If there was ever a time I was looking forward to a Republican debate, it was tonight. After Donald Trump’s fairly dominant performance on Super Tuesday, and the subsequent Republican party implosion that’s followed, tonight was destined to be an absolute train wreck. Not only did I expect Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio to team up and go all-in with their desperate attempts to topple Trump’s momentum, this was a debate hosted by Fox News – which meant Megyn Kelly (Trump’s nightmare) would be one of the moderators.
If they had sold this on Pay-Per-View, the RNC could have probably made a fortune.
Well, it was exactly what I expected. One of the most brutal, dirty and hostile debates I’ve possibly ever witnessed. To call this a “debate” wouldn’t even do it justice. This was an all-out last-ditch attempt by the Republican party to decimate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Though you knew the night was going to be an embarrassment when the Republican presidential frontrunner made a reference to the size of his penis within the first few minutes.
No, I’m not joking. (By the way, many in the debate audience cheered Trump’s reference. Am I the only one who remembers back in 2012 when a Republican presidential debate audience booed a gay soldier?)
From the get-go, it was clear the questions asked tonight were targeted mostly at Trump. To be fair, he weathered the storm fairly well. Not that I’m a Trump fan in any way at all… but he’s going into these debates knowing that he has the RNC, Cruz and Rubio all working to tear him down. While they did take some good shots at him, he did what he normally does – he lied and used circular, elementary language to tap dance around the issues. Even when he falsely claimed his tax plan won’t increase the deficit (which prompted Chris Wallace to go to visuals to prove how delusional Trump’s plans actually are), he managed to side-step the entire trap almost unscathed. Heck, even when he was called out for his clothing line being manufactured in China and Mexico he pretty much blew that off and rambled on about devalued currency and how it makes it impossible to make clothes here. Which makes absolutely no sense.
Donald Trump does what he always does. He gets confronted with facts, counters those facts with more rambling nonsense and lies, and nothing seems to matter. Because the truth his – his supporters do not care about the truth. The only “truth” most Trump supporters care about is what comes out of his mouth.
As I’ve said before, I’m done predicting the “downfall of Trump.” Until he actually crumbles, I don’t know if there’s anything that can be said or done to make his supporters turn on him. Among a group of politicians who thrive on b.s. – Donald Trump is king.
When it comes to Ted Cruz, it was clear he came into tonight with plenty of pre-rehearsed talking points aimed directly at Trump. Though the problem with Cruz is that he lies just about as often as Donald Trump does. So even when he’s “hitting Trump” you have to take what he says with a grain of salt because odds are it’s probably not true. Throughout the night Cruz frequently took questions he was asked and twisted them around into some sort of attack on Trump instead of answering the question.
Other than that, Cruz hit his usual talking points. While I wouldn’t say he did poorly tonight, I saw nothing that made me think he stands any chance at overtaking Trump in more than just a handful of states. And at this point in the delegate count, for Cruz to actually become the nominee he would have to win states at the rate Trump has been winning them. Quite honestly, I don’t see that happening.
Then there’s Marco “I smile anytime people applaud what I say” Rubio. At this point, his candidacy is becoming a joke. He clearly got a few good jabs in at Trump – but then ruins them by smiling like a buffoon anytime he feels he got the better of Trump. Not only that, like Cruz, I didn’t see him say or do anything that made me think that was the moment that could get his campaign back on track. He’s won one state, looking at a very real possibility of losing his home state of Florida to Trump and didn’t even do better than Cruz – the actual second strongest GOP candidate. So I’m not sure what “path” Rubio takes to become relevant in this race. He’s not even remotely close to being a threat to Donald Trump and he’s 121 delegates behind Ted Cruz. While Rubio has been snagging endorsements and the backing of the RNC, the truth is, he’s closer in delegates to John Kasich and Ben Carson than he is Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
“Marcomentum” is nothing but a myth.
As for John Kasich… I don’t know why he’s still in this. Of all the candidates, he is, by far, the most rational – but he’s not winning this thing. I get that he wants to stay through till Ohio, but even if he wins his home state, there’s no remote chance that Kasich ever becomes the GOP nominee.
I think what I just witnessed was the death of the Republican party on live television. Like I said earlier, this wasn’t a debate – it was a blatant attempt to kill Trump’s campaign. If I were a Republican I would be embarrassed and ashamed at what my party has become. Long gone are the days of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower. While the party name might be the same – this party is no longer one that represents the values of those great men.
As an American, I am humiliated that these people are allowed to represent this country as the whole world watches this circus play out like some sick version of political reality television.
Though as a progressive, this is a massive wakeup call. We cannot let one of these three fools become our next president. If we want to protect women’s rights, abortion rights, progress on climate change, health care reform, gay rights, same-sex marriage and a whole lot of other progressive policies we’ve fought decades to achieve in this country – we must make sure either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders becomes our next president.
Because after what I just watched, I have no doubt that if our next president is Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, they will destroy this country. I’m really not certain if we’ll ever be able to recover.
So, who was the big winner this evening? That’s easy – Democrats. Because what we all just watched was the implosion of the Republican party on national television. Who would have thought that a handful of hard-hitting questions from Fox News moderators would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these Republican candidates would be better off (and more qualified for) serving chicken wings than running for president.
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