21 Things I (Re)learned From the GOP Debates

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All SEVENTEEN Republican presidential candidates took part in at least one of three GOP debates last week (one on CSPAN & two on Fox.) I don’t know how many of you also watched the full 2-hour Prime Time GOP debate on Fox last Thursday, but I definitely wasn’t surprised by anything I heard (other than the fact Ronald Reagan’s name was only mentioned 2 [3?] times. Probably a record low.) Fox doesn’t like Donald Trump, that much was made clear, and… in case you didn’t hear it the first 47 times, Rubio’s parents were poor emigres from Cuba and Kasich’s dad was a mailman. The two big winners of the primetime debate weren’t even on the stage: Carly Fiorina, who had a clip of her from the earlier “Kid’s Table” debate replayed during the Prime Time debate, and Bernie Sanders, whose own Live Tweets during the debate were more re-Tweeted than ANY of the GOP candidates’ comments. Beyond that, there were plenty of things I pretty-much already knew about the candidates that they only helped solidify in my memory:

The first “debate” on C-SPAN last Monday… really just a “getting-to-know-you” series of interviews… consisting of 11 in-person candidates + 3 via remote, couldn’t fill a 500 seat theater. And during the first Fox “Kid’s Table” debate of the bottom seven polling candidates, there were more people on stage than in the audience. Those are the only polls you need.

Okay, so what I learned last week:

  1. Accepting Medicaid funding under “ObamaCare” dramatically slowed the rate of growth in state health care costs, yet “ObamaCare” must absolutely be repealed. – Ohio Gov. Kasich defended accepting Medicaid funds under the ACA by citing the fact that doing so led to Ohio having the slowest health care cost growth in the nation, an “achievement” that was wildly cheered by the Conservative audience… as was every call to fully repeal “every word” of “ObamaCare”.
  2. The best way to fight crime is to strip cities of their federal law-enforcement funding. – Jeb Bush blasted so-called “sanctuary cities” (cities that don’t actively seek out undocumented immigrants for deportation/arrest) following the shooting death of a 32 year old woman in San Francisco by a man arrested three times for being in the country illegally. The proposed solution? Strip these cities of their federal law-enforcement funding until they agree to waste precious resources seeking out & prosecuting undocumented immigrants… the vast majority of whom actually pay taxes and commit no crime other than simply being here illegally. And just how did he get a gun anyway?
  3. The best way to fight abortion is to defund the leading provider of free birth control. – Nearly all (if not all) of the candidates on stage, reacting to their revulsion to a series of heavily edited and highly prejudicial under-cover videos of Planned Parenthood of America employees taken by an anti-abortion group out to “expose” the organization as illegally profiting off abortions, vowed to defund the organization. PPA is the largest provider of free birth control in the country, and defunding them could mean a huge increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies. And Republicans truly believe that if you close every abortion clinic in the country, women will simply stop having abortions.
  4. You’re weak on terror if you can’t admit all terrorists are Muslims. – Ted Cruz (natch) asked how can we expect President Obama to protect us from terrorism if he won’t even acknowledge that all terrorists are “Muslims”. The president’s unwillingness to offend an entire religion of 1.3 billion people by lumping them in with a sub-culture of several thousand religious extremists proves he’s a danger to the country.
  5. Jeb blames Obama for the SoFA signed by his brother. The younger Bush blamed President Obama for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, leading to the rise of ISIS. The decision to withdraw ALL U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of 2011 was one of President Bush’s final acts as president, signing the “Status of Forces Agreement” in December of 2008. Jeb may have missed this announcement because his brother was busy ducking shoes at the time. ISIS actually already existed at the time, but known by a different name: “al Quida in the Arabian Peninsula” or “AQAP” for short.
  6. A Bush can promise an almost unheard of 4% GDP growth despite the fact his brother & dad had 2 of the WORST GDP growth rates in the past 100 years. The lesser Shrub repeated his belief that he could achieve an astounding 4% annual GDP growth (really good growth would be about 3.5%) if elected and we followed his economic policies. His brother, GW, dismissed the Clinton economy when he ran in 2000, asking voters to imagine “how much better” the astounding Clinton economy could have been if only a Republican president had been in charge of the Republican controlled congress of the past six years. And so, armed with the EXACT SAME Republican-controlled Congress for the next 6 years, economic disaster befell the country, resulting in global economic collapse.
  7. The Iran deal is a disaster. You don’t make a deal with your enemies unless you get absolutely everything you want up front. – Mike Huckabee blasted the Iran deal for failing to get Iran to concede to ALL of our demands, including the release of political prisoners, first… a move that unquestionably would have insured NO deal at all. President Obama has rightly made the point that it will be much easier to negotiate those things later with an “unarmed” Iran than trying to do so with one with nukes. Conservative pundit George Will probably epitomized this irrational line of thinking during yesterday’s Fox “news” Sunday when he pointed out that WITHOUT an agreement, Iran gets “14 new global trading partners and work begins on a nuclear bomb tomorrow using all that new wealth” BUT the deal is a BAD thing because WITH the deal, Iran gets 15 new trading partners, and work begins on a nuclear weapon (apparently under the noses of inspectors) EIGHT YEARS from now.
  8. You can oppose gay marriage and still attend a gay wedding. – Governor Kasich was asked to explain how he could oppose gay marriage and yet attend a gay wedding between two friends. He couched his answer in saying that if his daughter came out as gay, he would “still love & support her”, calling it “unconditional love.” But when it comes to marriage, apparently there is still just one condition.
  9. Rand Paul & Trump conceded the painful truth that our politicians can be bought, but Republicans just don’t care. – The first question of the debate led to a heated exchange between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, who defended contributing to candidates of BOTH Parties as a way to control them. Paul conceded this is exactly what is taking place, but was not followed up by ANY discussion of the fact that TWO (if not more) presidential candidate just acknowledgment that our politicians can be controlled by big money donors, or the poisonous influence of money in politics. Instead, in fact, one or two candidates on stage with Trump laughingly asked him for money.
  10. Kasich apparently balanced the budget in spite of Clinton tax increase. – Numerous times before the debates and twice on stage, Governor Kasich bragged about how he led the last U.S. Congressional Budget Committee to balance the budget. But not once has Kasich conceded that the 1994 Clinton tax increase on the wealthy is what made balancing the budget possible.
  11. Republican governors like to cite their achievements under Obama & Clinton but not under Bush. – It’s a maxim that Democratic presidents make Republican governors look good. George W. Bush, as governor of Texas, gave no credit to the Clinton economy for the economic success of his state while running in 2000. In 2008, neither Romney nor Huckabee ran on the economic success of their states under the Bush Administration. In 2012, Governor Perry tried to credit the “amazing Texas recovery” under Obama’s first term to his own leadership and not soaring oil prices and rampant state public sector hiring. But there wouldn’t have been anything to recover from had it not of been for his good buddy President Bush.
  12. A Flat Tax doesn’t favor the rich, and raising taxes on the poor helps the poor. – At least three (and almost certainly more) of the GOP contenders advocated the absurd flat or “Fair” tax as the cure for our fiscal woes. Rand Paul wants a 14.5% across-the-board flat tax on everyone, while Evangelical Ben Carson suggested a 10% flat tax… a number taken from The Bible based on a 10% tithe… as the perfect tax rate for the country. Paul, on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday repeatedly denied that DRASTICALLY reducing the tax rate on millionaires & billionaires would create a $3-Trillion dollar annual deficit, which he apparently believes can be made up by drastically raising taxes on the poor and cutting government spending… which naturally would include cutting services to the poor. All this he said would in fact “help” the poor, not hurt them. And someone really should explain to Carson the difference between funding a church to provide church services and funding a $1.5 Tillion dollar government with its own Army currently engaged in two wars.
  13. Post debate, the Top 4 GOP favorites are presently a 2nd year foreign born senator and 3 political novices who have never held public office. – You may remember that the primary knocks on Obama by Republicans during the 2008 election was that he was not experienced enough to be president after serving as Senator for “only two years”, and that he was supposedly “born in another country (Kenya)”, rendering him ineligible to be president. Check out the graphic at the start of this post. After last Thursday’s debate, the Top 4 favorite candidates among Republican voters is three people who have NEVER held public office (Trump, Carson & Fiorina), and a Senator who not only took office a mere two years ago before deciding to run for president, but was in fact born in another country (a fact Cruz does not dispute, but claims he is still eligible because his mother was born in the U.S…. unlike Obama whose mother was born in Kansas.)
  14. Trump, Walker, Rubio, Carson & Huckabee, all talked about how “pro-Life” they are… except when it comes to the life of the mother. – Sen. Rubio on Meet the Press yesterday, defending his opposition to an abortion exception even to protect the life of the mother… a position so extreme it puts him at odds with 87% of the American people, said: “If I’m going to err, it’s going to be on side of life.” Unless of course it’s the life of the mother. The other candidates mentioned shared this view. The irony is that if a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life and the fetus is not viable, BOTH will die anyway. And in many cases, the mother will die a horrible and excruciating death. These same Holy Rollers also believe a fetus has Constitutional rights at the moment of conception (Huckabee: “5th & 14th”). So bye-bye hormonal birth control (“The Pill”) or invitro-fertilization.
  15. The only two GOP candidates to express any belief in Climate Change still call it “a theory” that’s “not proven.” – In 2012, Governor Kasich took some heat (forgive the pun) from Republicans for daring to suggest that Climate Change is real and that maybe we would should be doing something about it. But when that position was roundly booed by the academics in Thursday’s audience (snark), Kasich quickly backtracked, turning to the famed “it’s still an unproven theory” chestnut… you know, like gravity or Relativity. The only believer/non-believer, Rand Paul, said he is “not sure anybody exactly knows why” the Earth is warming and therefore we needent go to extreme lengths… like impose “regulations”… to curb it.
  16. Record job growth and plunging unemployment proves Obama’s economic record is a disaster and the economy still needs to be “jump started.” – The day after the debate, the latest BLS jobs report proclaimed that 215,000 new jobs were created in July. You have to go back to March of this year to find a month that produced fewer than 200,000 jobs. The Unemployment Rate held steady at 5.3% as more and more long-term unemployed optimistically resume looking for work. With a year and a half left in the Obama presidency, an unemployment rate of just 4.9%… just 0.4% below where it is now… is not out of the realm of possibility. 4.9% was the record low unemployment rate when President Clinton supposedly handed President Bush a Recession.
  17. Trump: “Our vets have to be taken care of and we must end ObamaCare.” – We must take care of our vets. Screw everyone else.
  18. The VA is a vital part of caring for our veterans, but Socialized Medicine is evil. – Senator Rubio praised the Veterans Administration while criticizing the poor state befalling it under President Obama… of which Republicans refused to increase funding commensurate with the demand created by two simultaneous wars. Someone should point out that the VA he so praised and promises to support is 100% Socialized Medicine where the hospitals are all owned by the government and every doctor is a government employee.
  19. Ted Cruz thinks we get to pick & choose where we place our embassies in foreign countries. – In a troubling and widely overlooked comment, Senator Cruz vowed to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Not only does the U.S. (nor any country) get to dictate where its embassy is located within another country, but vowing to plant our flag in the disputed territory of Jerusalem would not only be wildly inflammatory to the Muslim world and widely (and correctly) seen as us “taking sides” in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but it would almost certainly make our embassy a prime target for terrorism, endangering the lives of every American inside. But hey, it’s not like this is Benghazi or anything, right?
  20. “Our newest B2 Bomber” is from 1962. – Huckabee bemoaned the fact that our military is still using outdated weaponry dating back decades, citing the fact our “newest” B2 Bomber still in active duty was built when Kennedy was still president. Perhaps it’s because we use B1 Stealth Bombers now, not WWII era “flying fortresses”. This is the SAME argument held over from the 2012 campaign, when President Obama had to point out to Gov. Romney that “old” weapons of war… like “horses and bayonets” are phased out over time and replaced with more modern weaponry.
  21. Iran released the hostages the moment Ronald Reagan was sworn in because they were terrified of him, not because he had already struck an illegal deal with them. – Sen. Cruz… who apparently learned everything he knows about Ronald Reagan listening to Conservative Talk Radio, said that a Cruz presidency would strike the same fear into the hearts of our enemies as Ronald Reagan did. The Iranians were apparently SO fearful of what President Reagan might do to them that they released the hostages the moment he was sworn in. NOT because it was an intentional slap-in-the-face to President Carter by Iran, nor did it have anything to do with Reagan secretly promising to trade “arms for hostages”, subverting the negotiating process under Carter and possibly keeping the hostages prisoner for longer than they might have been otherwise.

 

The big question after the debate was whether Trump’s unpopular refusal to say he wouldn’t go 3rd Party, plus his poor response to some pointed questions during the debate, followed by some offensive… possibly misogynistic… comments about Fox’s Megyn Kelly for calling out his misogyny during the debate, would finally hurt Trump in the polls? Are you kidding? Of course not! Republicans carry the ultimate “persecution complex”. They epitomize the “victim” mentality. The blacks & Mexicans are all criminals out to do them bodily harm and a drain on society costing them money. The “gays” are converting the U.S. to accept their immorality and “destroying the very fabric of our nation”. There is even a “War on Christmas”. Everyone is out the get them. And the more The Media attacks their leader Donald Trump, the more they identify with him and will dig in their heels to defend him. Even disparaging POW’s and past video of him saying totally contradictory things is not enough to sway them. This current spat with Fox’s Kelly is the closest thing I’ve seen yet that could endanger his standing in the polls. The more Trump is marginalized, the more his supporters will dig in. Nothing shy of him making openly misogynistic comments about another female Conservative darling could tarnish Trump in the eyes of his fellow “victims”.

Prior to the GOP Debate, Democrats were popping popcorn. After the GOP Debate, Democrats were popping champagne corks. Meanwhile, Republicans were popping Tums. And for good reason. 17 candidates, and this is the best they’ve got.

 


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August 10, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, Party of Life, Politics, Predictions, Religion, rewriting history, Taxes