Before I weigh in with my “two cents” regarding the winner of the show last night, I will tell you the truth about the response in my little circle…… I stayed on the phone with three of my Republican friends and a family member who is a “staunch” Democrat and avid supporter of Pelosi, Wasserman-Schultz and so forth….. I then received emails from other Republican friends.
So who was happy? My “staunch” Democrat family member and her friends. They had champagne flowing and the happiness was palpable over the phone. This was compounded by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who just came off of a baffling week where she could not distinguish between a Socialist and a Democrat on two separate interviews, congratulating Megyn Kelly on a “great debate”. DWS , smiling with glee, stated that she was more confident than ever that the Democrats will prevail in the next Presidential election….. Her eyes were sparkling and she was happy.
Sooooo….. what happened last night? Fox won big, I am sure, millions tuned in. Most people were tuned into the 5:00 show at work. Fiorina was a “stand-out” but then again she always was. Perry was good also and deserved much better in the ratings although I found his earlier attacks on Trump not worthy of his character. I have met him personally and he is a really good guy with leadership abilities who is responsible for much of the success of Texas. Both of these individuals should surge in the polls.
Then I took a walk, went to the green grocers, and bought some fruit and veggies. I was eagerly awaiting the next round. Everybody was on the phones — I had three active lines and my iPad received emails — I am more tech-savvy than I let on.
From the word go, this 9:00 debate which was eagerly awaited by millions became what could only be described as the “Trump Elimination Round”. Most of the talking points came from Mr. Rove, the strategist who orchestrated George W. Bush’s political rise. Earlier in the day I watched Real Sports with Bryant Gumble. The first segment of this show focused on the brutality of Mixed Martial Arts. One of the originators of this genre demonstrated a “choke hold” that could dismantle the brain and body of an opponent. Truly, that was the only maneuver missing from this match.
During this 9:00 bout, Chris Christie and Rand Paul went back and forth, Trump and Rand Paul went at it. In fact, Rand Paul came across as a pugilist willing to “mix it up” with anyone, anywhere and anyhow. I understand the points that he tried to make BUT much of his reasoning was confusing and the bell went off before he could clear up the confusion. He came prepared to punch.
Lost in the fray was Carson, Walker and to a certain degree Huckabee. Huckabee then made a statement that should have made one point and not another. When asked about the role of the transgender soldier, Huckabee said: “United States military is not a “social experiment.””The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. It’s not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse.” I don’t know that the military is there to kill people and break things, defense is the real purpose. The fact that SOMETIMES it might involve killing people and breaking things is just a minuscule aspect of what they do. The majority of the time the defense involves many activities that are quite non-violent and non-destructive of property and example is military intelligence. But he is right, the military should not be used as a Petri dish for social experiments.
John Kasich emerged as a “compassionate” conservative. He did no harm to himself or others while in the ring. Rubio made an accurate point regarding his finances and the fact that he is essentially “every-man” with everyday financial woes that afflict most people, unlike Hillary Clinton who says she “champions” the pain of “every-man” but criticizes Rubio for not living as opulent and moneyed life as the one that she and her family have come to enjoy. Rubio did quite well. Carson got in a couple of light-hearted moments, rufully observing that he barely got a word in edgewise.
Bush looked very thin, confused, tired and lost. The issue of “Common Core”, was soft-balled to him with a deflection to Scott Walker but earned him some boo’s — bigger boo’s came from behind many television screens. Another soft pitch was his stance on immigration, which is another of his views that run counter to the average Republican. Bush was mostly on the defensive – he was asked about his support for Common Core (he said states should have control over education standards), his remark that illegal immigration was an “act of love” (he defended it), and his earlier stumbles over whether or not the Iraq war should been fought (he said “it was a mistake” in hindsight). Ummm , tell that to the parent missing their deceased only child or the former Marine missing his legs…… They fought for wither country with “love”, more-so than the illegal crossing the border.
The big punches of the evening, between the one-on-one’s between Rand and _____ was reserved for Trump. Trump had to defend each and every point in the Rove opinion article as well as every joke, statement or Tweet made for the last 20 years. In addition to this, his business practices were brought into question. While this question might be appropriate for someone like me, Trump is a brand and a multinational corporation. Decisions made on that scale are complicated and difficult to answer in that “gotcha” moment. Those decisions affect thousands of lives and span many business, economic and local conditions. I was floored. Donald Trump pays more in taxes than scores of people make in a year…….. of course he is going for the most favorable tax terms… on that scale you must, in order for the “wheels” of trade and commerce to continue.
So, in focusing on one person and what he said about Rosie O or whatever, the questions of the moral decision that is the bartering of human children’s dead bodies and body parts were obscured . This several minutes of questioning about what he said and did not say becomes twisted to represent the 10 men wanting to shackle women’s bodies and reduce their choices. In other words, it solidified the “War on Women” paradigm. When you throw paint on one person, it splashes on to the others. When the misogyny hole was shoveled with this large dull shovel for Trump, all of the other candidates fell in when they tried to make clear their “pro-life” stance.
Trump got the “lions share” of the attention but Scott Walker “snuck” in a really good quip: “The Russian and Chinese government probably know more about Hillary’s email server than do the members of the U.S. congress.” (smile)
So… who won? Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC was happy with Kasich, Reagan Advisor Bruce Bartlett appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Wednesday night to scold Tea Party Republicans and Donald Trump supporters, Lawrence O’Donnell was grinning from ear to ear last night. For 2016, the RNC unveiled new rules designed to strongly reduce the number of sanctioned debates, which began in May last time around. As it turned out, holding fewer debates meant there were even more pent up feuds, wedges, and tough questions that were not covered. Two hours with 10 “alpha males” is not enough time.
Peppered in there were strange references to” speaking with God” and a tax reform based on “tithing”. In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job, occasionally he might speak to us through the answering of prayer or the direction but the question seemed tongue in cheek as though one of the 10 men might have the cell and home number on their iPhone.
Once again, you might ask, who won? Well, most of my friends were devastated – the Republicans that is. The emails were unhappy, disappointed and a couple of people went to sleep with a headache, me included. Rubio probably got the best lines, Kasich made the most of the few minutes, but the winner is always the people left smiling……..
BTW…..Hillary Clinton sent a gleeful Tweet with the Kim and Kanye. She was grinning from ear to ear…. one big smile.