THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL “DEBATE” (Or Show …)

GOP DebateWe suppose that we might have expected the smorgasbord of campaign tidbits from the politicians. Also the “Answer yes or no: Are you still beating your wife?” attack queries from the liberal among the talking heads who served as interlocutors. There were a few laugh lines. About as close as any came to real substance was typified by Rand Paul’s statement that he had published a viable budget on his website.

Several knees jerked to deplore America’s growing military “weakness;” one speaker quoted the presently reduced numbers of large ships in the Navy, compared to the past.  He did not mention that American military spending exceeds that of the next six highest spenders, combined. Nor that the large ships are owned by few others and are now wonderful missile targets. Nor especially, that they are so costly none can afford them anymore. Never mind; elect some of those guys and we’ll be awash in ships. Perhaps they’ll pay for them themselves? They didn’t mention that part. Hardly serious folk, we think.

One performer dared to pretend seriousness over the oncoming financial debacle by prescribing a solution for the Social Security deficit. He offered a solution spread over twenty-two years, comprised of a gradual shift to a two-year later retirement age and other very minor tweaks, amounting to the prescription of two Tylenol tablets for gunshot wounds. Another far less than serious.

All were concerned about immigration; only one sounded sincerely interested in eliminating wetbacks and managing the entire process. Most of the rest planned to solve the problems, somehow. After closing the border, somehow. A wall or fence was mentioned. Getting Congressional approval and funding did not surface that we noticed. In fact, a number of the “commitments” offered sounded as though the maker would rule by decree.

To sum it up, we suppose from their remarks that they are all against evil and support good while not one would burn Old Glory in public. They will all restore the bountiful past to replace the difficult present, economically at least. Exactly how, unspecified.

They are all “pro-life” and anti- Planned Parenthood; never mind that one served as a board member while his organization contributed substantially to Planned Parenthood. Most disapproved of abortion “except …” with various waffles chosen. One denounced abortion outright. We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

All in all, it struck us similar to a collection of competing snake oil salesmen trying to unload their excess inventory. Understandably, with over a double handful of salesmen limited to one minute or less per statement. What else could they do in that time?

It seemed apparent that the questions or at least most, were no surprise to the speakers to whom they were addressed. We guess that a couple of the trap questions may have been unscripted, but even they were not successful sneak attacks. Why not, we are left to guess.

Knowing of the Republican leadership’s increasing desperation to remove Donald Trump from the scene and the Democrats’ wholehearted support for that, we expected a more successful hit job on him. We read one report claiming that he had been taken apart by co-hostess Megyn Kelly. Perhaps it was written before the debate …

The polls will decide; for ourselves, we expect little change in top layer of candidates’ standings. We believe still that Mr. Trump is legitimizing Ted Cruz, providing cover and doing the voters a signal service, raising issues that the rest prefer unmentioned.

We think that it wasn’t a debate, that it was intended to trap Mr. Trump and polish Mr. Bush. We believe that it did little of those things and that, whatever it was in lieu of a debate, Mr. Trump won it.

You and all others may differ, we will not complain. It was that sort of a night …

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About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
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