Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The morning after


 
      So now I've watched all five Republican presidential debates.
     Ten hours—more or less—staring into the cesspool of the GOP psyche. The fear. The bluster. The Donald.
      The press leaps to critique their performance, citing various lines, moments, gaffes.
      And my impulse is to say ... nothing. Because it really twists the gut to imagine that one of these guys—or, gasp, Carly Fiorina—could end up president of the United States. A big country with big problems.  They could be the ones to apply their intelligence and world view to our running our nation for the next four or eight years.
     The impulse is to fall silent, stare at a spot on the floor. But you sort of have to try, to say something sensible, if only to wave the flag for sense.
     Lest it fall from favor entirely.
     So what's the takeaway?
     First:
     Man, they hate Obama. You'd think the country was a smoldering ruin the way they talk about the past seven years, that other landmarks had been desolated in more 9/11-like assaults. You'd think 10 million people didn't get health insurance or the banks saved and the economy righted. You'd think Osama bin Laden hadn't been killed, and unwise wars wound down. None of it matters of course. To them, he's the Worst. President. Ever. I wonder why they feel that way? I'd say racism, but then, they really, really hated Bill Clinton too. Partisan blindness perhaps. I could scrape together the good things George W. Bush did. No one is completely bad. But not a syllable in support of anything Obama ever did cross the lips of any of these debaters. Not once. Evidence of the vast areas of life they just can't see. That Marco Rubio can say he'll roll back gay marriage ... why? Because of all the damage it causes to straight marriage?
    Second. They are willing to surrender our freedom for the illusion of security. I'm being influenced by the last night's debate more than the others, but if these debates are a testament to anything, they are proof of the fact that a mouse right now dwarfs an elephant last week. You'd think that the San Bernardino massacre occurs every day.
     Actually it does—general gun violence. Many times over. But they never talk about that either. Another region their eyes just can't focus on. Listening to their view of the country was really a case of the Blind Men and the Elephant.
     And Carly Fiorina. Has ever a dud career of failure ever been spun so vigorously? And regarding foreign relations. You'd think she had been Secretary General of the United Nations, to hear her talk. I guess Hewlett-Packard once pressed a button in response to a national security request. Or maybe she went on a Carnival Cruise once. Hard to say.
     Third. The whole thing is so sad, so painfully sad, for patriotic Americans who love the country and want it run well. Donald Trump, pressed to the wall, invokes the best and the brightest, the great minds who'll come in a fix things in some as-yet-to-be-seen fashion. Hasn't he read a history book? Sometimes the smartest people make the biggest blunders. Ted Cruz went to Princeton and Harvard, not that he'd ever mention that—too smart, given the people he's trying to fool. For all the good it did him.
     Okay, enough. Too damn depressing. I had only one central thought, after each debate, after them all. Not a happy thought, but a grim, determined thought: Hillary Clinton better fuckin' win. Not the perfect candidate either. But a clear-thinker living in the fact-based world. Better do all the basic, meat-and-potatoes campaign work necessary: register the voters, kiss the babies, collect the money, produce the TV commercials. Because our nation depends on it. When somebody asks me why I don't wave palm fronds at Bernie Sanders, I reply: because he won't win. This national moment is too fraught for naivete. I won't say that a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz would destroy the United States—a great nation, it survived eight years of George W. Bush, it can survive anything.
     But they'd sure give it their best shot.

25 comments:

  1. What is the old saw? "If wishes were fishes we'd all be throwing nets." I sure wish the list of Democratic Primary candidates had a better depth of field. I'm not saying Hillary is a witch, but she did turn the Speaker of the House into a newt, and he never got better.

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  2. They are a hateful and hypocritical lot, aren't they?

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  3. Except saying we survived Junior Bush is like the knight from the Monty Python movie who has had all his limbs knocked off & still wants to fight!
    Junior begat Obama, who is as wimpy as a mouse.
    We need a honey badger in the White House, who has the brains to not start stupid wars with the wrong country, but makes sure our enemies are scared shitless of us at all times!

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    1. You're reminding me of the defenses of Dick Nixon; he may be a SOB but he's our SOB, and scaring the communists. Its appealing on an emotional level, but recall where such demagoguery ends up.

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  4. Neil, Obama has been a very disappointing president. I hope you don't actually think ISIS is a JV team too. Obamacare has been higher premiums and deductibles for most Americans who actually pay for health insurance. The reason the stock market is up is because there is no where to invest money with 0 percent interest rates. Unemployment is down but most people have had to settle for part time work at the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings. Do you really think the liar and scandalous Billary Clinton is the best choice for president, I think not.

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    1. So I see. The JV crack is almost two years old -- a sign of how Republicans collect whatever discarded change of fact they can find strewn in the gutter of their beliefs, then jingle it for all eternity, as if it proves something. So you read the above, and could ask, "Do you really believe..." Yes Dave, I really do. I'd prefer somebody who knows the truth and sometimes lies to somebody who has no grip whatsoever on reality.

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  5. Hillary may not win since people might go for a different party after 8 yrs of one party. She is not as strong as she was last round. No, she isn't a great choice either. Is Rubio the lesser of all Republican evils?

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    1. Rubio is dedicated to reversing Obamacare and voiding marriage equality. He might be the lesser of Republican evils, but that's evil aplenty nevertheless.

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    2. Well I'm certainly not voting for him either.

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  6. If the Democrats could field a good team to take back the Congress & Senate we wouldn't have to worry about who was President as much. Obamacare does need to be fixed & voiding marriage equality WILL NOT happen in this country. But my money is on Hilary, because even staunch Republicans can see that this group of losers are not electable.

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  7. "Third. The whole thing is so sad, so painfully sad, for patriotic Americans who love the country and want it run well."

    That statement sums it up perfectly for me. I really, really wanted to find one tiny speck of admiration, hope or humanity in one of the candidates last night. I was willing to settle for SOMEONE to at least give me a spark of belief that we could survive four years of their presidency. After all, these are people, human beings with families who love them, intelligent, one assumes, who supposedly love our country. But it just isn't happening, and I am so sad that the Republican party has been reduced to this.

    SandyK

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  8. Yhey are the most frightening group of maniacs I have ever seen.

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  9. Evidently the subject matter didn't offer an opportunity for these guys (Fiorino seems effectively out of it) to display their flat earth inclinations. Only one, demeaning, mention of the climate conference.

    I'm of the opinion that history will accord Obama a fairly high rank among Presidents. And as a canny politician. He is, after all, only one of fourteen elected to a second term, and, against fanatical political opposition, got some significant things accomplished. The Iran nuclear deal will be seen a classic of diplomacy combined with internal political adroitness.

    I also think things will really get ugly when the real campaign starts, but that Hilary will be able to hold her own.

    Tom Evans

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  10. To Neil, who watches the debates so we don't have to: thank you.

    If Trump's the nominee, Clinton/Julian Castro. If Rubio is the candidate, Clinton/Corey Booker. Unbeatable.

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  12. What amazes me is that Republicans continue to cling to their "we hate everyone, not just Obama" minority base, even though they were soundly defeated by by the subject of their hate last time. Then, they admitted the need to change their message to attract more diverse voters...for about ten minutes. The reaction of their bloodthirsty minority? "We hate you, too, because you can't give us our "country" back!" The nonsense you see them spew on stage is a symptom of this xenophobic meltdown, for a few percentage points?

    I agree with those that say the Republican Party needs to crash, suffer complete failure in the upcoming election. If they won't remake themselves into a force most Americans would trust and vote for, they've given up the White House for years to come. Their best hope is if Trump goes Independent. They'll lose, but can distance themselves from his rabid followers.

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