The Reagan Republican Debate: Winners, Losers, and the Trump Card

This is (somewhat) accurate. I just double checked. How? Stay tuned.

CNN, the number one source for gotcha journalism on the tv, did a great job of making the 3 hours1)Yes, seriously, it was that long about as entertaining as it could be. Overall, I was impressed with all of the candidates, in particular Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cruz, and Ms. Fiorina. The energy level, preparedness, and general Trumpyness was much better than round 1 (there are more than 20 debates schedule for our Republican friends, if the intensity continues to increase at this rate we will need a UFC-esq cage by January).

I pulled all the clips you need to see2)and probably one or two you don’t, but by the time we are done here, you will have a sufficient number of talking points to convince anyone you sat through this marathon.

 

Part I: The Trumpening of the Republican Debate

It is well documented by the Sensitive Sally Media how Mr. Trump is nothing more than an 8th grade bully, and they have been itching for someone with enough strength to take him on3)We all know the best way to defeat a bully is with a bigger bully. Ms. Fiorina may be the only Republican who is not afraid of Mr. Trump. Jake Tapper, after waiting more than an hour, finally allowed Ms. Fiorina to address Mr. Trump’s comments about her face:

 

GROAN! It is doubtful that she is concerned that his comments about her appearance were not kind, but that he is evaluating her appearance at all!4)#duh Saying she is “beautiful,” when you obviously do not mean it, is not answer! He has a better business record than she does, why not stay on the issues5)What’s that? Administering a business is different, bordering on irrelevant to being the leader of the free world? Sshhh, you are going to ruin all our fun. Do you want to be stuck watching Jeb! debate Mr. Walker’s 3 boring talking points for the next 6 months? Good. Either do I.. The media LOOOVED Ms. Fiorina’s answer. But will the voters? After the strangeness with Megyn Kelly6)I saw some of her recap of the debate, Ms. Kelly has handled Mr. Trump with class to her credit. Her post-game analysis was far superior to Mr. Hannity, who after sucking up to Mr. Walker with such hard hitting questions like “Isn’t it hard to be on the stage with so many candidates; please feel free to recite your stump speech on my national tv show,” brought on candidates that did not parrot his views on the Iran deal and badgered them, I will refrain from any false predictions.

Also, yes, I did catch Ms. Fiorina’s “This is Water” reference! Now if only she would have given the HP treatment to that awful film they tried to put out.

 

Jeb!,7)The Jeb “!” exclamation point leads to about as much fun as one can have with political syntax, by the way was not paying close enough attention to Ms. Fiorina’s interaction with the class bully, and apparently is not much of a fan of The Wire either:

 

 

“If you come at the king, you best not miss” is how I learned it. What did he think Trump was going to do there? Mr. Frum summed up the interaction well last night:

 

Jeb! showed some life later on though:

Even Mr. Trump seemed bemused. There was about an half hour there that we all referred to the former Florida Governor as Jeb!!, but then, as you will see below, we had to take back one of the exclamation points.

Now, Mr. Christie has just been itching to get some of this good bullying action. Finally, he got his opportunity, and talk about turning petulance into lemonade!

 

Won’t somebody please think of the 55 year old construction worker?? Ms. Fiorina was winning the debate before this interaction. Mr. Christie through her off her game, and she had a difficult time recovering/Jake barely called on her the rest of the way.

Mr. Christie went from nearly being sent to the kids table with Mr. Pataki to being declared a “winner” by most of the lamestream media, an impressive feat. Now if only he could get a couple of voters to find him likable.

Yes. And then things got silly…

 

I can hear you. “Stop Brian; just stop. I was a good sport and watched about half of this ridiculousness. No way a Republican, dare I say a Republican, would advocate a Brit to be on the $10 bill.”

Really?

What?? Come on y’all. Nearly half of you couldn’t even answer the question! This is why you cannot miss even one entry on the Clear Counsel Legal Blog; the women of our firm provide three great answers to this inquiry a couple of months ago.

A few thoughts:

  1. Your wife? Jake should have followed up with “What if there are more Supreme Court vacancies than you have siblings, what then?”
  2. Interesting fact: Rosa Parks served on the board of planned parenthood.
  3. How did no one offer up “Hillary Clinton” as an answer?
  4. The LA Times said Jeb! only” insult[ed] every American woman who ever lived.” No big.
  5. Of course, because Jeb! is always sorry, has already begun walking back his Thatcher claim.

The above exchange took place about 2.5 hours into the debate, when perhaps everyone, including your live-tweeting author, was getting a bit delirious. Of course, Jake had to raise the stakes and ask each candidate “what Secret Service code name would you assign” to yourself?

Huuuge Error Jake! This could have been television gold. Should have asked: “What secret service code should be assigned to President Trump?” Just imagine the look on Jeb!’s/Rand’s/Carly’s/Walker’s face!

Of course, none of the answers were very interesting. However, thanks to the Washington Post, you at home can create your own secret service code name! Feel free to refer to me as “Bisharp” going forward.

 

Conclusions from the Republican Debate

Well, I guess we are done here.

Or are we?

For those unaware, Mr. Silver’s statistical models of the previous 2 elections have been quite accurate. He went 50 for 50 in predicting results by state for Obama v. Romney.

To Mr. Silver, granted I am an amateur statistician at best, I would contend that none of the polls so far would meet his critera of “scientific.” Most of the polls are of 500 or less folks, usually only done by landline phone (does anyone under 30 even have a landline anymore?), with a margin of error of more than 5% per poll. The fact that CNN/FOX used the polls to keep some candidates out of the prime-time debate, and leave the others with Gov. Pataki does not seem that reasonable. They could just be honest; America finds you four boring, and dagnabbit, this is a television show primarily8)What? It affects the foundations of our republic? Yeah but did you see that ratings?!. Mr. Graham was smart to quip it up in the happy hour affair, ensuring that he will be included in the next prime time get-together9)CNN changed the rules so Ms. Fiorina would be included, smartly for this Republican debate.

If Mr. Trump were winning only a couple of polls, I would be inclined to go with Mr. Silver, given his track record. But it is every poll, in every state. The establishment media, understandably, cannot fathom how this Trump thing is happening. If I may be of some assistance…

It is not that Mr. Trump is not offensive, does not gaffe at an even higher rate than the King of all Gaffes10)trademark pending, Uncle Joe. It is that the people that support Trump are tired of the empty platitudes. Your voters are smarter than you think they are!

Ms. Fiorina made a real astute11)a bit too astute for the establishment types, by my guess observation when discussing how the Democrats use the immigration issue. To paraphrase, she claimed that Democrats will never reform immigration because it is too good of an issue to win elections on. If resolved, why would working class folks care at all about what they have to say?

This is just as bad of an issue for my Republican friends! And, in my somewhat humble12)Ok fine, not very humble opinion, this is the crux as to why Trump is winning13)Yes, exactly like Charlie Sheen. Scroll up and check out that Drudge poll again. Add up the totals of “outsider”14)the lamestream media just means candidates that haven’t been covering for more than 2 election cycles previous. More than 85% of that total are non-establishment candidates! Unfortunately for Mr. Trump’s ego, his support is more likely a product of the distaste Republican primary voters have for their Washington representatives. Check these stats out:

I thought Republicans were conservative? That 60/36 split says the opposite.

Mr. Trump is easily the most liberal of the Republican bunch. I swear I heard him make the case for a progressive income tax last night16)I cannot confirm this, that whole debate may have taken place in my mind for all I know. AND THE VOTERS DON’T CARE. Perhaps our Republican friends cried wolf one too many times, but the polling makes it seem that your voters do not trust y’all anymore. Perhaps all those shutdown threats come at a price. And they have a chance to run the same shutdown sham again this fall! Will the national leadership learn? Will Jeb! beg them to stop? Does he even have any sway over the Congressional Republicans given his dismal numbers?

More importantly, the national Republicans need to be concerned with this:

I bet those 32% are much happier with the party than they were a year or two ago, but you won’t win any national elections with 32% of the electorate. Assuming Trump does not win, the candidate will have a devil of time trying to ameliorate the harm caused to the moderate electorate opinion of the party 17)not to mention folks of color/women. One might contend that Trump is the logical conclusion of the decades-long national political strategy of “government is the problem,” but that precipitous drop occurred in the past year, correlated with the rise of that old-school Dixiecrat fear-mongering.  Which is the opposite of Mr. Reagan’s “big tent” philosophy by the way.

And you think our zeitgeist has moved into the hyper-real eh? You should see what’s going on in China with the zombies.

 

You need even more debate coverage? I’m impressed with your fortitude!

Jeb Lund wrote a good piece for The Guardian.

David Frum provided some sober analysis for The Atlantic.

 

Ok fine, a few Trump faces for the road…

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Yes, seriously, it was that long
2. and probably one or two you don’t
3. We all know the best way to defeat a bully is with a bigger bully
4. #duh
5. What’s that? Administering a business is different, bordering on irrelevant to being the leader of the free world? Sshhh, you are going to ruin all our fun. Do you want to be stuck watching Jeb! debate Mr. Walker’s 3 boring talking points for the next 6 months? Good. Either do I.
6. I saw some of her recap of the debate, Ms. Kelly has handled Mr. Trump with class to her credit. Her post-game analysis was far superior to Mr. Hannity, who after sucking up to Mr. Walker with such hard hitting questions like “Isn’t it hard to be on the stage with so many candidates; please feel free to recite your stump speech on my national tv show,” brought on candidates that did not parrot his views on the Iran deal and badgered them
7. The Jeb “!” exclamation point leads to about as much fun as one can have with political syntax, by the way
8. What? It affects the foundations of our republic? Yeah but did you see that ratings?!
9. CNN changed the rules so Ms. Fiorina would be included, smartly for this Republican debate
10. trademark pending
11. a bit too astute for the establishment types, by my guess
12. Ok fine, not very humble
13. Yes, exactly like Charlie Sheen
14. the lamestream media just means candidates that haven’t been covering for more than 2 election cycles previous
15. (Harry Enten
16. I cannot confirm this, that whole debate may have taken place in my mind for all I know
17. not to mention folks of color/women
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