Wow, I just realized it’s been almost a year since I’ve posted anything here. Although I’m loath to wade back into political blogging I thought I’d offer my thoughts on Thursday night’s GOP primary debate.
The one thing that was clear during Thursday night’s debate was that Donald Trump was way out of his element.
Sure, Megyn Kelly and the other moderators baited him but he went for it hook, line and sinker. The other candidates mostly didn’t, they recognized the game pretty quickly and rolled with it as best they could. Mr. Trump never quite got it though.
In some respects I like Mr. Trump’s independent streak and bluntness but when I compare his performance with Carly Fiorina’s in the ‘Happy Hour’ debate he’s all hat and no cattle. Like, Mr. Trump, Ms. Fiorina has tapped into the same anger and frustration many Americans feel with the status quo in Washington. But where Ms. Fiorina’s responses are focused, fact based and effective; Mr. Trumps are tactless insults and bombast.
Ms. Fiorina looks and sounds presidential. Mr. Trump looks and sounds like an angry drunk at the corner pub.
I think C.T. Rex sums Mr. Trump’s appeal up quite nicely over at Hot Air:
Now I have no love for Trump, but Jazz, and many others, have wondered how it is that everyone in the media keeps getting Trump so, so wrong. How does this crazy guy say all of this crazy stuff and still manage to get to the top of the polls for the GOP when he’s not even really a Republican? When almost every word out of his mouth ranges from the merely offensive to the downright disturbing, how could anyone possibly stand with this guy?
Well it’s pretty simple really. There is a growing contingent of people in this country who are totally and completely fed up with our entire political system. They don’t care about pragmatism, or policies, or outcomes. They just want to give everyone from the pundits to the politicians both middle fingers and they don’t care who else is looking when they do it.
For his part, Trump hasn’t merely knocked over the chessboard or set the rulebook on fire as Jazz postulated. That’s more like Ted Cruz level stuff. No Trump’s going the full Reservoir Dogs on our entire political process, dancing around as he cuts off its ear and pours gasoline on it while it begs him not to burn it alive.
Mr. Trump may be giving voice to the anger and frustration many American’s feel but bombast and insults don’t translate into policy or winning arguments.
The debate itself went about how I expected it to – it was a freak show. And it got huge ratings. Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and John Kasich all figured out the game and rose to the occasion. Mr. Trump though never seemed to get his footing and frankly his post-debate attacks on Megyn Kelly and Fox News make her point for her.
- Trump, longtime adviser part ways; Both say they fired the other – UPI.com
- Trump War on Fox and Kelly is the Start of His War on the GOP – Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary
- Donald Trump & The Ladies: Why His Attack on Megyn Kelly Isn’t Surprising – Marybeth Glenn, Victory Girls
- Trump’s excuses – Paul Mirengoff, Power Line