Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Donald Trump Actually Talks Sense For Once in REEP Debate #5
Let's first be honest and point out that - as Guardian UK columnist Richard Wolffe put it, this fifth Reepo “debate” was "about as convincing as the gondolas gliding along the supposedly Grand Canal outside the (Venetian) casino." If you've ever been to the Venetian you know what Wolffe's talking about, including the faux blue skies and the whole artificial setting, e.g.
A Venetian gondolier - from our trip to Vegas in 2006.
So it was almost to be expected this debate would reflect the artifice of the environment. We beheld Trump, for instance, "ambling in like the character he plays on 'The Apprentice': the judge on a reality show." And where other candidates embraced the audience as potential voters, "Trump weakly applauded them as apprentices aspiring to his hiring." You had to admire his chutzpah.
But the main takeaway is that most of these guys believe the American people (or at least those who actually vote) are a bunch of whiny little 'fraidy cats or infants, e.g.
"Pwotekt me, Mista Goopa!"
And can be drumbeaten into the GOOPr fold by manic, unhinged rhetoric spewed out in a hawk fest more appropriate to the meeting scene in 'Dr. Strangelove'. (Google to learn the connection if you never saw the flick.)
There was Jeb! boasting how he wanted to "increase defense spending" to fight ISIS despite the fact we are now spending $667 billion a year. WTF does he want? Another $3 trillion squandered like his dumb bro pissed away in the Iraq War? In any case, the last thing we need is another Bush in the White House to complete the descent of this country into 2nd class nation status. And then there was Cruz who intended to "carpet bomb" Raqqa - the HQ for ISIS - but which actually is a city of over 400,000, with mostly civilians. Collateral damage, anyone? How about intentional genocide?
We also had the really immature dolts going after Russia, which nation I guess they really believe is a "paper tiger" as one deluded WSJ poppet put it a week ago in an op ed. There was John Kasich (who I once took to be the GOP "adult") bragging he intended to "punch Russia in the nose". Good luck on that, pally, but you are going to have to go through Vladimir Putin first, and somehow I don't think you're up to it against the former KGB head who walks with a "gunslinger's gait". (As noted in a report on the news last night, from having his weapon at the ready on that right side.)
Then we have the heavyset (putting it mildly) turkey, Chris Christie, who actually wants to outdo Gen, Curtis LeMay (from 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis) vowing he would effectively start World War III if he had to by shooting down Russian pilots over Syria - if he put up a no fly zone. He even defended it this morning, essentially insinuating if he put up such a zone the Russians would not dare disobey it, "if they knew the consequences". One wonders what manner of marijuana edibles or candies this fool was ingesting.
Amidst all this huff and puff it was therefore gratifying to at least see Trump separate from the hawkathon and especially inveighing against the insane GOP yen for 'regime change". We've already seen in Iraq (ousting Saddam), Libya (ousting Muammar Ghadaffi) how this game plays out and now also the eagerness to supplant Assad in Syria. Mincing no words, Trump emphatically stated that the $4 trillion blown on those regime change operations would have been better spent here at home for roads, infrastructure, schools, etc. He also added that any future trillions that the interventionists might wish to blow, would be better spent here in the U.S. To which the harpy-witch Carly Fiorina responded he was "talking more like Obama". Actually no, you ignorant misfit, he was talking sense!
By contrast, the odious slob Chris 'Crisco' Christie instantly disqualified himself by asserting that he'd have no qualms shooting down a Russian plane over Syria after installing a dopey "no fly" zone. So, he'd risk incinerating billions in a third world (nuclear) war to prove his security bona fides and that his Pillsbury doughboy frame really had the balls to do it. (Recall in 'Oct. 62 JFK had to restrain Gen. Curtis LeMay who wanted to bomb Cuba into the stone age, despite the fact there were 93 fully armed IRBMs aimed at the eastern and central U.S.)
What Christie really showed is how easy it is for one's ass to occupy one's brain, when bravado supersedes common sense and intellect.
Christie, while lamenting the sense of fear gripping the United States, then ended up stoking as much fear as possible, talking at length in dog whistle style about the bomb threat that closed the Los Angeles Unified school system on Tuesday. But somehow ignoring that the New York authorities in his backyard decided the same threat was a hoax. (The reason given by the NYPD Police commissioner is that the email sender referred to "allah" and not Allah.)
By contrast to Christie and the other warmongering, take 'em all out Reepo yahoos, Trump showed forbearance and sound judgment- at least by his stated unwillingness to intervene and overthrow yet another Middle Eastern state and for nothing. (Of course, he later more or less neutralized the quantum of rationality displayed then by his stance on killing the families of terrorists. As Rand Paul asked: "Ever heard of the Geneva Convention?")
Let's recall the Bush bunch are the original regime changers so no surprise Jeb! had to butt in to do an indirect defense of his incompetent brother.
Late in the debate, for example, Jeb! jabbed at Trump for "getting his national security advice from retired generals on cable TV.". But Trump simply stepped out of the exchange to critique his rival and the moderators – retaking his role as judge rather than participant.
At one point Jeb clearly lost it, barking:
“You’re never going to be president of the United States by insulting your way to the presidency,”
“Well, let’s see,” said Trump, “I am at 42 and you’re at three,” he added citing recent polls. “So, so far, I’m doing better.”
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz tried to talk with a certain Texan swagger on how he'd "wipe out ISIS" and basically do everything Obama "isn't doing" now. Except Obama is, including sending in more strategic ground forces for support. But as I noted before, it's easy for imps like Cruz and Rubio to try to out swagger each other with empty rhetoric when they hold no real positions of power. It's likewise easy for a pompous porker like Christie to vow he'd shoot down Russian planes when the only really nasty thing he's done up to now (as NJ Governor) is shut down a key bridge backing up traffic in his state for miles- and hours.
The most important aspect of last night's debate was to show that the Reeps -most of them - can only "win" by instilling fear. Fear of the terrorists and fear of our own shadows, if we let the lizard brain take over the prefrontal cortex. People need to bear in mind the only political leverage the Reepos hold is the terror card. And if they can get enough of us to submit, and believe terrorism trumps all else - then we will have truly fucked ourselves to a far thee well in next year's elections.
The facts speak otherwise, that this era and period is nowhere near as terrifying as many in the past, including the Cuban Missile Crisis which I lived through when we came within a hair's breadth of WW III. Our much bigger fear ought to be of the millions of assault weapons in our midst which too many seem to be quite content to leave alone, at least their regulation, out of a misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment. Meanwhile mass murders go on daily, not by terrorists or ISIS sympathizers but by fellow Americans too ready to settle things or act out with their AR-15s. There've been 200,000 slaughtered since 9/11 by these weapons in the hands of fellow citizens, vs. 45 killed by terrorists. Do the math! And if you are still terrorized by ISIS, or any other random jihadi terror, you don't deserve to call yourself an American - or at least claiming that you belong in "the home of the brave".
And if you believe Chris Crisco Christie is the answer- as some expressed in an MSNBC focus group this morning- you definitely don't know which end is up or what WWIII would look like. So I suggest you get the movie 'Threads' and watch it - maybe several times - to let it sink in.
If this fifth debate did anything it showed the Dems still are the adults in the room, and the party most likely to feature a sane and temperate leader in a world too overrun by fear, panic sand over-heated rhetoric. But, of course, the election next year will ultimately depend on adults - not fearful infants - to make the decision that best serves the nation.
And when one writes that Donald Trump was (relatively speaking) the most rational on the stage tonight, you have some idea of just how fucked up the GOP really is.