I’m going to say Donald Trump actually made some good points in his sometimes simplistic, sometimes crude way, and using his broken syntax, but he was apparently before a hostile crowd — were there planted hecklers or is this just South Carolina?
But I think overall he was marginalized for once in a television Republican primary debate in that state Saturday evening, sponsored by CBS.
The bully Trump’s usual whipping boy came out on top, besting is tormentor, at least I thought so. That is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who calmly (for the most part) but at the same time forcefully defended himself and his family against insults from Trump who seemed a little too off the rails at times (even for Trump I thought). Maybe mother Bush told her son to man up. Maybe brother W suggested he get a little swagger, but I’m not sure he is into that.
Well, Bush did get a little spirited a couple of times and it looked like a school yard fight. There was also a few dust ups between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio concerning who was for or against amnesty for undocumented aliens, with both accusing each other of misrepresenting the other’s positions.
I’ll just interject here. Controlling illegal workers coming across the border is a hot issue because some people see them as competition for jobs (and fear them as a crime source) and others see them as cheaper labor and a way of keeping the American workforce at bay. Also many of us have compassion. Of course there are special visas for workers, also useful for keeping our workforce at bay.
Actually, Ohio Governor John Kasich, runner-up in New Hampshire to Trump, came off well.
I took a lot of notes but I have to work Sunday but mostly what I can say is that Bush sounds like someone a moderate could live with and maybe even enjoy. Kasich sounds like a wise man. Rubio sounds like an upstart not quite ready for prime time. He gets a little wound up with righteous indignation on the subjects of God, one woman one man, abortion and so on — but it seems a little scripted at times. And didn’t Mike Huckabee try that? You see where he is. Out of the race for president.
Cruz and Rubio are literal interpretation fans — the Bible, the Constitution.
And Rubio stated flat out: “the Constitution is not a living and breathing document” subject to change. I will just say there has to be limits but to suggest that society today lives by the same norms and lifestyle of the 18th Century seems at odds with reality.
Dr. Ben Carson was as always over his head on public policy issues. The hands of a surgeon do not necessarily equate to politics or even actual leadership on public policy issues.
Trump does make a good appeal to working people losing their jobs to foreign competition — the news today that Carrier, maker of refrigeration equipment, is moving production to Mexico and putting thousands of workers out of a job. And he appeals to fears about our lackluster response against ISIS. But somehow the man seems unhinged at times and not so well versed in language or foreign policy or public policy issues. He also comes across in his pubic statements out on the hustings and on Twitter as a racist and he has a history of poor behavior toward women.
I’m beginning to see the possibility of Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton and I think that would be close. I could see Kasich as a VP pick, if he would accept it.
We’ll see what the polling reaction and pundit reaction is, but I think Jeb might have finally found himself and has decided to be in the race.
Of course a big story for today was the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was the leading conservative on the high court and now President Obama has the opportunity to choose someone who would be more liberal or progressive but will face strong opposition from the GOP-controlled senate. To a man, the candidates rather self-servingly called for Obama to let the next president choose. But what if it is Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? They are taking a chance, especially if it were Sanders.
While most of the candidates said it would be wrong for the president to appoint another justice during an election, at least Trump admitted flat-out that if he were president he would but also said he would rather the appointment be delayed. Obama has indeed announced that he will in due course make a selection for a nominee to fill the late Scalia’s spot.
Oh, Jeb was trying to portray Trump as a liberal for his past positions. Trump’s basic response was one grows older, circumstances change, you have to be flexible. That is hard to argue with.