GOP Debate #2

by Brad Nelson9/16/15

CNN will be airing tonight’s debate presumably starting at 6 and 8 ET. The varsity debate will include (listed with their qualifying poll numbers):

1) Donald Trump: 27.8
2) Ben Carson: 14.0
3) Jeb Bush: 9.2
4) Ted Cruz: 7.4
5) Scott Walker: 5.6
6) Marco Rubio: 5.4
T-7) Carly Fiorina: 4.4
T-7) Mike Huckabee: 4.4
9) John Kasich: 3.6
10) Rand Paul: 3.2
11) Chris Christie: 2.8

The only reason I’ll be tuning in tonight is to view Trump. This is not because I’m a big Trump supporter. It’s that because he’ll make it a show. Without Trump, there’s no reason to believe that what any of these candidates — including Cruz — will say will matter in the least. If Bernie Sanders gives a speech and he says he wants to nationalize the car companies, you can believe he’ll work for that.

But as for the GOP, there’s no reason to believe that any of these candidates would act in a forceful way to enact their stated policies. And I include Ted Cruz in that (my favorite of the bunch). He seems too much like the conservative equivalent of John McCain. He has his Senate seat to fall back on. You’re not going to see much bridge-burning rhetoric out of him. It will be smooth, practiced, and mostly forgettable. And I say that as a real fan of his. Don’t expect him to seize the moment.

So, given this earned cynicism regarding the GOP, we’re left with what is, in essence, a rather interesting reality show. And it’s a true “realty show” in that this debate will likely be as phony and as tightly scripted as any cable “reality” show.

And in season one, episode two, the drama now centers on if the Establishment candidates will come together and all hammer on Trump, for at this point it must be clear that none of them can win until Trump is politically marginalized. And as a sideline watcher, you wonder if this rational motivation will be overcome by the desire of all these big egos for taking center stage. As much as people spin conspiracy theories about Trump being a Democrat plant, or Carly being the designated Trump basher this week, at this level you’re talking narcissists across the board. These people have big egos. To expect anyone to not use this national exposure for their own benefit and to act for the interests of another is a bit naive.

Still, it’s a good bet that the journalistic tramp, Megyn Kelly, did have some kind of agreement with her bosses to try to take Trump out in the first debate. And it is pleasing to my ear to hear that this journalistic Tramp, and Fox News itself, has taken at least a small hit in their ratings now that they’ve been exposed as a mere mouthpiece for the GOP Establishment (or just journalistic pretenders as are most of the others).

Anyway, post your thoughts here on the debate as they come to you. No holds barred. Be as kind or cruel as you think frankness dictates. I go into the debate with these thoughts about each candidate:

1) Donald Trump: Will he have even marginally prepared himself for these debates or will he just wing it? He needn’t sound more practicably political — that’s one reason he is where he is. But he can’t just keep piling on more barbs, insults, and glib one-liners. That house is bound to collapse of its own weight at some point. As much as I love to see him bashing Bush, he’s got to not only have a clear vision of where he wants to go (articulated, in brief, regarding the various issues of the day) but when it does come to winging it (perhaps his strong suit) he needs to do a better job of it. I highly suspect that the other candidates will be prepared with some zingers that they’ll try to make sound folksy and impromptu (“There you go again”) leaving Donald unprepared and overwhelmed. They might well out-Donald him, and it really shouldn’t be that difficult for a couple of these to do so.

2) Ben Carson has nowhere to go but the future Surgeon General’s office or maybe on the ticket as the VP. He just doesn’t “have it.” What he doesn’t have is straight-talking conservatism. He’s milquetoast and PC on too many issues. He’s so far riding on the fact that he is indeed a decent and accomplished man. But politically it’s doubtful he could ever be much more than just an office-filler, biding time and making speeches. I haven’t much enthusiasm for him as a presidential candidate.

3) Jeb Bush. His money can still buy several Mother of all Negative Ad Campaigns that could be enough to put the smear on Jesus Christ himself if he were running. But I think this guy is done. No one wants any more Bushes just like no one wants any more Clintons. He seems a nice man who probably should have been a high school principal and gone no further. He’s a doddering “nice guy” who seems to have a multicultural romantic Spanish fixation. He ought to run for president of Mexico, not of America.

4) Ted Cruz will likely remain strong on technical points and weak on the kind of rhetorical points it will take to move his campaign forward. Everyone concedes he’s smart, very conservative, and willing to take on the Establishment. But is he too constrained by the need for a gentlemanly “tone” to actually connect with your average American? He’s not quite as intellectually dull as Paul Ryan, who could also (as Jeb Bush did) put even his own supporters to sleep. But he’s in that ballpark. He needs to lead, follow, or get out of the way. I’d prefer that he lead. Strongly. But it’s likely he’s more of a Senator by disposition.

5) Scott Walker. In every race there’s always a “What happened to him?” candidate where you wonder why he didn’t take off or do better. The best I’ve been able to piece together is that his national campaign has been scripted by consultants, so whatever appeal Scott Walker might have had was wasted behind too-clever-by-half consultants prevaricating on the issues. He’s done. Toast. But look for him to say one smart thing and the Republican Establishment to hail his return. But there’ll be no return. He missed the boat.

6) Marco Rubio. The only mystery regarding tonight’s debate is if we’ll learn further details about how he walked twelve miles to school every day, fought bandits on the way, and then built a log-cabin school house when he got there using nothing but his bare hands. As I’ve said about Rubio, he’d be nowhere without the patina of being “the nice, American-made Cuban.” Well, you live by multiculturalism and you might well die by multiculturalism. And I think politically it’s been the latter for him. Besides the mere image of “the bright, young, Cuban,” there isn’t much more there. But he’s one of the main Establishment alternatives to Jeb Bush, so if he doesn’t shoot himself in the foot, look for National Review to declare his campaign “revived.”

7) Carly Fiorina. It will be interesting if Trump hits Carly with her weak business record at HP. I’ve heard that after she was ousted as CEO, their stock shot up. I suspect she was (in this day of PC) a sort of affirmative-action CEO meant to inoculate the company from un-PC charges and make them look hip and modern. Carly, at best, is a Democrat in outlook. She’s Hillary in her fixation on women’s issue as if men didn’t even exist. She’s likely peaked, but she, above all the other candidates (you live by multiculturalism, you can die by it…but in the short term, there are gains to be made) she has the opportunity to press her victimhood status (of being a woman and being on the receiving end of barbs from The Donald) into some nice sound-byte moments. You can expect that entires staffs of writers have been crafting sound-bytes for her for the past several weeks. The question is whether she can deliver them convincingly. It’s not as easy as some make it look. Still, of all the candidates, she is best in the position to make strong gains if, sadly, only because of the PC demagoguery she’s bound to recite.

8) Mike Huckabee. Huckabee seems very very solid in the niche he’s created for himself. But it’s a relatively limited niche. A presidency does not loom in his future. Still, his ease in public speaking means there’s always an opportunity for him should he decide to actually stand for something.

9) John Kasich is, to me, one of the most insincere politicians out there. But the thing is, he seems so transparently insincere that his insincerity comes across as almost sincere in this age when they’re all liars anyway. Much like Jeb Bush, he’s part of the girly-man wing of the GOP Establishment who have found great success in the meme of “Don’t scare the ladies.” But after his words about God wanting to expand Medicaid, it’s hard to take him seriously. You have to wonder how far Left Ohio has gone in order to elect him.

10) Rand Paul is irrelevant. Not going to win. And despite his supposed libertarian exterior, he’s an Establishment lackey. He’s as false as his father. That seems sort of silly to say since we are talking about politicians. But even for a politician he’s a bit much to take. Bobby Jindal should be on that stage in his place.

11) Fat Boy is in a very inconvenient spot right now. A couple years ago, when Ann Coulter was drooling all over him, he was the darling of those who were looking for a Crusader against the Establishment. Sadly, he’s PC on most things including global warming and Islam. He’d be better than Bush or Rubio, for sure. If there really is a Vast Right Wing conspiracy out there, it would behoove the Republican Establishment to drop Rubio and Bush and do all they can to re-brand Fat Boy as the Trump alternative: brash, sassy, and un-PC, and yet ultimately safely in the camp of do-nothingism. We’ll see. But Trump has stolen his thunder at the moment.

If anyone can find a hard link to the where the debate can actually be found streaming, please do so. The debate will take place here at the Reagan Presidential Library. I don’t know who the moderator(s) will be or the format.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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113 Responses to GOP Debate #2

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Given that this debate is taking place in The Reagan Library, as Rush noted, you can expected Ronald Reagan quotes to be used by the Establishment to defend their policies (such as open borders).

    I respect Ronald Reagan. But he wasn’t perfect. One of best lines in “Lawrence of Arabia” is when Anthony Quinn find out, to his consternation, that there isn’t a big box of gold in Aqaba as “Aurence” had promised. He then quips, “He is not perfect.”

    Well, Ronald Reagan was not perfect. But he was pretty good. And we would do well to hold up some people as heroes or role models. But we shouldn’t make idols of them. And it will be sad to many use his legacy to launch ideas that Reagan himself probably would not have supported.

    You can understand why there is the need of the commandment, “Do not take my name in vain.” There will likely be Republicans up there on the stage using the prestige of Reagan to forward their own agenda…and having little to no understanding of what Ronald Reagan actually stood for. (Sadly, his son, Michael Reagan, seems to be amongst this group.)

    There are parallels between Reagan and Trump. Both are/were hated by the Establishment Republicans. Both spoke directly to the people on important issues of the day that were ignored by others. Both were considered jokes. Reagan was dismissed as a mere actor.

    The differences are apparent enough. It’s highly unlikely that Trump has any kind of coherent political philosophy other than what he has cobbled together from various sources, including politically correct pop culture, so take with a gigantic grain of salt when he says he is at war with political correctness. Still, he does come close.

    It theoretically should be easy enough for one of the other candidates to slice and dice him. But not in the way the Jindal did which was, at best, a moronic rant. Hey, I can do those. But then I’m not running for president. Talking about Trump living inside Jindal’s head rent-free. But the opportunity does exist to topple Trump by simply pushing not only the issue of illegal immigration but other issues as well (Islam, the fraud of global warming, racism from the Left, etc). They needn’t even mention Trump’s name. Just take the wind out of his sails by out-Trumping Trump on the issues that concern people.

    But there may be icebergs in hell before that happens, thus expect Trump to survive another day.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      If you think Michael Reagan doesn’t really understand his father’s ideology, just think of Ronald Reagan Jr. — a staunchly liberal Democrat. It’s unreasonable to expect someone’s children to share his precise political views.

      As for the debate, I suspect this will be much like the FNC debate in style (most political debates follow that pattern). I gather that Jake Tapper is moderator, and Hugh Hewitt will be one of the questioners. That could be interesting.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        It’s unreasonable to expect someone’s children to share his precise political views.

        Reasonable or unreasonable, that’s certainly not how I described it. I wouldn’t expect any two persons (related or otherwise) to share the same beliefs. But Michael Reagan is going around telling everyone how Trump is in no way a conservative…while being a big backer of Establishment Republicans such as Jeb Bush.

        It’s one thing to trade in a name. I understand that. It may be deemed reasonable or unreasonable. But I think I have a passing understanding for Ronald Reagan’s conservatism. And although he might not have approved of Trump, there can be little doubt that he understood the Bushes for the kind of Establishment Men that they are, not conservatives.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, he did name the elder Bush as his VP, though with some reluctance. This reluctance was based as much on his weak handling of the Nashua debate as it was anything else. I’m not sure he was quite so hostile to the Establishment as we are, partly because he simply wasn’t the hostile sort. But he was quite ready to run against him, and could be harsh (as he was in 1976 attacking the foreign policy of “Doctor Kissinger and Mr. Ford”) when he needed to be.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Reagan was TOTALLY hostile to the Establishment Republicans. He ran against Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries. You’re just not supposed to do that to a sitting president.

            Naming a “new world order” technocrat as VP certainly doesn’t mean that Reagan thought H.W. was a conservative, only that he was useful in that capacity.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              By hostility, I meant personal dislike, not political opposition. Reagan tended not to dislike people, even those who disliked him.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I think Reagan had a dislike for the radicals of the Left. But as a mode of operation, he didn’t wake up every morning with his fists balled up in rage. But it’s a mistake to reduce Reagan to just “the happy warrior.” He had a variety of arrows in his quiver. Many of his speeches are extremely stern. At other times, especially during press conferences, he would put on the charm.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        It’s unreasonable to expect someone’s children to share his precise political views.

        I am not sure that is the point. If Jr. is going around selling himself based on the the conservative outsider legacy attached to the name Reagan and as his father’s spokesman, yet Jr. is not conservative and is an insider, then Jr. is being disingenuous, at best. Nothing very unusual about that. Happens all the time. But it is still oily.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think you have analyzed the field pretty well.

    As to the debate, there are several different things which Trump could say to throw both the “journalists” and his Republican opponents off balance.

    1) The first time a “journalist” asks a gottcha question, Trump should call them out for asking such a question saying the people want to hear what I am going to do to solve the problems facing this country not silly gotcha questions from a bunch of scribblers who have never built anything in their lives. Then he should say “since this is the case, I am going to tell Americans what I will do about ABCD…..” If the “journalists” interrupt him, he should tell them the be quiet as they are not the candidates and the public does not want to hear from them.

    2) He should wait until several of his opponents attack him and then say to the audience, “ladies and gentlemen, you have just seen a coordinated attack by the establishment of the Republican party. Please understand that my opponents have been bought and sold by special interests. These candidates are in the pockets of these moneyed interests and will do their bidding. Do not doubt me on this. These people have little chance to win the nomination and are looking for high paying jobs when they drop out of the campaign. I have no such desires as I am going to win and I can’t be bought.

    3) When he is attacked on immigration, he should say something like, “the establishment Republicans, along with the Democrats, are trying to turn America into a Tower of Babel. They wish to destroy the people’s unity and ability to communicate through a shared history and culture. They know the more foreigners allowed in, the less assimilation will take place. They know illegal immigrants are a drag on the rest of the country and take jobs from millions of Americans who need those jobs. And the establishment Republicans are doing it for money. The Dems because they hate America.

    I actually think Trump could have an easy time of it tonight. I hope he or his people have given this at least as much thought as I have.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I like your Tower of Babel answer. I’m not sure Trump is sophisticated enough to articulate in perhaps a slightly shorter form to accommodate these debate formats.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It’s on! Some chick is singing the national anthem even now! It looks like they’re starting with the JV match. Governor Pachinko, Look insincere and uncomfortable in his opening. Blue tie? Get with it, Guv. Reagan would have worn red.

    Rick Santorum. I like Rick. I just think he’s VP material rather than the main act. He’s taken a lot of heat when, at heart, I think he’s actually a good guy (if not also a big spender like they all are). Came on as sincere in the opening.

    Bobby Jindal. What a canned, scripted opening. Not good.

    Lindsay Grahmnisty. Is “douchebag” too harsh or un-PC? This guy talks about winning the war against radical Islam. But he’s spent most of his time winning the war against conservatives. Was an okay intro from him.

    First question. Jindal speaks too fast. Had a pretty good sound byte but got only mild applause.

    Santorum: Handled the first Trump question better.

    Back to Jindal: Sounds like Jindal has a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    Graham looks like he’s liquored up.

    Why isn’t Jindal’s tie inside his jacket and his suit coat buttoned? He looks sloppy.

    Governor Pachinko’s face looks forever like he’s sucking on a lemon.

    Santorum: Okay answer to illegal immigration. Jindal gave little but boilerplate. He needs to slow down. So far, the CNN anchors are making the Fox News anchors look like amateurs. Go figure. But they have a more professional tone and tenor than the journalistic tramp, Megyn Kelly, had. But this is just the JV round.

    Graham: A complete douche-bag Establishment Republican regarding immigration, saying in effect “We can’t do anything about illegal immigrants because we can’t win elections without their vote.” Santorum did well on the issue against Graham…a man without honor. A lot of people like Santorum because he’s able to handle some of these issues well in high pressure situations.

    I’d want Jindal to be my Attorney General or Secretary of Defense. This is not the milquetoast Mr. Rogers we saw about 7 years ago when he gave the Republican response to Obama’s state of the union.

    Governor Pachinko is an idiot. Santorum is right about the co-equal branches of government, that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the final and only say.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I just heard Santorum go on about minimum wage. He may not be correct according to the economists (although I am not convinced minimal increases would change things drastically), but he is certainly right about it politically. I am very happy he pointed out the fact that the Reps are happy to create carve outs and bailouts for billionaires, but have nothing to say about workers. This needs to be said to and about those who worship at the alter of Mammon.

    Interestingly, Trump is also tapping into a similar vein when he talks about taxing hedge fund managers.

    I was at a meeting where Santorum spoke during the last presidential campaign. He is a good speaker and is not a fat cat lackey.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Santorum won this debate, hand-down, with Jindal (who needs to slow the hell down) showed some bulldog. As I said, I’d take him as my AG or Sec. of Defense in a heartbeat. Graham is a fucking idiot, if you’ll pardon my French, and representative of all that is wrong with Establishment Republicanism and “Neo Con” foreign policy.

      And, geez, he may work for CNN, but the moderator made Megyn Kelly look like the journalist tramp that she is. This guy showed some professionalism. I’m not saying the questions were all great, but better than the Fox News Tramps asked.

      CNN is taking a positive view of Lindsey Graham (perhaps the most liberal guy there). They liked his fixation on foreign policy. But as one guy said, you could have asked him about the weather and Graham would have made the question about Middle Eastern foreign policy.

      In that regard, Graham came off as a one-note candidate. And anyone with half a brain understand that the foreign policy as espoused by the so-called Neo Cons has been a disaster.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I didn’t see the whole debate, but from what I saw, I would have to agree with your analysis.

        A further indication that Michael Reagan is a buffoon is a reporter’s remark that Reagan thought Graham was on fire, apparently because of some of the jokes Graham made. Clearly Reagan is easily impressed or just a willing lackey of the DC establishment.

        Pachinko or whatever his name is, was a real loser. Why is he even there?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I didn’t watch it, but I gather they did start out asking a lot of Trump questions. I think a good answer for one daring candidate would have been to ask whether the debate was about the candidates on stage and their ideas for America, or about Trump (who’s in the other debate).

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    It is interesting to watch Trump’s demeanor standing behind his podium waiting for the debate to begin. He appears to be quite loose and relaxed. I did not see this in the others around him. I couldn’t see much of the outliers.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The Main Event: Introductions

    Paul. Weak opening. Dull.
    Huck: Took it right to Hillary. Good for him. Good opening
    Rubio: Has four children. More bio. Surprise. Weak.
    Cruz: More bio. Boring. Must have borrowed from Rubio. Not a very good or sincere opening.
    Carson: Okay opening. Seemed like a real person…but not much of a leader.
    Trump: Good opening.
    Bush: He’s a “committed conservative reformer.” Oh, Jesus, does this guy sound like the same-old same-old politician.
    Walker: First (I think) to mention Reagan…seems to have tried to ape his head bobs. Or does he always do that?
    Scary Face: Poor chose of clothing. Looks like she’s there for a shuttle launch. A very generic and dull opening.
    Kasich: Not smooth. Also borrowing on Reagan. Generic opening.
    Fat Boy: A good opening for Fat Boy….perhaps the best.

    Carly has a smarmy persona about the Trump “finger on the button” question. Trump takes a truly gratuitous shot at Rand Paul. Paul looks sloppy. Needs a shave. Looks like he was out partying last night.

    Better questions from the moderators…although obviously they’re still stirring the pot. I suppose Trump has to like the fact that the first series of questions, although uncomplimentary, makes him the central issue.

    Walker tries a scripted line: “We don’t need an apprentice in the White House.” Sort of worked. They’re allowing some more interesting give-and-take between the candidates in this one. Making the journalistic tramps of Fox News look like the journalistic tramps that they are.

    Not sure how they’re going to make sure everyone has about the same amount of time.

    Christie gives a good answer being an “outsider” in his strongly Democratic state of New Jersey. A sound byte, but delivered very very well.

    Carson just comes off as dull. He needs half of Kasich’s hyperness and that would even them both out a bit. He’s got a good voice though. If he ever quits his doctor job, he’d be a great narrator.

    Carly. blah blah blah. blah blah blah. Ironically, she’s a lot like trump. Hits bullet points but doesn’t seem deeper than that.

    Jeb Bush didn’t look good in the “are you a bought man?” question. Trump did good on the “not accepting any special interest money.” LOL. Great line by Trump to Bush when Bush was trying to interrupt. “Showing more energy tonight.”

    Topic: Russia. Trump showed weakness by continuing to speak only in generalities and not give specifics. Rubio sweeps in and gives no specifics but does show a better handle on the politics involved. Carly at least give some specifics and a generally good answer.

    Cruz tries too hard to be formal. He needs to loosen the hell up. But forcefully at least answer John Kasich’s idiot remark about the Iran nuclear deal.

    No fumbles yet, although I don’t think Trump has come off looking particularly well. Kasich…I really don’t see what anyone sees in him.

    Walker looks like a Secret Service agent that somehow wandered onto the stage. He looks too young to be there.

    Huck gives a good, understandable, and impassioned plea regarding the bad Iran deal.

    Here comes Hugh…the hopeful Trump-slayer.

    But he asked a reasonable question. Trump gave an okay answer. And I’m sure Paul will say “If America would just dry up and blow away, Islam wouldn’t be a problem.” Well, his answer wasn’t quite that bad.

    Cruz does great mentioning the “Death to America” chants while Obama negotiating this treaty. Nice job.

    I like the free-form…but many of these guys aren’t getting their fare share of time. Hopefully there are people with a stopwatch and they’ll do some make up time. I don’t trust Kasich with the nuclear button. Funny that Trump got that question. Nor would I trust Rand Paul…would he push it to protect America?

    The criminalization of Christianity. Good answer, Huckabee. By inference, Jeb Bush is a weak asshole (no pun or other suggestion intended). Huck looks smart. Great answer about accommodating Muslims but can’t accommodate an elected county clerk. Fuckin’ a, as they say. Great answer.

    Now for the ninny (Jeb): Big tolerant country. Respect rule of law (even by the lawless?). Pure Establishment Republican gibberish. Don’t build any walls. Just “respect” everyone and they’ll love you and everything will work out alright. Geez…I wish I was up there in Trump’s place and really nail these guys.

    Note there was little or no cheering for Huck’s great answer…it’s a bloodless, gutless (likely mostly godless) Establishment Republican crowd, for sure.

    Nice spiel by Cruz about Planned Parenthood. Will the crowd give him applause? Waiting. Waiting. Nope. Like I said, I think it’s a gutless, bloodless, godless Establishment Republican crowd.

    Good spiel by Fat Boy noting he defunded Planned Parenthood repeatedly in his state. He used the word “murder.” Good for him. No waffle on the abortion subject from Fat Boy. Said it with conviction and passion…as if he had a pulse. (Kasich and Paul have no pulse.)

    Carly. Will stand with Israel. Will oppose (I guess) Iran. Funny. Carly gets applause for her anti-abortion sentiments when Fat Boy (who did better) did not.

    Back to Bush vs. Trump. Funny how this paring of Trump vs. Bush is marginalizing Bush. The others look like adults (more or less) and Bush is forced to fight with Trump. Marvelous.

    Not sure why Trump is so big on “women’s health.” This really is attacking Bush from the Left.

    The Carly “look at the face” issue was diffused quickly by Trump who said she was a beautiful woman. A good retreat by him.

    Trump looks good on the immigration question. He even agrees with Fat Boy. Now Carson’s turn. He hasn’t gotten a lot of time so far. Carson is milquetoast about the illegal alien question. Won’t get specific. Typical RINO sort of stuff. Basically he dodged the question.

    Bush playing the victim regarding Trumps comments (whatever they were) about his wife. A natural for him. Bush is a liar. What a weak asshole. Okay. Trump nails him on his “act of love” baloney.

    Carly lays an egg saying “Trump didn’t really bring up the subject of immigration.” Baloney. Weak, Carly. Weak.

    “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.” Very good, Donald. And Bush just looks like a weak fool next to him.

    Now Rubio. Oh, god help us. A story about his grandfather. Time to take a leak while I can…

    …Okay, I’m back. Did I miss anything? Did his father build the Eiffel Tower? Clean the augean stables?

    So far, I can’t detect any kind of overall political philosophy form Carson.

    Good answer by Trump regarding anchor babies. Very well articulated and easy to understand. Made Carly look like a chump by giving a good answer rather than trading barbs.

    Carly now won’t shut up and is rambling on far after the moderator called time. Sounds like a nag. No wonder it’s “Miss.”

    Rand Paul said something. I wasn’t really paying attention. Now Carly gets the HP failure question. Blah blah blah blah. Get to the point. Funny. She says “I’ve been very honest about that” while shaking her head from side to side…a definite sine of lying.

    Trump really nailing Carly on her HP tenure and sounds knowledgable. Got her goat a little right there.

    Fat Boy steps in and plays the “We need to be here for more than the Carly and Trump show.” Or something like that. It was a good point by FB.

    I’m beginning to yawn at this point and might take off and have dinner. Not much more to see here unless someone strips and streaks across the stage. Carson, Kasich, and Paul have added little to this and I don’t think helped themselves. Carson in particular doesn’t seem to have much of a thread of a thought and very little energy.

    Fat Boy and Carly shows some fire. Trump is Trump. Walker is a spectator. Cruz was suitably competent Cruz. Rubio is still rambling on about what his third uncle twice removed once did back in his homeland. It’d like to hear more from Huckabee who had the most coherent words and ideas with what little time he’s had.

    Speaking of Huck, he makes some great comments in and around the Fair Tax idea. Only mild applause. Clearly this is a bloodless, gutless, godless audience. It was a great Reagan moment in the Reagan Library and they could barely acknowledge Huck.

    I was trying to think of who Ben Carson sounds like. I asked my brother and he said “Kevin Costner.” In a way, he indeed does in his monotone way.

    A Bush lecturing Trump on how the world really works. Yikes. The Iraq war was a mess, as it was in Pakistan. The PC/multiculturalism view of Islam doesn’t work. What we need up on that stage is one very informed and bold citizens to answer a few of these questions as they should be.

    Big loser in this debate? Journalist tramp, Megyn Kelly, and Fox News. There were relatively few “gotcha” questions. And he tone and demeanor of the CNN moderators made the Fox guys looked like chumps. And I think the generally libtard CNN probably was motivated to make Fox look bad by doing a good job…which they more or less did.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Huckabee is great on queer marriage and the lawless supreme court

  8. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    both cruz and fat boy hit it out of the park on planned parenthood

  9. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    carly said no one on the stage has a plan but her and she repeats some of what the others said. but she is good on planned parenthood.

    I hope this is pushing the republican congress to dare obama to fund pp.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      They would do well to learn from what’s happening. But then, if they were capable of learning, they would already realize that the Trump boom is, at the least, greatly assisted by their fecklessness. If they don’t like grassroots voters preferring total outsiders like Trump and Carson, then actually DO something to oppose the Obamacrats.

  10. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    kasich is really smarmy

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Trump said Bush gave us Obama and he is right. This needs to be said.

  12. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think too many of these guys are pushing war in the middle east and people want to have nothing to do with that.

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    “I think he is doing a good job,” Jeb Bush says about Justice Roberts. That should make a good commercial for someone.

    Great great point Cruz made about appointing Supreme Court justices.

    Huck makes a great comment about who’d he appoint for a justice…and his comments about the 10th Amendment.

    Christie would enforce Federal law against marijuana. Good for him. Paul gives the weak libertarian “only drug users are the victims” bullshit. “The war on drugs has had a racial outcome.” Libertarian. Left. See the similarity?

    Bush admits to once smoking marijuana. You can be pretty sure it was a Columbian blend…something south of the border.

    Good answer by Christie on gateway drugs about Paul’s assertion of them being victimless. Paul is a libertarian kook. Gotta giver Christie this one. Christie makes Paul look like an idiot and a liar. That’s why for the moment I’ll give him so due respect and won’t call him Fat Boy. Anyone who can bash a libertarianatard as he has is okay…at least on this issue.

    “We are misleading young people when we tell them it is just like beer” — Carly. She relates that one of her children was lost to drug use. “We need to tell young people the truth.” Okay, she said something truly conservative.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      My computer went out when Cruz spoke about the Supreme Court. Didn’t hear his comment.

      Just heard Huckabee going on about how the government should cure cancer, diabetes, and alzheimers. This is low down. Cancer is many different things, the growth in diabetes is pushed by lifestyle, to a very large degree. Alzheimers is another thing. Perhaps the government could help but the rise in it is due to our living so long. The rise in cancer is also partially due to our increasing longevity.

  14. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    My take on the debate is that the loser was Kasich. His answers seemed canned and not very sincere.

    I think Cruz lost some ground as he was often left out of debate and didn’t push his way into it. His early responses were not very forceful, but he got better as the debate went on.

    I think Paul improved as time went on, but he looked like a dog which had just come in from the rain. And I don’t think he showed much passion.

    Christie had some good responses, but I don’t know if he can come back.

    Carly had some good answers, but they came over as too canned.

    Walker seemed more alive than the last time, but like Christie, I don’t know if he can come back.

    I did not find Rubio very convincing. He had some good bits, but I don’t care about his grandparents and parents.

    Bush seemed better than last time, but he really hasn’t improved on positions and given any reason to vote for him.

    Carson is very gentlemanly and has some good answers, but I don’t have the feeling he has the breath of knowledge needed for the job. Given his medical past, I think he needs to give some specifics.

    Trump was himself. He was uneven, but kept the attention of all. I would like him to stop with the pettiness, but I don’t blame him for giving it to some of the others as the debate started out as a pile on Trump fest.

    I liked it that some of the debaters took issue with the way Tapper characterized things which they had said or policies attributed to them. I liked it that Trump did not go after others if they didn’t go after him. Interesting to watch how Huckabee, Cruz, Carson and Christie did not say anything negative about Trump.

    I don’t think this debate moved the ball much, but we will see how the nation saw it in a few days.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s pretty good analysis, Mr. Kung. I think you’re conclusion may be right. It will be interesting to see any new polls that come out.

  15. Steve Lancaster says:

    The first time we had a populist candidate for president like Trump was Andrew Jackson. Could it be that the second decade of the 21st century will be the era of Trumponion democracy?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      If Trump is nominated, I think he will wipe the floor with Hillary, Biden, or Sanders. But Trump needs more polish. He needs to show more competency and depth. And I’m not trying to be pedantic, but I’m not sure what a “populist” president is. Surely FDR and Reagan were very populist while patricians such as Jefferson and Madison were not.

      It was interesting to see, inside the Reagan library, Carly doing the best imitation of Reagan when she talked about the need to rebuild the military and her stance regarding Putin. Trump was as vapidly vague on that matter as Obama was on any particular matter in his first campaign. If Trump thinks that dealing with Putin is only a function of his somehow overwhelming charm and magnetic personality, he shares the exact same conceit of those on the Left…who are constantly played for fools by the thugs of the world.

      I’m no Carly fan. I’m not convinced she’s even marginally conservative. I think she’s very much a Progressive product of the culture, completely PC on “women’s health” and all that malarky. (Doesn’t anyone care about men’s health? What? No? We don’t count? Why?) But she did show some strengths.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I’m no Carly fan. I’m not convinced she’s even marginally conservative. I think she’s very much a Progressive product of the culture, completely PC on “women’s health” and all that malarky. (Doesn’t anyone care about men’s health? What? No? We don’t count? Why?) But she did show some strengths.

        When Carly ran for Senate in California, she pushed out a more conservative candidate. She then proceeded to get crushed by Boxer. I seriously doubt she is anything like a conservative. She comes out of the Silicon Valley environment which is anything but.

        It is so obvious that the media is trying to build up her performance in last night’s debate. I heard some fool just say how impressive she was on the military as she went into great detail as regards battalions and brigades. This is nonsense. I was watching as she ran through this litany, trying to show off her intimate knowledge of the military, but I thought it was completely phony. First of all, it sounded like she was reading off a list. Secondly, she has no history of any type of interest or connection to the military. Finally, this was the same type of point which Hugh Hewlitt tried to trip up Trump with. I really don’t expect the president to by able to spout off the number of divisions/etc. in the military. It may be nice, but it is not that important.

        This like some of her other answers did not come over as genuine, to me. Too rote.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          When Carly ran for Senate in California, she pushed out a more conservative candidate. She then proceeded to get crushed by Boxer. I seriously doubt she is anything like a conservative. She comes out of the Silicon Valley environment which is anything but.

          One of the points of optimism about conservatism is that so many of these people who have grown up in this Progressive culture, and have adopted (probably unconsciously) most of its premises, still need to pretend that they are conservative. Even Romney felt the need to call himself “severely conservative.” John McCain pretends to be conservative (at least at election time).

          So…as much as we might make fun of the low-information voters, it’s a shocking thought that many on the right are low-information voters as well. We see this time after time. Someone runs for office saying conservative things but then governs way left-of-center. And they get away with it. The lying in order to gain office and power is understandable. But what is surprising is that these politicians so often get away with it.

          So it’s helpful to note that no matter what Carly says (or Trump says, for that matter), they unlikely have a conservative heart and soul. They don’t have a basic conservative template with which to guide them and make sense of the world. But like a parrot, they can certainly learn the rhetoric.

          Chris Christie probably did the best job last night of sounding conservative. But he’s not a conservative. His heart and soul is a secular Progressive one. And we shouldn’t be confused about this just because there are some governors who (likely because of their state constitutions) have to cut things (and thus inevitably battle state unions) in order to balance the budget.

          As Rush noted (and I noted it as well), all of these participants who addressed the question of global warming accepted it as a true premise. For all of Donald Trump’s suppose non-PC brashness and ability to say things that go against the grain, he also has fallen for this fraud.

          Rate this as sexist if you wish. But I believe that Fat Boy would actually governor more conservatively than Carly would simply because Carly is a woman. Carly has imbibed the Progressive template so deeply, I think this makes it impossible for her (outside of rhetoric) to actual reform the status quo and go against it.

          Trump we know would go against the status quo because Trump is so unique unto himself, there is no “quo” out there that represents him. So, for good or for ill, he would shake things up. He might just as well make things worse, but it’s doubtful that his rhetoric is a mere disguise for a Progressive heart, per se. He has a Trump heart. And I really don’t believe you can say that about any of these guys other than Cruz (who does indeed seem to have a conservative heart). They all are products of the Progressive culture and, like the issue of global warming, have mindlessly (or cravenly) accepted the premises.

          So…still…my favorites include: 1) Ted Cruz. 2) Donald Trump.

          I heard some fool just say how impressive she was on the military as she went into great detail as regards battalions and brigades.

          Well, I was one of those fools who noted that, in the confines of the Reagan Library, she was the only one sounding Reaganesque about strengthening the military. Whether she actually would or not, I seriously doubt it. Why? Because she’d cave in an instant as soon as the press or some pressure group whined that building up the military would somehow take away from “women’s health issues” or whatever. So, along with you, I think she was being a phony. But give her credit for saying the right kind of conservative rhetoric in the venue she was in. Whether it represented her true heart or was just meant to bamboozle us, who knows?

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Clearly Christie, Carly and others sounded conservative last night. But I believe this will have little effect on the overall campaign. Many many people simply do not believe anything coming out of the mouths of politicians, especially establishment politicians, such as Christie, Bush, Kasich, Rubio and Walker.

            These people have simply lost all credibility with a large percentage of the electorate. What they say means nothing as they are all seen as lying dirtbags.

            Now this view may be overly emotional, and historically, virtually all politicians have been lying dirtbags, but I have the sense that something is different this time around.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              But I believe this will have little effect on the overall campaign. Many many people simply do not believe anything coming out of the mouths of politicians, especially establishment politicians, such as Christie, Bush, Kasich, Rubio and Walker.

              I agree. And it’s a good reason to believe that, in at least the short term, Trump’s numbers will remain solid. One might expect a rise in the polls for Christie and Carly, but at the expense of the other also-rans. But we’ll see. I certainly don’t think Trump helped himself in an affirmative way. If he helped himself it was not by self-destructing or saying anything particularly stupid. And he certainly came off as something other than a Perot-like lunatic when he had the good manners (or tactics) to bury the issue with Carly and call her a beautiful woman.

              By the way, Rush’s analysis of the debate wasn’t particularly good. I think we’ve nailed it here though. 🙂


        With Carly Fiorina, we need to remember where she comes from – the world of big business. In Know Your Establishment-Men, I made the case that E-men see the world the same way businessmen do, and tend to be amoral, myopic, and un-intellectual. And when businessmen get involved in politics, it’s either as far-Left Democrats (e.g. Tom Steyer) or as Establishment Republicans.

        That’s why I had Carly pegged as Establishment back as far as last February – well, that and her view that we needed to import aliens for certain key industries, presumably agriculture and technology, which couldn’t be more wrong. She’s smart, no doubt, and she just might be able to beat Hillary Clinton (I always thought that calculation was one reason she entered the race), but she thinks like a CEO, and that’s not what we need.

        Am I the first to see her as a female version of Mitt Romney?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Am I the first to see her as a female version of Mitt Romney?

          Someone at AT called her “Ronald Reagan on the outside but Nancy Pelosi on the inside.”

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          In general, whether because of the environment through which they have risen or because of inherent personal beliefs, moral questions do not enter into things for corporate types such as Fiorina.

          What seems to be the best result of a cost-benefit analysis is what motivates corporate types. Their philosophy can be summed up in a phrase familiar to fans of Mae West who said, “if you,ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time.”

          Steyer represents another type which is common.

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Debate Round-up

    I liked Fat Boy’s answer regarding what woman to put on a new bill: Abigail Adams. Hey, if you have to pander to women, at least that’s not a bad name. The rest caved to PC and dittoed Rosa Parks. Carly, to her credit, said it wasn’t right to just pander to women on this, although I forget who she picked.

    Overall, this debate, although imperfect, felt much more professional and less “gotcha” than the one anchored by the journalistic tramps at Fox News. It was sort of a free-for-all. This allowed for some interesting exchanges and reflected that old Roman? model of pitting people against each other to see who was the stronger.

    This was definitely a debate where the shrinking violet wasn’t going to get much time, and I hope to see a breakdown on how much time each candidate got. The format was conducive to interrupting…a sort of food fight. And yet we should remember this is TV, this is a debate, and there is advertising to sell, thus there is a motive to try to make these interesting.

    What the moderators didn’t do was try to make themselves the story as the journalistic tramps at Fox News tried to do. Fox News remains a disgrace because of that. And I would have never supposed I’d be praising CNN of all people. Hugh Hewitt was obviously smarting from the criticism he received for his “gotcha” questions of Trump in an earlier interview and was obviously trying to repair his credibility and seemed suitably repentant.

    I don’t think anyone committed any kind of campaign-destroying gaff. They did not bring down Trump and Trump did not bring down himself. Those who support him will likely continue to support him. But what may have happened is that the rest of the field may have moved up a bit, particularly Carly and Fat Boy. Carly had great comments about Planned Parenthood and defended her record at HP. Whether it was all BS or not, I have no idea. But as local guy David Bose mentioned, she was prepared for the question. And it’s surprising to him that so many don’t seem prepared for questions that they know are coming.

    If I was scoring this debate, I’d give it to Huckabee for consistency, coherency, and a positive, focused message. He was disciplined without being dull. And this food fight format didn’t go to his strengths. I’d give Fat Boy the #2 slot. He gave the impression of having good executive experience, gave clear, generally precise answers, showed some spunk and energy, and used this food-fight format to his advantage.

    Carly was #3. She defended herself and made some good points here and there. Here worst moment was when she tried to play the victim card about Trump’s comments about her looks but Trump actually bailed her out by having a very gentlemanly comment. That was that. End of story.

    The big loser was probably Ben Carson who just didn’t seem to have a grasp on any of these issues. Nor did he have a very forceful or confident persona. I think he’s peeked. Bush had some fun and fractious moments with Trump, and vice versa. The end result was that Bush, because of the questions and their proximity, got pulled into the orbit of The Donald. This seemed to raise the stature of Trump and lower that of Bush. Poor Jeb just doesn’t have much of a personality compared to the more dynamic characters of Trump, Huck, and Christie.

    Cruz was solid. Kasich is clearly a bit of a sloppy sentimentalist. I kind of liked his idea of Mother Teresa on the ten dollar bill. Why not if one simply must choose a woman? But I really don’t think he has the right emotional make-up for the presidency. And although Donald got the question “Who you trust him with the bomb,” it’s likely Kasich and Rand Paul that I wouldn’t trust with the bomb. Kasich because he’s a bit goofy and Paul because I wouldn’t trust him to protect this country if push came to shove.

    It’s said that Rubio showed good foreign policy chops. Okay, at times he was good. But he still seems like a junior high school debater who has been wound up, put on stage, and then in a cadence that is much too rapid recites what he has memorized. As I said, I don’t expect any of these people to do what they say if they go into office. But that would be the more so in the case of Rubio. I don’t trust him.

    Trump didn’t show a lot of depth. I’m not sure how much longer he can live on generalities and sloganeering. Although he didn’t hurt himself by saying anything particularly stupid, neither did he say anything that would make me want to vote for him. Despite his war on political correctness, he showed no instinct to be frank. Fine, he brought up the subject of illegal immigration. But that’s not the only issue that has been wrapped inside a wall of PC-speak.

    Although I rate Huckabee the winner on a sort of pro-rated points system (he certainly didn’t get all that much time), I think the two campaigns that will gain most from this are Carly and Fat Boy. Bush continued to whither. Rand Paul verified Trumps early remark of “You don’t belong on this stage.” Kasich isn’t going anywhere. Carson is the next Surgeon General if he wants, but that’s about it. Cruz has positioned himself nicely for either a VP slot to Trump or a Supreme Court nomination. Huckabee continues to support his particular “brand” and will remain a fixture in the circuit of talking heads but likely won’t ever be president. And Rubio would likely be the next Secretary of State if he wants.

    Oh…and Scott Walker. It’s funny because I didn’t mean to not mention him. I have nothing against him. But he seems even more forgettable than Bush for some reason. There’s no fire in the belly. He just seems to be going through the motions. Why is he there?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      But he still seems like a junior high school debater who has been wound up, put on stage, and then in a cadence that is much too rapid recites what he has memorized.

      I was trying to put my finger on what was wrong about Rubio last night, but I think you put your finger on it. He came across as an overly eager student, who wishes to please a bit too much.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Thank you, Mr. Kung. And as a former high school debater who sometimes indeed did talk too fast and memorized a script, it might take one to know one.

        Thank God I only type fast now. I hope.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I rather like that Carly Fiorina, asked about the ten-dollar bill, wondered why we need to change it at all. There probably has never been an American woman as important to this country as Alexander Hamilton.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        It was a funny moment for me. Yes, on some level, I liked her answer as well. But the real answer was “PC, PC, PC.”

        As the woman, she was the only one where it was acceptable not to ditto the “Rosa Parks” suggestion. That’s why I liked Fat Boy’s answer of “Abigail Adams.” Despite my better judgment, I liked a lot of what Fat Boy said. I don’t believe he’d implement it. He’d never govern as a conservative. He’s more bluff and bluster than reforming crusaders. Still…I did appreciate a number of things he said. And not caving to the PC “Rosa Parks” (as Cruz did) was refreshing.

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Rush made an important point about Carly this morning…along with his praise for her performance. And it’s something that now bothers me more because I didn’t get the full context until now.

    Rush played a clip of Carly, something she said before the debate last night. It was her reaction to Trump’s remarks about her looks. Carly framed it as “This is what women have to put up with that men don’t.”

    And Rush pointed out that Trump’s remarks were not prepared remarks or even public remarks, but something he said off the cuff (and, unfortunately, in front of a traveling reporter). And Rush said that making fun of people’s appearance is what happens to everyone. Think of Rush’s own description of Joe “Plugs” Biden, referring to his hair plugs. People make fun of each other’s looks. It’s the heart and heart of politics as any political cartoonist understands and takes great advantage of. Lincoln, for example, was commonly thought of as ugly. And the sin Trump committed, according to Rush, was commenting on something like this in public.

    And I agree with him that his comment had nothing to do with her being a woman. And it bothers me, and it should bother you, to see this supremacist feminist fascism coming out of the mouth of Carly. This is the liberated woman? No. She still thinks her sex deserves special treatment and is ready as Al Sharpton in a flash to interpret herself as a victim and see some form of “ism” where it doesn’t actually exist.

    The moral of this story is that Carly is not Sarah Palin who has laughed these kinds of attacks off or given as good as she got. But she never claimed special treatment for herself because she’s a woman. If elected, just know that you’d be electing this kind of feminist with Carly and not a conservative. PC nonsense would be thick with her.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I thought her statement to the effect that all women understood what Trump meant we quite arrogant and dishonest. Is she truly so arrogant as to think that making fun of her is the same as making fun of all women? If she does she is an idiot. If she doesn’t, she is dishonest.

      As to how tough women have it about their looks, if Carly really wants to make a statement, why does she dye her hair and use a ton of makeup?

      And it is very simple to demonstrate her lie about women having to put up with such comments, whereas men don’t. What about all the comments about Donald’s hair? Donald responds to such comments the right way.

      Poor Abe was called a “long armed ape” by his own secretary of war Stanton. Others called him the “original gorilla”.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Well, “to be fair,” you can’t expect Carly to lay down a tool that has obviously helped her “smash the glass ceiling.” You can bet your bottom dollar that however competent she may be, she was likely moved ahead of other, more competent, executives because of her implied threat to play the sex card.

        The world is full of ball-busting women just like this. It’s with some mild and humorous male solidarity that I understand, if don’t actually condone, why Bill stepped out on his harsh, shriekingly feminist, ball-busting wife.

        Still, in regards to gaining the halls of power, you can expect people to use what works, not to be noble. And this incident is a direct look into the character of this woman. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone who is so obviously sexist. With Trump, I know he’s an equal-opportunity insulter. I’d work for him because the only eggshells I know I’d have to walk on is whether or not I could do the job, not how it “looked” to some axe-grinder looking for offense. God save us.

        That said, I feel the same way about Sarah Palin. I could work for her. I think she demands simple excellence and loyalty rather than requiring you to bow to the various PC gods. Again, god save us from these types.

  18. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s the Fortune article regarding Carly’s time wiith Lucent: Carly Fiorina’s troubling telecom past.

    In short, there’s nothing here. I’ll save you the time. The article even ends with little more substance than “I have a feeling.” This is a hit piece.

    That’s not to say that I support Carly. I don’t. But there’s nothing to see in regards to her time at Lucent, at least gauging from this article.

  19. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Some early poll numbers:

    In this same poll, prior to Wednesday night’s debate, Trump sat at 33% support. Dr. Ben Carson sat in second place with 17% support. Today Trump enjoys 36% support. Carson is still in second place but with just 12% support.

    Trump’s lead increased from +16 points to  +24%. That’s an +8% jump.

    With their shared status as outsiders, it appears as though Carson’s support went to Fiorina. Prior to the debate the former-Hewlett Packard CEO had just 3% support. She now sits in third place with 10%, only -2 points behind second place Carson.

    Overall, the Republican Establishment is the Big Loser here. Non-politicians Trump, Carson and Fiorina command 58% of the vote, and that piece of the pie is only growing larger.

  20. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m not so bold as to say you shouldn’t like her or vote for her. (As a Trump supporter — after Cruz — I’m hardly the pot who can call the kettle black). But be very very careful with this one. She’s a liberal. And although her time at Lucent seems unremarkable, she may well have been a horrible CEO at HP, perhaps severely damaging the company, and is officially listed by several lists as one of the worst ever. John Hawkins has a pretty good article on that: The Conservative Case Against Carly Fiorina.

    If you vote for her, you might as well vote for Jeb Bush. There’s little difference, in my opinion. They’re both Progressives with a tinge of conservative rhetoric salted over the top.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Fiorina, if nothing else, is much feistier than Bush, and much more capable of taking the attack to the Fire Witch. How conservative either one really is, I can’t say — but there are flaws in that respect with all of them. She would be a good choice as a VP, much as Reagan chose Bush the Elder.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Is there any particular reason to believe that she would blast Hillary with the same kind of fire she uses on fellow Republicans? There is reason to doubt it. McCain and Romney are terrific examples. I put her right above Bush as my least favorite, and that includes Kasich. I think she’s totally a fraud. My spider senses and Jedi powers are all tingling and jingling when it comes to her.

        It would be interesting to see if The Donald (who I think could well win the nomination) would pick her. I seriously doubt it, if only because she was a huge failure at HP. And this is the world that Trump perhaps understands best.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, she has been as a candidate. Not every Republican is a PC nebbish eager to denounce their own party while never uttering a harsh word about the opposition. Whatever her other problems, this doesn’t describe Fiorina.

    • Bell Phillips says:

      That’s a good link – follow the ones from there to all of the stories about worst CEO ever.

      As a life long nerd, I remember her time at HP. She brought fundamental change to that company the same way Barry Zero is bringing fundamental change to the US. She was everywhere in the trade press, and not in a good way.

      HP had a corporate culture that was all about being the absolute best. Their customers could see it and their employees took pride in it. They were second only to maybe Bell Labs (another Carly success story) in privately funded basic research. They took a long view and they were successful.

      And then came her predecessor Lou Platt – another name reviled by former HP customers and employees. Carly carried on from Lou in trying to move the company from a specialty scientific company (that did nevertheless offer several products of broad appeal – their LaserJet printer line, most notably) to a high volume consumer company. The focus changed from the future of the company to the dividends and bonuses of today. Short sighted cost cutting at the expense of product quality and technical leadership was the new tactic (it certainly wasn’t a strategy.)

      HP was the company where all the uber-nerds wanted to be. The Google of its time without all the Orwellian creepiness and world domination. It was consistently touted as one of the very best places to work. Morale was destroyed under the Carly reign. When she was shown the door, the remaining employees danced and threw parties.

      Their customers were nearly as thrilled at her departure – but the company never regained its reputation. I, for one, purchased my last sub-standard piece of HP garbage a few years ago. The room full of their used equipment from the 70’s and 80’s was my pride and joy, and I’m always looking for more.

      Her actions as HP CEO are just not consistent with a conservative philosophy of caution, tradition, and planning for the future.

      My count of the 11 in the main debate has 1 yes, 1 maybe, 3 no’s, 5 hell no’s, and Trump. She has Jeb to thank for not being at the bottom of the hell no list.

      The Carly situation is reminding me of Elizabeth Dole. She was intriguing during the 2000 race, but my Mom worked at the Red Cross at the time. Dole was strongly disliked within the organization, and that struck me as a pretty bad sign.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Thanks, Bell, for your obviously substantive knowledge on the subject. Sounds as if she were a kind of corporate raider from the inside — and definitely of the “Progressive” ideology where the watchword is “We must add something, do something, get bigger, do something that looks like innovation, maybe expand, maybe buy another company…but for God’s sake we must do something so that I look like I’m a big success!”

        I totally get what you’re saying about a person who seemed to have no understanding who HP was and what made it a successful company. Compare that to the Obama Progressive types who think nothing substantive happened on earth (of any merit) until they came along. So if you go about to “fundamentally transform” that which you either don’t know about or don’t respect, you’re bound to screw things up, especially if things as the were were a remarkably hard-earned success built on years of discipline, true innovation, and focus.

        Given what you’ve said, I’m now convinced more than ever that she’d be a horrible president. She ought to switch and run on the Democrat ticket.

        And I like what you said about 1 yes, 1 maybe, 3 no’s, 5 hell no’s, and Trump. They pay Jonah Goldberg and other pen-jockeys to crank out endless mindless opinions but you’ve gotten right to the heart of things. I only wish I had Establishment money to pay you. 🙂

        My “yes” is Cruz, my “maybe” is Ben Carson, lots of hell no’s and then there’s Trump. The only person I would stay home for is Jeb Bush. I couldn’t vote for him. We’re a republic, not a monarchy. We don’t need any royal lines.

        • Bell Phillips says:

          There was a piece by some moron on RedState the other day titled “Why is Donald Trump Happening to America?” I think the question answers itself.

          We’re in agreement on first and last choices. My “maybe” in the debate was Walker, so I don’t have to expend any more thought on him.

          I want very much to like Ben Carson, he seems like a really decent guy, but I’ve heard him say some troubling things about the 2nd amendment. It makes me wonder what else is lurking there.

        • Bell Phillips says:

          And about dynasties-

          A while back, one of my coworkers was researching his genealogy. He found out that he was 23rd cousin 6 times removed from some president or another. He said that actually, if you’re related to one president, you’re related to a bunch of them.

          Most of the presidents have been closely related to a small handful of families that constantly intermarry.

          I haven’t had the inclination to verify what he said, but I’d love to see a graph of it, if it’s true.

          We may not be that far from being a monarchy.

  21. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Apparently, Walker is dropping out. That he is dropping out is not surprising, but that he is the first of the top tier group to leave is interesting. Iowa and N.H. should have been good fits for him, but he is getting nowhere in either.

    I also wonder if the establishment Reps hope his departure will help Carly?

    Who will be the next to go? Paul, Kasich or Christie? I suspect Paul will stay in for a while longer as he is simply trying to follow in his father’s footsteps and keep the libertarian flag flying.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I also wonder if the establishment Reps hope his departure will help Carly?

      As long as we’re playing this whack-a-mole Establishment “Mr. Big” Game, my vote is that Carly is backed by The Establishment only to try to take power from Trump and split those votes up. They all expect Jeb to then “surge” at some point and make both of them irrelevant. Then Carly will have done her job and can move along like a nice girl.

      This makes some sense because as noted by some article I read recently, the game as rigged by Prince Regus (or whatever the hell that goofball’s name is) favors someone like Trump who leads, but may not have a majority. But in a race with many participants, the vote is split up. With more “winner take all” states, this was supposed to favor Bush.

  22. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m not against the idea of a woman president. But a woman for woman’s sake makes as little sense as Obama did for black for black’s sake. It seems Aaron Goldberg has lost his senses and is equating Carly Fiorina with Margaret Thatcher.

    I must therefore apologize to all ladies present because I’m the one who often notes the generally emotional and irrational nature of women. But, goodness sakes, men are not immune to this.

    I’ve no doubt that Carly has her strong points. But Trump is not Reagan and Carly is not Margaret Thatcher. I do remember when I was in my early twenties I had a much more irrational and emotional orientation toward politics and leaders (for good or for ill). I wouldn’t say I’ve been cleansed by cynicism. But a healthy dose of skepticism is necessary. There are no saints running for president. And yet, need we gloss over who these people really are and turn them into icons of great leaders who used to be?

    The American Spectator has joined much of the conservative press in its degraded analysis. I still scan the articles, but wonder how this passes for journalism, let alone an opinion piece. One debate and people are getting all goo-goo eyed for Carly. Considering the lesson of Obama, isn’t this at least a good reason for a more rational and balanced approach?

    The reality likely is that she would simply govern as another cog in the ruling class. As someone said on Rush’s show yesterday, nowhere is political correctness as rampant than in big business. Was Margaret Thatcher ever afraid of calling a spade a spade? And Goldberg sees some huge victory in the “that face” episode, but I saw Trump being nimble enough to bury the issues…while Carly comes out looking like the feminist ball-buster that she likely is.

    Perhaps Trump intuited something about “that face” and it wasn’t about her looks but her shrill manner. She took a wrecking ball to Hewlett Packard. And, as one poster said, if the Left could successfully accuse Romney (who had a generally good business record) of somehow causing cancer in one of his employees, what will they do with Carly who fired 30,000 employees and engaged in dubious vendor lending practices at Lucent?

    And it’s not that I’m measuring a candidate in terms of what the Left will say about them. They’ll make it up if they have to. But the point is, this is not your Mrs. Smith goes to Washington. As someone also noted, she ran against a conservative in 2010.

    In many respects, we’re still finding out who these people are or are not. It’s too early to paint Carly as the next coming of Thatcher. When she starts talking about the fraud of global warming, of the trumped up meme of “women’s health” which so often means abortion on demand, when she talks about cutting government because it is the problem, not the solution, then maybe we can start talking about her as Carly the conservative. But so far she looks like the same-old, same-old Progressive Republican who would do nothing but further taint the party by acting a a de facto impediment to reform.

    Why do writers such as Goldberg so easily get the vapors? Carly is not Thatcher and not just because she has no record of conservatism. It’s because she really has no record at all. I love what this one poster wrote:

    Umm… no.
Like Fiorina, this article lacks substance.
I believe Thatcher lost 3 elections before she finally won a seat at Parliament. While serving, she fought her way off of the back bench and that took years. She also held several posts heading shadow cabinets for the Heath administration. Before she led the party and ran to be UK PM in 1979 a decade or more had gone by. 
Carly is Maggie? Why? Cuz debate? 
No. Not even close.

    It’s like these writers get caught up into thinking the presidential race is an episode of American Idol where they can instantly anoint someone as the next big thing because of 30 seconds on the stage. This is another once great conservative publication that is wearing thin.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The following statement from Goldberg tries to equate one debating performance with years of work and success. This is truly stupid and dishonest.

      Carly Fiorina stood out on that debate stage much like Thatcher stood out among Britain’s Tories when she wrested the leadership of the Conservative Party from Edward Heath forty years ago.

      It is becoming increasingly evident that many and perhaps most so-called “conservative” publications do not, and never have, actually supported Conservatism. Places like NRO and American Spectator are dependent on contributions to stay alive and clearly the publishers are beholden to the big money donors. But more than that, they are part of the establishment and want no part of a truly conservative movement filled with the hoi polloi.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The owner and publisher of American Spectator is far behind ST in the analysis of the Trump phenomenon. But he has also figured out , at least partially, why Trump is going strong. He wrote today;

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Jim Geraghty on NRO had an article pointing out that even in her 2010 race, which has been much criticized by conservatives, Fiorina came out very strongly as a social conservative and was endorsed in the primary not only by Sarah Palin but by Tom Coburn and James Inhofe. She obviously has some bad connections (e.g., the McCain campaign), but there is reason to believe that she is as conservative as anyone else except Jindal (who’s nowhere in the polls) and Cruz.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        but there is reason to believe

        Looking forward to hearing the reasons….if they exist. And Jim Geraghty is not one I would tend to cite to make a good case. He’s pretty squishy in my opinion.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, Geraghty cited her comments on abortion, homosexual marriage, and gun control in 2010 as well as the endorsements.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Okie doke. If she is against homosexual marriage, is for the second amendment without a lot of quibbles, and is for the abolition of abortion (anyone can be pro-life…it’s quite another thing to to be pro-abololition) then that’s in her favor.

            But talk is cheap. We’ll see. At this point I think all we’re getting is Romney-like rhetoric.

  23. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    More evidence of Carly being a complete fraud. Hat tip to Mr. Kung.

    From her praise of Jesse Jackson, to her playing the race and gender cards against DeVore, to her support for the Wall Street bailouts, to her qualified support for the Obama stimulus, to her past support for taxation of sales on the Internet, to her waffling on immigration, to her support for Sonia Sotomayor, to her Master’s thesis advocating greater federal control of local education, to her past support for weakening California’s Proposition 13, to her statement to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board that Roe v. Wade is “a decided issue,” Carly Fiorina’s oft-repeated claim to be a “lifelong conservative” was only plausible in the universe of NRSC staffers who recruited her in the first place. …She endorsed Federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research for “extra” embryos. She endorsed the California DREAM Act, which grants in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. …Fiorina also strongly supported Marco Rubio’s amnesty plan that even he claims not to back anymore, endorsed cap & trade and attacked Ted Cruz for being willing to shut down the government to stop Obamacare. How do you trust Fiorina on immigration, small government issues, taxes, pro-life issues, global warming or to even try to kill Obamacare after that?

    My spider senses are proving true. She’s a feminist through and through. And about as conservative as Nancy Pelosi.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Now, that’s unfair. I can’t imagine Carly Fiorina marching in a NAMBLA parade with their staunch supporter, Nancy Pelosi (who in other circumstances is quite happy to attack pedophiles, especially Catholic priests). Nor can I imagine her citing her religion as a justification for being pro-abortion (as self-alleged Catholics Nancy Pelosi and Caroline K. Schlossberg do), particularly since she does have some degree of pro-life history.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You seemed obsessed with some brand of “fairness,” Timothy. Let’s just say we didn’t get to this point where the RINO Establishment has betrayed its base because we too often were wrong about who they were.

        At this point, the burden of proof is on Fiorina to prove she’s not just another power-seeker, steeped in Progressive culture, who has learned to parrot a view conservative lines in order to fool the masses.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I do not think fairness requires splitting hairs. Broad-brush comparisons are sometimes instructive and useful, particularly when true.

        I forget who said it, but “politics ain’t bean bag”, and I am sure Carly is aware of this.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Of course she is. Fiorina no more plays beanbag than any of the others. At least she does hit Hillary as well as Trump.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            We’ll see if she hits Hillary. An article Mr. Kung linked us to from Jeffrey Lord shows that Carly is very very friendly to Hillary. That doesn’t bode well for actually debating the deep roots of differences between right and left.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              True, but no one else will do that either. As usual, we’re stuck looking for the least of evils, knowing that the Demagogue will be the greatest of evils.

  24. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a good article by Jeffrey Lord: The Wussificiation of Presidential Politics. And, no, this is not me writing under a pen name.

    I think GOP debate #3 is coming up tonight. Right?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, it’s on CNBC, with the secondary candidates at 6 and the main event at 8. Of course, there’s also the World Series, and in my case I have to get up early tomorrow for a doctor’s appointment (dermatology).

      Theodore H. White in The Making of the President noted that there were anti-Catholic flyers in the Wisconsin primary — which showed up at Catholic households. On the other hand, one must note that in West Virginia Kennedy really did face a serious problem of anti-Catholic prejudice. Humphrey did win a primary that year, defeating Wayne Morse in DC (very appropriate given Humphrey’s civil rights record).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I tuned into the game last night starting at the top of the 8th…and didn’t know at the time at I was only about halfway through it. So that worked out nice. I had no idea Bartolo Colon was still pitching. I saw him pitch once with Cleveland in the King Dome in Seattle. He’s sort of an ageless wonder.

        A close game last night, one the Mets should have won, but the baseball gods did not agree. But look for many more hardballs to be thrown than in tonight’s GOP debate which will feature a lot of junk pitches.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Judging from the live threat at Town Hall, CNBC has been grossly biased, its moderators clearly active liberals out to help their side. (This would never happen to Democrats, but the GOP routinely allows it — another reason they’re the Stupid Party.) Both Cruz and Rubio seem to have called them on it very strongly. There’s also some real discussion of economic issues — taxes (including Fiorina pointing out the size and complexity of the income tax code), entitlements (Kasich and Huckabee seem to be big supporters), and no doubt more as time passes. Rubio easily rebuffed Bush’s attack on his Senate attendance record (which is better than either Obama’s or McCain’s from 2008). The link is:

  25. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Are we up to GOP debate #4 now? Whatever the case may be, game on.

    The undercard debate is being broadcast on the radio right now. Fat Boy got the first question about the lagging economy. He’s for reducing regulation. Good. Has he done that in NJ? Would he do that as president? I don’t know. But they all say. Few do anything but grow government.

    Second question. Huckabee is talking about Fair Tax. Eyes glazing over already. Someone needs to talk Big Principles and Big Picture stuff first, then show how it connects to the specifics (tax code, economy, whatever). Wants to get rid of the IRS. Okay, fine. What then?

    Santorum gets the third question. An economic one again. We’re in the economic portion of the event. He started the answer well. Then my eyes glazed over again. Tax code. Tax code. Tax code. No one outside of the beltway really believes the IRS will be abolished and a new tax code will be implemented if you can’t do something as simple as seal the border.

    Next. Jindal. Let’s see if he can slow down his cadence a bit. He sometimes is a bit too much like a snippy poodle. “Are we willing to cut the government economy so that we can grow the American economy.” There. Someone with a Big Picture look. “It’s not just enough to be Hillary Clinton. We have to change the direction of our country.”

    Great quotes from Jindal.

    Great answer by Christie regarding “How can the GOP when the Dems are handing out so much free stuff?” Good stuff from Fat Boy. “Get government the hell out of the way and let the American people loose again.”

    Santorum. Snore. Snooze. Got a tough question “How do you incentive people to work when they get free stuff?” Doesn’t answer it succinctly or clearly. He was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if anything stuck.

    Governor Jesus gets the next question: “Social Security isn’t an entitlement. It’s an earned benefit.” A mush of thinking regarding what is welfare and what isn’t. Clearly he’s afraid of that third rail.

    Overall, the questions are better so far. They’re still “journalistic” questions and not practical ones real people would ask. Jindal gets the next question. “Everyone talks about it. There’s only one of us who has cut government spending…you’re looking at him.” “Let’s not be the second version of the liberal party. Let’s cut government spending and grow the economy.”

    Huckabee is one gigantic feel-good waffle machine.

  26. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Now the main event for debate #4. Gauging by the applause during the introductions, this is another RINO crowd.

    Great answer by Dr. Carson regarding raising the minimum wage to $15.00. He makes a great philosophical and economic point including “How to we extend opportunity instead of giving things away and making the dependent.”

    Rubio. He’s like the family slide show your host foists on you and you just can’t get up and leave. Every answer is about his family. He could win if the job was Biographer in Chief. But he is on the correct side of the minimum wage question. Speaking of the opportunities of vocational tech: “Philosophers don’t make much money. We need more welders than philosophers.”

    Kasich still just doesn’t do it for me.

    Bush wants to cut, cut, cut. Funny, but what Establishment Republican doesn’t say that and then goes on to never cut anything of significance?

    Trump answered the first question with soundbyte #2b: “American needs to win at something. It doesn’t win anymore.” I think if you left the mayo off his sandwich, this is what he’d tell the waiter.

    Carly. Boring. Boring. Boring. And there’s something about her that seems like a black widow spider. I don’t trust her.

    Paul gives a good answer to the “income inequality” question: “If you want less income equality, move to a state or a city with a Republican governor or legislature.” He took a good shot at the Democrats. Note: I consider the “income inequality” question to be the equivalent of “climate change.” When has there never been the very rich and very poor? When has the climate ever been in a state of perfectly equal stasis? This is a question with a thoroughly Marxist basis to it.

    • Uimothy Lane says:

      They have open threads at both Town Hall and Hot Air. I commented on the former about the Carson and Rubio answers on minimum wage and may make more comments later.

      Addendum: I like Rand Paul’s point about income inequality being greatest where Democrats are in charge, and targeting the Fed.

      Addendum: Ben Carson nicely pointed out that there’s a difference between vetting a candidate (which he supports) and lying about him (which he doesn’t) — and contrasted the media treatments of him and Slick Hilly.

      Addendum: Trump nicely pointed out that back in the 1950s, Eisenhower deported 1.5 million illegal aliens — and after they came back, sent them far enough south that they didn’t. Naturally, Kasich and Bush were eager to oppose deportation, and Trump pointed out the unfairness of treating the illegals better than legal immigrants waiting patiently in line.

      Addendum: Cruz pointed out the economic effect of immigration, and suggested that attitudes would be very different if the illegals sneaking across the border were lawyers . . . or journalists.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Cruz just nailed the question of illegal aliens. Good stuff. As you said, love the quip about how there would be a crisis if journalists were crossing the border driving down wages.

        I missed the Carson comment about vetting. Sounds like a good answer though.

        Carly. Boring boring boring.

      • Uimothy Lane says:

        Asked about tax cuts and the deficit, Paul and Cruz both cited their specific budget cut proposals (including Cruz’s proposal, right before the debate, to cut out the IRS and 5 departments. Paul also mentioned Sean Hannity’s beloved “Penny Plan” — 1% reductions across-the-board for each of several successive years. Rubio defended his family tax credits by citing the importance of the family and the expense of raising children. Paul pointed out that Rubio’s proposal was a refundable tax credit and thus welfare, but Rubio pointed out that it was balanced against other taxes (including the payroll tax). We would have to see the details.

        Addendum: Discussing military spending, Cruz suggested that we could afford it by getting rid of corporate welfare such as sugar subsides, and Fiorina endorsed zero-based budgeting (a reform that has been proposed for several decades, but has never replaced baseline budgeting at the federal level).

        Rubio very accurately pointed out that the Dodd-Frank regulations have in fact helped the big banks (which keep growing larger) at the expense of the small banks (partly because they can’t afford the fancy lobbyists), who thus get smaller. Cruz pointed out that this sort of corruption hurt small businesses (which can’t get loans) and ensured that 6 of the 10 richest counties surround Versailles-on-the-Potomac.

        Addendum: Discussing letting banks fail (Cruz is willing, Kasich wants to bail them out in the name of saving ordinary people’s savings), no one seems to have heard of the FDIC.

        Discussing Hillary’s experience, Cruz pointed out that she has a very poor record as Secretary of State, providing several examples. He also called for rejecting any law that exempts Congress from its provisions.

  27. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think the debate did not move the ball much for any of them, in a positive way.

    But I think Bush and especially Kasich, did themselves harm with their answers on immigration and banking. And Kasich also interrupted too often.

    Fiorina had some reasonably good answers, but was too rude and interrupted too often.

    Carson had a better night than during the previous debates. He showed more energy.

    Cruz had some good substantive replies.

    Paul did not sound crazy.

    Trump was ok, but not great.

    Rubio still seemed like a high school debater.

    I thought the questioners’ use of Facebook regarding what is on American’s minds, was silly. There graphic didn’t even show immigration. Do Facebook users really represent the political mind of America?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Paul did not sound crazy.

      Best commentary I’ve read, Mr. Kung. Funny and true. I think it was Paul who brought some sobriety to Carly and other Neo-Cons’ wish for a “no-fly” zone. Rand basically says, “Hey, I have no affinity for Assad or the Russians. But do you know that a ‘no-fly’ zone where Russian planes are already flying means shooting down Russian planes?”

      Gads, they say Trump or Carson is a Rube. Carly, Bush, and Rubio looked just plane ignorant and silly on foreign policy. Bush exposed himself unintentionally when he accused Trump of envisioning the Middle East like a big Monopoly board that you just moved the pieces around. But perhaps there is no better explanation for Bush’s point of view which has no realistic view of Islam and Muslims.

      And Trump made sense when he said, and I paraphrase, “The rebells may be worse than Assad. Go ahead and let the Russians fight them.” Libertarians tend to be very inarticulate when trying to make these points…probably because they are half crazy themselves. But you can’t play “military” in the Middle East as if it were a Monopoly board as the Progressive Republicans have tried to do. The West can’t ever truly have an ally with an Islamic country.

      Before I comment further, let me post a stanza of a song I’ve had running through my head this morning. And I think I know why:

      In the clearing stands a boxer,
      And a fighter by his trade
      And he carries the reminders
      Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
      And cut him till he cried out
      In his anger and his shame,
      “I am leaving, I am leaving.”
      But the fighter still remains

      I feel battered and bruised listened to a couple hours of political blather last night. Not all of it was bad. But most of it was cold, calculated, and politico-pathic as in “socio-pathic.” It saddens me to read blather like this from an opinion at American Thinker. On the other hand, perhaps George Neumayr is a little optimistic in The Donald by a Hair but he captures the essence of one aspect of the debate when he writes:

      Fiorina’s anti-Putin posturing was also tiresome. It fell to Trump to be the grown-up in the demagogic room by observing that the U.S. should welcome Putin’s strikes on ISIS and that the “rebels” are a hell of a lot worse than Assad.

      Certainly I agree that Fox Business conducted itself much better and oozed a bit of professionalism, although I think your average American would have asked better questions than these professional journalists. Still, they were heads and tails above the journalistic tramp, Megyn Kelly, and the MSNBC political hacks.

      Local talkshow host, David Bose, made a good point about Kasich having a good point about the need for strong families. Bose noted that Kasich often comes off as an annoying Church Lady but did well on this point.

      I disagree with Neumayr regarding Rubio’s philosopher point. As someone noted on the radio, most “philosophers” are far-left anyway. Rubio’s point was that we could use more real-world workers rather than philosopher kings. And I agree. George and others stumbled on this point. As much as I’m not a fan of Rubio, I gotta call it like I see it.

      Bush himself sounded sober a time or too. And as I already noted, it was boilerplate stuff that they all tend to say and never follow up on. Thus the need for a little Simon and Garfunkel. I feel a little battered and abused by the same old disingenuous political blather. Therefore let StubbornThings be like a Bridge Over Troubled Water.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        “The Boxer” is my favorite song from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. I do think my senator did get in a good point about the no-fly zones, and also about the fact that the military as well as domestic spending has to be affected by the limits of our resources.

        Incidentally, I notice that somewhere along the line, my name got changed to “Uimothy”. I corrected it for this posting, and hope that will take care of things, but I do wonder how it happened to begin with. Checking previous posts, it seems to have happened yesterday between 4:10 and 5:48 pm.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There was a moment in the debate that almost produced something worthwhile. Rand was debating Bush or Rubio and Cruz tried to step in and divide the baby in half and say that they were both partially right.

          There’s no time for intelligence in a format like that. But he might have gone on to note that our entire military endeavor in the Middle East, apart from special ops or covert operations, have been a complete and utter failure, bolstering Rand’s libertarian/isolationist viewpoint. He would also point out that America does need to be the leader of the free world lest that vacuum be filled by the bad guys, bolstering Bush’s point of view. Integrating these two points of view to a wise policy is what is needed, not running off half-cocked on either extreme.

          I saw you posting as “Uimothy” and just figured it was your evil twin or something.

          By the way, regarding “The Boxer,” that first stanza may be just as appropriate to the political hangover I have this morning. I feel as if I was date-raped by the debate. I get so tired of hearing the same soulless points and knowing that they don’t mean it. And knowing that I know that they know that they don’t mean it. And so on.

          I am just a poor boy.
          Though my story’s seldom told,
          I have squandered my resistance
          For a pocketful of mumbles,
          Such are promises
          All lies and jest
          Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
          And disregards the rest.

          Paul Simon was having a good (or bad) day when he wrote that.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I notice that somewhere along the line, my name got changed to “Uimothy”.

          I wondered if you might be trying to send some obscure message.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


        I have the same opinion of Bush, Rubio and especially Fiorina as regards the bullshit they were spouting about Syria. The rubbish they mouthed is really for the low-information voter who has never been farther away from home than Peoria.

        Fiorina’s garbage about telling the Russians to keep their planes out of the no-fly zone or they will be shot down was monumentally stupid and dishonest. America has no permanent long term interests in Syria and would not start a war with Russia over the bombing of various anti-Assad groups.

        Rubio’s direct attack on Putin was incredibly stupid for someone who says he wishes to be president. At least Trump attacks, “China” and not the premier by name.

        Patriotism is fine, but the phony bellicosity spewed by the above mentioned scoundrels needs to be pointed out and rejected. These people need to feel our scorn.

        If history has shown us anything, it has shown us that the United States of America does not do well in wars which are not defensive and which go on for an extended period of time. The only clear military success we have had since WWII is the first Gulf War. In that instance, we applied massive force, and were in and out in less than a year.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Yeah, a lot of baloney coming from B, R, and F. If you’re making Rand Paul look like the elder statesmen, something is defnitely wrong.

          Rubio would be Bush III. Don’t elect this guy.

  28. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Two other things about the debate stood out.

    1. The crowd was a moderate Republican group, which was not surprising considering the venue.

    2. Nobody asked Rubio anything about immigration as his answer would kill his chances.

    Which brings me to my last point, i.e. it is clear the Establishment sees the distinct possibility that Jeb is cooked and are moving toward Rubio. In order to promote Marco, they need him to be protected with softball questions. And they need others to attack Trump and Carson so as to avoid making Rubio look too aggressive. Kasich and Fiorina performed their assigned duties last night, but I know Kasich was severely damaged by his obnoxious performance and think Carly did herself no good.

    I see Kasich as finished and think he may be out before the next debate. Jeb may be done as well.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      1) Agreed. But you’re so kind to call them “moderate Republican.” I call them RINOs. But our good cop/bad cop routine sort of covers all bases.

      I also don’t think Carly did herself any good. She seemed a bit smug when she said something like “I met Putin in circumstances other than a green room” in a put-down of Trump. Not that Trump hasn’t earned a smack-down or two. But I can’t warm to this cold woman who I would say seeks power and little else.

      I’m torn on Kasich. He actually made a good point when he mentioned Michael Novak (now, I think, a more liberal Catholic than he was ten years ago) who said that it requires moral men in our economic system for it to work well. This is true of any system. Any system, even good ones, can be brought down by a relatively few bad men.

      The Pope’s solution is to junk the system instead of promoting good values among men. He should stump for the good system populated by men of good values. But he’s a Marxist first, Catholic second (if that).

      The problem with Kasich is that he’s moved left. Rush mentioned that this morning. He said it was this unstated (or stated) back-and-forth between Kasich and a couple of the others (Cruz, Carson, even Trump) with Kasich saying, “Things were so good when all you guys were conservatives” and the rest of them saying, “No, Mr. Kasich, you used to be good when you were conservative.”

      Kasich has turned into the kind of girlified “compassionate” person who will bring down the house while making any excuse for bad ideas and policies while saying to fix these bad ideas or policies would “hurt the poor.” He has hostaged every idea of reform to “the poor” and thus, as Rush noted again, he, along with Bush, would have been more at home in the Democratic debate.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        She seemed a bit smug when she said something like “I met Putin in circumstances other than a green room”

        I read today, I believe it was in the Daily Caller, that Carly actually did, according to her own earlier account, meet Putin in something like a green room. If this is so, she is showing that she is just another dishonest political hack.

        As someone who was a big supporter of Kasich, (I preferred him to Bush in 2000), I have written him off, completely. He is so far from his former self that I can only surmise that he was a complete phony in the past. I do not see how anyone could move so far from previously held positions.

        The only reason he is even in the race is that the RINO’s and media believe this is going to be a “politics-as-usual” race. Since Ohio has been such an important swing state, they think Kasich’s presence in the race will help win the state for Republicans.

        I don’t think this is going to be a “politics-as-usual” race.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        And notice, as I mentioned earlier, that Kasich (and Bush, who like Kasich worked for a bank) seems to be unaware of the FDIC. No doubt people as wealthy as most candidates have far more money than the $250,000 protected by FDIC, and thus don’t realize that it protects most people quite well (barring a total banking collapse) — especially the small depositors Kasich was so concerned about.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          During TARP, I believe it would have been cheaper to make the depositors whole and let the investors take the hit.

          But it must be remembered that had that happened, houses such as Goldman Sachs would have gone belly up. Furthermore, and this is probably more important, foreign countries, especially Germany, put huge pressure on the Treasury to insure their banks did not lose their investments made with the likes of Goldman Sachs, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, et. al. Tens of billions if not more, went from TARP to foreign banks.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I used to do work (ads/printing) for a bank…more than one bank through the years. So that makes me an expert. And, really, I’m not joking. Compared to. Rush was saying that one likely reason that the FDIC didn’t occur to these two guys is that they may have been little more than faux jobs when they “worked” at a bank — jobs provided by The Benevolent Network of Secret Handshake Ruling Class Buddies. Apparently Hillary “worked” at a bank too…which meant possibly showing up once a month or so and collecting a big check.

            All I know is that the early consensus (and we all know how sacrosanct “consensus” is) is that Kasich shot himself in the foot. Stick a fork in him. He’s done. But this is a non-issue for Bush. It wouldn’t matter if Bush walked around the stage in a rubber chicken suit or had God appear in a cloud above him to anoint him. Nobody is going to vote for a Bush this election cycle.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I had mentioned to Elizabeth last night that no one seemed to be aware of the FDIC. So when mentioned it today, and noted that he had been upset last night that no one mentioned it, I was most pleased and mentioned it to Elizabeth.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I had a bit of a three-ring circus going on here last night so I missed quite a bit of it. I hear that Carson is said to have given the best closing statement. Good for him. I hope we don’t ever get to the point in this country where a good, honest man can’t be rewarded. Maybe or maybe not his first political job should be president. But, goodness gracious, he is infinitely more qualified to be a bona fide American president than the current interloper.

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