Friday, October 30, 2015

GOP debate the stuff of dreams


     The conclusion of yesterday's visit to a gun range flashback will be posted at 7 a.m., CST, Oct. 30, 2015.

     When Carly Fiorina said "I'm Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare" at the end of the third Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, I couldn't help mutter, "Hers and everybody else's."
     A glib line and, as is common with glib lines, not actually true. Fiorina might be a bad dream, certainly, but the worst? Sadly no. Called upon to arrange the 10 Republican candidates on stage in Boulder by order of their nightmarishness, worst to least, anyone who cares for this country would have to go first to Ben Carson, the inexplicable front-runner, murmuring his inanities, smiling quietly to himself as they are mistaken for deep truths.
     There's almost no point in explaining how disastrous Carson would be — like Louis Armstrong said when asked to explain jazz, "If you have to ask, you'll never know." An economy-killing tax plan, to start. Morally wrong notions that jab a thumb into the eye of our cherished rights, hard for some to detect because they seem aimed at someone else. Carson's suggesting closing the mosques of anyone found supporting ISIS, translated, means he'd happily suspend the civil rights of any besieged minority (and if that isn't clear, imagine Carson suggesting closing the churches of those who commit crimes. You see? No, still don't get it? Well, as I said, if you have to ask.)
     In close second on the bad-dream scale is Sen. Ted Cruz. Tailgunner Ted, a frightening demagogue hewed from Joe McCarthy's stock of the high-pitched fanatic waving a sheaf of papers over his head. Then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the albatross of Fort Lee moldering around his neck (and if you spring up and say, "He didn't know about the lane closure!" remember, that's worse, because it means he's fully capable to hire a staff of trusted henchmen and then let them run riot while he's oblivious).
     The rest you can rank yourself, and I'd hate to have to decide if Rand Paul is worse than Marco Rubio. The least nightmarish, from Democratic standards, Gov. John Kasich and former Gov. Jeb Bush, also have the least chance of getting elected. The whole debate was, if not quite a nightmare, then a depressing circus — a David Mamet babble of people talking loudly over each other, shouting well-practiced glib lines that were both untrue and entirely at odds with what they were asked. CNBC seemed to have trouble with the logistics of hosting a debate. It started late, with a strange question, "What's your biggest fault?" that bordered on "What kind of tree would you be?" and most of the candidates rightly ignored it, and pretty much all the other questions the CNBC panel asked, preferring to tear into the media for insulting them by daring to question their impossible schemes. There was no illumination on any kind of policy, except that Donald Trump's thousand mile wall along the Mexican border now has a door in it — which I consider progress. Donald Trump wasn't the worst nightmare on stage, he's not even in the worse half, which is really saying something.
     Trump's brief denouncement of super PACs, plus his dialing back the personal attacks, a little, raised Trump in my estimation. Plus, he isn't Ben Carson — he's Solon the Lawgiver compared to Ben Carson.
     Living in a state where the Republican Party once offered up Alan Keyes as its candidate for Senate, Illinoisans are used to the idea of laughable incompetence passed off as worth by the Republicans. Carly Fiorina waved the threadbare rag of her corporate performance, at best dismantling a failing company (a skill that, alas, might have use in America's future) and at worst a litany of incompetence. For her to then use that to lash at Hillary Clinton, secretary of state in a dangerous world, former senator, wife of one of the more popular presidents in modern history, well, let's just say it showed a hypocrisy so solid you could build a chair out of it. These are the same people, remember, who hooted at Barack Obama for being inexperienced. Now you can select any three candidates off the stage, combine their resumes and find less government experience than Obama was ridiculed for possessing. You have to be a Republican to consider that a good thing. Why it is not in fact a good thing, why it is bad, well, if you have to ask, you'll never know.


27 comments:

  1. Love your blog Neil...........very informative.

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    1. That's a mean looking pitbull up there in the pic.

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    2. Some sources claimed that the CNBC questioning, wasn't professional.

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    3. I'm no fan of pit-bulls, but that seems like a pretty friendly-looking one up there in the pic, to me...

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  2. The Ghost of Christmas PastOctober 30, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    The Democrats are just a bad. Don't vote, they are all the same. Real changes come from building a mass protest movement.

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    1. A fair amount of real change comes via the Supreme Court. The next Pres. may well be selecting a couple members, to be making decisions for perhaps thirty years, or so. Saying "they're all the same" is simply bullshit, as was amply demonstrated by Ralph Nader in 2000. IMHO.

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    2. Well said, Jakash.

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  3. No one says it better,so thanks for your time, NS. Indeed, the irony of those who never held political office and now campaigning, critiquing President Obama, in the past.

    Fiorina seems to have lost steam and Carson speaks as if he should be reading bedtime stories.

    I understand Christie was kicked off a train the other day for being noisy. A pal of mine who lives in NJ says he's a real ass.

    At any rate, I"d say Rubio is the least frightening. Still, I'm no fan of Hillary's either.

    I can't wait to hear Trump explain how he's going to collect $ from Mexico.

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    1. At least some news reports say that the tea party is fizzling and has hurt the GOP.

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    2. Jeb is a wash and we don't need anymore from his family in the WH.

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  4. If only we could realistically have more choices than Republican or Democrat. I agree with The Ghost of Christmas Past above, but I don't advocate not voting.

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    1. Yes, and voting for the Socialist USA party won't do much either.

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  5. Agree that both Carson and Fiorina are scary, but find it hard to believe that Republicans would really nominate either a black man or a woman. I would worry more about Cruz, who the Washington Post dubbed one of the winners of the debate. (Whatever that might mean.) He is from Texas. He is glib. He even looks like Joe McCarthy. And he brings to mind what Mirabeau said about Robespierre, the foremost advocate of terror as a necessary component of revolution: "That man will go far, for he believes everything he says."

    Tom Evans

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    1. Ah yes, the Terror in the French Revolution. Makes me want to revisit readings of the Girond and Jacobins. It's not a fave period or place in History for me though.

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  6. It's just sad and depressing to me thinking about these candidates, one of whom will be running for President of the United States. A few months ago Jeb Bush was considered by many (myself included) to be the front-runner Republican, and look how far down the pole he's slid. Maybe he just has no speaking skills, but he seems totally inept to deal with a position requiring quick thinking, or any thinking for that matter. Trump is still a buffoon, Cruz and Fiorina scare the crap out of me, and Carson has become a laughing stock. Rand Paul actually sounds half-way intelligent and Rubio presents himself well (though Rubio seems to be disguising his true inner agenda). Kasich makes me nervous as hell. Oh, I forgot about Christie....what a mean bully he appears to be. (Did I leave anyone out?) It's LooneyTunes on steroids.

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    1. Kasich certainly seems reasonable, compared with most of the others, but he's done a number of things in Ohio that might well give Democrats bad dreams. Still, I'm not sure that he and Bush have the least chance of getting elected. One of them could yet emerge with a chance once this silly season concludes and people actually start voting. I still find it very hard to believe that the Republicans are going to nominate Trump or Carson.

      Another instance of "be careful what you wish for". My main hope as this interminable campaign was approaching was that we would not have another Bush-Clinton match-up. Little did I realize what the alternatives to Bush would sound like.

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  7. Finding fault with the Republican presidential candidates is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, or as boring as tipping the barrel over and watching them flop around. In the interest of keeping some sliver of hope alive, my favorite technique for selecting the best candidate is to identify the one or two issues of most importance, and weigh each candidate's ability to address that issue. Since I won't vote in the Republican primary, this is all academic. My issue of greatest concern is the 19 trillion in accumulated national debt, and rising, along with the approaching retirement of baby boomers and there massive burden placed on social security and medicare costs. Ranking candidates best to even try to handle this problem are, Rand Paul, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio. Second issue is civil liberties, only one being Rand Paul. An additional aside would be to note, Dr. Carson's tax plan is not just of biblical proportions. His plan is writ in stone, the Rosetta Stone! Not counting Roland Burris's tombstone in Oak Woods Cemetery itemizing his life achievements, has a greater memorial been created for a man. The Rosetta Stone lists the accomplishments of King Ptolemy V. Please allow me to quote line 12 from the Greek: "and of the revenues and taxes levied in Egypt some he has wholly remitted and others has lightened, in order that the people and all the others might be in prosperity."

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    1. Very interesting, Bernie.

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  8. I think that Neil's wife is correct in predicting, in an earlier post, that it will be Rubio all the way to the presidency.

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  9. Mr. S, Some of your neighbors in what I presume is a conservative-well to do suburb filled with Republicans, must not like you much.

    Sandy, good one, looneytunes on steroids.

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  10. comma after neighbors

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  11. Hillary Clinton endured 10 hours of questions from hostile idiots and never turned a hair.

    These guys collectively endured two hours of mildly aggressive questions from the financial news channel where the Tea Party originated, and they're still bitching about it.

    Remind me again which party is supposed to be the tough-minded one?

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  12. Most baffling to me is the current favorite, Carson. He's the Mister Rogers of this campaign, but you don't want to play in his bizarre neighborhood. I can believe he's successful only because Republican politicians have urged their party so far to the right, they've abandoned their incompetent representation. The party is self-destructing, we've seen that in the US House. Their whining on the campaign stage is not amusing; it's pathetic.

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  13. Hillary Clinton is the country's worst nightmare !!

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    2. Agree, you and me both! She will be a complete disaster for our nation!

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  14. "...both Carson and Fiorina are scary..."
    "...the foremost advocate of terror..."
    "...Cruz and Fiorina scare the crap out of me..."
    "...Kasich makes me nervous..."
    When did hearing people speak about supporting our Constitutional Republic form of government become scary for you?
    When did hearing people speak about supporting our capitalistic form of economic system become scary for you?
    Who told you to be scared of the concepts of a Constitutional Republic and capitalism?
    What systems do these people want you to support instead?
    Regarding the people who want you to support systems other than our Constitutional Republic and capitalism, what is in it for them, if we change?

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Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.