Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Live-blogging the GOP debate

Well, this is a tough night a TV choices for me. Duke is playing and I always like watching them even when they're playing a totally uneven match-up and they're up by almost 30. And I wanted to watch the Cavaliers' grudge rematch with the Celtics. But I guess the GOP debate qualifies as the biggest grudge rematch. At least, by listening to the GOP debate, I can also grade some of the midterm exams I have to grade. We'll see which will be more tedious. I need one of those giant man-cave multi-screen TVs.

I could've put money down on Rand Paul being the one to mention that today was the 224th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. I like having Paul in the debates to serve as a foil for the others.

And John Kasich telling us that we shouldn't be so divided. We're divided because people believe different things and think that the other side's arguments are specious.

I don't like Carly Fiorina talking about beating breast cancer and burying a step-daughter as qualifications for the presidency.

Rubio starts off with his grandfather. I think there should be a drinking game for every time Rubio talks about his parents or grandparents.

Ben Carson's asking for a moment of silence for San Bernardino victims just seems like a gimmick.

Trump's opening statement is about his poll numbers. Of course.

Rubio is smart to switch from talking about Trump's proposal to the threat we face and how Obama has made things worse. He's right. Trump's idea of banning all Muslims is not going to happen so let's stop talking about it.

Hewitt asked Cruz to answer specifically about why he disagrees with Trump. Cruz is going to avoid anything negative about Trump as long as he can. I wish I had a screenshot of the look on Trump's face when Cruz was talking about horse thieves. That was a hoot.

I guess John Kasich rethought his tactics of being the most annoying person on any debate stage ever.

Do any but those really plugged in Republicans care when Cruz uses Mark Levin as an endorsement of his position or refers to Alinsky-like methods.

Christie is good making fun of how senators debate bills. But actually, the differences among these bills are important.

Is Ben Carson in the Cone of Silence?

Now he gets a question and spends the first seconds complaining about not getting time. Whining is never a good look in these debates. Then he's asked to weigh in on what was being debated and he gives it a pass. That's not the way to look strong and up to discussing the issues of the day.

Fiorina did well in saying how we need to look to the private sector to do what the government can't do.

Cruz knocked the answer about the Obama administration avoiding checking social media making us less safe. He had lots of specifics. But his differentiation between bombing a city is different from bombing ISIS. Basically, he's saying that he doesn't really mean "carpet bomb" when he says he's going to "carpet bomb." What about when they're stationing themselves among civilians? We can not defeat an enemy solely through air attacks. I guess he wants to use that groundbreaking new tactic - precision carpet bombing.

Jeb Bush is exactly right that Trump has said that Hillary is a good negotiator and he gets his foreign policy ideas "from the shows."

Now Jeb gets alpha with Trump. Trump has been taking Kasich lessons. I hope he's right that Trump "won't be able to insult his way to the presidency." But it's been working for Trump for months.

Carson says he can be a commander-in-chief and go to war because he's operated on children with tumors. I just don't see the connection. Children being bombed don't get Dr. Carson to gently explain to them about how they're going to be bombed and wake up after he's done operating.

Rubio does very well on explaining why Sunni Arabs don't trust Obama. He comes across as someone who understands what is going on. He has a great ability to convey his knowledge without losing the audience.

Oh, please. Fiorina resorts to the Thatcher quote about if you want something done, ask a woman. Isn't that a slogan for Hillary? Stop laying the gender card. I hate it when Hillary does it and don't want it from a Republican.

Good question to ask Rubio about his support of bringing down Qaddafi. I don't think talking about what Qaddafi did 30 years ago is a good reason.

Kasich keeps trumpeting the Saudi announcement about the Arab countries putting together an alliance to fight terror as if that will be of any use.

Fiorina is exactly right that Trump's criticism of the Iraq war is exactly what Obama says. THen she pivots to attack Hillary.

Trump goes back and forth to being a peacenik to saying about how he's going to destroy ISIS.

Oooh. Wolf Blitzer just played alpha dog with Cruz and won the exchange.

John Kasich wants to punch Russia in the nose. Is that like precision carpet bombing?

I liked Chris Christie saying that a no-fly zone means what it says. I'm sick of his "I'm from New Jersey" shtick.

Please, Rand Paul. No one up there wants World War III. Christie is smart to turn it around to slam Obama and Clinton.

Bush says he knows what he doesn't know. Is that like known unknowns?

Trump goes on a screed that CNN asks questions about what Trump says. But that is his whole shtick - to say outrageous things so he gets media attention. Trump is a whiny bully.

Now Fiorina and Kasich break in like Mommy and Daddy to tell the kids to stop bickering in the back seat.

Why does Hugh Hewitt keep asking Carson if he's ready to be commander-in-chief. Obviously, he thinks he can be because he's running. So ask him substantive questions so we can see if he knows what he's talking about instead of allowing him to give his standard answer about how we don't need an experienced person in the White House.

Finally, Rubio gets a question about the Gang of Eight bill. And of course, Rubio plays the family card. He's got the answer down pat about how Americans don't trust the government to keep the border secure. I don't know how the hard-liners will take his answer. Those on my Twitter feed will never forgive him and Cruz's jabs play well with them.

Rubio is right about Cruz's original position on immigration. Avik Roy just leaked to this NYT story.

Having Paul and Cruz pile on Rubio over immigration could really hurt him. Maybe Paul wants to help Cruz out.

Guy Benson disentangles Cruz's various positions on immigration back in 2013. It's very confusing and I doubt if the audience tonight get this.