It was clear to me after watching the first Republican Debate from August that the next debate would need fewer people speaking and more details about actual perspectives and policies. CNN, as if reading my mind, decided to do the EXACT OPPOSITE and up the roster from ten to eleven with the addition of Carly Fiorina. Luckily, not long after this debate Scott Walker dropped from the Republican Primary Election, but he was the only one; so there are still ten Republicans that we have to talk about.
Using my method from my previous post on the Republican Debates, I have decided to remove those who are clouding this pool of candidates in order to find some clarity. I have also upped the ante. Though CNN wasn’t willing to make any cuts in their candidate lineup, I certainly am. In the previous post, I reviewed the five candidates that came off as remotely electable; well, in this one I am cutting that number down to four. Goodbye, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Chris Christie.
Here is the full video of the event:
Also, don’t forget to check out the Fact Check of the Debate. There’s only one this time!
As I’ve mentioned before, my knowledge of these candidates stems solely from what I have gleaned from watching the debates. Armed with that information alone, it seems pretty clear to me that John Kasich is pretty clearly the best that the Republican Party currently has. He’s probably the only one who can claim any knowledge on how to balance the budget in a time where the government gets shut down left and right because we don’t seem to have any money for anything. Furthermore, he comes off (despite the obvious difference in age) as a remnant of the old guard of post-War Republicans and Democrats who believed in bipartisan cooperation. The importance of a Republican who can enter into a dialogue with Democrats should not be lost on an audience watching fellow Republicans who cannot even have a discourse without resorting to ad hominem attacks and bickering. In his closing statement, Kasich spoke of an America unified not by top-down “trickle down economics,” but by investing in the lower and middle class. Not only is this the Republican who stands a chance in the general election; this is the Republican who could restore legitimacy to the party. Sure, he does little to nothing in order to excite minority voters, and this is a serious concern for the party, but what he does bring to the table is a Republican identity that isn’t straight out of the funny pages.
Near the beginning of the debate, Donald Trump, with no prompt from the moderators or candidates, decided to start attacking and insulting Rand Paul. It was then that I decided that anyone who gets under Donald Trump’s skin like that is somebody I wouldn’t mind seeing as the next President of the United States of America.
I have said this before, but there is something to like about someone who doesn’t duck away from answering a question, someone who has clearly done his research and has some plans for the nation’s problems, and someone who has the courage to say something that is contrary to his party but may be right in line with America’s needs. Rand Paul can somehow say what is on his mind without transforming immediately into an egotistical bigot. Who would have thought that was possible?
You can follow the hype machine or you can stand by what it means to be a Republican, and one of the central tenets of the party has always been making sure that the Federal government does not legislate issues that the State government ought to. While I loved the fact that Paul called out drug legislation that tends to arrest minorities much more often than white people, his true shining moment was revealing the hypocrisy of these so-called Republicans who want to override the 10th Amendment for so-called moral reasons. I’ll let Mr. Paul speak for himself on this issue:
I have a lot of trouble finding video segments on YouTube in which the Republican candidates are saying sensible and meaningful things. I don’t actually mean that as a criticism of the GOP candidates, but rather to condemn us for only focusing on the sensationalism. Just as I had problems finding John Kasich’s closing statements, I had some trouble finding the clip in which Marco Rubio explains that both parties are out of touch with the people. This was a rare insight made even more rare by its scarcity on the Internet.
While Kasich and Paul may be more bipartisan, Rubio actually embodies a bipartisan solution, possibly without even knowing it. He appeals to conservatives in that he toes the line with the strange brew of traditional- and neo-conservative ideals floating around in Washington, and yet he appeals to progressives in that he speaks intelligently and neither treats the American public like idiots nor feeds upon them as such.
Why do we need Marco Rubio if we have John Kasich and Rand Paul? Because at the end of the day, neither Kasich or Paul are getting the numbers needed to be the Republican candidate. I have seen three scary figures roosting at the top: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina, and if any of you find these individuals as unacceptable as I do, Marco Rubio might just be the hero that the Republican party needs even if he is not the hero it deserves.
That’s right. For the second debate straight, the Republican party has made Jeb Bush look like a legitimate candidate. As I mentioned earlier with Ron Paul, there are few things that make someone stand out as a candidate more than being Donald Trump’s punching bag. Perhaps this had everything to do with proximity, but it seemed like Trump ragged on Bush probably more than anyone else. In addition, and this seems to be a refrain we keep returning to, I feel inclined to defend Jeb Bush against some bogus argumentation. As an extension of the dynasty argument (“I don’t want another Bush or Clinton in the office…”), Jeb Bush was criticized because many of his foreign advisers are the same as those held by his brother and his father. Once again, this is not a family issue; this is a party issue. If elected President, every person on that stage would appoint foreign advisers from the ranks of those who served under a Bush or two in the past, and they all know it. Rather than admit to that fact, cheap Republicans reach for low hanging fruit and start cheap fights.
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I want to keep this balanced so I talk about the same amount of Republicans as I do Democrats, so in my conclusion I want to talk about the curious case of Mike Huckabee.
I need to congratulate Huckabee for making a push for fraternity at the beginning of the debate, while giving Trump an underhanded compliment by comparing him to Mr. T. (I wonder if Trump knows that Huckabee is making fun of him…) Here’s the video:
Of course, the Republicans on stage couldn’t adhere to this spirit of respect and decency for more than a minute or two, but you gotta give to Huckabee for attempting to combat the idea that the Republican party is imploding. Not only did Huckabee mention the excesses of Wall Street twice, but he gave perhaps the most sensible quote of the night when he suggested committing to a War on Heart Disease, which is America’s #1 killer (not terrorism or universal healthcare, surprisingly). Unsurprisingly, this incredibly sensible sound clip is nowhere to be found online…
At the same time, some of the things Huckabee says just sound so absurd that I cannot believe he is the same person. We might need to start calling him Jekylbee and Hydabee. Though I am not sure Mike Huckabee actually believes half of the things he says, he might just perfectly represent the current state of the Republican party. They are superficially unified in that they will strike down any legislation that has Democrat names attached, but they are ultimately at odds. We have ultra-conservative Newt Gingrich Republicans who are at odds with astroturfing Tea Party “activists.” Neither face of the GOP wants to concede anything to minorities despite their importance in the future of the party.
This is a confused party, and something needs to be done about it. We need to vote for the Republican reformers and forget about the loudmouthed obstructions. This is our future we are talking about.