If you missed last night's #GOPDebate, here's all you need to know
Last night Fox News hosted the Republican Debate, the first major event of the current election cycle as the conveyor belt moves closer to 2016. A sizeable list of talking points addressed key issues of importance to the Republican platform including tax reform, foreign policy, and, of course, invented woes somehow traceable back to the Obama administration.
I. Rand Paul
Rand seemed to come off as the most relaxed and prepared of those on stage. His points mainly focused on cutting government spending, including a significant chunk of US foreign aid based on an invented moral premise which basically contends that if individuals in a particular country participate in an American flag burning, then aid may just be turned off. Predictably Rand also made his standard point with respect to most spending, that money which is borrowed is not money which should necessarily be immediately lent out in confidence.
II. Donald Trump
Donald made a solid appearance on the debate stage, assuming a commanding, ‘take no prisoners’ approach to his arguments, which, at times, nearly verged on personal attacks. It is evident that the rallying cry of his campaign is slowly becoming an imitation of last election’s Republican hive-mind drone-phrase “we have a president who doesn’t have a clue.”
III. Jeb Bush
Jeb came off looking like a fairly rational, if not a little internally too-stressed-out human being Thursday night. Although he was given a little more than the average amount of speaking time, Jeb managed to simultaneously make himself palatable to the most conservative Americans and unpalatable to most liberals. This is best summarized in his triumphant description of his defunding of Planned Parenthood, which came as a part of his Floridian “culture of life.”
IV. Hillary Clinton
It seemed as if, over the course of the debate, most of the Republican candidates had tacitly acknowledged that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. Fox News moderators, during both debates last night, actually directed candidates to attack her. At the very least, last night’s statements indicate that she may be the stronger candidate, as the conservatives seem to be formulating their arguments to combat her political base.
Dr. Ben Carson, for instance, asserted that Hillary is the “epitome of the secular, progressive movement.” This is the movement which, in terms of the 2016 election, must be overcome in order for the Republicans to actually take sound control.
V. Scott Walker
Scott did well in this debate, distinguishing himself from his fellow Republicans on only a few miniscule points. In terms of electability, Gov. Walker will need to demonstrate a willingness to respect the diplomatic efforts made on behalf of the Obama administration over its eight years of existence. One of the very first things that will be undertaken by a Scott Walker administration, according to him, would be the elimination of the nuclear deal recently struck with Iran. Not only would Walker, in his own words, “tear up,” the nuclear deal, he would also, allegedly press for more “crippling” sanctions which would certainly serve to put that naughty regime in its appropriate place.
VI. The Obama Administration
It seems as if, generally speaking, any problem which currently exists may be traced directly back to a genesis point within the Obama administration. This default stance will eventually come back to haunt many of the Republican candidates as they proceed along the yellow brick road as many of the same problems will actually be traced back to the Bush administration or, in the case of Iran, the Eisenhower administration.
VII. Marco Rubio
Marco did little to distinguish himself from his colleagues, as he generally assumes the stance of a chameleon in regards to most conservative talking points which seldom come with any great amount of variance. On the topic of Planned Parenthood Rubio summed up his entire view in the simple assertion that future generations will call us “barbarians” because of the way we have approached abortion.
VIII. Chris Christie
Chris came off sounding quite militant with the few slots he was given to speak. In addition to agreeing with most of the stage on social issues, Christie made it clear that he would like to not only avoid military spending cuts, but that he would thoroughly enjoy expanding our navy to a size (apparently) previously unseen since the early years of the twentieth century. On the topic of aid to Israel, Christie made his stance in favor of continued aid immediately clear as well.
IX. Mike Huckabee
Mike presented his general aura of friendly yet neurotic down home Christianity pretty consistently over the course of the night. When asked about the changing social environment of today which necessitates slight alterations in military procedures with respect to individuals of so-called ‘non-traditional’ sexual and physical orientations he replied that “the military is not a social experiment.”
Huckabee, like most of the other Republicans on the stage other than Rand Paul, expressed his support for increasing defense spending and vowed to take a hard line, similar to the stance of Scott Walker, on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
X. Bernie Sanders
As Hillary Clinton became the unifying enemy for the Republican field, Bernie Sanders seemed oddly removed from the action. In terms of the Democratic field, Sanders is a contender, however, if one takes a bit of a hint from what was said last night it is evident that the conservatives may have selected Hillary for a reason, in that if they can shoot enough (metaphorical) silly string in her face, she may just slink back into her pit of liberal villainy, leaving Sanders exposed and weakened with absolutely no credibility in comparison to Clinton as the Democratic candidate.
All in all, the #GOPDebate was enlightening, if a little disappointing in terms of bombast. The reaction from social media seemed to be general disappointment with the relative lack of fireworks. Trump threw his weight around a little bit, but was nowhere near the wrecking ball that people were expecting.
The real winner here was Fox News, who received lots of ad revenues, including from the candidates themselves, and what will surely be some the year’s best ratings for their channel, if not the very best. It was also interesting, but not that surprising, to see that the anti-immigrant hate group NumberUSA bought time during the debate.
Not that any of it mattered when 11pm rolled around. America was more interested in saying goodbye to Jon Stewart than listening to any more conservative fear-mongering. And if that crew couldn’t hold a candle to a comedian retiring from a satirical news show, it’s doubtful they will have much of a chance debating a real opponent, whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.