Saturday, August 8, 2015

At Seventeen

Seventeen Republican presidential candidates debated this past Thursday, seven in one debate early in the evening, ten in a prime-time debate, and despite some good moments - John Kasich's frankness on gay rights, Rand Paul's opposition to the Patriot Act, Donald Trump's overall bluster - it was proof that quantity is no substitute for quality.
The best news from the main debate concerned Scott Walker - he pretty much faded into the scenery.  Call him Scott Wallpaper.  The most depressing news was Ben Carson's inability to understand race when he insisted that race doesn't matter when you're on an operating table. Well, when a black man is on the operating table because of a bullet in his abdomen, race was most likely the reason he was shot in the first place.  What was fascinating was that so many candidates tried to avoid attacking Trump that they attacked each other, and they didn't attack Hillary Clinton so much because they didn't want to be seen as misogynistic, leaving Carly Fiorina to do so in the early debate.  It only shows how disadvantaged the Republicans are in going after Hillary - a male candidate will likely be their nominee in 2016, and even if the nominee isn't misogynistic, going after Hillary will make him look misogynistic.
Except Donald Trump, who actually is misogynistic.  He dumped on moderator Megyn Kelly so much, Fox News viewers found him to be out of line.  This is noteworthy, because Megyn Kelly has actually started behaving like a journalist, asking politicians tough questions on Fox News and not acting so concerned about people who believe that Santa Claus is black.
On PBS, Mark Shields equated Trump's treatment of Kelly to a form of blasphemy among conservatives. "It's not like you’re attacking Chuck Todd or Judy Woodruff or some of the liberal elite establishment, he said to Judy Woodruff on the PBS Newhour. "You’re attacking the mother church when you go after Fox."
"Well, let’s make a distinction here, please," said Woodruff. "I’m not part of the liberal media."
Neither, for that matter, is Chuck Todd.  :-p
Oh, yeah, Hillary . . . It wasn't really necessary for any Republicans other than Carly Fiorina to undermine Hillary Clinton, because Hillary Clinton has been undermining herself. Not only is the FBI investigating her private e-mail server, she's undercutting her own base of support by refusing to specify her positions on issues such as the Keystone pipeline. Martin O'Malley, who would stand to benefit the most from Hillary's stumbles should Bernie Sanders lose momentum, has angrily chided the Democratic National Committee for "tilting the scale" to her, complaining that the dearth of debates for the Democratic presidential candidates is "geared toward limiting debate and facilitating a coronation, not promoting a robust debate and primary process." (Sanders isn't happy with the small number of scheduled Democratic debates either.)  O'Malley is certain to make the most of his appearance in the first Democratic debate.
Which, it turns out, will be on October 13.  Good.  As to when Adele's next album comes out, I have no idea.

Note the hand over Scott Walker's head, which, I understand, is a symbol of death.  Maybe I should play the debate tape backwards for more clues. ;-)  

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