Quick Takes From the First Republican “Debate”

No, it wasn’t a debate. It was an inane shouting tantrum.
The Candidates

Vivek Ramaswamy – His forced smile and verbal steam roller tactics took just 1.6 seconds to become unbearable. Great talker, successful businessman who clearly suffers from Universal Genius Hubris (“UGH”) syndrome:

“I’m brilliant and super good at business, so I’m certain that I’m brilliant and super good at everything.” Except, of course, things don’t work that way.

He’s a pot stirrer. Hopes to win solely by being cruel and throwing everyone else off balance. Desperately needs years of psychotherapy.

Read Thom Hartmann’s take on Ramaswamy and so-called free market capitalism. It’s chilling.

Ron DeSantis – A last-ditch effort to satisfy his need to be seen as a tough guy, but all he can do is to repeat his over-rehearsed tough guy lines. He’s going down because he really is unlikable and untrustworthy. Plus he’s morally bankrupt.

Asa Hutchinson – Past his sell-by date. Comes across as a bureaucrat looking for a job. Hasn’t had a new idea in 25 years, but he was polite and tactfully said Trump isn’t eligible to hold office.

Nikki Haley – Got in her licks at Ramaswamy. Came across as firmer stuff than might have been expected. Even got in a girl power smack at the men on the stage. Not convinced she’s presidential quality. She was the “not as bad as the rest of the dopes” candidate on the stage.

Gov. Something of North Dakota – Who?

Mike Pence – His smarmy bible thumping, his self-anointed holiness and his “I did the right thing so everybody tell me how wonderful I am” is all he has. Sort of like Rudy Giuliani in 2007, whose every sentence began with, “A noun, a verb and 9/11.”

Pence didn’t even have the backbone to refuse to support the guy who pressured him to violate the Constitution and commit a crime. He didn’t have the cojones to refuse to support the guy who incited a mob to try to hang him. And he thinks we should vote Mr. Gutless into the Oval Office? Gimme a break.

Showed more fire than I thought possible. Likely he’ll have to rest a few days after expending all that energy raising his voice for a moment. Imagining listening for four years to a guy who wears starched underwear is simply beyond imagination. He got nuthin’.

Tim Scott – Hoping to lure Blacks to vote against themselves is a curious strategy. But he did tell his “raised by a single mom in poverty” story three times. Somehow that wasn’t sufficiently persuasive in the face of his complete lack of new ideas and his forced delivery.

Chris Christie – Criticized Trump and bore the boos well. Pretty much a no-nonsense guy with a grasp on reality. Sadly, in the world of Republicans, connection to reality is an uncommon feature.

Came across as unexciting but honest. Sort of a “what you see is what you get” candidacy. Shouldn’t we get more than that – maybe a little inspiration?

The Audience in the Auditorium

Clearly, they wanted a raucous Trump rally. Didn’t get the Trump rally (except for the mean spirited idiocy spouted by Ramaswamy and the DeSantis bluster) but they did get to applaud, boo, shout, whistle and foam at the mouth. Sort of a hockey crowd hoping for a fight on the ice.

The Moderators

They should stick to their day jobs and leave debate moderating to people who are strong enough to tell the self-important blabbers to shut up. Completely overwhelmed by candidates determined to violate the rules they had agreed to. That violation of their word is very Republican, a feature, not a bug.

Props to Bret Baier for admonishing the audience. Condolences to Martha MacCallum, who discombobulated before our eyes repeatedly.

General Notes
  1. It’s truly shocking that several of the candidates want to slash pension benefits from government workers, like the people who plow the snow through blizzards, who rescue flood victims and those who are our first responders. The brand of these cannibals is “Cruelty Are Us.”
  2. After piling up a $2 trillion tax cut debt and $8 trillion in total Trump debt, several of the candidates proposed more tax cuts. Yes, seriously.
  3. You’re not going to believe this, but it’s true. Several of the candidates denied climate warming and waved the flag for burning more fossil fuels. Their exuberance for dumping yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was exhilarating to all those delusionals who don’t care about their children. There were plenty of them in the audience.
  4. Kudos to the candidates for their creativity in misinforming, misleading, spreading disinformation and blatant lying. Also, for proposing stupid ideas and self-defeating policies. How does anyone become so proficient at all that? Oh, right: practice.
  5. I wanted the moderators to ask several of the candidates the key question from the movie The Rainmaker: “Do you even remember when you first sold out?”

Most painful two hours – couldn’t wait for this shudder inducing spectacle to be over.

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2 Responses to Quick Takes From the First Republican “Debate”
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    I totally concur with this evaluation. I suggest that, if this is the best that the Republican party can put forward as their standard bearer, President Biden should win in a landslide.

  2. Kirk Landers Reply

    I’m in awe of your courage at sitting through that broadcast. Your tolerance for liars and morons is much further advanced than mine. I would give Pence a little more credit than you did for swimming against the currents of GOP sewage when he certified the election. Not a lot more credit, but a little more. Standing up to the shrill voices of hate and irrationality that were and are the modern GOP took some backbone as shown by the thousands and millions who swam with the current and said the water was fine.