Seems like Jeb Bush finally got a win, thanks partly to Trump absence…

January 29, 2016

I know it serves no real purpose to just follow the horse race and ignore the issues but all I really can say after the Fox News Republican presidential candidate debate that just ended (Thursday night), is that I would score Jeb Bush as the winner by virtue of sound answers and the fact he did not have the distraction of Donald Trump, who apparently strategically boycotted the event because of his lack of debating prowess — he just says he is great and calls people names.

(The presidential primary season officially gets under way Monday with delegates chosen in the Iowa Caucus.)

I think Trump’s absence resulted in an almost donnybrook at one point with several of the seven candidates on stage trading jabs, accusing each other of inconsistencies, particularly on immigration votes. It seems none of them can figure out how to fix the immigration problem without alienating (pardon the almost pun) some of their constituents or interest groups.

While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie often comes across as abrasive (even to his own constituents at times), he gave a good presentation and was even-tempered but strident.

It was hard for me to see how anyone could be attracted to Ted Cruz. And I never find Marco Rubio impressive.

And while I know the Republicans have to say what they have to say in order to win elections I just don’t buy the line that President Obama is such a terrible person or that he has ruined our country.

I do believe he seems incapable of handling the terror threat or at least is for some strange reason downplaying it, and I don’t see him as particularly strong on foreign policy.

But just what is this supposed catastrophe with Obamacare? If there are problems with the Affordable Care Act (probably misnamed, I admit), it may be more from Republican obstructionism, such as GOP state governors refusing to take part, than anything else. The idea of scrapping it now and putting our whole health care system into turmoil is ludicrous. Improvements can always be made, but we have to have something.

I actually think the GOP propaganda machine has convinced unknowledgeable people (which pretty well describes most of the public on matters of public policy) that Obamacare is a disaster. I’m not seeing the evidence. A lot of problems ascribed to it have their source elsewhere no doubt (even if the line “if you like your current plan you can keep it” was disingenuous).

As I always say, had it been me, I would have preferred we simply provided coverage for those unable to get insurance (expanded Medicare) and left it at that. But you have to admit, a law that excludes you from being turned down because of pre-existing conditions and covers adult children can’t be all bad.

But back to Jeb, I thought he came across as the most palatable alternative to the eventual Democratic nominee (and a pleasant and intelligent and fair-minded person) if that is what you are looking for.

I don’t know his legislative history well as Florida governor as he used to be, but although he campaigns as a conservative, I suspect he tends to be more center right. At one point during the debate he was explaining a compromise he made in some legislation and said he was facing opposition from some circles because a provision was not “conservative enough” (he almost rolled his eyes at this).

Bush faces the obstacle of having had a father and a brother who have already been presidents and the idea people have “Bush fatigue”.

And why is that Dr. Ben Carson even is part of this? He is out of his element. Was he just bored with retirement?

Well last time I picked a debate winner as I recall all the other reports seemed to disagree with me. I have not looked at any since the debate ended. I’ll post this before I do.

(Okay I posted this now, but then took a peek at other reports or columns, well at least one said Jeb had a “good night”.)

It would seem strange if the Republicans lost this election come November what with the fact that it is hard for one party to hold on to the White House after holding it for two terms. Also, with the threat of terror and a president who downplays it, and with the economy seeming as if might be stalling, it is only natural for voters to give the other side a chance once again.

However, times are changing. Younger voters may make a difference or I have read that people who have not been involved before are fed up enough to bother to vote, but it is uncertain for whom they might vote.

Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side might make socialism acceptable or people not steeped in politics might just ignore ideological labels and vote on issues or just vote for a for a change or for a dictator to solve their problems and absolve them of responsibility.

Some pundits are writing about a populist movement both from the political right and left. Historically populism was thought to be a phenomenon of the left.

The “establishment” comes under fire each presidential election and then continues on its merry way.

Outsiders don’t stand much of a chance; remember Jimmy Carter?