I watched most of the first Republican debate (the “grown-up table”), and all of the second (again, the leading contenders). It’s all so very depressing. You may think otherwise, but here is my take-away:
- Donald Trump is a schoolyard bully and, amazingly, a self-professed know-nothing who says he’ll learn what he needs to learn when he’s elected and get all the right people together to solve the country’s problems. And people actually support this guy?
- Ben Carson seems like a nice man, but he espouses a religiously rooted radical conservatism that’s frightening, especially for a black man. Anyone remember Clarence Thomas?
- Jeb Bush can’t decide whether he wants to defend his brother or not. He wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq but he says George W. kept us safe. Does he recall that 9/11 happened on his brother’s watch, and how late to act he was after being informed that the country had been attacked?
- Carly Fiorina came prepared and loaded for bear but, unfortunately, she spouted the big lie like red meat to the faithful. How, you ask? Well, there is NO Planned Parenthood video of a live aborted fetus, “…heart beating, legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” The video simply doesn’t exist, although one of questionable origin does exist that shows a fetus with some movement. It’s important to remember, however, that research demands fresh tissue and, as uncomfortable as some may be with this fact, research into Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other devastating diseases depends upon obtaining this tissue. If fetuses are to be aborted, at least we can gain some positive outcomes by using the tissue to further medical research.
- There is no Planned Parenthood video indicating that the organization is selling fetal body parts. Such payments as are made are reimbursement for expenses incurred in harvesting, preserving, and transporting tissue. The videos may show some Planned Parenthood staff making casual or insensitive statements, but there is no evidence to support the allegation that the organization is selling body parts for profit, suggestively edited videos notwithstanding.
- The contenders leap onto the anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood bandwagon may represent their opposition to abortion, but their sanctimonious statements come across like pandering to the religious right.
- Mike Huckabee is an idiot. See my recent blog entry for more on this but, suffice it to say, the man’s statements simply prove that he has never read the Constitution or, if he has, he didn’t understand it.
- Scott Walker. Scott Walker? Really?
- John Kasich seemed the most moderate of the group, but even he seemed a times to pander to the extreme right. At least, he was the only one who didn’t say that he’d try to kill the Iran anti-nuclear agreement.
- Rand Paul actually made some sense at times, which rather surprised me, but he’s so far behind the pack that any sense he made won’t make a difference.
- Ted Cruz is a lunatic. No more needs to be said.
- Chris Christie is an aggressive blowhard who sometimes sounds reasonable. Then, he blocks traffic on the George Washington Bridge. He doesn’t have a chance.
- Marco Rubio was impressive. Too bad I’m a Democrat. I could never support Rubio, but at least he’s articulate and doesn’t come across as either an idiot or a lunatic. He could be President someday. I just hope he’s not next.
- On balance, the current crop is frightening for what they believe. Worse, the luster seems to be off Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a chance even though he’s the one saying all the sensible things (Bernie, please stop calling yourself a socialist. It ain’t helping), and Biden, were he to run, would likely lose. So, look at those guys who were at the podium this week. One of them could be taking office in January 2017. In the words of the late William Bendix in The Life of Riley, “What a revoltin’ development this is!”