Debating the Debate

Watching these debates, it’s not apparent who’s more masochistic – the candidates on stage or those of us in the audience.

So what was the point of last night’s Republican debate on CNN? Really nothing. Nothing that will change the race.

It was more of the same. Moderators couldn’t control the candidates. The candidates went after each other. The establishment had its claque in the audience, this time greatly applauding everything Rubio. The candidates restated their positions with a few more “liars” sprinkled in the back and forth. At the end of the evening, the Drudge Report poll had Trump leading with 64%, Cruz second with 17%, Rubio 11 and Kasich and Carson in single digits.

The Drudge poll, by the way, has been more accurate than the other polls. He pointed out that it is mirroring the delegate count for the candidates.

Anyhow, to be more specific, Trump dominated the field. When others interrupted or moderators tried to stop him, he ran over them. Is this bad? Maybe in other elections, but not this one. Americans are looking for a strong leader. In his tone he is commanding and assertive. He is the opposite of Obama. Republicans are loving his fighting spirit.

Cruz and Rubio went after Trump more than each other. They looked like yapping dogs, especially Rubio. On the issue of Obamacare and Trump’s conclusion that allowing for competition by eliminating state borders for sales, Rubio got overpowered. His jokes about Trump repeating himself and making fun of state lines looked childish and petulant. Did Trump repeat himself? Yes, but that’s how a candidate makes his point.

It’s probably unfortunate for Rubio, too, to be standing close to Trump because his height shortcomings are evident. While I would never vote for someone because of their height, most of our presidents have been tall and taller than their competitors. Silly, yes, but factual. At times it looked like if Trump put his arm out his hand would hit Rubio’s forehead reminiscent of cartoons where that happens and the opponent’s feet keep moving back and forth.

Cruz once again had that oily politician/evangelist/salesman vibe. When he got a question, he took his time on it to the point that his minutes were up by the time he got to his point. It felt like someone who loves to hear himself talk. When he said he was fighting for us, it smelled like a Clinton comment. That’s so hack it’s repulsive and trite.

Kasich responded to all this by quoting a little girl he had met at an event. She complained about all the yelling and screaming at these debates and didn’t think she ought to watch any more of that. I hate when someone drags a child into their argument. Next they’ll channel puppies, too. Maybe this is why Kasich is in the single digits. This is an election where Americans want yelling and screaming because it mirrors what they feel at home. Hardly a day goes by when something in DC doesn’t make me mad and you probably feel the same way.

When the moderator asked Kasich about Obamacare, I noticed his eyelids flutter as he composed his answer. It was like reptilian blinking, indicating he was looking for an evasive answer and didn’t like the question. He got away with not having to explain how he allowed Obamacare to vastly expand in Ohio.

Dr. Carson’s reply to how he would pick a Supreme Court justice – “The fruit salad of their life is what I will look at” – made me wince. It was unfortunate and made me feel bad for him. He’ll be mocked repeatedly for that one.

Cruz’s concentration on Trump’s foibles showed that he’s got something to worry about in Texas on Super Tuesday. He and Rubio at times looked patronizing and in Rubio’s case, desperate.

What did the debates provide? More old fruit salad, I’m afraid. If you liked a candidate before, you like him more now. If you are undecided, you probably will make up your mind at the last minute at the polls.

It’s apparent that theses debates are going nowhere. The RNC should greatly reduce however many they have planned. Like maybe to none. It hurts the brand.

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