~ former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett on the GOP complaints that debates are haaarrrdddd.
I've been pretty quiet as the crazy shit that is the GOP primary has swirled around us. I've been watching the train wreck of American politics with my jaw on the ground and a large bottle of alcohol, wondering how we have allowed stupid to become the norm. (thanks W!)
It seems that having to answer questions about policy, their campaign tactics, the truth of their statements and so on is really hard for the GOP presidential candidates. So they basically delivered a list of demands to the networks that wrap up to letting them have an infomercial without any questioning in a nice cool room with potty breaks for all. And if the network doesn't like it, they'll pick up their ball and go home.
Even Fox's Megyn Kelly asked if they'd like a foot massage to go with that. (Shhhhh, little lady. She must be bleeding from somewhere again today.)
They have pulled out of the NBC debate because CNBC was mean to them. I say good riddance.
If the GOP candidates can't handle a few unwelcome questions from the media in a controlled setting, how the hell do they expect to handle the media post-election? Because, hello. The media (and fellow politicians) have not exactly been kind to President Obama. In fact, here was Pres Obama's reaction, and it is spot on (re the debates, it starts at 5:00 in, but watch the whole thing):
"Every one of these candidates says, 'Obama's weak, Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out.' And then it turns out, they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators. If you can't handle those guys, I don't think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you."
I love that he is starting to fight back. I just wish he had done it 7 years ago. But now that he has literally zero fucks left to give, he's starting to tell it like it is.
He is spot on. If the GOP candidates can't handle the tough questions now, how will they like it when they are treated like they treat President Obama? I'm thinking they won't like it much.
Back to Bartlett's quote. The GOP candidates love seeing Hillary Clinton put on the spot for 11+ hours. In fact - the GOP loves it so much, they're gonna do it all over again (because if the outcome of 7 investigations that didn't turn out the way they wanted, maybe the 8th time's the charm). It's the "Repeal Obamacare" rule of politics. If at first you don't succeed, try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try again. For 60+ times. Maybe the 61st Benghazi committee will find something!
Love the party of "fiscal responsibility". Yeah, not really pleased about them wasting my tax dollars this way.
Moving on... what the hell is the matter with America that we think "I like his attitude" makes a person qualified to be president of the United States? How is it that we blindly accept "I'm gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, because WINNING!" and that is "good enough for me!".
Journalists also bear a large burden of the blame. They refuse to question and call out candidates' blatant lies. Their corporate owners are so afraid of losing GOP money and appearing left-leaning that they allow these folks to get away with anything. They report "Donald Trump said xyz", but they don't go on to say "and xyz is flat out bullshit and here's why."
Yet they seem to have no issue reporting negatively about Hillary Clinton (who has a last name, BTW). Interesting how she seems to be the main competition, she's a woman, and we have no issue making her look bad, and calling her only by her first name - minimizing her to the "little woman" role. Stop it. She is an amazingly accomplished woman. She is a gifted attorney, a former first lady, a former senator, a former Secretary of State. Treat her with respect. Or don't expect us to do the same for you.
And we have a nation of ignoramuses that thinks this is just grand. Because we don't want to educate our children. It might interfere with them being raptured. It might make them think for themselves, instead of blindly accepting what we tell them. I've spoken about this before - we are a nation that doesn't value critical thinking. We don't want anyone questioning our world view or forming a world view of their own. We are threatened by education.
And nothing makes that clearer than the field of GOP presidential candidates.