First 2016 GOP Debate

Fox News sponsored the main event, and as a cord cutter, I had to rely on audio feeds which kept cutting out, so I probably only heard 1/3rd of it. Based on everything I heard and commentary I read, I really want to like Carly Fiorina, but I keep thinking “I just hope she would run the country better than she ran HP.” Then again, I’m not sure any of the other people up on the stage in either party could have run HP better, let alone the country.

I have to admit to thinking SMOD2016 isn’t looking too bad right now. But ultimately I am an optimist. It’s pretty clear the establishment is desperate to knock Trump off the hill. In this I join with the establishment. I don’t like Trump, and think he’s a stalking horse for the Clintons. I worry Scott Walker is too much of a willing culture warrior, ready to make the election about abortion and gay marriage when the country is worried about jobs and immigration. Rubio has JFKesque political talents, for good times, but these are not good times. Half the battle might just be recognizing that, and channeling voter anxiety. The reason Trump is the man to beat right now is he’s doing that better than all the other candidates.

Oh yeah, and Christie is definitely a “law and order” Republican. I can’t get behind Rand because I think the next President has a huge foreign policy mess to deal with. I believe we are headed for another Cuban Missile Crisis type showdown with the Russians. It will happen in my lifetime. But Christie seems eager to defend the surveillance police state. No thanks. I get the impression he’d be willing to promise people anything if it “kept us safe.” I’ve had enough of that since 9/11.

18 Responses to “First 2016 GOP Debate”

  1. rd says:

    Take a good look at Ted Cruz. I think you will like him.

  2. Alien says:

    I won’t contest your assessment; my take on Trump is that he has the capability to be a greater positive for the campaign than he would for the country if elected.

    RE: The foreign policy mess; no argument there, but some of the foreign issues can be resolved with economic strength at home. Reagan spent the Russians into the ground with a strong, growing economy they couldn’t hope to match; that option still exists, assuming we can get government’s dead, rotting hand off the throats of business, some of which starts at the borders. I’m not convinced more than a couple of the Republican contenders have a good understanding of that whole concept, and I’d feel better about it if those who might had demonstrated it with action over the years. Words is cheap.

  3. RAH says:

    Yeah Christie is “law and order” GOP. He is a fiscal conservative and liberal socially He is not for gun rights . But even he knows how unjust NJ laws on guns are. I really was disgusted with his hugs victims of 9/11. That is just using Democratic tactic of social shaming and moral superiority an using emotion Not reason. I was pleasantly impressed with Carson. He has nice dry wit. Rubio also impressed me. Jeb and Kasich Bah. Scott Walker will not back down from his beliefs and I respect that. Plus he does destroy Democratic strongholds. I have never seen such a absolute attempt to demoralize a GOP politician as the year long protests at his capital in his effort to defund the unions. They also used the criminal prosecution to cut off his financial support and attempted to use the judicial system to destroy him. He came out on top. Scott may be quiet but very effective Cruz did well. Jeb was horrible.
    Fox News was full of gotcha question intended to cause trouble and not to elicit substantive answers on policy . So Fox did not show well. The debate was despite that very informative and all the candidates did get a chance to talk. So it was a good debate.

    • Bram says:

      Notice Christie used the anti-gun argument against the Fourth Amendment? Hugging victim’s families justifies taking away a Constitutional right.

      Christie is not a conservative in any way except compared to NJ Democrats.

  4. aerodawg says:

    I had less painful things to do than watch the debate, like rubbing salt in blisters and tearing out my toenails with pliers…..

  5. Jeff O says:

    I’ve got to agree with many of the comments: Christie is out in right field, especially with his take on the NSA and spying. His paternalistic ‘government will protect you’ attitude is just what we don’t need from what was once the party of small government. His RINO (Jersey??) attitude is that which got us into this mess in the first place.

    I would love to see Scott Walker bust some more public unions and welfare on the federal level, but I think he may bring about another civil war or at least get himself killed by some lefty wingnut!

    Finally, I like Rand and how he can bridge social gaps, but, unfortunately, I don’t believe it’s enough to win an election. So I’m left with Rubio, but I need more substance from his camp to form a better opinion of what he might be able to accomplish.

  6. Ian Argent says:

    I don’t know that ANYONE could have rescued HP from the decision to keep the PC business and spin the instrument/infrastructure business off as Agilent. And I don’t now that anything other than hindsight would have seen that as an existentially bad decision.

    I’m hoping she can make it to the big table for the rest of the campaign; everything I saw suggests she was far and away to winner of the “everyone else” debate.

  7. Ian Argent says:

    As for the foreign policy angle: smacking the Russian Bear across the nose too early could be almost as bad as waiting until it’s too late. Christie, Clinton, and Walker are the candidates I’d be afraid of going off early.

  8. Roger Wilson says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Trump is a shill for Clinton.

  9. RAH says:

    Swatting the Bear early may have dissuaded them from taking Ukraine. What is next, the Baltic?
    Carly said to place the interceptor and radars in Poland as originally planned until Obama stopped that. Obama has encouraged Russia and China to take as much as they can. Iran has changed from being scared of Bush invading to now smiling and getting nukes. I rather our enemies fear us then love us.
    I will say the ones that lost the most are Megan Kelly and Chris Wallace. The actively set candidates against each and the snark was raised to MSNBC levels.

  10. Why ever should US taxpayers be paying for overseas sabre rattling with the Russian government is beyond me. The United States Department of Defense should be defending the actual United States and little else.

    • Sebastian says:

      When the British Empire fell, we filled that power vacuum and took over keeping the world relatively stable, keeping the sea lanes open, and generally protecting global commerce. If we retreat, someone else will fill that vacuum, and are much less likely to run the system to everyone’s benefit. We don’t live a world where the United States has the luxury to be isolationist.

  11. Bubblehead Les says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Perot ran. Let’s look at the Vote Count for 92 and 96.

    92: Clinton 44,908,254; Bush 39,102,343; Perot 19,741,065.
    96: Clinton 45,590,703; Dole 37,816,307; Perot 7,866,284.
    Source: 2013 World Almanac, pg 541.

    In either Election, if Perot wasn’t in the “Game,” most of his Voters would probably have pulled Repub, and Bush the Elder would have been Two Termed, with 96 wide open. Think of Nader in 2000. If he wasn’t in, most of his 2,834,410 “Green” votes would have probably gone to Algore.
    Which would have made “President Global Warming” in Charge on 9/11.

    But if The Donald goes Third Party, I believe Hillary will win.

    God Help Us All.

    Sidenote: I believe Goobernor Kasich is trying to set himself up as a Veep Candidate, or will run for the Senate against Uber-Liberal Anti-Gunner Sherrod Brown in a couple of years. Kasich is Term-Limited.

    • mike123 says:

      Bush lost on his own when he broke his promise not raise taxes and for being a gun-banning bastard.

  12. steve.c says:

    I’ve been immensely impressed with Carly as I’ve continued to watch her. She may have lost to Boxer in the last Senate election, but it wasn’t by all that much, and given Boxer’s resources, and the fact that it was California, she made a damn good run at it.

    To temper that, I think I want to do some more reading with respect to her tenure at HP. Now that I look back on her time there, she was brought in by a schizophrenic board to work with a company that could not decide what it really was. The board and shareholders wanted an acquisition to increase share, and that could only really be a company that was struggling even worse. Once put together, the die was cast that HP could no longer be the instrumentation company that originally defined it’s internal culture. There could be no way to reconcile the toxic mix of the board, shareholders, dispirited employees of two companies, and nervous customers. It was an impossible task. She will be criticised for “firing 30000 people”, but perhaps the amazing thing is that the company survived at all.

    (and that’s what I think I see, I’d like to understand better…)

    What’s telling is that the DNC took notice after the debate, and guess who they attacked, and with what message? So she apparently hit a nerve…

    I also need to understand more about her respect for the full bill of rights. I think I see it, but confirmation is needed.

    Of the others, I can’t tell. Perry seems to have leadership and executive qualities, but he loses his footing as this level, and they’ll just tear him apart. Cruz is an excellent debater, but I think his showmanship works better in the senate (and, on some level, I think he knows it…he’s really just there to push the dialog where he wants it). No one else seems to be able to lead. Walker should, but he’s not showing it.

    It’ll be interesting to watch. Carly seems sharp and tough enough to make it work. But “30000 fired” is a pretty tough hill to climb with your average LIV.

    • SDN says:

      It’s not just the “30,000 jobs”, it’s her continued absolute enthusiasm then and now for bringing in more H1B replacements the economy doesn’t need.

      As someone who’s in the tech industry, if she’d been a good manager, she would have realized ahead of time that she was walking into the failure you describe, and turned down the job. There are jobs and clients you don’t want to have.

      And frankly, Sebastian, I want someone at least bothered enough by the Planned Parenthood videos to do something about it.

      • steve.c says:

        And…as someone else who also works in the tech industry (and still does, somehow, despite the upheaval of 2000-2005…), I also share your concern expressed in this second paragraph. I see the H1B problem, but an LIV will get all hung up on 30K jobs, H1B is too abstract for them. Those of us who watched good colleages get retired at age 38 in that era…yeah, we get it…

        I have some idea of what transpired at HP, but no deep details. I want them before I’m willing to say “let’s go here”, or to go agitate for something outside this entire spectrum instead. That’s why I’d like to find some independently written history of this so I can understand it for myself, and not just trust the word of one side or the other.

        My key worry here: Leadership Matters. Keeping the dialog where one wants it despite all efforts to push one off track is a one signpost of leadership. She shows this. Good or bad, she seems to be the only one in this slate that indicates leadership qualities with a spine. Perry shows the leadership, but lacks the spine and focus under pressure. None of the others seem to have it.

        (This is a 2nd amendment blog, and I’m pulling comments marginally off-topic, sorry…)