February 6, 2016

Another GOP debate — are you watching?

I'm watching. Not live-blogging, though I'll weigh in if something strikes me. My son, John Althouse Cohen, is doing his distinctive, excellent brand of live-blogging, so check that out!

93 comments:

Oso Negro said...

Yes, I am watching. I am wondering when there will be a Democratic debate moderated by Karl Rove. Oh, won't happen! But George Stephanopolous is fine for Republicans.
.

Original Mike said...

Listening to it.

Oso Negro said...

and ABC is immediately trying to torpedo Cruz. I am startled.

Big Mike said...

I'm watching.

... so that we don't. Bless you, Madam.

Oso Negro said...

And Christie leaps to the defense of Joe Biden..... Jeez

pm317 said...

Rubio should stop using the word "notion".. It is Obama's word.

Oso Negro said...

and Christie is dominance humping Rubio. The worst molestation since DiCaprio and the bear.

rcocean said...

Poor Jeb - he doesn't have much stage presence. Of course, Poppy Bush didn't either, but he was Reagan's VP.

Original Mike said...

Cruz is exactly right about the need to harden the grid against EMP. It's something Obama could have done with stimulus money that actually would have been useful.

Oso Negro said...

You are right, Mike. Pondering the grid is depressing.

Original Mike said...

Probably our most dangerous vulnerability. Could kill tens of millions.

Oso Negro said...

Kasich suggests a novel one free Federal crime program.

Oso Negro said...

Mary Katherine Ham is a hottie!!!

Michael K said...

"It's something Obama could have done with stimulus money that actually would have been useful."

No, it would have given jobs to too many burly men.

Titus said...

Rubio is a mess. He is like a robot. He only knows a few phrases. He is really the republican Obama.

tits.

Chuck said...

That Christie thing with Rubio was disturbing. Rubio is right, of course. And the Really Bad Storm Sandy federal spending was gross, and there is no greater single "establishment" act by any one of the Republicans in the field, than Christie's sopping up federal billions for "Sandy."

Chuck said...

The crowd booing Trump. And Trump getting steamed. Cool.

Chuck said...

Trump's explanation of health care wasn't even correct on the most basic level. He apparently wasn't even aware of the federal legislation that has been law since 1986 called EMTALA, which requires hospital emergency departments to admit and treat indigent patients, the people "sitting" in the streets, in Trump's parlance.

Trump has been given about two dozen chances over the past weeks to dig out of the hole(s) he keeps digging for himself on his admiration for single-payer federal systems.

He just doesn't understand health care delivery (and to be sure, it isn't easy) and it shows every time he answers a question on the subject.

robother said...

Trump is putting it to Jeb, not taking his eminent domain guff. With his reference to Keystone he scores a good debate point as well: without eminent domain for the benefit of private corporations, most of our energy transmission pipelines and grid wouldn't exist.

sane_voter said...

I am questioning the audience makeup, and Trump made a strong point on how tickets got distributed.

J. Farmer said...

Not watching. I've decided I'm supporting either Trump or Sanders for the presidency. I'll vote for Sanders over any other Republican, and I'll vote for Trump over any other Democrat.

The GOP is really out to lunch. It's 2016, and Rubio is still pushing more reckless militarism and a plan to dismantle Medicare. We have potentially huge crises brewing in Europe and the Far East, but Ted Cruz's first priority is to reassure the prime minster of a tiny, dependent client-state? Oy vey.

Bob Ellison said...

All conservative women are hot. It's because they're happy.

Chuck said...

LOL! I've been looking for a "Trump or Sanders" voter! I know there are some of you. I'd like to do a study of you.

I understand that you are not watching the debate. Where do you get your information? What are your principles? Who have you voted for in the past? What policies do you favor? What policies do you find threatening? What policies do you think that Trump and Sanders share?

J. Farmer said...

@Chuck:

Policy positions are really irrelevant to me at this point. The post-globalization political establishment has grown more smug and decadent with each passing year, and I am in favor of anything that helps to blow that system up. Trump and Sanders are the two prime candidates for their job. Who cares if Sanders wants single-payer healthcare? Such a law isn't going to be drafted by Congress. Sanders at least recognizes the economic self-interest of the business elite in their desire for low-wage unskilled workers from Latin America. The business lobby's incessant push for expansion of H1B1 is just a more high brow version of the same tactic.

The presidency is quite constrained in the grand scheme of things, and it most often involves a reactive posture. The last president I liked on foreign policy was George HW Bush. In fact, come to think of it, he is still eligible since he was a one-termer.

Titus said...

David Muir is hot.

J. Farmer said...

Second that, Titus.

Informal poll: who is the hottest male and female TV journalist working today?

My picks would be Don Lemon and Megan Kelly.

Birkel said...

J. Farmer,

I like how a few weeks ago you were saying you were not a Lefist. And today you reveal the socialist is your favorite presidential candidate.

That circle will not square.

But, then, I knew you were lying back then.

Beldar said...

@ robother (2/6/16, 8:12 PM): You really can't see the distinction between a government-forced sale of someone's home for a pipeline that will lower the energy price and improve environmental safety for the entire country, on the one hand, and forcing that sale to build a casino parking garage?!?

Finally! I've found the perfectly representative Trump voter! Thank you, that explains a lot.

Oso Negro said...

I am tired of the trope that we have to have good relations with Muslims so that they will report other Muslims. I mean what the fuck? Law enforcement locks up plenty of wild ass negroes without relying on them being turned in by other blacks.

Oso Negro said...

Dr. Carson continues to reminder me of the typical stoner college roommate. "Foreign policy - oh wow, that's complicated."

Laslo Spatula said...

Althouse said "I'm watching."

You probably would have been better off finally watching "Top Gun."

I am Laslo.

PB said...

No. Just finished watching Penn State upset Indiana.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

"That circle will not square."

Except I specifically said that I was making my decision based on their position vis-a-vis the elite establishment. Sanders can want as many social democratic programs as his heart desires; without an agreeable Congress, he is not getting them. I generally prefer gridlock and a political devision between the executive and the legislature, though that also creates its own headaches. As far as domestic politics is concerned, I am sympathetic to libertarian arguments and ultimately, I am an anarchist. That said, from an actual policy perspective, I am broadly moderate in my orientation. My approach is probably most similar to the neoliberal backlash against Carter in the early 1980s centered around figures and publications like Charlie Peters at The Washington Monthly and Mike Kinsley at The New Republic. So, for example, I am generally opposed to cash welfare programs but wouldn't really have any problem with a big hike in the minimum wage, given some caveats.

In terms of foreign policy, I went through a very brief neocon phase in the early 2000s in reaction to 9/11 and following under the rhetorical spell of writers like Christopher Hitchens, George Packer, and Paul Berman. Luckily, more sober works like War in a Time of Peace, The Looming Tower, and Cobra II quickly cured me of my delusions. I have been a staunch advocate for non-interventionism ever since.

I absolutely loathe the social justice identity politics of the modern left. Unfortunately, the anti-intellectualism and tough talking militarism on the right is not very appealing.

Luke Lea said...

Trump stays on top, Rubio drops, Christie and maybe Jeb move up.

Original Mike said...

Wow, ABC is sure hammering the "Rubio lost" line. Was he really that bad? I listened to it from the other room while I was doing computer work, but I didn't think he was that bad. Is this ABC trying to take down the guy they're most scared of?

coupe said...

CBS commentator said "Cruz came across a little 'oily'" when talking about the alleged Carson dirty tricks.

I think he meant 'greasy'.

Titus said...

Rubio was really that bad. In the first 10 minutes he said the same speech 3 times in a row word for word.

He was pathetic.

Original Mike said...

OK, Fox is saying Rubio was bad. (It sure is weird to see David Gregory on Fox.)

Original Mike said...

Well, now they're saying Rubio was bad in the first half of the debate, then good at the end.

Oso Negro said...

Kasich wants to bring people together to bring people together - did you know he's done it in Ohio?

The Godfather said...

I watched about an hour in the middle. I heard commentary that Rubio had screwed up earlier, but he did fine while I was watching. I was particularly interested in Trump's disinformation campaign on eminent domain (that's been an area of my law practice since the early '70's). Trump has been bullshitting on that issue for months, talking about how you need eminent domain for roads and the Keystone Pipeline, but that isn't what the argument is about. The US Constitution says that private property can be taken for "public use" if just compensation is paid. Roads and pipelines are public uses. But the controversy over the Kelo v. New London decision is that it allowed property to be take from its owner to transfer it to another private party who promised to develop it and other land in a way that would yield economic benefits to the city. Is that a "public use"? Trump won't ever address that issue, but Bush did a pretty good job of explaining it. Trump is a bull-shit artist. I just watched part of the Bernie Maddoff movie. The similarities were striking, except that Maddoff could be charming if he wanted to.

Oso Negro said...

Donald Trump is a winner! He wants America to be winners again! He will bring together top men to make winning deals! That is how you do it! Just get Congress together in a room!

David Begley said...

Kept falling asleep.

traditionalguy said...

Trump's play won all 13 tricks in tonight's hand.

The guy is a fast learner of a new game.

Michael K said...

" I have been a staunch advocate for non-interventionism ever since. "

I think Libya is an example of intervention with no purpose.

Iraq was a complex issue that had dragged on for 20 years. Bush was really facing a dilemma that is usually dismissed ignorantly by most leftists. I think he was smart to leave Afghanistan a special forces war and Obama made things much worse with his "good war" nonsense.

Syria is a puzzle. Russia is going to rescue their client of 40 years. We keep getting into trouble with what used to be called "The CNN Syndrome" where TV shows appealing victims and the public wants rescue them. Clinton got his fingers burned and then let bin Laden build an organization that hurt us badly.

The world is pretty complicated and being seen as powerful and willing to use power can avoid a lot of trouble that Obama is getting us into.

Original Mike said...

I thought he was pretty bad, Trad Guy. You'd think by now he'd have a better answer on his health insurance program than it's going to be so great you won't even believe it.

narciso said...

'war in a time of piece' is a remarkable bit of hackery, by halberstam, that showed how totally off the ball the clinton administration was in the 90s, focusing on Haiti and the Balkans, while AQ was in it's recruiting phase, the Looming Tower was probably an addendum to same,

sane_voter said...

Rubio was only bad at the beginning when he played into Christie's "Rubio is a scripted robot" theme by repeating the same argument word for word three times as Christie would say "There he goes again". Not sure what was going on there. After that he was great.

traditionalguy said...

The meteor over Madison tonight could be a sign that our new Lion King took over the Pride in tonight's ABC debate.

The moment the Lion King turned on the audience filled with donors that were loudly booing him because he refused to take their money like their precious $150 million dollar boy Bush named Jeb, the election was over.

sane_voter said...

People who watched the whole debate will think Rubio did well. Those who only watch the 30 sec summary from the news will think Rubio tanked.

chickelit said...

Gentlemen, he said
I don’t need your organization, I’ve shined your shoes
I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards

chickelit said...

sane_voter said...People who watched the whole debate will think Rubio did well. Those who only watch the 30 sec summary from the news will think Rubio tanked.

Rubio almost tanked, but he made a decent recovery. Christie really did embarrass him and his canned shtick.

chickelit said...

What was that hesitation about at the very beginning when Trump and Carson refused to appear when called? Surely a friendly wager was afoot.

mccullough said...

I thought Christie was very good. He had the best combination of energy and some substance. Cruz was pretty good as well. His response about his sister's drug use was very good.

Original Mike said...

@chickelit: Carson said he couldn't hear backstage when they called his name (I personally didn't see it)

sane_voter said...

What was that hesitation about at the very beginning when Trump and Carson refused to appear when called? Surely a friendly wager was afoot.

Not sure. It seemed like they couldn't hear the moderators. Even Kasich didnt come out when called.

Steven said...

Trump opened his mouth, inserted his foot, and then shot it. The idea that only "special interests" oppose forcibly taking property from elderly women to build limousine parking lots is so ludicrous that the only people who could possibly buy it are the ones that have had their brains schlonged out by Trump.

gadfly said...

Rubio got all the abuse he deserved - finally. The Christie take down and pin of Marco was brutal and effective and right on subject. That exchange went on and on with Rubio repeating the same memorize talking point three times and Rubio lost every time. ABC then let JEB pile on.

With his support for amnesty, saying one thing to Spanish audiences, then lying to Americans is all I have to know to be convinced that Marco Rubio cannot be trusted. He is indeed the Republican Obama. Read the Phyllis Schlafly piece at Gateway Pundit.

coupe said...
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coupe said...

Michael K said...I think Libya is an example of intervention with no purpose.

Exactly right. It is now known Gadaffi called Blair and told him he needed help. That the rebels they were supporting would destroy Europe within five years.

It only took 3 years, and millions of people are running to Europe. Blair told him to find a hole, or flee.

When NATO started bombing Libya, the die was set. Europe has committed suicide.

rcocean said...

Questions on Eminent Domain in NH and Ethanol in Iowa.

Judas Priest, the two dullest topics in the world. Maybe they can ask about Canadian-American relations in the South Carolina debate, just to be consistent.

rcocean said...

Rubio never ever EVER says anything not pre-recorded. He's just a coin slot away from being a jukebox.

rcocean said...

Looks like the RINO establishment needs a new Rent boy. What about Christie?

rcocean said...

"I absolutely loathe the social justice identity politics of the modern left. Unfortunately, the anti-intellectualism and tough talking militarism on the right is not very appealing."

Yeah, 'cause there's nothing more intellectual and pacifist then Hillary.

averagejoe said...

Haven't checked other comments so I don't know if the point has been made, but it was not long ago that the republican/conservative talkosphere was feasting on the fact that the democrats had scheduled a debate for Saturday night, accusing them of trying to bury it. Now here the republicans have a debate on a Saturday night, the night before the Super Bowl, and I haven't heard a single mention or discouraging word about that. Haven't been tuning in the past week, so maybe I missed all the republicans wondering why the RNC is trying to hide this debate, and which candidate this protects.

J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

"Yeah, 'cause there's nothing more intellectual and pacifist then Hillary."

I never tire of pointing out to members of the progressive left Hillary Clinton's godawful record on foreign policy. Unfortunately, within the modern foreign policy intelligentsia, Clinton is comfortably in the mainstream. Obama, unlike Bush, has avoided practically all of the anti-war criticism leveled at Bush despite pursuing a stupid surge strategy in Afghanistan, transforming Bush's kill or capture program into a kill program, starting a war in Libya, and, along with the Arab gulf states, been a major player in destabilizing Syria.

Original Mike said...

averagejoe, the debate was in New Hampshire. What happens in New Hampshire in a couple of days?

Get a clue.

Nichevo said...

Just to be clear, Libya is a purely democratic, purely Obama, purely Hillary play.

You can't be saying for 10 years, Bush was naive to think that freedom was the answer, Saddam was our SOB keeping the lid on the Middle East,

and then say,

Kadafi one day woke up and was suddenly so evil that for no other reason now we must needs see him killed barbarously, even though he gave up actual WMD, an actual unknown, unsuspected WMD program, and admitted guilt and paid restitution for Pan Am 103.

He was certainly one success story of the Bush Doctrine. Is that why he had to go? Could a man who sent the bust of Churchill back to the British and puts his feet up on the resolute desk be that petty and vain?

This is my shocked face.

chickelit said...

average joe attempts: Now here the republicans have a debate on a Saturday night, the night before the Super Bowl, and I haven't heard a single mention or discouraging word about that.

Like "Superbowl Eve" is some sort of sancrosanct hiding place. Put some milk and cookies out.

chickelit said...

Nichevo writes: Could a man who sent the bust of Churchill back to the British and puts his feet up on the resolute desk be that petty and vain?

He's puttin' to The Man with both those moves and they applaud him.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@nichevo

Libya was truly at war for oil. French oil contracts. Libs hate to hear this but they know it is true.

averagejoe said...

rcocean said...
Questions on Eminent Domain in NH and Ethanol in Iowa. Judas Priest, the two dullest topics in the world. Maybe they can ask about Canadian-American relations in the South Carolina debate, just to be consistent.
2/6/16, 11:31 PM

In my estimation, those are two substantive issues at the heart of the fight over the power and scope of government and bureaucracy in American life.

Birkel said...

Eminent Domain is apparently an important issue in New Hampshire politics right now because of proposed high voltage transmission from Canada.

coupe said...

Trump screwed-up. He's put his finger in the socket, calling people donors.

William said...

I only saw the cable post mortems. I'd like to be more sympathetic to Kasich, but he's got the worst stage presence of any of the candidates. He makes too many gestures that are slightly out of sync with what he's saying. He's too maudlin when he talks about a lower middle class childhood. I'm sure he had more challenges than Donald Trump, but neither did he grow up in the slums of Bombay....He has a solid record, as he'd be the first to tell you, but the wonder is how he ever got elected Governor............Trump's not my candidate, but I admire the way he dumped on an audience who dared to boo him. He's probably wrong about eminent domain, but is there anyone in the country who defines this as a hot button issue that will make or break his campaign.

coupe said...
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chickelit said...

coupe said...Trump could have just let Bush get his stabs in, and stand there ignoring him.

Sheesh, coupe! Trump made Jeb! look like an idiot for thinking that Keystone was a "public" endeavor. But Jeb! started it by saying that eminent domain was OK for the public works but wrong for private enterprise.

dwick said...

averagejoe said...
"...Now here the republicans have a debate on a Saturday night, the night before the Super Bowl, and I haven't heard a single mention or discouraging word about that. Haven't been tuning in the past week, so maybe I missed all the republicans wondering why the RNC is trying to hide this debate, and which candidate this protects."

Well, if you HAD been paying attention, you'd have known that since last Tuesday night's Iowa Caucus, Hillary and Bernie had a town hall Wed PM and a full-blown debate Thu PM. One isn't going to schedule a debate the night of the Super Bowl (Sun) or the very night before the NH Primary vote on Tue. That leaves only Fri or Sat PM for a Republican debate - so I guess Sat PM was viewed as the less objectionable of the two bad choices.

tim in vermont said...

The GOP is really out to lunch. It's 2016, and Rubio is still pushing more reckless militarism and a plan to dismantle Medicare. We have potentially huge crises brewing in Europe

Ha ha! Obama and Hillary abandoned Iraq to ISIS and overthrew Quadaffy, the two actions most responsible for the crisis in Europe, and it is the GOP that is out to lunch!


Oh my fucking god.

tim in vermont said...

Rubio never ever EVER says anything not pre-recorded. He's just a coin slot away from being a jukebox.

Hillary, however, has the coin slot, except it only takes folding money.

Laura said...

Which sponsor is asking?

Laura said...

Ha! Thought that coin slot was built for thirty pieces of silver.

Can you use slot when referring to a woman candidate? We turn to our correspondent in Marble City, Ms. Dunham.

Humperdink said...
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Hagar said...
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Hagar said...

All the world is sad and dreary,
Everywhere I roam;
Oh, Repubs, how my heart grows weary,
Far from the old folks I've known!

jeff said...

I'm with Chuck on Christie, I was once a fan and it wasn't the big hug of Obama that turned me off, it's was the 60 billion Sandy bailout. It's alway take every cent you can get, a true manager would have said, well it appears we'll need 40 billion to start. But maybe that's just why we're in the financial mess we find ourself in. Better to take all you can get while the store is still on the front page, lord knows the American people get distracted fast.

Bob Ellison said...

That intro is hilarious.

Original Mike said...

@jeff - Me too. The Sandy bailout is how Christie lost me.

Nichevo said...

Bill, RoT 2/7/16, 12:25 AM

Isn't it amazing how Libya and Syria seem to embody all the venality and stupidity attributed to the GWB administration for Afghanistan and Iraq? No blood for oil? Arming terrorists and plotting savage coups which spin out of control? Genghis Khan level atrocities?


The very blatancy boggles the mind- which is an effective tactic.

coupe said...
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Rhythm and Balls said...

They don't really say anything. It's just about the drama of who "goes after" whom and how. Who's got the biggest "smackdown". It's the furthest thing from an actual debate, and something much, much closer to a verbal equivalent of WWF, with broader emotional range.

Birkel said...

I agree with "Rhythm and Balls" about the quality and lack of substance in these so-called debates.

tim in vermont said...

Oh, Repubs, how my heart grows weary,
Far from the old folks I've known!


Everybody liked the old pre 94 Republicans who knew their place.