The Republican debate the other evening sounds as if it was really instructive for voters. It was all about who could out "know-nothing" or out scrooge the other candidate. Joe Klein has a few comments concerning Frank Luntz's dial group of 30 Republicans.
In a dial group you hold a little device that registers your approval or disapproval about what a candidate has to say about a particular issue. Here is some of what Klein has to say:
I noticed something really distressing: When Huckabee said, "After all, these are children of God," the dials plummeted. And that happened time and again through the evening: Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted (30s).This didn't surprise me at all. If one thing seems to define many Republicans, it's the worry that someone might get something they don't deserve.
When John McCain started talking about torture--specifically, about waterboarding--the dials plummeted again. Lower even than for the illegal Children of God. Down to the low 20s, which, given the natural averaging of a focus group, is about as low as you can go. Afterwards, Luntz asked the group why they seemed to be in favor of torture. "I don't have any problem pouring water on the face of a man who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11," said John Shevlin, a retired federal law enforcement officer. The group applauded, appallingly.Sen. John McCain, the only person on the stage who had actually been tortured received low scores because he was opposed to torture.
They also hated anything that Ron Paul said (high 30s to low 20s), especially on the war in Iraq.So this small sample of 30 undecided Republicans are going to base their vote on which Republican should run for President of the USA on who will torture more, who will bring on more war and making sure the poor of our country remain poor.
Way to strengthen the USA!