While it’s been “election season” for a while, tonight was the first debate of 2016 and quite possibly the most anticipated one in a while considering Donald Trump’s increased attacks on Ted Cruz and whether or not he’s actually eligible to be president. Aside from that, I didn’t expect much of anything different from the usual idiocy, lies and absurd nonsense that I witnessed in the first five Republican debates.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Let me start off by saying – wow. By the first commercial break I was already speechless. First, Donald Trump essentially said that the wounded victims from terrorist attacks from two months ago were on the verge of death (yes, apparently he predicts death now). Then the way Republicans have lied about the Iran/Navy situation is absurd. We sailed into Iranian waters, they acted with caution, and returned these sailors Wednesday morning. This is a situation where diplomacy and improved relations worked – and it’s ticking off Republicans.
Next, Trump and Ted Cruz’s back and forth was worth the price of admission. Finally we saw these two go at it and it was everything I had hoped for. And as much as I loathe both men – though I loathe Cruz more – the Texas senator owned Trump during this exchange. Trump looked desperate and very petty. If there’s anything I’ll take away from this debate, it’s this: This might have been the night we saw Trump implode on a national stage.
Ultimately, Trump and Cruz don’t amount to much more than two pathological liars competing over who can tell lies the best.
This was a night where my sanity was tested more than it has been in any other debate. We’ve reached the point in these GOP presidential debates where it’s not even a matter of slightly altering the truth to push their rhetoric, they’re literally just making stuff up. I teeter between anger and laughter over the absurdity of what these clowns say.
Was there a “loser”? Honestly I would say Trump. He and Cruz went at it fairly heavily a few times and the senator from Texas got the best of him in most of these exchanges. Like I said earlier, I’m really interested to see how the poll numbers shake up following this debate. While I’ve learned not to say that anything will “bring down Trump,” in my opinion, Cruz had him on his heels.
I would say that aside from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Cruz and Rubio were the other “winners” of the night. While Rubio didn’t do anything in particular that stood out, he continues to be the “establishment” favorite who performs best during these debates. I still think he’s a weak candidate, but I’ll fully admit he does well in these debates.
Cruz did well. I cannot stand him, but I’m willing to admit tonight was his night. He was clearly prepared to take on “The Donald,” and put the real estate mogul on his heels a couple of times. But when you get right down to it, it really is the two most dishonest candidates running for president competing over who can sell their bullsh*t the best.
Jeb Bush did alright. He had a few pre-rehearsed talking points that played well to the crowd, but I didn’t see anything tonight that made me think he’s ever going to be a “player” in this race. Unless he finishes much stronger than expected in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – he needs to drop out.
Ben Carson? To be honest, I completely forgot he was still even running. As I’ve said for months, he’s woefully unqualified to be president and I’m grateful most Americans have realized that.
As for Chris Christie and John Kasich, who cares? These two are basically competing for who’ll be the “next Rand Paul.” And by that I mean, which candidate will fail to qualify for the main stage during the next debate.
This was a night of childish immaturity, pandering for cheap audience applause and candidates standing on a stage offering no reasonable ideas. That’s one thing we didn’t hear tonight: A plan for anything to help this country. Sure, there was a lot of rhetoric, propaganda and talking points – but no actual, concrete solutions.
Every time I watch one of these debates, I come away with the same feeling: As liberals, we cannot allow Republicans to win the White House in 2016. I’m not using hyperbole when I say that I’m not sure this nation could ever recover from the damage one of these fools would do. With the Supreme Court, health care, women’s rights, immigration, climate change, gay rights and many more other vital issues hanging in the balance this election, liberals must come together to make damn sure the next president of the United States is either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.