When Rick Santorum begins making almost singular sense (Jon Huntsman is present, hence the qualifier) in a GOP presidential forum -- in tonight's case on the necessity of maintaining friendship ties with a South Asian nation of nuclear capabilities -- you know you've entered their Twilight Zone, one of those particularly weird, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episodes.
Horrifying, this televised creature previewed by CBS News' Scott Pelley as "The Commander-in-Chief Debate." Mitt Romney opened by asserting that President Obama should have provided "covert assistance" to the Iranian resistance movement. Perhaps Obama did. How would we know, if the assistance was indeed covert, just as Romney demanded?
Newt Gingrich wasted no time in coming across as the evil toadking he is, hissing anti-Obamaisms in his customary pathological way. No recognition from Newt -- or Mitt, moments ago -- of Obama's undeniable foreign policy successes, merely one or two of which have put Gingrich's neoconservative playmates to shame, and collectively have proved ineffectual, incompetent asses of them all.
Tonight's real demagoguery belonged to Rick Perry, though. Assaulting America's massive foreign aid budget was brilliant. I give you the Washington Post, from late April:
In poll after poll, Americans overwhelmingly say they believe that foreign aid makes up a larger portion of the federal budget than defense spending, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, or spending on roads and other infrastructure. In a November World Public Opinion poll, the average American believed that a whopping 25 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. The average respondent also thought that the appropriate level of foreign aid would be about 10 percent of the budget — 10 times the current level.
Thus Perry's brilliance is explained.
Herman Cain? He talked tonight as though he's read maybe a one-page briefing document on foreign affairs. Maybe.
I'm going to go hide under the covers now.