I’m certainly no fan of Vance Cheek’s, which is unfortunate, because he’s such a darn nice guy (with such an adorable little girl to boot!) His answers at the debate, however, just reinforce my opposition to Mr. Cheek.

Like Mr. Brackett, Cheek said nothing out of the ordinary during his opening statement, so right to the questions and answers…

Question 1: With a great deal of publicity lately, do you believe the Fair Tax is superior to the present tax code?

Cheek says that he can’t “promise” that he will vote for the Fairtax if elected, but he will vote for tax reform (what moron wouldn’t?). Although Cheek said that he had read the book, he either got the Cliff’s notes version or merely read the cover. He says that he’s pretty sure the Fairtax is better than the flat tax, but that he also sees benefits to the flat tax.

The flat tax??? Problem number one with the flat tax?? It would mean a TAX INCREASE for millions upon millions of Americans, something to which virtually every candidate, including Mr. Cheek, says they are opposed. Versions of the flat tax being tossed around boast tax rates of 15%-19%. Would you like to know my husband’s and my tax rate for 2005 (a decidedly middle income family)? 8%. Eight percent!! The flat tax would double our tax responsibility. Opposed to a tax increase, my foot, Mr. Cheek.

Question 2: Should abortion be a Federal or States Rights issue?

Cheek says that Roe v. Wade made abortion a federal issue and now we must “deal with it.” Cheek says that he would support a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion on a national level.

Question 3: Do you believe it is the Federal Government’s responsibility to bail out individual states after every natural disaster?

Cheek mentioned that we should live by the golden rule, and says that communities need to rebuild themselves with aid from the Federal Government. (And here’s where it gets really fun…) Cheek says that the call of government is compassion (where is that call found?), but that we need companionship between federal, state, and local governments.

Question 4: Do you believe the Federal Government should play a role and mandate the oil companies on a universal scale, to use the EA85 version of ethanol?

Like all the other candidates, Cheek feels that we should not mandate anything of the sort because it interferes with the free market. He says that, first and foremost, we need a comprehensive energy policy including provisions allowing for drilling of our own oil reserves (what about those pesky environmentalists?), increased reliance on nuclear power, and research into alternative fuels.

Question 5: Why is the health care insurance industry guaranteed a profit by the Federal Government in a free market system?

Cheek is one of many uninsurable Americans, so he feels for those who do not have or have extreme difficulty acquiring health insurance. He, however, feels that the problem lies not with government interference, but with duplication of services, which he says must be stopped (so much for that free market idea, huh?). Cheek believes that communities must coordinate to create well-covered areas. Cheek supports tort reform.

On a side note…duplication of services? What might happen if the government decided to butt out of the health care industry and actually allowed the free market to work creating (surprise!) competition? What better way to lower prices than to ensure that someplace like the Johnson City Medical Center can’t price gouge because the hospital down the road will offer comparable services for a lower price? And why is no one screaming about price gouging in the health care industry like they are about gasoline? Sigh…this is another blog for another time.

Question 6: Title 6 states that “No Person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin.” The Supreme Court has held that undocumented aliens are considered “Persons” under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore the assumption has been applied by the Courts, Congress, and State Governments that undocumented aliens have the same rights to all Federal assistance programs as citizens do. What would you do about amending Title 6 to restrict services to citizens only?

Cheek says that Title 6 is good law, but has been misinterpreted in bad Supreme Court decisions. Cheek says that we need either a constitutional amendment or a change in the Supreme Court decision (allowing illegal immigrants the same rights as those here legally.)

Cheek says that, despite what the media has portrayed, illegal immigration is a national security issue, not a racial issue. There must be a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

Cheek’s closing statement was filled with standard “conservative issues,” which I’m sure were tossed in for those who didn’t notice the inconsistencies in his debate responses.