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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Latest GOP Debate

Very quick one on the December Republican Debate on national security and foreign policy.

In terms of substance, I think it was the best debate so far. The questions were good and generally fair, although, as will be mentioned below, there is a Trump obsession---i.e., trying to get the other candidates to say something negative about Trump. And that just goes to show how Trump is setting the parameters for discussion in this election.

In terms of pure debating, I think Rubio put in the best performance, followed by Cruz.

Kasich and Bush--both of whom I like--were hopeless and should call it quits. Fiorina was a bit tiresome and not as good as she has been other times. Carson did better than in prior debates, but still does not inspire a lot of confidence in me that he would know what to do in a crisis situation. I find Rand Paul confusing and am not at all clear how his policies overseas would differ much from Obama's. Christie? OK, but does he have to keep telling us he was a federal prosecutor?

And Trump? Well, I think he actually won. Not because he was a brilliant debater, but because nobody--not even master debaters such as Rubio and Cruz--could really land a punch on him. They certainly threw a lot of stuff at him, but he managed to deflect or dodge it all. For example, in responding to the question about whether he would be willing to kill women and children in his pursuit of the war against ISIS, and Rand Paul's nonsensical rambling about the Geneva Convention, Trump simply said, something along the lines of, "Let me get this straight. They can kill us, but we can't kill them?" Boom! For the public, end of issue. Lawyers and bien pensants can go on and on, but for the average American that's the issue. It was a bit of brilliant politicking by Trump.

So, Rubio won the debate, but Trump won the night.

36 comments:

  1. I don't like Trump, and would have to hold my nose before voting for him, but would of course vote for him over Hillary. I do like Cruz, but wonder why he didn't go after Trump, who is so eminently attackable. Why go after Rubio? He's already damaged goods because of his participation with the gang of 8. So I'm wondering to myself, is there some kind of deal between Trump and Cruz? If I thought that was the case I would certainly stop sending money to Cruz, which I have done at least a half dozen times.

    So where am I now? Wondering why I ever switched from Fiorina to Cruz. Yes, she sounded tired last night. Who would not be tired after participating in a CNN debate? I think she has the best executive skills of anyone on that stage. And far better than Hillary.

    a suivre. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carly's list of accomplishments due to her own competence is shorter than Obama's was in 2008. Failed upwards at Lucent, failed into the top spot at HP, failed out of HP, failed a senate race against a weak incumbent, failed her way into the GOP primary.
      Really parallel's Obama never having won an actual contested election until facing McCain. If you're going to fail, FAIL UPWARDS!

      - reader #1482

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    2. At my house we've been talking about electability for several months now and have concluded that Trump offers the best combination of electability, leadership, and management ability. I'm writing from a heavily union, blue collar swing state and have been running into Democrats, independents, as well as people in my own tea party and Republican groups who are very comfortable with Trump. Earlier this year my top two candidates were Walker and Cruz. I still have respect for Cruz, but I think he is too easy to caricature as a right-wing religious zealot to be able to make it on the top of the ticket.

      Delete
    3. As regards Cruz's not attacking Trump. As has been posited in any number of other threads, on the one hand he hopes to inherit Trump supporters if Trump fades, and on the other, he can garner the VP position if Trump succeeds and thus position himself for a strong run when Trump steps down.

      Delete
    4. I don't think Fiorina is good. She's what I would consider worst in corp culture. She practically destroyed HP.
      leaperman

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  2. I don't think Amnesty Rubio convinced many that we should have amnesty/rewards for tens of millions of invaders from the third world, including muslims, and start WWIII by shooting down Russian planes for Christian murdering and shariah loving jihadis in Syria.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The girl shot by the Taliban, and who won the nobel peace prize like many nefarious names, threatens us and Trump:
    “The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create.”

    What kind of idiot would respond to that with: "Oh... good point, we had better not say anything negative about Islam or mahomet anymore." The only response a freedom-loving democracy could have is: "So exactly how many bombs/guns/robots do we need to build per statement against the prophet?"


    - reader #1482

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A caller to Rush yesterday suggested that a ban on Muslims entering the country (even a temporary one I guess) would put pressure on the "good" Muslims to help weed out terrorists. I think the idea was that they would help to create a real vetting process in order to continue to have access to the U.S. Could be something there.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If there is a third one, I'm going to call it 'BACON' :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not call it "LETTUCE"? Apparently that's less green than bacon - in the figurative sense, anyway. Either that or you must eat very old bacon.

      Delete
    2. Let the veggy lovers have seaweed like bacon!
      http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/17/scientists-have-found-seaweed-that-tastes-like-bacon.html

      leaperman

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    3. Scuba diving will be my next venture...

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Let me get this straight. They can kill us, but we can't kill them?"

    That's what the talking heads don't get. Stripped of all the non essentials, boiled down to the essence with the fat skilled off, THAT is what the average guy in the street is asking. All this intellectualising, nave gazing and angst that the Beltway critters are indulging in is leaving the average voter cold.

    Trump is asking and discussing the things that concern the people who are not protected by security guards, the FBI and secret squirrels.

    Phil B

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  9. If you like amnesty then Rubio won. If not Cruz .

    ReplyDelete
  10. I find myself reluctantly "stumping for Trump." I don't care for the guy personally, but he's the only one going for the Immigration Jugular. The rest of the Pachyderm Parade are quibbling about how they'd "...make the trains run on time" better than a Queen Hillary or Premier Bernie would.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda, slowly, heading that way myself . . .

      Delete
  11. Trump simply said, something along the lines of, "Let me get this straight. They can kill us, but we can't kill them?" Boom! For the public, end of issue.

    You summarized brilliantly what the debate was about, and acknowledge that Trump had by far the best answer.

    Yet you're unwilling to pursue your own thought to its obvious end point: Trump won the debate, big-time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have been clearer. I thought Rubio "won" on pure debating points; he is formidable, but Trump won the night by going straight to the voters' concerns.

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  12. Yes, Trump won the evening. And it looks more like he has that good executive skill of boiling down an issue to its essence as he did with the "Let me get this straight. They can kill us, but we can't kill them?" rejoinder.

    Reminds me of when Regan said "Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.."

    So, no, Trump is not as appealing a person or candidate as Regan but he is connecting with the ordinary voter. We forget that the GOPe did not like Regan either.

    Or maybe he is looking to slingshot the nomination to Cruz and take the VP slot after making the enemies (GOPe and Dem/Left) use up most of their ammo shooting at the wrong target. That could work.

    Trump would easily, I think, beat Hillary and Cruz would do the same to that 30's socialist Sanders. I am not convinced that Hillary will be the actual Democrat nominee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you might find Trump more appealing if you read "The Art of the Deal." He has a heck of a story, and it's no accident that he has more friends than enemies in the business world.

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  13. You pain me, Mr. Mad, in succumbing to the common erroneous usage of "parameter."

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  14. Replies
    1. Usually true, but the converse is false. The misuse of "parameter" causes pain without gain.

      It reduces the specificity of a rare but useful word so that a lazy writer can't be bothered to figure out whether he means "limits" or "contours" or "boundaries" or some other related concept.

      Present company excepted, of course. I don't think you're a lazy writer; I think you made a mistake. There but for the grace of G-d go I.

      Delete
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