The #GOPDebate was just a rerun of the same tired show we've seen before. Again and again.

Here we go again with another Republican Debate, and the GOP candidates were clearly feeling the pressure after bitching about “gotcha” questions for weeks and watching Democrat candidates field substantive questions effortlessly. While the stage was winnowed down to eight candidates, there still wasn’t going to be enough time for everyone, so the moderators tried to control the length of time each person spoke with a BING BING noise. In short, the idea was to keep things brief, substantive, and totally not a hot mess. The BING BING Theory!

The first thing the Republicans were asked about was raising the minimum wage. Donald Trump resists this because that’s why America doesn’t win. We have to leave it the way it is and you have to work harder. Ask your father for a million dollar loan, you losers. Ben Carson made sure everyone knew his family was there to see him also deny raising the minimum wage, especially for black people. He talked about the importance of making sure everyone could ascend the grain pyramid of opportunity by keeping pay low.

Marco Rubio talked about how poor his parents were, and because they were able to achieve the American Dream a generation ago when times were completely different, you should be able to do exactly that as well. Or robots will take over, apparently. Also Obamacare is bad and we need more welders, not more education. Have you guys heard about Trickle Down Theory?

John Kasich was the first to wander off topic, saying economic theory is fine but people need help, as long as it’s not paying them more. Hillary is bad and because he balanced the Ohio budget for five minutes he should be President. As the governor of Ohio he would BING BING! No wait, I’m totally an innovator and BING BING!

Ted Cruz said the question of the economy was the most important question and that’s the question that’s most important and Obama’s economy is a disaster even though unemployment is at 5% and regulations have to be rolled back so we can poison our rivers quicker and blow up more factories in Texas. According to Marco Rubio, America is not going through an economic downturn but an economic revolution because just look at Candy Crush! Then we can have a new century even though we’re already 15 years into it.

Jeb Bush says we should go back to an economic growth that’s worse than the one we’re already enjoying by cutting taxes for corporations and rich people and Obama is stupid for fixing the mess my brother made. Hillary is also to blame for America’s unemployment rate of 5% too. Carly Fiorina pivoted to a Buzzfeed-style list of “5 ways Gubmint is too Big” until BING BING! She finished with a “Take our country back!” Rand Paul said everything is bad because of Democrats and went off on a rambling monologue about the Fed before saying he’d just do Trickle Down again.

Ben Carson got asked if his own story should be scrutinized for lies because he’s been lying so much and he answered with Benghazi. Drink! Also, Hillary is bad and that’s worse than him lying about himself, but we also need to treat everyone the same even though he just said we should ignore his lies and focus on Clinton’s non-existent ones.

Now it was time for immigration and Donald Trump said that one court’s decision justifies his own racism, the Great Wall of Trump, and deporting millions of people even though they can come back so that’s all pointless anyway. Kasich said charge them a fine, and Trump came back with Ohio got lucky and struck oil and Dwight Eisenhower kicked out some immigrants so shut up, John. Then he said, let Jeb speak, because why the Hell not and BING BING! Jeb said something nobody cared about.

Ted Cruz got asked about entitlement reform and pushing his Grandmother off a cliff so he went on a rant about immigration, Democrats, and the evils of the mainstream media. Basically he just hit “replay” on his playlist. Also, because he’s anti-immigrant, he’s offended. BING BING! Also China.

Oh look, Michael Bay made a Benghazi movie and it looks like the worst thing he’s made, which is saying something. At least the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA didn’t buy time tonight, probably because they figured with this crew doing their work for them, why waste the money?

Now it was time to talk taxes, and Ben Carson said God would approve his tax plan because of Trickle Down Theory. Rand Paul said he wanted small government and he can’t say where he’d cut spending, so he’ll go ahead and endorse Trickle Down as well. BING BING! Ted Cruz added that the Bible is better than the tax code, everybody should pay a 10% flat tax and THAT will make Trickle Down finally work. Also let’s get rid of the IRS, Ronald Reagan and BING BING!

Marco Rubio says the most important job anyone can have is being a parent and that’s why America should go with Trickle Down and his “pro-family” tax code is right to deny family leave to everyone. Rand Paul called that Welfare and Captain Water Bottle responded by calling Curlytop names, and the two of them had a slap fight until the fear-mongering about ISIS and China started.

Rand went off on military spending until BING BING! Cruz said you could pay for military spending with sugar subsidies and BING BING! Fiorina said “big Gubmint,” “zero based budgeting,” and Trickle Down Theory BING BING!

The Donald borrowed a page from the late Lindsey Graham with the world is coming to kill us so we need bigger military to invade everybody and the TPP is China and Obamacare’s fault, America is a bunch of losers, CHINA! INDIA! MEXICO! BING BING!

Now we turned to foreign policy, so the mods asked Ben Carson about putting special operations troops in Iraq and he said we need to destroy the caliphate before they destroy us so he supports Obama, we guess? Jeb Bush says Islamic terrorists will kill us all and Obama is a weak leader even though he killed Osama Bin Laden when brother Bush couldn’t. Oh and it’s Hillary’s fault too!

Oh, hey, let’s talk about Russia now! But instead Trump talked about North Korea, Iran, and China, and he’s totally cool with Putin destroying ISIS. As for Ukraine, hey, whatever, can’t they solve their own problems and BING BING our country is going to Hell and BING BING! Fiorina said we can’t talk to Putin because he’s stronger than us. So let’s pick a fight with him instead. She exclaimed America is actually totally strong while the mods went BING BING BING. Marco added that Putin is a gangster, because THAT’S Presidential?

Ben Carson said we should have policies to make sure banks are kept in check like the regulations in place now that the GOP is trying to currently roll back. He then said that when America first became an economic power, when it declared Independence, that slave-based economy was awesome so we’d all be better off if we went back to the days when we didn’t have to worry about regulations. Cruz said he wouldn’t bail out the banks again and got very little applause, as he was speaking at a debate hosted by Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal. BING BING! Hey, heard about Trickle Down Theory?

Finally, it was time for closing statements. Carly Fiorina then got off the all time hypocritical line of the night about Hillary, “The Clinton way is to say whatever you have to, lie whenever you have to.” The shock of her bald faced gall in saying that overshadowed the next two candidates’ statements, but it was basically Ted and Marco talking about how they were poor immigrants and who cares what Jeb said, really? Ben Carson said 257 people died while watching the debate. Trump said he was rich and Hillary was bad.

And that was that. This was the Republican ideal of a substantive debate, which still turned out to be a hot mess with candidates shouting over each other and the BING BING noise of the moderators losing control of them. None of them said anything new, only re-wording ways to implement a failed Trickle Down Theory of economics, as Republicans always do.

The BING BING Theory was a failure. All we got tonight was the same old rerun of a show we’ve seen a million times, just given a slightly new script to try and fool us into thinking this was something new. Sure, it was the most substantive Republican debate so far, but that’s not saying much

Chad R. MacDonald has a degree in English literature from Cape Breton University and subsequently received a full scholarship to AMDA in New York City. He is a former security professional, veteran of the hospitality industry, and experienced in both the arts as well as administration.He has been writing all his life, likes baseball, hockey, literature, science, the arts, and marine photography.Chad lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and their gigantic cat.

6 COMMENTS

  1. […] am confronted with the fact that our country is deeply encumbered by extreme division, evidenced by the shockingly banal presidential debates. Will we be able to find a President in 2016 that can unite us? It doesn’t look too […]

  2. My son calls this morning. Before he went to college, I was joking around and told him he needed to go to the local community college and take welding. I told him that, as a welder, he would always make more than his father, who teaches theology/philosophy. Someone fact-checked Rubio’s comment about welders making more than philosophers and discovered that, lo and behold, philosophers make more than welders. He said he was going to “fact-check every suggestion or piece of advice” I ever gave him.

  3. Trump claimed to have spent time talking to Putin in the ‘green room’ when they were both on 60 minutes. And they became quite close. 60 minutes said the meeting could not have happened at their location because both segments were taped. Probably happened at Sarah Palin’s house because she can see Russia from there.

  4. That’s the most accurate review I’ve seen, Mr MacDonald. It had enough humor mixed in to keep the sane people from having dangerous and prolonged uncontrolable laughter that might come from watching the actual program and be detrimental to one’s health. It also had a very truthful insight as to what they were really saying. It would take a sick mind or a person suffering from cognitive dissonance to think that any of these wishful thinking candidates actually would be good for America and especially the middle class.

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