A Liberal Watches the GOP Debate, Objectively

I watched the GOP debate the other night.  It was every bit as entertaining as I hoped.  I learned a few things that I believe at least a few of you will enjoy.  Let’s get a few things out of the way first.

Yes, I am liberal

No I’m not close minded

Yes I believe Fox News is Bullshit Mountain

No, I do not believe everything they is bullshit, just way more than it should be.  As an example Bill O’Reilly covering the Falklands war is not bullshit.  Any mention of him being in a warzone, seeing a firefight etc. is.

Let’s look at my before and after of the 10 men on stage.

Jeb Bush
Before:  George Bush’s smarter brother.  Too religious for my taste.
After:  George Bush’s WAY smarter brother.  Very centrist.  Nice thought on education.  Every bit as religious as I expected.

Ben Carson
Before:  Smart Neurosurgeon who says odd things with no political savvy
After:  Savvier than I thought.  He is in favor of torture (really, what about the “do no harm oath?) and he later used the word secular as an insult.  (Note:  Seems like all GOP candidates believe they must adopt some sort of “I’m a good Christian” aspect to their platform to think they can win.)  I actually started to like Carson until that.  While I agree with his stance that race should be an issue, it is. I would have liked to see him really address that.  I think he missed a great opportunity to capture an issue that everyone else ignores and pretends is all hot air.

Chis Christie
Before:  He’s from New Jersey. He’s brash.  He hires political thugs.  He’s not Springsteen.  NEXT!
After:  He’s put some of his weight back on.  Seemed like a lightweight candidate to me.  His catfight with Rand Paul was fun, but showed him in a poor light.

Ted Cruz
Before:  A buffoon from Texas.  My Huckleberry.  May have tried to be funny with his machine gun bacon.  Made him look ridiculous to me.  And from Canada!
After:   OMG.  All that was missing was a call to round up the Jews and remove them from this good Christian land. I’m sure he appealed to many voters on the religious right.  I was offended.  When did President become a religious office?

Mike Huckabee
Before:  Former Arkansas governor who plays bass and hosts a TV show.  I hear people like him.
After:  Good sense of humor, smart and savvy.  Way too religious in my view.  Not as offensive in that way as Cruz, but too much for my taste.  And what hair!

John Kasich
Before:  Governor of Ohio.  Who?
After:  Smart, on the ball and a bit nebbish.  I could vote for him.  I wasn’t overly upset with his views and like his views on the economy.

Rand Paul
Before:  Ron Paul’s son. He can filibuster.
After: I liked his views on the NSA and privacy.  A serious senator.  Not a serious presidential candidate in my view.

Marco Rubio
Before:  He likes water and people like him.  Why?
After:  I see the appeal.  He can orate.  Very proud of his blue collar roots (and 100k student loans that I’m sure his PAC or speaking fees paid off).  He made sure that he appealed to the religious right with his very strong anti-abortion views.  Politically savvy and showed he would work with others of similar views (as in Jeb Bush).  Not as bad as George Bush.

Donald Trump
Before:  A horrid blowhard who has adopted the Fox News “Angry Old Man” stance and taken it to a new low.
After:  Seriously, do you want this guy negotiating with Russia or anyone else?  He gladly wore the sash of most likely to start WW3.  I think this is his ego saying I can out do the Koch brothers by buying myself the election.  I can’t imagine he’ll make the convention, let alone the ticket.

Scott Walker
Before:  Hey Kids!  Let’s bust a union.  Whatever.After:  He rides a Harley.  So?  I think he dies his hair and has the 2nd worst comb over in the group.  I guess they needed a 10th warm body.

Yes, I spent over 3 hours watching Fox News.  For the most part I didn’t find many things to call bullshit on.  I was very impressed with the focus group segment on the Megyn Kelly after show. Real people, real opinions and a few dingbats.  Nevertheless it was a clear demonstration that a GOP focus group in Cleveland have almost nothing politically with me.  But it was clear who like Rubio because he was attractive, in a non-political, creepy sort of way.

I really was disappointed to learn that the GOP really is the Evangelical Christian party.  Even Trump jumped on the Pro-life platform.  I took it as code for “I’m Christian Friendly.”  When did abortion become a key point for the GOP?  A plank yes, but a keystone blank? Wow.  Now if only this country thought politicians should tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies.  Everyone wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.  I guess inexpensive healthcare and education for women is appealing to those with blinders on.  I call bullshit on that.  Especially since we are also funding “abstinence education.”  If you are for abstinence education, then I label you an ostrich as you missed the fact its 2015 keeping the sand out your nose.

And really, Trump thinks it is funny to tell a women she’d look good on her knees. In public. On national television.  A jokes aside, that is not something to say nationally.  What may have been funny in private is insulting in public.  Shouldn’t a president know that?

I decided to check the current rankings on 8/10.  On 8/9 Breitbart posted the results of an NBC poll.

  1. Trump                   23%
  2. Cruz                      13%
  3. Carson                  11%
  4. Fiorina                   8%
  5. Rubio                     8%
  6. Bush                      7%
  7. Walker                   7%

A point of interest is not that Paul, Christie and Kasich fell off, but that Fiorina jumped way up.  Maybe it’s me living near Silicon Valley, but HP’s board firing her does not make me feel like she should running our country. I’m sure she is a smart lady, but I’m concerned.

In the dull roar following the debate, one theme has been heard.  The concept that it was a set up for Trump.  Can I laugh now?  He isn’t a career politician.  He doesn’t want to be. He insults politicians and calls them stupid.  Yet in a political arena, he and his supporters cry “UNFAIR!”  Am I the only one that sees the irony here?  Trump wants the spotlight. He got the spotlight and then decided the heat burned. Maybe he should build a wall around his campaign and keep the barbs out with the “Mexicans.”

I think if he wants to be a politician, he should expect more of this, though I don’t think it’s the hatchet job he and his supporters think it is.  After all, Dan Savage was much more rough, albeit rightfully so, on Rick “don’t google me” Santorum.  Trump gets off easy in my book.

This liberal enjoyed the show.  There was lots of BS after the fact, only a few shovels worth during the actual debate.  I’m open minded, but I don’t think pandering to the religious right will win anyone my vote.  I’m all for religious freedom. I’m happy to vote for a religious person who keeps his religion to his or herself.  I already know 20% of the people in this country believe I am going to a hell I don’t believe in.  Ah the joys of politics.

I’m going to enjoy the next several months as the Trump sets the clown car afire and it burns itself out.

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