Will I be watching the speed debate?

Although, I must confess mild interest in learning how the GOP debate goes tonight, I won’t be watching. My guess is The Donald will try to look presidential, but will not be able to resist the temptation to fire back at folks. I will look at the highlights reel of the fireworks.Yet, the answer to will anything substantive be discussed, is an easy no.

I say this for two reasons. First, you cannot glean any substance from ten people in that little bit of time. It will be a war of sound bites, yet someone who can coin a clever retort, is not correlated with being a good leader. It just means they had a clever retort. Plus, the leader in the GOP polls is big on saying outlandish things with very little data or substance backing it up. Some of the others have already sunk to his level, so I think you will see a lot of big swings being made tonight.

Second, the issues that are needing to be discussed are multi-faceted and complex, so sound bites won’t cut it. Also, as a former Republican, the GOP is on the wrong side of future history on so many issues, that the real problems are not being addressed by the rhetoric of the candidates. We won’t hear about the need to address man-influenced climate change, but will hear about the jobs being lost in fossil fuel industry. Note, the coal jobs have been going away more due to fracking natural gas, so why has that not been an issue before? Plus, the solar industry jobs are growing at double-digit rates and tally over 170,000 at year-end 2014, so it is not an either/or issue on jobs.

We also won’t hear about the ACA working and how it can be improved, as it is needed tool in the new sharing economy. Without the ACA, independent contractors would not have access to affordable care. We also won’t hear about the huge need for better gun control. We also won’t hear about asset based community development and investing in our infrastructure that will help change liabilities into assets and create jobs. We also won’t hear about how investing in family planning and birth control has reduced abortions, unwanted pregnancies and poverty. We also won’t hear how the economy and stock market have been doing pretty well and unemployment is low.

Yet, I am sure we will hear about the Confederate flag. I am sure will hear about denying rights and freedoms to the LGBTQ citizens. I am sure we will hear about how stupid the president is on immigration, Cuba, Iran, ISIS and Ukraine, yet I applaud his seriousness of purpose to address these problems and opportunities. I am sure we will hear about how the president has let down the African-American community, not admitting the huge role the GOP has played in disenfranchising this audience through unconstitutional voting laws, attacks on support programs, indictment of the ACA, lack of Medicaid expansion in twenty states, limiting wages and lack of investment in these communities and in public education.

So, I will watch the highlights, but avoid the watching their lack of attention to more important matters. I do like that John Kasich made the cut, as he is the best candidate in the bunch, but no one has heard of him outside of Ohio.

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29 thoughts on “Will I be watching the speed debate?

    • Hugh, we will see the reaction to the three ring act from the fervent base. I am sure the establishment GOP is cringing right now, especially the Koch Brothers, since they cannot control Trump. I saw a piece that compared Trump to Rob Ford, the bombastic former mayor of Toronto. Thanks, BTG

  1. I did watch the debate. We got together with some neighbors, and created a mini-scorecard for each candidate, giving a plus for each reasonable comment, a minus for each dumb one. Of course the sum total of minus signs far out weighed the pluses. About 6 of the candidates were total no-shows as far as their positions. By far the most entertaining was Trump, for outlandishness, for fearlessness, and for being totally unaware of the topics of the questions asked.

    Scott Walker and Huckabee got the most minus votes for utter stupidity, Carson for cluelessness, and Christy and Paul were tied for most argumentative and loud. The overall winner was Kasich, for being moderate, reasonable, factual, and likely, totally unelectable by Republicans. We watched it strictly for entertainment value. From that viewpoint, you might have enjoyed it.

    • Sounds like that’s the only way to make it through these events. With, perhaps, a tall cool drink in hand??!! But I do agree that the sensible candidate can no longer hope to be elected. It’s a game show and the winner is the one who is most entertaining. That might mean that Trump has a chance after all. Heaven help us!

      • See my response to your first comment equating Trump to Rob Ford. It will be interesting to see the reaction to running as an Independent comment. Will he lose votes or gain some, as people will be scared he will do it. My guess is both.

      • I rooted for Trump for the disruption he is causing in the Republican party. He is saying and doing a lot of the things that they stand for. Imagine if he does go independent, he will cause a major headache.

      • It will be interesting to see how he holds up as his past starts seeping out of his lifelong duffel bag. He has probably offended every group of people at some point, as none of us are as smart as he is. I remember how furious he was at the Scots for not going along with his lawsuit against offshore windmills. He represented the rich arrogant American who felt he could steamroll over them. Their response was “who the heck is this guy?”

      • Like I said, I support him merely for the disruption he is causing to the party. And if he does go independent, he will split mostly repubs, not demos. Let the games begin.

      • Indeed he would. Mark Shields noted Kasich missed a huge chance to come down hard on Trump regarding immigration and chose to pat him on the back.

    • Barney, thanks. I read the news stories about the debate. They agreed with many of your scorings, but you probably did a better job of assessing the astuteness of the comment versus its curb appeal in front of a GOP audience. The consensus said Walker, Paul and Bush who had the most to gain lost ground. They did say Kasich did well, but was also helped by the home crowd. Poor Carson was a non-event. The summaries gave Huckabee mixed results and said Rubio and Christie seemed to show well. My sense for a long time is Rubio will be the GOP candidate, whether deserved or not, due to his demographics. Kasich is the best candidate, but I agree with you he is too reasonable for a largely unreasonable party. Thanks, BTG

      • If this were a level event, and not the circus that Fox created, I’d go with Kasich. He was moderate, reasonable, and stood his ground on issues the other and the party are against.

        My betting is Bush fatigue continues to grow, and he didnt do himself any favors last night. I believe that Rubio is the only viable remaining candidate.

        Thanks for writing.

      • If Bush cannot explain away a question he know is coming….then that does not serve him well. He should not have hired any of his brothers advisors, especially the military and foreign affairs ones.

      • Totally agree. I do believe he feels he is due the White House, and like Palin in 2008, is lazy when it comes to preparation.

    • I agree with that review of the debates, if they can be called “debates”. Huckabee made some pretty strange statements, one of which I still am not clear who or what he was referring to.

  2. I made the H U G E mistake of partaking in the insanity called a debate, on FOX nonetheless. My remote was revolting on that decision! I didn’t watch it all,because frankly I just couldn’t take it anymore. They were talking about bringing back water boarding and I was thinking having prisoners watch this debate would be cheaper. The debate turned up in my dreams and I was wide awake at 3a.m. with a headache!!
    John Kasich gave some good answers,but sadly he is not crazy enough to get attention.

    • Monty Python had a sketch where they saw Hell as sitting in a room with an insurance salesman. I think it might be sitting in a room with nothing but a television and being forced to watch political “debates.”

    • I think you hit upon the reason I did not. Was there any discussion about poverty, economic injustice, jobs, climate change, environment, what would they do instead in foreign policy?

      • Oh you mean things that actually matter? Nope not a peep. Just Trump with his me me me I I I like a broken record and the rest avoiding the actual questions as usual. Horrible!

      • Of course, Trump continued his tirade after the debate digging deeper. Plus, anyone who challenges him is “pathetic” and/ or/a “loser.” He used both to describe the convener of a conservative meeting who disinvited him after his continuing attacks on Kelly. Rubio stated he has never supported an abortion exception to rape/ incest, yet he co-sponsored a bill to do just that. I guess candidates don’t believe folks will look this stuff up.

  3. The Rolling Stone ran a piece about how to “enjoy” the debate as a drinking game (they suggested Jagermeister) that was quite funny. I watched it with a group of progressive friends and we decided that we’d get too stinking drunk if we followed the game guidelines.

    • Was the task to take a drink for every wrong claim or for every snide remark? Either way, you would get drunk. It is interesting that the two most moderate governors – Kasich and Christie have been noted as coming out well in the debate. Rubio, has been more bipartisan, before he decided not to be also faired well.

  4. Note to Readers: I commented on another blog that I find interesting the Fact Check process which follows debates. The ones I have seen not only correct a candidate’s statements from last night, but some indict the party’s position. An example was a statement made that Obamacare was job killing. The fact is from the date Obamacare was signed through today, 12 million jobs have been created. So, the Fact Check found no material evidence supporting the decline statement. When someone brought up the $700K reduction in Medicare due to Obamacare, that was disproved yet again as a savings to future Medicare spending.

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