The Presidential election is more than a year away but we’ve already had two debates for the Republicans. Only one of the 16 candidates seems to have dropped out so far (Rick Perry), but the others, well we’ll see who drops next. I was able to watch all of the early debate (with the bottom 4 candidates) and about half of the full debate. We had dinner plans with friends from out of town so couldn’t cancel, and while I at first wanted to push it back to later in the night to catch the whole debate, I’m glad I didn’t since it lasted another 1.5 hours after I turned it off (in the parking lot of the restaurant).
Anyway, a reader and fellow liberal milspouse asked me what my thoughts were, so I thought I would share with you!
The JV Debate. The bottom four candidates went first for the Happy Hour Debate. I think this one had a good amount of substance, probably because there were only 4 of them on the stage. They all weren’t great at following the allotted time, but were better than the later debaters.
Too much Trump. The first debate’s first four questions were about Trump. The second debate started out talking about Trump. And according to The Washington Post, Trump got the most airtime speaking wise at almost 19 minutes. Yes people have criticized him for being in the race, but I think the only way to either get him out or have him be recognized as a viable candidate is to actually talk about the issues. Really ask him and every other candidate about the issues, then we can move on.
Those Kim Davis comparisons. I’m looking at you Sen. Rick Santorum. Comparing Kim Davis’ religious convictions to a student at the Columbine shooting? No. And then moving to Martin Luther King, Jr.? No. A government official wasn’t doing her job, upholding and executing the laws of the federal and state government, plain and simple. If she can’t do her job, she needs a new one. Governor Pataki said it really well in the first debate – that if you disagree with the laws of the land, and Supreme Court rulings, fix the laws, until then we must respect and uphold them.
Planned Parenthood and the impending (?) government shutdown. I had NO WORDS while women’s health was being discussed by these candidates. It amazed me how little they knew. Between Carly Fiorina making up a scene from the recent videos to unjust claims about the organization to bragging about defunding the organization in their states (with no mention of the status of women’s health after the fact *cough*Governor Jindal/Louisiana*cough*), I was doing everything to not scream at my computer screen. Lindsay Graham was right (yeah, it feels weird to agree with him, but he made some good points last night) that shutting the government down won’t help the Republicans. In fact, 71% of American voters would rather see a budget passed to avoid a shutdown than fighting over Planned Parenthood funding. Additionally, claims that Planned Parenthood spends federal money on abortions is incorrect, they legally can’t and reviews of their finances show that to be true.
Immigration. There were a few things that I disagreed with everyone on when it came to immigration, but it was clear that they all knew the soundbites that people like to hear. Congress has been wrestling with how to fix our immigration system for years, well before President Obama was in office, and have no solution. It’s all about securing the border. That’s what people like to hear. But I didn’t really hear any clear solutions from the candidates. I did hear that you have to speak English, because you know, ‘Murica, but I do want to point out that we have no official language.
Last thoughts. I missed some good ones at the end when we were at dinner, especially the $10 bill question, but I caught up thanks to The Guardian live-blog. Overall, everyone was jumping for time to speak. Eleven people on stage at once is crazy. Jake Tapper of CNN tried to get people to stop talking and call on who was next but it was a bit of a circus up there. Everyone was trying to butt in on every question and it was just chaos. There were a lot of attacks, a lot of soundbites, and a lot of “JAKE! JAKE!” I hope the next debates are smaller. It’ll really get at substance of issues and maybe be a bit more controlled. I think the real winner was Hillary Clinton, who did this excellent skit with Jimmy Fallon. Also, I heard that Bernie Sanders had some great tweets. I’m ready for the Democratic Debate next month – should be fun, and at the very least, not as chaotic. I’ll be live-tweeting (as I try to do for every debate), so follow me for real time reactions.
Did you watch the debate? What did you think?