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The GOP Roast of President Obama

The first debate of 2016 featured more than the FDA-approved allotment of bug guts.

Another debate. It’s hard to say whether they are getting worse, or if I keep forgetting how bad they are. And that’s just the moderators. There are a lot of questions they fail to ask. For the candidates, as actual votes are looming so stiffer rhetorical medicine is called for as they scramble to actually place in Iowa and New Hampshire.

They claimed that the US military and security situation has deteriorated under Obama. If any of these candidates were elected, how long will it take them to make the US safe? Five years? Fifteen? Usually it would be important to indicate the severity of the problem. Have the candidates themselves told their families to run to the mountains? Have they bought extra insurance? How bad is it? Level with us, but do it in specifics, not vagueries.

The truth is, obviously, they don’t believe the situation is anything approaching what they claim. It’s just more pins to stick in their Obama voodoo doll, trying to win the election.

On the topic of ISIL, the candidates to a man pretend they represent a real threat to the USA. They simply do not. Could they inflict harm on some Americans? No more than we already do to ourselves with regularity. That’s just a fact, and most of those harms the Republican candidates either ignore outright, or worse, blame the president for trying to improve the situation.

Does that mean the USA should ignore ISIL? Nah. But we shouldn’t pretend we’re going to fight them because our lives depend upon it. Others’ lives depend upon our assistance in defusing ISIL, and it’s important we help to protect innocent lives. But by-and-large, Americans are not less safe because of ISIL.

The Republican candidates simply see another fear button, and they are leaning on it like a skinny kid trying to TILT a pinball machine.

Over and over, throughout the debate, the candidates fail to understand the specifics of law and history.

Chris Christie claimed the founders chose to place the Second Amendment in that position because of its import; in reality the Second Amendment was fourth as proposed. The first two proposed were not ratified, so third became first and fourth became second (the second proposed was ratified in 1992, and it is now the 27th Amendment). He also claimed that the election would kick the president out. Obama is term limited.

Marco Rubio opposed tariffs on the basis that the price is passed on to consumers. That’s actually the point, though. The tariffed good’s higher price implies that the good at its natural price would lack some necessary thing, either inspection or trade equity, whatever. The point of the tariff isn’t to make money off of the importation. It’s a basic economic signal.

The utility of tariffs is debatable, but pointing out a basic fact of tariffs, as though it were revelation, is just silly. As the tariff question lingered, the stated problem was retaliatory tariffs. Ted Cruz bothered to suggest that a change in the tax code would magically solve the problem. I seem to recall the Republicans not seeing a difference between a fine and a tax for Obamacare; why is a tax different than a tariff all of a sudden?

Anyway. Another counterproductive debate. For the candidates that get bumped soon, I hope they will realize they had more time to talk about issues, but they squandered it talking about Obama. If the Democrats win the election, I hope the party will realize that pissing on the president is not a winning strategy. But given they seemed to learn nothing in 2012, 2020 will be another rerun of clowns in a clowncar running for president.

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