GOP debate was entertaining - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

GOP debate was entertaining

If you saw the CNN Republican Debate on Wednesday, then you saw a pile on of Donald Trump. Here’s what’s really wrong with this: I almost sound like I’m sticking up for The Donald. I’m not, just stating the obvious. It’s customary to see front-runners get hammered by the other candidates in debates — that’s how the front-runner knows he’s got the rest of the field sweating.

Senator Rand Paul had the only substance in the entire debate.

Senator Rand Paul had the only substance in the entire debate.

But the other candidates took time to slam one another, like when Senator Rand Paul took down Governor Jeb Bush for being a privileged white kid who skated away from a drug bust when smoking pot in high school. Paul spoke so eloquently on the hypocrisy and the damage of the so-called “War on Drugs,” I’ve included a big part of the text, although most of the bickering isn’t needed.

Rand Paul: “I think one of the great problems, and what the American people don’t like about politics, is hypocrisy, people who have one standard for others and not for them — for themselves. There’s at least one prominent example on the stage of someone who says they smoked pot in high school. And yet, the people who are going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren’t.

“I personally think that this is a crime for which the only victim is the individual. And I think that America has to take a different attitude. I’d like to see more rehabilitation and less incarceration. I’m a fan of the drug courts, which try to direct you back towards work and less time in jail.

Jeb! had nothing notable to say.

Jeb! had nothing notable to say.

“We say we like the 10th Amendment, until we start talking about this. I think the federal government has gone too far, I think the war on drugs has had a racial outcome. And really has damaged our inner cities.”

  • 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

And then Governor Bush — Jeb! — admitted he was that example Paul spoke of. “He was talking about me,” Jeb! said.

There was a little back-and-forth and Bush — Jeb! — said, “So, 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it. I’m sure that other people might have done it and may not want to say it in front of 25 million people. My mom’s not happy that I just did. That’s true.

“But here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. We have — we have a serious epidemic of drugs that goes way beyond marijuana. What goes on in Colorado, as far as I’m concerned, that should be a state decision. But if you look at the problem of drugs in this … in this society today, it’s a serious problem.

“Rand, you know this because you’re campaigning in New Hampshire, like all of us, and you see the epidemic of heroin, the overdoses of heroin that’s taking place. People’s families are, are being torn apart. It is appropriate for the government to play a consistent role to be able to provide more treatment, more prevention. We’re the state that has the most drug courts; across every circuit in … in Florida, there are drug courts to give people a second chance. That’s the best way to do this.”

To which Senator Paul said, “But let me respond. The thing is, is that in Florida, Governor Bush campaigned against medical marijuana. That means that a small child like Morgan Hintz that has 500 seizures a day, is failing on nontraditional medications, is not allowed to use cannabis oil, and that if they attempt to do that in Florida, they will take the child away, they will put the parents in jail. And that’s what that means. If you’re against allowing people to use medical marijuana, you’ll actually put them in jail.”

Jeb!: “No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong about this.”
Paul: “And actually, under the current circumstances, kids who had privilege, like you do, don’t go to jail, but the poor kids in our inner cities go to jail. I don’t think that’s fair, and I think that we need to acknowledge it. And it is hypocritical to still want to put poor people in jail, and yet …”
Jeb!: “I don’t want to put poor people in jail, Rand. And my — here’s the deal …”
Paul: “Well, you vote — you oppose medical marijuana. You’re opposed …”
Jeb!: “No, I did not oppose when the Legislature passed the bill to deal with that very issue. That’s the way to solve this problem. Medical marijuana on the ballot was opened up, it was a … there was a huge loophole, and it was the first step towards getting to a Colorado place. And as a citizen of Florida, I voted no.”

People say Carly Fiorina won the debate. Other people are asking why? Other than her take down of Trump, she really had nothing to say.

People say Carly Fiorina won the debate. Other people are asking why? Other than her take down of Trump, she really had nothing to say.

Oh Dear … You’re supposed to be the GOP’s front-runner, even though your poll numbers are too low to matter, and this punk senator from Kentucky just called you out for being a privileged kid who got away with something that puts far too many poor minority kids behind bars.

Donaldn Trmp called that exchange “Very entertaining,” and thanked Jeb! and Paul for it.

Carly Fiorina, the failed CEO, spoke about losing a child to drug addiction and that was her rationale for agreeing with Senator Paul. It was the only time in the 3-hour debate the candidates spoke about anything of substance. And at the start of the debate Trump said Rand Paul didn’t even belong on that stage.

The elephant in the room though was Donald Trump’s caustic remarks in Rolling Stone about Fiorina’s face. Jake Tapper gave Firoina a chance to respond. It was simply beautiful. She said, “I think women all over this country heard clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

Her team put out a TV ad that took Trump’s words and made it a rallying cry for Fiorina: “Ladies, look at this face. Look at all of your faces. The face of leadership.” “This is the face of a 61-year old woman and I am proud of every year and every wrinkle.”

BOO-YAH! In your face, Mr. Trump!

Trump gave Fiorina a campaign plank with which she can surf to the end of the campaign season.

The woman’s policies are absolutely bonkers and she flat out lied about the Planned Parenthood videos — linking Planned Parenthood to Iran — but none of that matters because The Donald not only insulted Carly Fiorina, he insulted every woman who thinks it’s time for a woman to be president.

Trump’s response during the debate was equally misogynistic. “I think she has a very beautiful face, and she’s a beautiful woman.”

What? Who me? Donald Trump

What? Who me? Donald Trump

Why not just apologize for the initial remarks? That’s not the Donald Trump way.

He did add this, a comment about her business experience: “I’ll just say this: she can’t run any of my companies.”

As some may recall she was unceremoniously dumped as CEO of Hewlett-Packard after she ran it into the ground, laying off more than 30,000 employees and shipping their jobs to China. When Fiorina ran against Senator Barbara Boxer in California the Boxer campaign had a great TV ad that spotlighted Fiorina saying it was a good thing to lay off all those American workers and send their jobs overseas.

As Fiorina gains in the polls we can expect to see more ads like that one.

Back to the front-runner.

When Jeb! attacked Trump for being friendly with the Clintons, he replied, “Jeb, I got along with Clinton, I got along with everybody. That was my job: to get along with people. I’m a businessman.”

Governor Scott Walker was supposed to be the GOP’s up and coming leader. Now he’s not even an after thought. Blame the unions.

Governor Scott Walker was supposed to be the GOP’s up and coming leader. Now he’s not even an after thought. Blame the unions.

When the two got into a heated exchange, Trump pointed at Bush and said, “More energy tonight. I like that.”

He really hammered Jeb!, linking him to his brother’s presidency. “Your brother’s administration gave us Barack Obama because it was such a disaster those last three months Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have been elected.”

That debate was mainly about taking Trump down a couple pegs, but it doesn’t look like that happened.

On Thursday Trump appeared at a townhall in New Hampshire and decided to take questions from the audience. The very first questioner wanted to know if Trump would finally get rid of all the Muslims in America, claiming the president was a Muslim as well. Trump’s answer was a resounding … “We’ll look into that and many other things.”

That was his response to nearly every question, although he did say his was 100 percent behind the Second Amendment. Why didn’t he correct the guy about President Obama and the silly notion of ISIS training camps in America? He doesn’t want to alienate his base and quite possibly Trump is hanging on to the birther thing and well, he agrees with the guy.

It would be a tragedy to leave out former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s one shining moment, when he went after Jake Tapper over the Kim Davis situation in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Governor Mike Huckabee says it’s the criminalization of Christianity ... okay, whatever — next.

Governor Mike Huckabee says it’s the criminalization of Christianity … okay, whatever — next.

“I haven’t got much time, so I’ll take what little I have here,” Huckabee said, explaining his view of judicial tyranny.

“We made accommodation to the Fort Hood shooter to let him grow a beard. We made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo, I’ve been to Gitmo and I’ve seen the accomodations we made to the Muslim detainees who killed Americans.

“You’re telling me that you cannot make an accommodation for an elected Democrat county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky? What else is it other than the criminalization of her faith and the exultation of the faith of everyone else who might be a Fort Hood shooter or a detainee at Gitmo.”

Tapper’s response: “I’m not telling you that governor.”

Now, go fade away into Fox News obscurity governor. Ted Nugent needs a friend.

The last thing about the debate: retired brain surgeon Ben Carson. Why he is number two in the polls defies any logical explanation. He really has nothing to say about anything of substance, especially foreign policy. The one time he mentioned the American military, he managed to insult the entire United States Marine Corps. He said, “… our Marine Corps is not ready to be deployed,”

You could hear a collective, “ahh … what?” from the thousands of Marines deployed or about to be deployed.

Dr. Ben Carson woke up just long enough to insult the entire U.S. Marine Corps.

Dr. Ben Carson woke up just long enough to insult the entire U.S. Marine Corps.

Luckily they have Twitter to set the doctor straight.

“[Dr. Carson] … insults thousands of Marines deployed around the world at this instant.”
“Think Carson just lost the Marine vote … Saying they aren’t ready. Ahhh, Marines are always ready.”
“I would like to hear Carson say our Marines are not ready to a platoon of Marines. Actually say it to just a fire team.”
#BenCarson just said that the #Marines are not ready to deploy. Ben Carson has clearly never met a United Stated Marine.”
“Dude. It just hit me that Ben Carson said the Marines aren’t ready to deploy??? Is he fucking serious?”

Honorable mention goes to Senator Marco Rubio for making a joke out of his water fiasco when he gave the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union.

Honorable mention goes to Senator Marco Rubio for making a joke out of his water fiasco when he gave the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union.

Yes he was. Some people think he was referring to Congressional testimony from the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Amos. His March 2014 report said, in one part: “Today, more than 60 percent of our non-deployed units are experiencing degraded readiness in their ability to execute core missions. Approximately 65 percent of non-deployed units have equipment shortfalls and 35 percent are experiencing personnel shortfalls necessitated by the effort to ensure that forward deployed units are 100 percent manned and equipped. The primary concern with out-of-balance readiness of our non- deployed operating forces is an increased risk in the timely response to unexpected crises or large-scale contingencies.

“The small size of the Marine Corps dictates that even non-deployed units must remain ready to respond at all times as they are often the nation’s go-to forces when unforeseen crises occur.”

That leaves roughly 70 percent of the Corps not only ready to be deployed, but actually deployed at this moment. In other words Dr. Carson: STFU.

As for the other candidates — does anyone care?

•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

The Hillary Clinton Campaign response to the debate.


About the author

Tim Forkes

Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality. Contact the author.
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