My take on last night’s GOP debaters, as if they were US aircraft of the WW2 era.

Posted By on September 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

I’ve not got the slightest idea what prompted me to make these comparisons, but once the idea got into my head, I had to run with it.

Rick SantorumCurtis P-40 Warhawk — a brilliant combatant in certain limited circumstances; it won critical early battles, but remained in service far too long and was, by war’s end, completely outclassed by its more modern opponents. A plane every enthusiast has loved at one time or another.

Herman CainRepublic P-47 Thunderbolt — a.k.a. the “Jug,” it was an incredibly rugged and hugely capable aircraft — dogfighter, interceptor, fighter-bomber — but it didn’t always have the “legs” to perform the long-haul missions.

Mitt RomneyBoeing B-17 Flying Fortress — capable of dishing out and taking considerable punishment, it had a rocky start, crashing during its first attempt to win an Army Air Corps contract. Ultimately, however, it became a serious contender for being peoples’ favorite aircraft.

Doctor Ron PaulDouglas B-18 Bolo — After Boeing’s prototype XB-17 crashed during the 1935 competition to win an Army Air Corps contract, this Douglas entry won the competition pretty much by default, despite being vastly inferior. It was ultimately proven to be broadly deficient, especially in armor and armament. It is not noted for any outstanding achievements.*

Gary JohnsonMartin Model 146 — Like the B-18, this aircraft competed in 1935 against the prototype XB-17. Unlike the B-18, it lost.**

Newt GingrichDouglas SBD Dauntless — capable of delivering nearly pinpoint precision attacks with devastating effect, it was forced to soldier on long after it should have been pulled from service due to obsolescence, as no replacement was available.

Rick PerryConsolidated B-24 Liberator — Not as durable, and certainly not as glamorous, as it’s main rival, the B-17. it actually had a longer range and carried a larger bomb load.

Michelle BachmannDouglas TBD Devastator — Ahead of the pack, even revolutionary in many ways, it was the first all-metal monoplane in US Naval service when made operational in 1937. However, it was rapidly outclassed, and ultimately has become more known for its final brave but suicidal missions, most going down in flames.

Jon HuntsmanMitsubishi A6M Rei-sen — Sharp-eyed and knowledgeable observers will already have noted that this aircraft was actually produced by the Japanese; US forces captured an intact example on Akutan in the Aleutian Islands in 1942. It was most commonly referred to as the Zero. Which, in my opinion, sums up Huntsman.

Not present, but deserving mention:

Sarah PalinBoeing B-29 Superfortress — It first flew in 1942… and then spent more than half of the rest of the war getting the bugs ironed out on the way to serviceability, finally being deemed combat-worthy and flying its first combat missions in June of 1944. It was not as effective as hoped, though by changes of tactics and armaments, it became one of the most lethal systems ever deployed. Then there was that whole Hiroshima/Nagasaki thing….

* I suspect it also frequently wandered off course.

** He did, though, have the line of the night, “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”


3 Responses to “My take on last night’s GOP debaters, as if they were US aircraft of the WW2 era.”

  1. LC Steve says:

    Excellent analysis, Russ. Plus I had the added information on all those WWII planes which I did not know before.

  2. Jim says:

    No, Sarah is the P-51 D Mustang.

    Unlike Cain’s P-47, the Mustang has “the legs” (omg, does she ever!), devestating firepower, unmatched manuverability, graceful, swift and powerful……….and is drop dead gorgeous.

    While your B-29 comparison is somewhat apt, the Mustang monniker fits her to a T, and utterly trumps McCain’s “Maverick” misnomer.

    I think we’ll have to reserve the B-29 for an as-yet-un-named Special Prosecutor (plural, actually), who’ll go Hiroshima on Fast & Furious and Nagasaki on Soylindra.

    And those are bombs that really, really need to be dropped. Soon.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    • Russ says:

      Jim old friend,

      The main thing about the B-29 was that it took so damn long for it to be ready for combat, and once it was there is still wasn’t particularly successful, until Curtis LeMay came along, devised new tactics, and burned the enemy to the ground.

      I don’t think we have a Mustang at this point… though I am willing to give Herman Cain some drop tanks.

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