Here’s the Rundown on Last Night’s GOP Debate

Trumpby C. Edmund Wright   12/16/15
Man, I’m slap worn out.  I realize that after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, national security and foreign policy were the appropriate themes of this debate, but almost three hours of it made for root canal and repetitive TV.  Normally in the so-called “foreign policy” debates, there is still a good bit of discussion about what always ultimately decides these elections – the economy – but not last night.

It was all foreign policy all the time, and that played to the advantage of Donald Trump for a couple of reasons.  One is that nothing in the race changed as a result, which is good when you are leading.  It was almost an event without a storyline.

If there was a main storyline, other than its endless nature, it was perhaps that Trump reinforced his pledge not to run outside the Republican Party.  This was very disappointing to CNN.

Another storyline is that Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash were childishly obsessed with starting a Ted Cruz-Marco Rubio war.  They got some of that, and a brief but heated battle between Jeb Bush and  Trump as a bonus, but proved once again that Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee are simply not competent in organizing and sanctioning these things.  Charlie Brown has a better chance of actually kicking Lucy’s football than the RNC does of picking acceptable moderators.

As for the Cruz-Rubio fisticuffs, it was a draw – but the tone of the questioning was still irritating.  Time after time after time, Blitzer and Bash asked questions couched as schoolyard taunts and often ended these questions with “is he wrong?”  Thank goodness numerous candidates took those opportunities to reinforce the idea that all nine adults on stage were infinitely more qualified than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  On that, none of them was wrong.

WTFIn fact, for the most part, it was a very serious discussion about very serious issues by very serious people.  And speaking of serious, that was just about the only thing Jeb Bush could say – serious, serious, serious.  Jeb remains in serious trouble.  Charles Krauthammer used the phrase “muffed and missed” onThe O’Reilly Factor in describing Bush’s evening.  Jeb is done, and has been for a long time.

Meanwhile, the budding Cruz-Trump battle from this past weekend over ethanol and big oil, not to mention the “bit of a maniac in the Senate” comment, was put on hold for the most part.  This was a tremendous boon to Trump, because either doubling down or backing down on these issues would have been problematic for him.  Other than one very short and polite exchange, he was not forced to do either – and thus emerged as a leader who did not get hurt.  He dodged three bullets.

Who knows if Cruz can get those bullets flying again?  I’m sure the American Petroleum Institute, who ironically sponsored debate coverage on both CNN and Fox, would at least like the ethanol versus oil debate restarted.  

And as a final theme, there was a concerted effort by all non-senators to disparage all of the senators on the stage, reigniting a meme Scott Walker was pushing hard months ago.  I don’t think it’s working now, either, given that single-digit candidates named Kasich, Fiorina, and Christie are the chief propagators of this sentiment.

Some other quick observations:

Rand Paul did a very good job defending his foreign policy.  It will still not resonate with most of the Republican electorate.

Carly Fiorina was excellent on her answer about Vladimir Putin and Russia.  She was also effective in her defense of the private sector.  I wish we would hear more of that.

Chris Christie called Obama “a feckless weakling” – marking the irony of his hug on the tarmac that might have doomed us all to four more years of that feckless weakling.

While Bash and Blitzer were awful all night, Hugh Hewitt had the absolute worst moment of the night when he kept goading Ben Carson about killing “thousands and thousands of children” as collateral damage.  The crowd loudly booed Hewitt, as they should have.  To assume that thousands and thousands of children are going to die is just absurd.

Trump’s worst moment, not that it will matter, is when he went all “stimulus” and full Obama on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, insisting we should have spent that money on roads and schools and hospitals and so on.  Fiorina called him on it, as once again Trump eschewed the limited government option.  If he would work that theme into his campaign at least a little, he would be absolutely untouchable.

Did I mention that the debate was long?

Bad night for political correctness, which was effectively panned all night long by just about every candidate.  This is a good thing.

When will John Kasich understand that no one is interested in a “can’t we all just get along” Republican candidate?  Been there, done that – and didn’t like it.

Perhaps Ben Carson should have a strong latte before these events.  He is a great man with a great story, but he just looks, well, sleepy at times.  Perhaps San Bernardino and Paris have put his campaign to sleep anyway.

Speaking of coffee, did I mention that it was long?

CEdmundWrightC. Edmund Wright is contributor to StubbornThings, American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. • (822 views)

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6 Responses to Here’s the Rundown on Last Night’s GOP Debate

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Sounds like it was just as well I didn’t watch. After the first hour or so, I also stopped following the Town Hall open wire, deciding there wasn’t enough happening of real interest. I preferred a good executive, which is why my first choices were Jindal and Walker, but I also want a reliable conservative (or as reliable as any politician can be), and at present that’s Cruz. Fiorina, who isn’t as hardcore a conservative and is good at attacking the Demagogues, would make a good running mate. From what I can tell, last night didn’t change that.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I was watching Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner instead. As mediocre as a movie as it was, I think I got the better end of the deal. There’s an amusing RINO analysis of the debate last night over at American Thinker. Well, it’s amusing for Inside Baseball types such as myself.

      I think idea-wise, Jindal is second only to Cruz. But he’s got to work on delivery. He’s got to balance that bulldog instinct (good…Reagan had it as well) with a good-cop instinct. Too much bulldog turns people off, I think.

      RINOs will be sitting around their smoke-filled back rooms analyzing the rejection of Walker and Bush. Of course, it will be the “stupid voters” who are at fault not the tone-deaf, corrupt Establishment. Best I can tell, with info from Rush, is that Walker was a victim of his political consultants. Aside from child molesters and transvestites, I think political consultants are amongst the creepiest class of people.

      Rush noted yesterday that Trump indeed is not going it alone. He has consultants. But he’s not ignoring what he really believes. And unless Walker is even a bigger liberal than some suspect (thus he had to disguise who he was), then he should have let his inner voice out and ignored the consultants.

      Bush could have looked like Ronald Reagan, talked like Ronald Reagan, and had a wife who looked like Nancy and no one would have wanted him because no one wanted another Bush. I suspect that if Trump can stay bold while further refining himself, he will wipe the floor with Hillary because outside of a hardcore 20% of the population who are Red Diaper Doper Babies (or who would vote for the anti-Christ as long as their “free stuff” kept coming), a sizable number of people are looking for a viable alternative and will vote for Trump in a heartbeat if he seems at all reasonably safe.

      That was what ultimately pushed Reagan over the top. Few loved Jimmy Carter, but they would have voted for him again if they didn’t think Reagan was up to the job. After eight awful years of our Alinsky-in-Chief, people will vote for Anyone-But-Hillary if they simply meet some minimal threshold. And I think Trump is well on his way to doing so.

  2. Since I have gotten involved in local politics, I’m finding out how uninformed people on our side are. I never expected republicans to be just as uninformed as liberals. Last night I attended a Christmas /Debate party sponsored by the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Orange County. Each room in the facility had a flat screen television showing the debate. As I walked from room to room conversing with different individuals, I found myself correcting and informing them on issues that I assumed they knew. These individuals have worked in local politics for years (one guy who is supporting Carly has been some kind of vice chairman for fifty years). The women were the worst. They would repeat or attribute comments to Trump that they had clearly gotten from the media. They would admit that they did not hear or read his original statement. Yet they were up in arms about what he supposedly said. We discussed the 2012 election, the Republican convention and the Romney campaign (I worked the 2012 polls). I appeared to remember more of the factual history of the 2012 campaign than most of them. My point, no wonder there is such a divide within the Republican Party. If our own members do not take the time to read and research candidates, how can we expect to elect the best person for the job? Everybody at the party had a favorite candidate, but they seem to have chosen them based on something personal rather than how well they would govern our nation. Or where they stood on issues.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      What you describe, Patricia, is something Rush has talked about. Politics has become a daily drama. And given our inward-looking, narcissistic culture, less value is placed on what people actually said and more on what pleases one to think was actually said.

      If I misquote someone, I’ll apologize and be glad of the correction. But that’s because I’d rather be grounded in what is real and then make my decisions from there rather than to be involved in sort of a creepy and mindless political cult, left or right.

      Hey, I can believe that women are the worst, especially regarding the politics-as-drama angle. Who cares what Trump actually said? It’s not about reality. It’s about what clique you’re in or what it is pleasing to believe.

      I try to approach Trump with eyes wide open. I can’t say I’ve done a close study of him. But except for Cruz, he is the one and only alternative to corruption-as-usual in both parties. I doubt that I agree with him on abortion, global warming, “women’s health,” or a hundred-and-one other “fashionable” issues. But I won’t be saying “I told you so” when he is president because what choice do we have?

      Forever being “up in arms” about what someone said is narcissism, it’s making an addiction of being involved in little personal dramas. It’s the habit of having well-stoked offenses. That’s the prism many people view the world through now. It’s about what offends them, not what is good, true, beautiful, or at least who is not a lying sack of excrement.

      I suppose people have always been frivolous to some extent. But boy are we pushing the envelope now. And the deep and offensive (yeah, I know, I know) irony of all this is that the very same people who think Trump is so offensive are practically drowning in their own sense of being offended — and all based on utter nonsense and little more than the desire to be offended.

      I have a few operatives in and around the local Republican Party and I have become aware the last few years just how corrupt much of the party is, at least at the level of party apparatus. It is populated by people who believe in little more than power. And if they believe anything more than power it’s in Progressive politics. They generally despise conservatives. They sometimes actively work against conservatives in their own party.

      They are intellectually and morally as rotted out as the rest of the culture. Good men and good women of good will and common sense are extremely rare these days.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The best that can be said for many Republicans is that Slick Barry and Slick Hilly are even worse. Unfortunately, recovering from the Crazy Years requires a lot more than that — in particular, awareness of the nature of modern liberalism.

    • David Ray says:

      Ssgt Dickson,
      Your comment brings to the fore an old yet profound joke. . .

      [Ques] What’s the best argument against democracy?
      [Ansr] A five minute conversation with your average voter.

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