER: Wow. Carly Fiorina.

FIORINA: Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.

UNKNOWN: Secretive and untrustworthy.

PERRY: Well, let’s go with three. Good at email.

HEMMER: Governor Jindal?

JINDAL: Socialist and government dependent. TYPICAL JINDAL- IF YOU’RE GOING TO CALL PEOPLE NAMES, YOU MIGHT AS WELL OUT NAME CALL EVERYONE ELSE.

GRAHAM: Not the change we need at a time we need it.  GENTLER WITH HIS LANGUAGE- INSPIRES RESPECT.

HEMMER: Governor?

GILMORE: Professional politician that can’t be trusted.

HEMMER: Not a lot of compliments. To be continued.

MACCALLUM: So every candidate will have the opportunity to make a closing statement tonight. Each candidate will have 30 second for that. And we start with Governor Perry.

PERRY: Well, this is going to be a show me, don’t tell me election. I think America is just a few good decisions and a leadership change at the top away from the best years we’ve ever had. And I think that the record of the governor of the last 14 years of the 12th largest economy in the world is just the medicine America is looking for.

1.5 million jobs created during the worst economic time this country has had since the Great Depression while the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs. We’re talking about a state that moved graduation rates forward from 27th in the nation to second-highest. As a matter of fact, if you’re Hispanic or African-American in Texas, you have the number one high school graduation rates in America.

Americans are looking for somebody that’s going to give them, and there is a place in this country over the last eight years in particular that talked about hope every day, and they didn’t just talk about it, they delivered it. And that was the state of Texas. And if we can do that in Texas, that 12th largest economy in the world, we can do it in America.

Our best days are in front of us. We can reform those entitlements, we can change that corporate tax code and lower it. We can put America back on track on a growth level and a growth rate that we’ve never seen in the history of this country. Manufacturing will flow back into this country. It just needs a corporate executive type at the top that’s done it before. And I will suggest to you nobody’s done it like Rick Perry has done it over the last eight years. And if you elect me president, we will bring incredible growth back to this country. And as someone who’s worn the uniform of the country, that’s how we build our military back up.

WELL DONE- PERRY MAY NOT BE THAT SMART, BUT HIS RECORD SURE LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER

HEMMER: Thank you Governor. Senator Santorum?

SANTORUM: I’ll tell you how optimistic I am about America. Karen and I have seven children. You don’t have seven children and bring them into this world if you’re not optimistic about the future of this country.

ON THE OTHER HAND, SOME OF THOSE CHILDREN ARE PROBABLY OLD ENOUGH TO BE A HANDFUL.  IS HE STILL AS OPTIMISTIC AS HE WAS WHEN THEY WERE BABIES?

I am, but people are upset, and they’re upset for a reason about the future of this country. Donald Trump actually seized on it when he talked about immigration. And I think the reason he did is because immigration is sort of an example of what’s broken and what’s wrong in Washington, D..C.

You see, you have one side, the Democrats, and with immigration, all they care about is votes. They don’t care about American workers, they just care about bringing as many people in so they can get as many votes as they can. ON the other side, you have so many Republicans, and what do they care about? Helping business make profits. There’s nobody out there looking out for the American worker.

I’m looking out for the American worker. I’m the only one on this stage who has a plan that’s actually reduced — actually going to reduce immigration. Actually going to do something to help the American worker. And you combine that with a plan to make manufacturing — this country number one in manufacturing, you’ve got someone who’s going to help revitalize and give hope to America, the place — the place is that is the most hopeless today.

ALSO A GOOD CLOSER- YOU KNOW WHERE HE STANDS AND WHAT HE WANTS TO DO

That’s why I ask for your support for president.

HEMMER: All right. Senator thank you.

MACCALLUM: Governor Jindal?

JINDAL: You know, we’ve got a lot of great talkers running for president. We’ve already got a great talker in the White House. We cannot afford four more years of on the job training. We need a doer, not a talker. We also need a nominee, a candidate who will endorse our own principles. HE SEEMS TO TALK MORE THAN THE NEXT GUY

Jeb Bush says we’ve got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Let me translate that for you. That’s the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works. If we do that again, we will lose again, we will deserve to lose again.

One principle, for example, we’ve got to embrace is on immigration. We must insist on assimilation — immigration without assimilation is an invasion.  IN JEWISH LIFE “ASSIMILATION” IS A DIRTY WORD- IT MEANS BASCIALLY NOT BEING JEWISH ANY MORE.  I AM NOT PLEASED. We need to tell folks who want to come here, they need to come here legally. They need to learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves and get to work.  YOU MEAN IMMIGRANTS AREN’T LEARNING ENGLISH?  I SUSPECT MOST ARE.

I’m tired of the hyphenated Americans and the division. I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the band width, I’ve got the experience to get us through this. I’m asking folks not just to join my campaign, but join a cause. It is time to believe in America again. MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

NOTICE THAT HIS SPEECH SAID ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT WHAT HE’S GOING TO DO OR WHAT HE’S DONE THAT’S GOOD.

PERRY TALKS ABOUT HIS RECORD IN TEXAS.

SANTORUM CLOSES WITH “I WANT TO CUT IMMIGRATION”

INSTEAD OF TELLING WHAT HE WANTS TO DO AS PRESIDENT, JINDAL CLOSES WITH TELLING IMMIGRANTS WHAT TO DO.   I KNOW HE’S AGAINST IMMIGRANTS, HE’S AGAINST THE “ESTABLISHMENT” (WHATEVER THAT IS) HE’S FOR … WHAT?

HEMMER: Carly Fiorina, closing statement.

FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e- mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism, and a Democrat party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: I LOOK FORWARD TO OUT-MUDSLINGING HILLARY CLINTON.  NOT AN ELEVATING CLOSING STATEMENT AT ALL, AND NOT ONE THAT SETS HER APART FROM THE OTHER REPUBLICANS.

I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative; I can win this job, I can do this job, I need your help, I need your support. I will, with your help and support, lead the resurgence of this great nation.

Thank you.

HEMMER: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Senator Graham.

GRAHAM: We need somebody ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, who understands there are no moderates in Iran, they’ve been killed a long time ago.

NICE LINE BUT IN A LOT OF WAYS IRAN IS MODERATE COMPARED TO SAUDI ARABIA OR IRAQ OR SYRIA.  IRAN HAS 10,000 MORE JEWS THAN ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES FOR EXAMPLE. AND IRAN DOES HOLD COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS (EVEN THOUGH THE CHOICES ARE OF COURSE PRETTY LIMITED)- ONE A FEW YEARS AGO WAS CLOSE ENOUGH THAT THEY ACTUALLY BOTHERED TO RIG IT, WHICH WOULD NOT BE TRUE IN MOST ARAB COUNTRIES.

That the Ayatollah is a radical jihadist who really means it when he chants, “Death to America, death to Israel.”  ACTUALLY MY IRANIAN FRIEND SAYS ITS “DOWN WITH …” BUT MAYBE I’M JUST BEING PICKY And this deal is giving him a pathway to a bomb, a missile to deliver it, and money to pay for it all.

We need a president who can solve our problems, bring us together. We’re becoming Greece if we don’t work together. At the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, our best days are ahead of us only if we work together, and I intend to put this country on a path of success by working together and doing the hard things that should have been done a very long time ago.

HEMMER: And to Governor Pataki, closing statement now.

PATAKI: With all the candidates, why me?

My background is different. I look at Washington, and I hear the talk, and I see the promises and it seems nothing ever changes. Washington gets bigger, taxes get higher, and the American people feel more distance from our government. I have the opportunity not just to run, but to win in the deep blue state of New York three times. And not only did I win, but I then worked with a Democratic legislature to put in place the most sweeping conservative reforms of any state in America, taking us from the most dangerous state in America to the fourth safest UM, DIDN’T THE MAYOR OF NYC HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT? ; reducing our welfare rolls by over 1 million, and replacing over 700,000 private sector jobs.

I can govern by bringing people together. And also, I’ve been tested in a way no one else has. I was governor on September 11th, and I’m proud of my leadership in bringing New York through that time. And when I left, we were stronger, we were safer, and we were more united than at any time in my lifetime.

We need to bring people together in Washington. The talk has got to stop, the action has got to begin. People can promise you something, I delivered in the blue state of New York. I will deliver for the American people if I have the privilege of leading this country.

INOFFENSIVE BUT DULL- SEEMS TO ME LIKE A WATERED DOWN VERSION OF PERRY’S CLOSING STATEMENT

HEMMER: Thank you, Governor.

MACCALLUM: Governor Gilmore.

GILMORE: Well, I was a conservative governor of Virginia, I governed that way, and that’s my track record. But the key thing that we’re seeing now is serious challenges to this country that must change, the direction of this nation must change. And that’s why I’ve offered a specific program to the people of America tonight to address the fundamental problem of getting our country growing again, getting our economy growing, wages up, opportunities for people.

And second, the international crisis we are facing is most dreadful and most dangerous. I have the experience as a prosecutor, attorney general, governor, United States Army intelligence veteran, governor during the 9/11 attack, chairman of the Terrorism Commission for this country. It’s time for real substance and real experience.

DULL

And that’s what I’ll offer to the people of the United States in this candidacy for the presidency.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, Governor.

This year I am, for the first time in four years, teaching a seminar on Sprawl on the Law.  It will be a bit harder this year, in that I don’t have a simple story to tell about the local surroundings.

The first time I taught the course (in Carbondale, Il.) I could focus on the decline of St. Louis (the nearest major city).  So in a sense the course was a story about: What made St. Louis sprawl?

Then I taught the course in Jacksonville, Fl., a growing but pedestrian-hostile city.  So I could focus on: why is it so hard to get around Jacksonville without driving?

Pittsburgh is pretty pedestrian-friendly and somewhat successful- but not completely.  Its not growing like NYC (so I can’t focus on “Why is this town so expensive?” which would have to be the main NYC story), but it hasn’t declined as rapidly as St. Louis either.  It has lost a lot of population but still has more successful neighborhoods and less crime than St. Louis, so it is kind of a middle ground between the success stories and the failures.

CNU changed its website a bit, and the link I posted to my CNU blog posts is now broken.  However, most of my more recent CNU posts can be found at the Smart Growth for Conservatives blog, as well as at the internet archive (just go to cnu.org and look for the “member blog” postings).

A recent article by Joel Kotkin tries to stir up a stew of resentment about alleged “attacks on suburbia”.  Here’s the article and my thoughts on it (in italics):

Countering Progressives’ Assault on Suburbia

By Joel Kotkin – July 10, 2015

The next culture war will not be about issues like gay marriage or abortion, but about something more fundamental: how Americans choose to live. In the crosshairs now will not be just recalcitrant Christians or crazed billionaire racists, but the vast majority of Americans who either live in suburban-style housing or aspire to do so in the future. Roughly four in five home buyers prefer a single-family home, but much of the political class increasingly wants them to live differently.

Theoretically, the suburbs should be the dominant politically force in America. Some 44 million Americans live in the core cities of America’s 51 major metropolitan areas, while nearly 122 million Americans live in the suburbs. In other words, nearly three-quarters of metropolitan Americans live in suburbs.

This is based on Wendell Cox’s definitions of cities and suburbs, which might not be yours and mine.  By his definition, most core cities (except for the most dense ones) are “suburbs.”

Yet it has been decided, mostly by self-described progressives, that suburban living is too unecological, not mention too uncool, and even too white for their future America. Density is their new holy grail, for both the world and the U.S. Across the country efforts are now being mounted—through HUD, the EPA, and scores of local agencies—to impede suburban home-building, or to raise its cost. Notably in coastal California, but other places, too, suburban housing is increasingly relegated to the affluent.

Density can mean more suburban housing, not less.  For example, if a suburb reduces its minimum lot size requirements so that you can build 10 homes per acre instead of one, that’s more suburban homes. 

The obstacles being erected include incentives for density, urban growth boundaries, attempts to alter the race and class makeup of communities,

Those “attempts to alter the race and class makeup of communities” are attempts to make suburbia MORE accessible to minorities- that means MORE suburban homes, not less.

and mounting environmental efforts to reduce sprawl. The EPA wants to designate even small, seasonal puddles as “wetlands,” creating a barrier to developers of middle-class housing, particularly in fast-growing communities in the Southwest. Denizens of free-market-oriented Texas could soon be experiencing what those in California, Oregon and other progressive bastions have long endured: environmental laws that make suburban development all but impossible, or impossibly expensive. Suburban family favorites like cul-de-sacs are being banned under pressure from planners.

Some conservatives rightly criticize such intrusive moves, but they generally ignore how Wall Street interests and some developers see forced densification as opportunities for greater profits, often sweetened by public subsidies.

Overall, suburban interests are poorly organized, particularly compared to well-connected density lobbies such as the developer-funded Urban Land Institute (ULI), which have opposed suburbanization for nearly 80 years.

The New Political Logic

The progressives’ assault on suburbia reflects a profound change in the base of the Democratic Party. As recently as 2008, Democrats were competitive in suburbs, as their program represented no direct threat to residents’ interests. But with the election of Barack Obama, and the continued evolution of urban centers as places with little in the way of middle-class families, the left has become increasingly oriented towards dense cities, almost entirely ruled by liberal Democrats.

Obama’s urban policies are of a piece with those of “smart growth” advocates who want to curb suburban growth and make sure that all future development is as dense as possible.  Some advocate radical measures such as siphoning tax revenues from suburbs to keep them from “cannibalizing” jobs and retail sales.

If Kotkin is talking about regional tax base sharing, the primary winners from these policies can be suburbs. Cities, like the most prosperous suburbs, have a commercial tax base.  But housing-only suburbs have none, and actually benefit from regional tax base sharing.   If he is talking about city county mergers, places that do that tend to be relatively conservative cities like Jacksonville, Fla. not Detroit or San Francisco.

Some even fantasize about carving up the suburban carcass, envisioning three-car garages “subdivided into rental units with street front cafés, shops and other local businesses” while abandoned pools would become skateboard parks.

Again, more suburban housing, not less.  By the way, if you click on the link, Arieff is writing about fixing up suburbs full of foreclosed homes, not the kind of place where Kotkin and most of his readers live.

At the end of this particular progressive rainbow, what will we find? Perhaps something more like one sees in European cities, where the rich and elite cluster in the center of town, while the suburbs become the “new slums” that urban elites pass over on the way to their summer cottages.

The whole point of Arieff’s article is to PREVENT the suburbs from becoming slums.

Political Dangers

The abandonment of the American Dream of suburban housing and ownership represents a repudiation of what Democrats once embraced and for which millions, including many minorities, continue to seek out. “A nation of homeowners,” Franklin D. Roosevelt asserted, “of people who own a real share in their land, is unconquerable.”

Since I’m not a Democrat I’m not going to comment on what he thinks the Democrats are for.  Let the Democrats fight their own battles!

This rhetoric was backed up by action. It was FDR, and then Harry Truman, who backed the funding mechanisms—loans for veterans, for example—that sparked suburbia’s growth. Unlike today’s progressives, the old school thought it good politics to favor those things that most people aspire to achieve. Democrats gained ground in the suburbs, which before 1945 had been reliably and overwhelmingly Republican.

Even into the 1980s and beyond, suburbanites functioned less as a core GOP constituency than as the ultimate swing voters. As urban cores became increasingly lock-step liberal, and rural Democrats slowly faded towards extinction, the suburbs became the ultimate contested territory. In 2006, for example, Democrats won the majority of suburban voters. In 2012, President Obama did less well than in 2008, but still carried most inner and mature suburbs while Romney trounced him in the farther out exurbs. Overall Romney eked out a small suburban margin.

Obama still did a heck of a lot better in suburbia than any Democrat did in the 1980s.  Kotkin’s description of electoral history is rubbish.  Since Kotkin is from southern California, let’s look at Ventura County near Los Angeles,  Even in 2012, Obama got 52 percent there.  How well did Mondale do? 30 percent.  Even in the more Democratic year in 1976, Carter got only 44 percent.In more Republican Orange County, the Democratic vote share increased from 35 percent in 1976 to 45 percent in 2012.

Yet by 2014, as the Democratic Party shifted further left and more urban in its policy prescriptions, these patterns began to turn.

Further left than in 2012?  Seriously?

In the 2014 congressional elections, the GOP boosted its suburban edge to 12 percentage points. The result was a thorough shellacking of the Democrats from top to bottom.

Will demographics lead suburbs to the Democrats?

Progressive theory today holds that the 2014 midterm results were a blast from the suburban past, and that the  key groups that will shape the metropolitan future—millennials and minorities—will embrace ever-denser, more urbanized environments. Yet in the last decennial accounting, inner cores gained 206,000 people, while communities 10 miles and more from the core gained approximately 15 million people.

Not really false, but (1) the article Kotkin links to (by Wendell Cox) defines “inner cores” really really narrowly (basically, as just downtown), and (2) Cox himself writes, in that very same article, ” the central cores of the nation’s largest cities are doing better than at any time in recent history. “

Some suggest that the trends of the first decade of this century already are passé, and that more Americans are becoming born-again urbanistas. Yet after a brief period of slightly more rapid urban growth immediately following the recession, U.S. suburban growth rates began to again surpass those of urban cores. An analysis by Jed Kolko, chief economist at the real estate website Trulia, reports that between 2011 and 2012 less-dense-than-average Zip codes grew at double the rate of more-dense-than-average Zip codes in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. Americans, he wrote, “still love the suburbs.

A fact that doesn’t tell us as much as you might think.  If the less dense than average zip code has 100 people and grew by 5 people, and the more dense zip code has 1000 people and grew by 40 people, obviously the more dense zip code had more growth- but the smaller zip code has a higher percentage growth because it started from a lower base.

What is also missed by the Obama administration and its allies is the suburbs’ growing diversity. If HUD wants to start attacking these communities, many of their targets will not be whites, but minorities, particularly successful ones, who have been flocking to suburbs for well over a decade.

Is making it easier for minorities to live in a community “attacking” it? It seems to me that Kotkin is trying to have it both ways: brag (quite correctly) about suburbs’ growing diversity yet attacking bureaucratic attempts to diversify the suburbs.  Maybe he’s arguing that HUD’s efforts are unnecessary, but the paranoid language about “attacking the suburbs” doesn’t really help his point. 

Also, Kotkin kind of misses the issue of racial segregation of suburbs- blacks living in some (mostly poor) suburbs like Ferguson and whites living in richer ones- but that’s a much more complex discussion and one that can’t be resolved by partisan attacks,

This undermines absurd claims that the suburbs need to be changed in order to challenge the much detested reign of “white privilege.” In reality, African-Americans have been deserting core cities for years, largely of their own accord and through their own efforts: Today, only 16 percent of the Detroit area’s blacks live within the city limits.

These trends can also be seen in the largely immigrant ethnic groups. Roughly 60 percent of Hispanics and Asians, notes the Brooking Institution, already live in suburbs. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the Asian population in suburban areas of the nation’s 52 biggest metro areas grew by 66 percent, while that in the core cities expanded by 35 percent. Of the top 20 areas with over 50,000 in Asian population, all but two are suburbs.

Left to market forces and natural demographic trends, suburbs are becoming far more diverse than many cities, meaning that in turning on suburbia, progressives are actually stomping on the aspirations not just of privileged whites but those of many minorities who have worked hard to get there.

Another huge misreading of trends relates to another key Democratic constituency, the millennial generation.  Some progressives have embraced the dubious notion that millennials won’t buy cars or houses, and certainly won’t migrate to the suburbs as they marry and have families. But those notions are rapidly dissolving as millennials do all those things. They are even—horror of horrors!—shopping at Wal-Mart, and in greater percentages than older cohorts.

Moreover, notes Kolko, millennials are not moving to the denser inner ring suburban areas. They are moving to the “suburbiest” communities, largely on the periphery, where homes are cheaper, and often schools are better. When asked where their “ideal place to live,” according to a survey by Frank Magid and Associates, more millennials identified suburbs than previous generations. Another survey in the same year, this one by the Demand Institute, showed similar proclivities.

Kind of cherry picking the data- but then again, people who talk about millenials moving to cities do the same, so I can’t get too indignant.  The reality is that there’s more than enough growth to go aroundI’ve written about millenials here and here.

I looked up these alleged studies and couldn’t find the actual poll questions.  Kotkin links to the webpage of Magid, but I couldn’t really find the alleged survey.  The Demand Institute has a report but I can’t find the actual questions with the technical details, just their description of the questions.

By the way, the Demand Institute also says that the richest areas (“Affluent Metroburbs”) has the highest Walkscore of any of several suburban groups listed.  So even Kotkin’s own sources don’t believe the market values sprawl.

Stirrings of Rebellion

So if the American Dream is not dead among the citizens, is trying to kill it good politics? It’s clear that Democratic constituencies, notably millennials, immigrants and minorities, and increasingly gays—particularly gay couples—are flocking to suburbs. This is true even in metropolitan San Francisco, where 40 percent of same-sex couples live outside the city limits.

One has to wonder how enthusiastic these constituents will be when their new communities are “transformed” by federal social engineers. One particularly troubling group may be affluent liberals in strongholds such as Marin County, north of San Francisco, long a reliable bastion of progressive ideology.

Forced densification–the ultimate goal of the “smart growth” movement—also has inspired opposition in Los Angeles, where densification is being opposed in many neighborhoods, as well as traditionally more conservative Orange Country. Similar opposition has arisen in Northern Virginia suburbs, another key Democratic stronghold.

The Orange County link shows that NIMBYs sought to “reduce the allowable amount of residential apartments in the Beach-Edinger Corridor Specific Plan.”- in other words, to use government coercion to prevent the market from building stuff.  The only “forcing” going on here is the kind Kotkin favors.

In other words, Kotkin’s position is crystal clear: when government prevents housing in exurbia, that’s bad.  But when government prevents housing anywhere else, that’s “self-determination.”  So spare me the rhetoric about consumer preferences. 

These objections may be dismissed as self-interested NIMBYism, but this misses the very point about why people move to suburbs in the first place. They do so precisely in to avoid living in crowded places. This is not anti-social, as is alleged, but an attempt—natural in any democracy—to achieve a degree of self-determination, notes historian Nicole Stelle Garrett.

A few points:

1) This issue has nothing to do with “crowded places”. NIMBYism exists in the most urban places as well as in suburbs (numerous NYC examples here). 

2) As far as “self-determination”, Mr. Kotkin is confusing what people do with THEIR OWN property with government regulation of OTHER PEOPLE’S nearby property. It is not “self-determination” to insist that no one near you be allowed to use their OWN property to build apartments, any more than it is “self-determination” to insist that no one near you be allowed to be a Shiite Muslim.

Aroused by what they perceive as threats to their preferred way of life, these modern pilgrims can prove politically effective. They’ve shown this muscle while opposing plans not only to increase the density in suburbs,

For the 800th time: “increasing the density” means “more people get to live there.”  It sounds like what Kotkin is for is moving people to suburbs, but only in places that aren’t actually near any existing suburbanites.

and also balking at the shift of transportation funding from roads, which suburbanites use heavily, to rail transit. This was seen in Atlanta in 2012 when suburban voters rejected a mass transit plan being pushed by downtown elites and their planning allies. Opposition to expanding rail service has also surfaced in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.

Cherry-picking the data.  Some suburbanites want more rail service, others don’t.  Kotkin links to an article on Maryland’s proposed Purple Line, whose supporters are also suburbanites. 

By the way, it wasn’t just suburbanites who opposed the 2012 transit referendum; the Sierra Club and the NAACP were against it too because it gave too much to roads and not enough to transit.

Suburbs and 2016 Election

To justify their actions against how Americans prefer to live, progressives will increasingly cite the environment. Climate change has become the “killer app” in the smart growth agenda and you can expect the drumbeat to get ever louder towards the Paris climate change conference this summer.

Yet the connection between suburbs and climate is not as clear as the smart growth crowd suggests.  McKinsey and other studies found no need to change housing patterns to reduce greenhouse gases, particularly given improvements in both home and auto efficiency.

And given that government gives everyone a free pony, no one would buy horses.  (Kind of ironic, by the way, since the progressives Kotkin beats up on are the ones who tend to support auto efficiency regulations).  I couldn’t find the McKinsey study because it was behind a paywall, but the second study he cites says CO2 emissions from personal travel would decline by “8 to 11 percent by 2050”, (not too different, by the way, from the Growing Cooler study) which sounds pretty good to me compared to the alternative of ever-increasing driving and CO2 emissions.

Yet so great is their animus that many anti-suburban activists seem to prefer stomping on suburban aspirations rather seeking ways to make them more environmental friendly.

As for the drive to undermine suburbs for reasons of class, in many ways the  assault on suburbia is, in reality,  a direct assault on our most egalitarian geography. An examination of American Community Survey Data for 2012 by the University of Washington’s Richard Morrill indicates that the less dense suburban areas tended to have “generally less inequality” than the denser core cities; Riverside-San Bernardino, for example, is far less unequal than Los Angeles; likewise, inequality is less pronounced in Sacramento than San Francisco. Within the 51 metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people, notes demographer Wendell Cox, suburban areas were less unequal (measured by the GINI Coefficient) than the core cities in 46 cases.

And why is that?  Is that just a law of nature? No- its because of NIMBYism (that keeps housing prices high in central cities) and exclusionary zoning (keeping the more out of suburbia).

In the coming year, suburbanites should demand more respect from Washington, D.C., from the media, the political class and from the planning community. If people choose to move into the city, or favor density in their community, fine. But the notion that it is the government’s job to require only one form of development contradicts basic democratic principles and, in effect, turns even the most local zoning decision into an exercise in social engineering.

For most of the past 80 years, the kind of development required in 90 percent of America has been suburban.

As America’s majority, suburbanites should be able to deliver a counterpunch to those who seem determined to destroy their way of life. Irrespective of race or generation, those who live in the suburbs—or who long to do so—need to understand the mounting threat to their aspirations  Once they do, they could spark a political firestorm that could reshape American politics for decades to come.

Continue reading this article ›

In honor of the first candidate to declare, Sen. Cruz (to the tune of C’Est Moi from Camelot).

A son of the GOP

Should be conservative

And envy the government of Franco Spain

Be irrelevant to his time

And tight fisted to the dime

And do everything a monarchist would do

A son of the GOP should be conservative

Think thoughts that a Blue Dog would never dare

But where in the world

Is there in the world

A man so reactionaire>

Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz!

None other will do!

The man in whom these qualities boom

Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz, none else!

He’d stray from all he believes

To vote for a moderate bill

If there’d been fifty senators like he

The government would be shut down still!

Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz!

The purest of pure

A stranger to compromise

So if you want

The soul of Right

Unwilling to yield

But eager to fight

There’s no one like Ted Cruz!

And another Rand Paul song (to the tune of “I’m a Good Old Rebel“):

Oh, I’m a Ron Paul Republican
Now that’s just what I am

For  neoconservatism I do not care a damn

I’m glad I voted against it

I only wish we’d won
And I don’t want to compromise on anything I’ve done
I hate the Cheney Administration
And everything they did
I hate the Obama gang and Hillary’s too
I hate the War on Terror

Its wiretaps and blood

From Afghanistan to the NSA
I protested all I could

In 2016

I’m standing up for Rand

Even though I’d really

Rather have his dad

If we elect Hillary

Or that warmonger Rubio

Il’ll pack up my guns

And start for Mexico

To the melody of “Ballad of Daniel Boone

Chris Christie is a man. Yes a big man.
With an eye like an eagle and as wide as a mountain is he.
Chris Christie is a man. Yes a big man.
He is brave, he is fearless and as tough as a mighty oak tree.

The unions call him a bully but he bullies them for you

The rippin’est roarin’est fightin’est man New Jersey ever knew.
Chris Christie is a man.  He’s a big man.
And he fought to cut property taxes all over New Jersey.
What a leader. What a wonder. What a dream come-a-truer is he.

 

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