Question from the GOP Debate: Would You Let Him Die?

By now, a lot of you have seen this viral video of the audience members at the Tea Party sponsored GOP Debate screaming “Yes” and cheering.

Even though I like to write recaps from an obviously Spinny (snark-filled) point of view, that reaction really disturbed me. As did the one last week where people cheered at Perry’s execution record.

Of course, I know not all Tea Partiers or GOP members are cold hearted. Reactions like that are doing nothing for that stereotype, though.

Regarding the death penalty, my stance differs from many Liberals as I support it. It’s a sentence that should never be meted out lightly, though. There should be compelling evidence, preferably DNA. It’s obviously a serious matter – life and death – literally.

That’s why the cheering bothered me, especially with Perry saying he doesn’t lose sleep at night over the possibility that an innocent man has been executed. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas under Perry’s watch, and he could have very well been innocent. He was executed for the murder of his three daughters in a fire ruled as deliberately set. Days before his execution, a nationally recognized arson expert submitted a report that the conviction was based on erroneous forensic analysis. Perry said that the expert was wrong and that he wouldn’t listen to anti-death penalty “propoganda.” He refused to grant the stay, and Willingham was executed.

Since the execution, nine of the nation’s top fire scientists concluded that investigators relied on outdated theories to justify the conclusion of arson. If I were Perry, and I read that, I would lose more than a night’s sleep. And in an entirely different context, Governor Perry would answer the question, “Would you let him die” with “Yes, and I did.”

Where am I going with this? If the Tea Party and the GOP want people to believe there is Compassionate Conservatism, maybe they shouldn’t encourage the death of a guy without insurance or cheer the number of people who were executed. Especially when at least one of them could have been innocent.

28 responses to “Question from the GOP Debate: Would You Let Him Die?

  • lobotero

    It is disgusting that any American could agree with this… a history freak I think of the Reign of Terror from the French Revolution……

    • Spinny Liberal

      It was just horrible. I don’t get it.

    • Terrance H.


      I understand your point, but I think it’s disgusting that ANY PERSON, regardless of their nationality, would think that.

      The one thing we all have in common is our humanity, and that really ought to be enough. But sadly, it is sorely lacking in some people, particularly conservatives.

  • Hansi

    Compassionate Conservatism went right out the door after 9-11. After that one it was time to kick some ass; conservatively of course.

    • Spinny Liberal

      I don’t get it. Many of them are pro-life and encourage people to “err on the side of life.” Not if they have to pay for it though?

      • Terrance H.


        As a staunch pro-lifer and former conservative, I think I’m in a position to speak to that point.

        Trust me…Conservatives are not all that pro-life. Most conservatives do not believe that pro-life should include care after the child is born. In fact, I was told by a “pro-life” conservative that the term meant “anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, and anti-assisted sucide. That’s all “pro-life” means to them people.

  • The Hook

    Of course it disturbed you! You’re a human being!

  • dcmartin

    I could support the death penalty if it were meted out fairly, justly, and evenly, but it is not and so I do not. The Innocence Project has starkly demonstrated how many innocent people wind up on death row, sometimes saved only hours or minutes before execution. ONE innocent killed unjustly is too many, and it looks like we are hours away from another:

    • Terrance H.

      I could never support the death penalty. As much as I would want vengeance if something happened to one of my family members, I don’t believe the government is the appropriate body to dish it out.

      Many people say that it acts as a deterrent, but I don’t believe that logic either. Most people who commit murder did not simply develop a criminal temperament overnight; they had it for a long time and lived the life of a criminal, many living on the streets. They are faced with death every single day. Is a rival gang member going to find me today? Tomorrow? And yet they don’t leave the lifestyle. They continue living it. So, no, I don’t think the DP is a deterrent at all.

      • Spinny Liberal

        You know, T, your stance on the death penalty is why I respect you a lot. You are against abortion and capital punishment. Your pro-life stance is 100%.

        I don’t believe it’s a deterrent either. If you have your mind set on killing someone, I don’t think the consequences mean as much as the desire.

        For me, it’s a crime-punishment thing. There are crimes, like murder, where you should have to pay for with your life.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Governors, especially, should be as close to 100% as possible before they deny clemency.

  • lbwoodgate

    The few who yelled “yeah” to Blitzer’s question “should society let him die” isn’t typical of the Tea Baggers I believe but it does show how easily they tend to open their yaps before the using any critical analysis of the subject matter. Think Bachman, Trump and Cain on this perception.

    To be clear on this though, Blitzer was fishing for an answer that no one in his right mind would have answered like Ron Paul did. If a healthy young man foregoes health insurance then finds himself hospitalized for 6 months after being in a tragic motorcycle wreck there is nothing currently in the laws that expects the state to pay for his health care. For Paul to suggest that as things now stand that there are those who expect the government to pay for this man’s accident is ludicrous.

    The victim would be responsible for his own health care and would probably have to borrow from mom and dad to get his bill paid or take out a loan. I would be willing to bet that after he recovered though that one of his first acts is to buy a health insurance policy.

    In a society where there is a single payer plan then yes, he would get the care he needs but that costs would come out of all of our pockets with taxes to cover it. We pay for health care costs however for ourselves if we have a policy and for others that don’t in the form of higher premiums and hospital costs because of those who either choose not to or cannot afford to purchase health care coverage for themselves and their families.

    • Terrance H.


      I think a lack of compassion is typical of the Tea Party. It’s almost as if they haven’t evolved, thinking with their lower brain only or something. It’s all about ME with them folks.

    • Spinny Liberal

      We pay for health care costs however for ourselves if we have a policy and for others that don’t in the form of higher premiums and hospital costs because of those who either choose not to or cannot afford to purchase health care coverage for themselves and their families.

      Absolutely!! That’s what people should really understand.

  • Ric

    The TPers have demonstrated from the beginning ignorance, thoughtlessness, and a lack of compassion for people and a complete lack of understanding of the mechanics and purpose of governance.

    Those were not aberrant cheers. Those were the cry of the mob. And it is the mentality of the mob that the current crop of Republican candidates seek to turn loose on American democracy and American society.

  • afrankangle

    I haven’t watched any of the recent debates, and I don’t have any of the upcoming ones on my calendar. At this point, they are like most of the GOP candidates … a waste of my time … and I vote in the Ohio Republican primary!

  • beaglezmom

    Perry can’t afford to lose sleep. It might turn one of his precious hairs grey or make it go out of place.

    Our transition to the “about to fall” Rome is complete – like ancient Rome – our army is all over without mission or support, our people have a million gods of their own making, but doesn’t really believe in any of them, and we cheer death like starving crowds cheering for slaves to be killed in the Colosseum. Bread and circuses, that’s all these debates are. The Dark Ages are not yet here again, but they are coming.

  • John Myste

    Another congressional seat lost.

  • Politics Room

    Disgusting… truly disgusting.

  • lyttleton

    I could be wrong here, but isn’t “Compassionate Conservatism” the catchphrase of Bush? And the Tea Party is pretty vehemently anti-Bush. I think the idea of Compassionate anything is considered Socialism by the staunch Tea Party members.

    I hate the term “Pro-Life,” because all rational human beings are “Pro-Life.” The question is always about the standard of living and the viability of life. That said, I’m a very much against the Death Penalty (on a domestic level) and I cannot accept the logic that allows someone to be both Anti-Abortion and Pro-Death Penalty.

    • Spinny Liberal

      That’s a good point – I never thought about the connection between hating Bush and the term Compassionate Conservatism.

      I cannot accept the logic that allows someone to be both Anti-Abortion and Pro-Death Penalty.

      Me neither.

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