Everyone knew this debate could be pretty entertaining with reality TV star Donald Trump in the field, and The Donald didn’t disappoint. There’s no point in rehashing all of his comments. Needless to say this clown show isn’t good for the Republican Party.
Putting the Trump show aside, here are some initial observations:
- I was impressed with the questions from the Fox panel of moderators, and frankly I didn’t expect that. Sure, some of the questions were bizarre, and the Facebook participation didn’t help, but the moderators asked very tough questions, which is what you’re supposed to do. GOP partisans will likely complain, which means Fox actually approached this correctly. Fox also found ways to get real discussions going between candidates who disagreed on some issues.
- Marco Rubio showed off his political talents and should get some favorable coverage, but he also came out against rape and incest exceptions to abortion, which will be a huge problem for him if he ever makes it to the general election. For that reason it was a bad night for him.
- Scott Walker was less impressive, which surprised me. His answers will probably please GOP primary voters, as Walker know how to tick off talking points. But he comes across as a smarmy politician as opposed to the next leader of the free world. I thought he’d be the biggest threat to Democrats, but now I’m less concerned. Also, he went one step further than Rubio by saying he also didn’t agree to an abortion exception for the life of the mother. Seriously!! This could be fatal to his general election campaign.
- John Kasich impressed me. He has a reputation here in Ohio for having a temper and sometimes being a bully, but he focused on optimism, growth and inclusion in his answers. He’s going with a positive message and does a good job of weaving his credentials and accomplishments into his answers. He should start getting more attention after this debate. Still, once people take a hard look at his record in Ohio, they may conclude his economic achievements in Ohio have more to do with President Obama’s policies like the auto bailout.
- Jeb Bush didn’t impress me at all. Is he out of practice? He’ll never has a good answer for the Iraq War.
This endorsement is a big deal. Also, see what Powell says about Mitt Romney and how he’s all over the place on foreign policy. That confirms everything President Obama has been saying about Romney and his constant flip flops.
For years, Republicans used the culture wars to bludgeon Democrats as issues like abortion and gay marriage were used to rally their base.
Now we’re seeing Democrats get much more energized about these issues as Republicans have gone so far to the right on issues like abortion and contraception.
This election will provide an interesting test as to whether this strategy will work. Take a look at the Obama ad above calling out Mitt Romney for some of his more extreme statements he made on the subject of abortion.
The Todd Akin fiasco is just another example of how many Republicans, and far right conservatives in general, seem to have a problem with science, facts, math and reality in general. This is what happens when your ideology becomes so entrenched that you start believing your own bullshit. You get elected officials saying that raped women can’t get pregnant, that Obama’s birth certificate is forged or that humans once lived side by side with dinosaurs.
As usual, Bill Maher has no trouble calling out this BS, arguing that the symbol for the Republican Party “shouldn’t be an elephant — it should be a unicorn.” Here’s more from Maher, as he calls out the absurd Ryan budget, which has nothing to do with balancing the budget but everything to do with worshiping conservative dogma:
Paul Ryan is their tough guy on spending but he doesn’t want to touch defense — that’s right, a budget hawk who doesn’t think there’s anything bloated about the Defense Department’s budget. It’s like being a health inspector and finding nothing wrong with the Asian place that has the chicken hanging in the window. This is how low we’ve put the bar for political courage — that you can just write, “I want a pony” in a binder and call it the “Plan For Restoring Vision For the Future of America’s Greatness” or some shit, and then everyone has to refer to you as the serious one in Congress. It reminds me of health care. Republicans are for all the popular things, like covering people with pre-existing conditions, but they’re not for the part where you pay for it, like the mandate. Just like they were for our recent wars, but not for paying for them. For the prescription drug bill, but not for paying for it.
The GOP has courted their lunatic fringe for years, and now Americans are getting a close look of exactly what some of these nuts think.