Nine takeaways from a more substantive GOP debate

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1.)  It was the best debate to date, at least within the narrow context of GOP politics, with candidates making good use of more generous response times. Culling the field from 10 to eight was a necessary move, even if Chris Christie doesn’t like it. Politics ain’t beanbag.

2.) Again, within the context of a GOP debate, nobody did badly. Not even Jeb Bush. But he still comes across as his older brother without the macho bluster, and I’m not sure there’s a strong market for that skill set.

3.) Marco Rubio cemented his status as the establishment’s frontrunner; neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson did anything to undermine the curious appeal they apparently have for certain segments of the GOP electorate. Overall, the story lines of the race did not change; the debate merely pushed us further along toward whatever final outcome it holds.

4.) Everybody agreed that Reagan was a great hero who had saved the country, and Hillary a great villainess who would utterly destroy it if allowed to be president. The crowd practically hissed every time her name was mentioned. For Republicans, the transition from Barack Obama to Hillary as their designated target of mass revulsion is clearly going to be seamless.

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It’s … The Hildabeast!!

5.) Everyone also agreed on massive tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich, and on the importance of studiously ignoring the massive deficits that such a policy would create. Oh, and all regulations are bad.

6.) The two candidates at the fringe of the debate lineup, John Kasich and Rand Paul, demonstrated why they will remain outliers with their willingness to challenge party orthodoxy. Kasich dared to voice the awkward truth, that nobody was going to deport some 11 million illegal immigrants, most of whom have been here for years now, while Paul was the lone voice questioning a major defense buildup and a more militarily aggressive posture. As a result, Paul has permanently consigned himself to the narrow niche previously filled by his father and has no chance of ever being the nominee.

7.) Any sense of humility or caution that the disastrous invasion of Iraq may have once instilled in the Republican Party has now evaporated, and military adventurism is once again the exhilarating drug of the day.

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8.) Ted Cruz ventured into further into economic la la land with his embrace of the gold standard and denunciation of the Federal Reserve. He seems completely unfamiliar with the history of extreme booms and busts that preceded and in fact required the Fed’s creation.

9.) As a party, the GOP is in the process of enshrining an extremely dangerous economic doctrine into party orthodoxy. They will not agree to restrain the growth and power of the major banks, because that would be government intervention. They will also refuse to bail out those banks when — not if but when — the banksters’ greed and thirst for risk leads them astray, because that too would be government intervention. As a result, the bailout that prevented the Wall Street crisis of 2008 from turning into a complete meltdown of the credit market would not be politically possible today.  And I don’t think the billionaires subsidizing the party truly appreciate the Frankenstein’s monster they are creating. They apparently think that what they heard last night was just populist bluster that would be set aside in a crisis. That is a bad miscalculation.

Reader Comments 0

586 comments
lvg
lvg

Hey Cruz- How do you abolish the Department of Commerce twice?  You got that Texas memory virus like your for former governor and candidate, Mr. Perry?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 When the government does it then it is not kidnapping. But I expect you already knew that. 

So when the governments of other countries violate the human rights of it's citizens it's not really violation of human rights?  OK send the memo to the US government to stay out of their business and stop risking American lives by sending troops to those countries.  

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

This site is consistently bad or inconsistently bad.

Offering the benefit of a doubt...

it's inconsistent at best.

It's like wrestling with a feral cat. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

The best part of the night was when John Kasich served Donald Trump on his crazy idea of kidnapping and deporting illegal immigrants from this country.  He was right we will not stand by as Americans and allow Donald Trump or anyone else to enact a program similar to operation wetbak.  True Americans do not have such hatred embedded in the fabric of our souls.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Lee30519 @StraightNoChaser You do know that during operation wetbak US citizens of Hispanic decent were removed from homes by mistake? Yes that is kidnapping and as Americans we do not support such the violations of human rights that will result in deaths.  Didn't you know that?  At least that's what we go around the world defending others against as the police of the world.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser When the government does it then it is not kidnapping. But I expect you already knew that. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser That's why operation wetbak is still being used because there were no human rights violations, huh?  I would not expect anything different from your point of view being the up standing christian that you are of your community.  Disgusting at least and horrifying at the most.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Lee30519 @StraightNoChaser @td1234 What other period of time in the history of this country has mass deportation been done on Mexican immigrants?  The comparison is well earned based on Donald Trump's own words.  He wants to round up and deport illegal immigrants.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Did anybody ask Carson to explain his proposal to counteract voter fraud- “Anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked". 


St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

pssst- this whole calling somebody a liar, when you have the history, credibiliteh, and record of Republicans - aint workin

but do keep giving Her 5pt bumps heheheh

Lee30519
Lee30519

Yep Demoncrats NEVER lie....Uh Hillary?

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

Hey libbies, why all of a sudden you start caring about candidates telling the truth? Surly you're not holding others to a different standard than Hillary and Obama, are you??

Here's a free tip.... Your credibility in that department is ZERO. Do yourselves a favor and just don't bring it up!!

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Why are you defending liars but berating dems on supporting liars? Scratching my head."

A wee bit late to that party there dude.

bu2
bu2

Jay, I don't think you were listening when they talked about the banks.  Jeb and Kasich specifically talked about restraining the banks growth.  Rubio talked about how government regulation created concentration (although really had nothing specific to deal with the issue).  It was Cruz who would let them fail.

bu2
bu2

@fiftythreepercenter When Jay isn't talking about things he knows nothing about (like Republicans), its obvious he's fairly intelligent.  You wouldn't think he would tell such an obvious distortion.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@bu2 @fiftythreepercenter

I would agree with you about jay's intelligence. I've seen a flash here and there. His problem, when it comes to anything GOP?

He hears and sees what he chooses to see and hear. Lies by omission are still lies.

gotalife
gotalife

Hillary won again after the moderator admired her resume and the gop booed.

breckenridge
breckenridge

They will not agree to restrain the growth and power of the major banks, because that would be government intervention. They will also refuse to bail out those banks when — not if but when — the banksters’ greed and thirst for risk leads them astray, because that too would be government intervention

The steps taken with the Dodd-Frank legislation in response to the 2008 meltdown did not address the problem, and that bill was nothing but garbage taking up space at the local landfill.  The prudent move would be to force the banks and brokerages to once again become separate entities.  Of course that won't happen since the offending parties would throw huge bribes at members of Congress to maintain the status quo. 

honested
honested

@breckenridge 

Reinstate Glass-Steagall.....

Ignore the inevitable whining from banking/insurance/brokerage.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@honested @breckenridge

Ryan wants Glass-Steagall reinstated.

Sanders wants Glass-Steagall reinstated.

Hillary Clinton does not.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Don't think this really helps (NBC):

""Jeb Bush picked up a highly-touted endorsement Wednesday. Former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole announced his support of the former Florida Governor. Announced on Veteran´s Day, Dole will also serve as national veterans chairman for the Bush campaign. Dole told NBC News that he likes "nearly all" of the candidates, but "we need someone with experience." "I have determined that Jeb Bush is the most qualified. ""

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@bu2 @StraightNoChaser @Philo_Farnsworth If his own generation did not respect him enough to elect him President why should his endorsement matter now? Thankful he served but his policies, just like Jeb, are old and outdated.  Thanks but no thanks.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Philo_Farnsworth Bob who?  As a young voter that means absolutely nothing to me.  It's like talking French when all I can speak is English.