Category Archives: republicans
The two Republican front runners are better at brain surgery and bluster than foreign policy.
In the last debate Donald Trump was asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He went on about Chinese currency manipulation. Rand Paul piped up that China isn’t a partner in the deal. In fact the point of the deal is to contain China.
You knew that, right? Neither did I. But The Donald claims he did. The WSJ has its doubts about that.
So does Charles Krauthammer:
Ben Carson had an awful night — the Chinese intervening in Syria? But it was bookended and thereby saved by two good moments: an early answer, the preemptive “Thank you for not asking me what I said in the 10th grade,” and his closing statement about the suffering in the country being overcome by America’s inner strength.
Trump shares with Carson the GOP’s vast anti-politics constituency, now fully half of the Republican electorate. Carson’s antidote to the nation’s failed politics is moral strength. Trump’s is unapologetic brute strength.
Trump did not have a particularly good night, either. He was again at sea on foreign policy. And when asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade deal he opposes root and branch, Trump did his riff on the Chinese economic menace — to which Paul calmly pointed out that China is not party to the TPP. Indeed, the main strategic purpose of the TPP is precisely to contain China by binding its Pacific neighbors to the United States, thus blunting Beijing’s reach for regional hegemony.
Never mind. As long as the anti-politics mood prevails, neither Trump nor Carson is even dented by such policy misadventures.
A week ago, Jeb griped “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable…”
Dowd says, “we all know he doesn’t.”
John Harwood got things started by asking Donald Trump if he’s a comic book presidential candidate. Chris Christie didn’t like being asked about fantasy football while ISIS is chopping off heads in the real world.
Ted Cruz told the moderators the debate was not a “cage match“.
Think Progress called the debate “a total train wreck”.
LLoyd Grove writing for the Daily Beast, said it was pretty clear who the loser was – the mainstream media:
The mainstream media—as represented by the business cable network’s principal moderators, Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and especially John Harwood—took it on the chin as candidate after candidate, to hearty applause from the partisan audience at the University of Colorado, pointed out that their questions were inaccurate, unfair, or otherwise plain silly.
A group of House Republicans conspired in the demise of Speaker John Boehner. They thought he was ineffective. Unfortunately their replacement Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, was even more ineffective. He committed a gaffe that fit the Democrat’s narrative that the Benghazi hearings were all about destroying Hillary.
So they had to whack him too.
Scott Walker followed the lead of Rick Perry and shut down his campaign. He said we was helping clear the field so a positive conservative message can rise to the top. Supporters thought he would be the one to deliver that message. Between the Donald and the other candidates in the debates he couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
There are other views.
Michael Barone thinks the Republican party now appeals to people beyond traditional conservatives, libertarians, and evangelicals. That might explain Trump, Fiorina, and Carson. And the demise of Walker.
Mark Steyn called him a “performing seal”.