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9.18.2015

Republican Debate Reflections

Watched the CNN Republican Debates in their entirety, parts 1 and 2.  Felt like I was binge watching the Hunger Games series.

A huge respite to have Jake Tapper moderate after having to listen to Megyn Kelly in the Fox debates.

At this point, the candidates are working to appeal to a conservative base and made many overtly conservative statements (regarding abortion, gay marriage) that perhaps will become more nuanced coming from the mouth of the Republican Nominee.

Discussing these issues from this extreme conservative position on a national spotlight will affect the discourse in this country.

In the preliminary debates (Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal, Lindsay Graham, George Pataki), we heard emphatic disapproval of the Supreme Court Justice ruling on same sex marriage, saying that it was both unconstitutional and against natural law.

I really like Bobby Jindal.  He seems like the real deal (an insider who's still an actual real person).  He also seemed like a viable candidate four (or was it eight) years ago, and now has only about 1% in the polls.....what happened?  But he's only 44; if he keeps his head in the game and the US hasn't entirely imploded in on itself I'm sure that we'll be hearing from him again.

And WOW, Fiorina's talk about abortion; "As regards Planned Parenthood.....anyone who has watched these video tapes.....I dare Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch.....a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.  This is about the character of our nation and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us. "

Ted Cruz, too, made an appeal for the debate viewers to watch the Planned Parenthood 'harvest of organs' videos.  The timing of these videos with these Republican Primaries is perhaps making them more widely known.  

Fiorina really stood out in the debates.  It's the first I've heard her speak, and wow, I was impressed.  She'll be going up in the polls after this debate.  She can think on her feet.  Loved it when she puts Trump in his place (minutes 1-2).  He may have a hard time living that one down.


I loved the look on her face, too, after she delivered the line "I think that every woman in America knew what Mr. Trump said."  Her look seemed to say that she has extreme disdain for his making her appearance a criteria for electability.

However, she'll have to watch this face.  It's a sort of resting bitch face that probably won't help her if she wants widespread appeal.  Her entire demeanor throughout the debate--except for a smile she cracked as she walked onto the stage--communicated a gravity almost depressing to behold.  She'll need to add some levity to her aura if she wants maintain this leap in the polls.

And she's demonstrated a willingness to remain obedient to the First Commandment of US Politicians: "Thou shalt kiss Israel's ass".  She says in the debates; "On day one in the oval office I will make [a phone call] to my good friend Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him that we will stand with the state of Israel."  

She makes some disconcerting statements, such as "we need the strongest military on the face of the planet and everyone has to know it", and some very good ones; "women are not a special interest group, they are more than half of the population."

Well, what can I say.  I was surprised and impressed.  Look forward to hearing more from her, but still think she's got a rat's chance in hell of winning the Nomination and the Presidency.


And speaking of public images, what's with the lower lip Trump's always sticking out?  Is this his 'resting pouty face'?  He needs to work on that too.  It looks ridiculous.

One question that Tapper nor his comrades ever asked Bush that they should have is "Why are you running?  Haven't we had enough Bushes for presidents already?"  Trump was leveled with some difficult questions; why not Bush??  Jeb as president puts him in a very hypocritical position as he'll be making our government look like a monarchy.  (The same question should be asked of Hilary).

At the same time that Rand Paul tries to distance himself from Washington by introducing himself as an eye surgeon rather than a Senator, Huckabee makes an appeal to the insiders when he says that the most dangerous person in the room someone who doesn't know what he doesn't know.

This strategizing mayn't be necessary since really, given the results from past elections anyway, despite the insurgents present lead in the polls, one these insiders will quite likely be the 2016 Hunger Games victor.

As for the post debate reviews........

This NYT editorial essentially says "did we just listen to a debate or take a trip to a funny farm, heh heh heh".  Found it a bit disconcerting that these editors so sweepingly dismissed all of these candidates, many of whom currently hold offices as Governors and Senators.  They found no nuance in ANY of the candidates, and instead entirely wrote. off. every. Republican.  Could they be any more partisan?  And I guess that it's nothing new, we've known all along how myopic this newspaper can be.  This editorial only cements it.   

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