Another Republican debate last night - and this time the crowd stole the show. CNN hosted the Tea Party debate down in Tampa, Florida - which took place in front of a raucous crowd of Tea Partiers unafraid to cheer on radical claims made by the candidates. The debate itself featured some heated exchanges between front-runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney - over Perry's description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme - a claim he slightly walked back from last night. It also featured a full assault led by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum against Perry for mandating young girls in Texas receive HPV vaccines - clearly not an issue that millions of American who've lost their jobs care about - yet an issue that piques the interest of Republican culture warriors.
But the most shocking moment of the debate came when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Libertarian Ron Paul if a 30-year-old who didn't have health insurance was in dire need of medical care - should our nation just let him die. As Paul stumbled to answer - the crowd yelled out "Yes!" calling for people without health insurance to be left to die. After the debate - reacting to the blood thirst in the Tea Party crowd - former Congressman Alan Grayson put it best when he said, "It's sadism, pure and simple. It's the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading -- bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about - 'the war of all against all.'"
Congressman Grayson is right. If the economy doesn't improve - and Rick Perry is the Republican choice - then welcome to Tea Party rule in America where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
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