Dear Commons Community,
Last night CNN and the Tea Party hosted another debate among the Republican presidential hopefuls. This debate was a bit more spirited than last week’s. Most of the candidates were gunning for the front-runner, Rick Perry. Mitt Romney continued to push Perry on social security. Michelle Bachman challenged Mr. Perry for a program he advocated in Texas requiring girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus, which causes a sexually transmitted disease that is linked to cervical cancer. She went so far as to say that Perry was catering to Merck, the pharmaceutical company that provided the vaccine and a donor to his past campaigns. Huntsman and Paul attacked Perry’s Texas record on government spending, taxes and jobs. And Santorum on his immigration position.
One disturbing moment was the way the crowd made up entirely of Tea Party members applauded letting a man in coma die because he did not have insurance to pay for his medical care. The exchange as reported in the Huffington Post was as follows:
“What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Wolf Blitzer asked.
“Yeah!” several members of the crowd yelled out.
Ron Paul interjected to offer an explanation for how this was, more-or-less, the root choice of a free society. He added that communities and non-government institutions can fill the void that the public sector is currently playing.
‘We never turned anybody away from the hospital,’ he said of his volunteer work for churches and his career as a doctor. ‘We have given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves, assume responsibility for ourselves … that’s the reason the cost is so high.’
The answer may have struck a truly libertarian tone but it was clearly overshadowed by the members of the crowd who enthusiastically cheered the prospect of letting a man die rather than picking up the tab for his coverage.”
Education was only mentioned once during the debate and that was when Ron Paul said the Department of Education should be abolished.
A good summary of the debate is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13debate.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha24