Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Weeping Wednesday: Senators Seized GOP Debate

It is enough to make one cry:

Ground Game Who gets a bounce from GOP debate?

It’s complicated, meaning they haven't worked out a salable narrative yet.

GOP debate was an insult to knowledge, common sense 

So was this. 

"Fourth GOP debate focuses on jobs, economic issues" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  November 11, 2015

MILWAUKEE — Republican presidential candidates, in a rollicking but substantive debate, sparred in their latest high stakes debate Tuesday night over who had the best prescriptions for uplifting the middle class, bolstering the economy, and reforming the country’s immigration laws.

The debate, sponsored by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal, engendered policy discussions that have often been lacking in previous encounters.

That is about where I decided not to bother with the rewritten, moved around, censored slop. It's no longer worth my time. The front page part of this told me Trump and Carson are against raising the minimum wage.

While a few moments were heated, the debate showcased in clear terms divisions within the large field over tax policy, the role of the US military in the world, and whether the government should bail out failing banks.

I am interested in those last two, and they were not mentioned in print.

Personal attacks that had marked earlier debates once again flared — “Why does she keep interrupting everybody?” businessman Donald Trump said of former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, to boos from the crowd — but mostly Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, both of whom had been near the top of national polls, faded into the background for long stretches as more experienced politicians such as a trio of senators — Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz — seized the opportunity to show their deeper knowledge of policy detail.

The debate set the tone for the remaining days before the holidays make it more difficult for the candidates to drive their message. The contenders now face five weeks until the next GOP debate and less than three months before voters head to the polls.

Paul, a libertarian-leaning, first-term senator from Kentucky who had been lackluster in previous debates, grabbed the spotlight by vigorously challenging Rubio over his willingness to expand child tax credits while increasing spending on the military.

“You get something that looks to me not very conservative,” Paul said.

Rubio responded, “I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I’m not.”

Paul continued pushing back.

“Can you be a conservative, and be liberal on military spending?” he asked.

My print copy told me that Rubio said raising the minimum wage would be a disaster, and that "we need more welders and less philosophers."

The candidates also engaged in a vigorous debate over immigration reform, with Trump reiterating his plan to deport immigrants and build a wall along the Mexican border. Governor John Kasich of Ohio called Trump’s plan unrealistic and inhumane.

“Come on, folks, we all know you can’t pick them up and ship them back across the border. It’s a silly argument. It’s not an adult argument,” Kasich said.

I have a problem dismissing anything out of hand, especially when a wall is good enough for Israel.

“I’ve built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars,” Trump responded. “I don’t have to hear from this man.”

With Bush going for a long stretch without getting a word in, Trump pleaded with the moderators, “You should let Jeb speak.”

“Thank you Donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate, that’s really nice of you. What a generous man you are,” Bush said sardonically before ridiculing Trump’s immigration rhetoric.

“They’re doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this,” Bush said.

Bush, whose wife is from Mexico and who speaks fluent Spanish, has a plan to offer legal status to undocumented immigrants after they meet a list of conditions such as learning English and paying back taxes.

Cruz took a harder line, saying that plans like Bush’s amount to amnesty.

“Try going illegally to another country. Try going to China . . . see what they do,” he said. “It is not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws.”

The debate took place against a backdrop of a deeply unsettled nominating contest, one in which candidates who seemed like long shots have enjoyed a long ride atop the polls while establishment candidates have floundered.

Organizers narrowed the field for the debate, with eight candidates on the stage, after complaints that previous forums were unwieldy and chaotic. 

They are already doing it for you before you have even voted. Selecting them, if you will.

The race has recently been dominated by Carson and Trump, two outsiders with completely different backgrounds and dispositions.

Carson has been moving ahead of Trump in national polls and in Iowa, the site of the nation’s first caucuses.

But Carson has been under intense scrutiny over whether he has embellished details of his inspirational life story. So far he has largely laid the blame on the media, saying he refuses to let the issues distract him.

“First of all, thank you for not asking me what I said in the 10th grade, I appreciate that,” Carson said to moderator Neil Cavuto, who asked about some of the inconsistencies.

“I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about, and then putting that out there as truth,” Carson added, without adding detail. “People who know me know that I’m an honest person.”

Although Carson’s rivals have intensified their challenges of his claims — Trump has gone so far to say he has a “pathological disease” — none mentioned them during the debate. 

Wow, almost eight paragraphs of near verbatim print! How did I get so lucky?

Carson did outline in more detail some of his tax policies, saying that he would eliminate the popular mortgage and charitable giving deductions from the tax code while implementing a rate that everyone would pay, regardless of income level.

Bush has been uninspiring in the past three debates and on Tuesday needed a breakout moment.

In the previous debate, he made what some supporters considered an ill-advised attempt to criticize Rubio over his missed votes in the Senate.

“I got about four minutes last debate,” Bush interjected at one point Tuesday night. “I’m going to get my question this time.” He has reoriented his campaign, focusing far more on New Hampshire and attempting to inject new urgency in both his speech and his staff. And he changed up his debate preparation, choosing to play bocce ball in the hours before the debate.

Look at all this garbage coverage. This is superficial and shallow $hit filler, folks. 

Nothing new or changed about the Bush candidacy other than the imagery, but don't let that ruin the narrative.

One of his stronger moments came in challenging Trump’s approach to the Middle East, saying he was wrong to leave it up to President Vladimir Putin of Russia to fight the Islamic State.

“Donald is wrong on this. He is absolutely wrong on this,” Bush said. He compared Trump’s approach to moving the pieces around on a board game. “Like Monopoly or something,” Bush said, probably meaning Risk.

Both board games go together when you actually think about it.

Besides, when one finally comes to the realization that the Islamic terrorists -- be they U.S.-sponsored and ally-supported ISIS, Al-CIA-Duh, al-nUSrA, Al-CIA-Bob, whatever -- are phantom straw men created by this government to wage war wherever it sees fit, this is all rubbish.

Cruz has also had several solid debate performances as he continues a steady rise in the polls amid a campaign largely focused on Iowa. Fiorina has struggled to capitalize on her earlier debate performances.

But she was aggressive, particularly against Trump, and demonstrated her strong and determined confidence.

Toward the latter part of the debate, several candidates were asked what he would do if a large bank failed, and whether he would support a government bailout along the lines of the one approved by Congress in 2008.

I was told Dodd-Frank and government fixed all that and it wouldn't happen again. WTF?

The exchanges among candidates were among the most pointed of the evening.

Cruz said that he would not bail out the banks, which spurred Kasich to question whether the senator had the background and disposition to handle a crisis as an executive. The Ohio governor, who also was a senior executive at Lehman Brothers, said that not stepping in would hurt small-time investors.

“When a bank is ready to go under, and depositors are ready to lose their life savings, you just don’t say, ‘We believe in philosophical concerns,’ ” Kasich said, without saying specifically that he supported a bailout — which is deeply unpopular among conservatives.

No way this guy can win the nomination now. A complete misreading of what occurred. People lost their investments, savings, and homes.

Before the prime-time debate, four candidates who did not meet the 2.5 percent polling threshold — Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and former senator Rick Santorum — faced off against one another.

Who pays attention to the junior varsity other than family and friends?

The debate was marked by an aggressive move from Jindal, who challenged Christie.... 

Those last two paragraphs and the following three were also verbatim print. 



So who are you placing your bet on?