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Friday, March 4, 2016

The March 3 GOP Debate: Mixed Results

One thing for sure, FOX News certainly knows how to put on a show. The production values, and the showmanship are light years ahead of what we see from any other network in the world. The FOX on-air personages are all attractive, witty, and well-informed; all the shows have excellent camera work; the latest high tech is in use; in sum, no expense spared. Murdoch needs to be congratulated for saving the TV news industry. I think we can consider Rupert Murdoch the news industry's Sir John Monash.

OK, now that I have made my pitch for a job at FOX, let me turn to the debate.

The one big thing I did not like at all, not one bit, was how obvious it was that it was "Get Trump!" night. The questions, including lots of the "gotcha" variety, were geared to trip up and embarrass him. The moderators argued with Trump, and had graphics all set to go to contradict his major talking points. No other candidate got that treatment. In general, I think Trump handled most of it well, although he stumbled--unnecessarily--on a couple issues (more on that).

So who "won" the debate? Kasich, I think, did very well, and confirmed in my mind that he is bidding for the slot of Trump's VP. He gave good, solid answers, refused to attack anybody, and refused to participate, most notably, in the moderators' efforts to get him to slam Trump. One (snarky?) observation about Kasich: his answers were good and his vision solid if we were in 1988. He has not caught onto the anger in the country and the falling public confidence that government can solve problems. For his part, Trump also avoided attacking Kasich. Something's up, I think. Other than that, I don't think anybody really won this debate. Cruz and Rubio did fine, but broke no new ground, and I doubt they convinced many if any who were undecided. Rubio had the funniest line, his crack about yoga, but in general the debate was rather sour and humorless.

Trump took some hits, no doubt about it. Cruz, Rubio, and, as noted above, the moderators came after Trump, especially his business record, bringing up the story of Trump University and the law suits involved there, his use of H-1B workers in his hotels in Florida, and his line of clothing made in Mexico and China. They also raised the issue of his "off-the-record" comments to the NYT re immigration, his previous opposition to "assault weapons," and his donations to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton. Trump seemed flustered at times and did not give good answers to some of these attacks. I don't know the story of Trump University and won't touch that one, but certainly on some of the other issues he could have noted that years of progressive policies have it made it essential for businessmen to donate to all political parties, and made it very difficult to open and operate businesses in the US: in other words one must make rational decisions within an irrational system. Instead, he seemed ill-prepared and came off looking like what his opponents sought to make him look like: a shifty somewhat slimy businessman. I thought he did OK on the "assault" weapon ban issue, noting simply "I changed my mind." His mentioning of the need to be "flexible," a reasonable position, might have hurt him with some of his supporters who saw him as an uncompromising, Rock of Gibraltar bulwark against the flood of migrants. We'll see what the post-debate polls say.

For me the big loser was Mitt Romney, whose prior-day attack on Trump went barely noticed. The whole point of that attack, and of those of the extreme "Stop Trump" movement, was badly undermined by the debate's last question, to wit, "Will all of you support the GOP nominee, even if it is Donald Trump?" All answered yes, with both Rubio and Cruz elaborating on what a disaster it would be to have Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the White House.

And that's what I know . . .

25 comments:

  1. That's pretty much how I saw it.

    A Trump / Kasich ticket would be attractive; it has the yin and yang feel about it, which might reassure skittish GOP voters concerned that Trump may go too far.

    Romney shot his arrow, and my feeling is that he missed; and the Romney / Rubio show seems to embody everything the GOP voters are loudly rejecting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am astonished at the spectacle before us. We see a party leadership totally deaf to the cries, pleas and admonitions of its membership.

      People like Beuhner, McCain, McConnell and various members of the "right-wing press" corps have brought this on through their utter disdain for those who elected them.

      Yes, they all spoke right, literally and figuratively, but didn't do a darn thing. The frustration from the troops rose, starting with the Tea Party, ignored, until it reaches the crescendo of TRUMP! Only those members of the "official right" are to blame. They brought it on themselves by dismissing the fly-over country people as much as the Demons did.

      It is so easy to feel superior in Versailles.

      Delete
    2. yeah.. there's been this strain Mr. Mad identified... I think in the terms 'a curious kind of respect', where several GOP legislators would say and 'be for' all the right things, yet stick to compromising their claimed "closely held beliefs" time and again. On the rare occasion they *did* something remotely conservative, they trumpeted it through the halls. But when the socialist agenda train came through and needed 'some reasonable legislators to make things work', they'd just join 'the gang of..' groups and bask in the glory of platitudes from their liberal "I'll like you until I eat you" media pundits.
      The GOP has been "changing money in the temple" for decades, and perhaps some tables ought be kicked.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    3. Trump folks seem to me to often say things like "It's his fault, and his and his and his, that I do this disgusting thing."

      I say that without prejudice to whether the disgusting thing is necessary to prevent Hillary, who has seemed (until quite recently) certain to be even more calamitous.

      No special offense to you, Robert of Ottowa

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    4. I apologize. That was argumentative. It doesn't belong here.

      Delete
  2. Trump is and always will be a self promoting whore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That cleverly indirect attack on Hellary is below the belt. Shame on you.

      Delete
    2. You are right, Trump is the male version of Hellary.

      Delete
    3. So, you think he will be a good President.

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    4. It doesn't matter if Trump will be a "good" President. What matters is that this is the first step at getting rid of the geezer establishment that has run the Republican party for so long, shaking things up, and allowing new leadership to rise from the ashes.

      Graham

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    5. How silly, of course it matters! What nonsense. If thats your reason for voting for Trump, Ben Carson or Ted cruise would be much better choices. Trump is a democrat who is just playing to the crowd. Trump and Hillary are playing for the same team. Never bet against the house. Do you think the king makers are actually going to risk a loss? Both doors contain a tiger. Its just the illusion of choice.

      Delete
  3. Here's something on Trump U. that seems fairly legit.

    http://loweringthebar.net/2016/03/trump-university-lawsuits.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. The reason only Trump got the talking points graphics was they had used it at the Iowa debate on the attendees there and that was the one Trump skipped. SO they thought it was fair to do it in Detroit.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Agree with analysis. Romney is a Judas. Note convention is in Ohio. After debate Kasich walked across stage and shook hands with Trump. Rubio who was next to Trump avoided him walked past Trump while Trump patted Rubio on shoulder. Tagging Trump with the "hand thing" referring to his 'you know what' was started by Rubio. No kind words for rubio. Smarmy snot! Fox comes out loser. This was a 'gang bang' on Trump by Fox and other candidates. Desperate people do desperate things. Megyn, get a new hairdresser....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Megyn, get a new hairdresser...."
      Isn't the hair awful !

      Delete
    2. She's going for the David Bowie look . . .

      Delete
  6. Agree with analysis. Romney is a Judas. Note convention is in Ohio. After debate Kasich walked across stage and shook hands with Trump. Rubio who was next to Trump avoided him walked past Trump while Trump patted Rubio on shoulder. Tagging Trump with the "hand thing" referring to his 'you know what' was started by Rubio. No kind words for rubio. Smarmy snot! Fox comes out loser. This was a 'gang bang' on Trump by Fox and other candidates. Desperate people do desperate things. Megyn, get a new hairdresser....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Agree with analysis. Romney is a Judas. Note convention is in Ohio. After debate Kasich walked across stage and shook hands with Trump. Rubio who was next to Trump avoided him walked past Trump while Trump patted Rubio on shoulder. Tagging Trump with the "hand thing" referring to his 'you know what' was started by Rubio. No kind words for rubio. Smarmy snot! Fox comes out loser. This was a 'gang bang' on Trump by Fox and other candidates. Desperate people do desperate things. Megyn, get a new hairdresser....

    ReplyDelete
  8. John Kasich for Secretary of Education.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another good column by Peggy Noonan today. She sees that the party is fracturing and why. I could see a Trump/Webb fusion ticket. Interesting times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the last column I read, sign in. . .

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-republican-party-is-shattering-1457050017

      OW
      "Let's Roll"

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    2. Didn't Peggy and some others like her in DC fall for Obama back in 2008? For Trump backers, prepare to be double crossed. That too is "the art of the deal".

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  10. Do recall that Miss Peggy was definitely not a Sarah Palin fangirl in 2008, citing the 'Barracuda' as an example of the vulgarization of the Conservative movement. Perhaps Noonan is now feeling vindicated by Palin's endorsement of the Donald? ;)

    "Let's Roll"

    ReplyDelete