Michael Wolraich's picture

    Who Won the Republican Debate?

    The pundits are all over the map. The NYT's Nate Cohn picked Rubio, Walker, and Kasich. He thinks Bush flubbed it, and Trump "had the weakest performance." But the Atlantic called Trump's performance "one of the standouts of the night," lauding him for turning "weaknesses into strengths" and says Jeb made "a strong impression." CNN and WaPo opinionators agree with Cohn that Rubio was the winner, but Josh Marshall calls him "all but invisible." Ann Coulter weighs in, "Every GOP I'm talking to hated Rubio & Kasich, " but Laura Ingraham at Fox News tweets "@GovMikeHuckabee and @JohnKasich." A Republican focus group in Pella, Iowa described Ben Carson as "ready for prime time," "brilliant," and "someone you can really trust."

    Go figure.

    Imo, the field was weak all around, and the GOP was the big loser. The pundits aren't indecisive because too many candidates were equally impressive last night but because no one was impressive. The candidates who "won" were just less lame than the other guys, and most of the commentary is full of caveats and backhanded compliments, such as Cohn's remarks that "Mr. Walker won by not losing." Even the conservative puntits don't seem particularly enthused.

    In my view, Kasich is the only one to have distinguished himself at all. As Josh Marshall put it, "Kasich was far and away the most reasonable and fact-based. And he was the only person who seemed interested in governing." That too is faint praise, but Kasich's relative competence is significant because he was so far down in the line-up coming into the night. The debate could put him on the media's radar, and if he's able to build a larger base of support, he may eventually compete with Jeb for the GOP establishment crown, especially if Jeb continues to flail.

    And frankly, I believe that Kasich would be the strongest nominee against Hillary. That worries me. On the other hand, I don't think America is well-served when one of the two major parties is ruled by morons, lunatics, and clowns.

    Who do you think?



    PS I didn't watch the minor league debate. I think watching 2 hours of GOP B.S. was masochistic enough. I hear Fiorina did well.

    PPS Of all the debate commentaries I've read, the Amy Davidson's piece at the New Yorker has been the best.

    This is the best link I have read all day.

    Thank you

    I believe all rapists had their hopes and dreams come true. They won.

    Rubio supports the Constitutional right for rapists to become Dads.

    He said he has dreams.

    Like a law to force rape victims to live out his dream....of women being forced to carry rapist's baby to term.

    Enforced by federal law.

    He actually dreams this stuff up.

    KELLY: You don’t favor a rape and incest exception?

    RUBIO: I have never said that.


    Rubio is either stating that the government is going to force women into single-motherhood or that fellows have parental rights. This is insanity.

    GOP - Turning women into gov't controlled rapist incubators is one of the most critical challenges of this century.


    I meant felons

    I was joking about felons having custody rights, but apparently a number of states allow rapists to attempt to gain custody of a child.


    By the way, Scott Walker was in on the women as rapist incubators along with Rubio


    How's this for a scenario...the government forces the woman to have her rapists child, then he sues for visitation, or worse yet, she tries to put the baby up for adoption, he won't sign away his parental rights and ends up with custody of the child. What kind of an insane world do these morons live in???

    It's the republicans desperately trying to get the latino vote. All Mexicans are rapists. They're going to force all the women to have those Mexican rapist babies.

    Florida is that insane world. JEB signed a weird law to "shame women" by having women put a notice in the paper looking for the father so the baby could be adopted. The State Supreme Court tossed it out as unconstitutional. 

    Oregon has that law. In a way it makes it better for the adoptive parents, who don't have to worry about the biological father showing up and claiming parental rights later on. It is very legalese language, and it is kind of like those notices about not being responsible for someone's debt. As an adoptive parent I can tell you that it is one less thing to worry about.

    As to the shaming part, I have no doubt that it factored into Jeb!'s motivation, because after all, he said as much. 

    The State of Florida was forced by the court to fix the law and we now have a pretty good law to protect the mother and new parents. 

    Did anyone else notice when Jeb linked his Right to Life and End of Life beliefs? Is the climate right to remind everyone of Terri Schiavo? I was surprised the reference didn't turn up in any commentaries. Have people forgotten?

    Hucksters and con artists (Republicans and their allies and enablers in the corporate MSM) will never mention or acknowledge past scams they have conjured up and used on that easily exploited portion of the public known as the GOP Base. It has been called Strategic Forgettery.

    Florida has not forgotten.  We get reminded every year at the anniversary date of her death by local news. 

    I am really in doubt that he can carry Florida in the general election.  He could squeak through in the primary. 

    What I find interesting is Jeb had a private email server and he absolutely refused to release any emails during the time when the Schiavo situation was happening as well as the time period of the Gore v Bush recount. We're not hearing anything about that email "scandal " at all.

    Jean Robinson has a good take on the Debate.


    One particularly telling moment, I thought, came when Trump was asked about his previous support of Democrats, including likely nominee Hillary Clinton. The gist of Trump’s answer was this: Hey, I gave lots of money to politicians of both parties because that’s what rich and powerful people do, and in exchange they get access and influence. It’s a rotten system but that’s the way it works, and let’s not pretend otherwise.

    I think that exchange might help befuddled politicians and pundits understand the Trump insurrection. That is how the system works. For voters who feel powerless and marginalized, I believe it is refreshing and perhaps liberating to hear an insider talk honestly about the role big money plays in politics.

     It is an interesting take and he feels Trump is not going away yet.  I don't think he will either until the base gets tired of the show. 

    Although his diatribes ARE illuminating, why would you support someone who takes advantage of the "way things are" instead of someone who fights against the "way things are?" 

    He is a disgusting excuse for a human being on so many levels and that he would be elevated by a party like this is almost unbelievable, except that we've seen them embrace people like Sarah Palin. But to go to THESE depths? Seriously? 

    I'm almost positive that people are just enjoying his outspokeness and wouldn't REALLY vote for him. Almost. But then again, look at how many people voted for a ticket that contained Palin.

    I read some op-ed piece, which I can't find now, predicting that Trump would maintain his 20ish percent support throughout the race because that 20 percent is essentially voting rage, which he embodies. The first post-debate poll bears it out so far.

    He can't win with 20 percent, of course, but as long as the rest of the field remains fractured, he can remain in the lead and draw headlines until the other 80 percent begins to coalesce around one of the other candidates. If so, we can "look forward" to a lot more Trump until the 2016 primaries begin winnow the field.

    Hillary won that debate. Hands down.

    I literally made popcorn for this. I planned dinner around the extra carbs from the popcorn. And I got a little extra thrill from it happening in Cleveland.

    And then, after about ninety minutes, I couldn't take it anymore, and I turned it off.

    Those dudes are totally not in touch with some pretty basic realities. And If they think the Fox News moderators were hard on them, wow, they are NOT ready to debate anyone outside their bubble.

    I guess you missed the part of the show where Trump explained how easy it is for people with money, such as him, to buy politicians R or D and guarantee that it is his class that they represent.

    In our real political Reality Show even Hillary works for The Donald and his class and he easily bought/rented her for a day with a check to the Clinton (slush fund) Foundation.

    I hosted a dinner party, complete with commie borscht, vege-faschist salad, illegal immigrant guac, and elitist wine. Unfortunately, I thought the debate was on Fox. We don't get Fox News, so we moved to a bar around the corner that and were sustained through the show by collective jeering (though one friend did leave early bc he couldn't take it anymore).


    I actually don't get any cable in the current place, so the plan was always to listen to it on the radio. It reminded me strongly of listening to the New York gubernatorial debate five years ago ... the debate with every fringe candidate down to the Rent Is Too Damn High Party guy.

    I watched because I feel like I need to hear this crap coming right out of the horse's mouths rather than seeing just snippits. My hub had to leave after about half an hour.

    My most important take-away was that the United States is a pretty sad place if this the best that a major party has to offer. I really don't know if one of these people is being set up as a sacrificial lamb because the party doesn't think they can beat Hillary, or if this is truly the best they can do. It scares the living crap outta me that nearly half the country would be willing to vote for one of these clowns.

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