Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fifth republican presidential debate

Liveblogging transcript from the fifth GOP debate follows.

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Trump's perpetual extemporaneity is an impressive attribute, one that vanishingly few politicians are able to pull off. But there are times even he should commit 30 seconds or so to memory beforehand. His closing statements--which are always opportunities for people to freewheel without having to respond to a specific question or comment--aren't as polished as they could be.

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Rand Paul makes the commonsense remark that military spending is, in fact, government spending. It's a huge reason our national debt is in the tens of trillions of dollars.

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Trump stays on the "walls-works-just-ask-Israel" point. The neocons continue to squirm. Genius.

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Rubio remains the Amnesty King. Apparently everyone he knows are immigrants, including his entire family and his wife's entire family, so I guess it's no surprise as to who he cares about most.

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Trump to Bush: I'm at 42%, you're at 3%. You keep moving farther and farther out from the center. Before long you'll be off the stage altogether.

Can't happen soon enough.

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Come on Wolf, make Christie explain why it is "reckless" to allow Russia to assert its interests in Crimea? What the hell does that have to do with the US?

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Fiorina wants to reignite it, too. Ditto the snowball remark.

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Kasich wants to reignite the Cold War. Good thing he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

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Sane foreign policy: Trump, Cruz, Paul, Carson

Insane foreign policy: Kasich, Bush, Fiorina, Rubio, Christie

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John Kasich, who supported the Iraq War, says we need to topple Assad's Alawite regime so Iran doesn't become stronger.

Nothing has made Iran stronger than the US war in Iraq has.

To repeat, Kasich is a caricature of everything that is wrong with the contemporary Republican party.

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Rubio wanted Qaddafi to fall. The blood of the European refugee crisis and the dispossession of the old continent is on his hands.

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Cruz said that toppling Saddam, Qaddafi, and Mubarak were bad ideas?! How'd I miss that?

He needs to be Trump's VP.

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Carson is an honorary Bush tonight: If we don't fight them there, we'll be fighting them here!

No, if we don't let them in here, we won't be fighting them here, period.

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Paul and Trump are the only two who realize that Assad is, relatively speaking (very relatively speaking!), the good guy in the Syrian civil war.

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Rand Paul, the constitution says nothing about how the US has to deal with declared enemies. He must've gotten it confused with the Geneva Conventions. The constitution should be taken seriously. The Geneva Conventions, on the other hand, are at most merely suggestive.

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Asymmetrical warfare is the only way jihadis have a chance. Make it symmetrical and they are finished. Trump gets that, Bush wants more and more and more and more of the same.

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Cruz is only partially right. No, the FBI won't pay attention to a self-identified jihadist from Saudi Arabia who was granted a visa to stay in the US a year ago, but it will pay extra attention to a self-reliant white guy who thinks the 2nd amendment is worth preserving.

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Bush: Islam is a religion of peace.

Which Bush, you ask? All of them.

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Chris Christie makes a reference to medieval scholasticism. Who says American politics are uniformly low-brow?

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When Rand Paul is attacking you from the restrictionist side of the immigration debate, you know you are the amnesty king. Rubio is the worst

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Cruz wants to restrict immigration and restrict the capabilities of the NSA to snoop on American's phone calls. Rubio wants open immigration and an all-powerful NSA. At least we see the contrast--open borders necessitates all kinds of Big Brother programs to monitor the problems those open borders create.

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ISIS never comes into existence without the US-led regime changes in Iraq and Syria. Most of the Republican lineup is apparently incapable of learning anything from the past.

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Rubio notes that one of the California shooters was an American citizen, second generation. That's exactly why immigration is so crucial to the National Question. Large numbers of people living in the US who are of non-European descent do not assimilate to liberal American norms, even several generations in. If it were only immigrants who caused problems, we wouldn't have near the immigration problem that we do. It runs so much deeper than the political class (sans Trump) is willing to acknowledge.

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Bush: We can't invade the world unless we also invite the world. We have to let them come here while we fight them there. That's the only way they won't cause problems here.

Airtight logic. Bush wants to continue where his brother left off. Heaven help us.

5 comments:

IHTG said...

John Kasich, who supported the Iraq War, says we need to topple Assad's Alawite regime so Iran doesn't become stronger.

Nothing has made Iran stronger than the US war in Iraq has.


That doesn't follow, though. The US war in Iraq did that because Iraq was majority Shiite so when majority rule asserted itself, the Iranians had an in.

The Syrian and Iraqi civil wars could have been an opportunity to repair the errors of Saddam's toppling, by finding and empowering a new American-friendly Saddam, who would assert authority over both Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. Instead, the only man who rose to the occasion was al-Baghdadi. That tells us something about contemporary Sunni Arabs, but who can say that it was inevitable.

Audacious Epigone said...

Right, the point was to emphasize Kasich's poor judgment in the past, especially regarding Iran. He made the comment in response to either Trump or Paul, I forget who, saying that toppling Middle Eastern dictators has been a bad thing. I think it was Paul who drew Kasich's ire by saying specifically that the US should not try to overthrow Assad.

Anonymous said...

3 or 4 of the bought and paid for establishment candidates had the same line: topple Assad, get tough with Russia, set up a showdown with Iran.

So that begs the question, who, which big GOP donors want war with Russia and Iran? And since the answer is obviously jewish neocon donors, how does America at war with Russia and Iran benefit Israel? I can't connect the dots, honestly.

More importantly it speaks to the tone-deafness of the donor class: This is an unelectable position. You simply can't win a general election by saying you'll shoot down Russian planes. Hillary will play that on a loop, splice in a clip of you laughing, make it look like you're laughing about WWIII, and boom, she wins in a walk.

So are these people really that god damn stupid?

Anonymous said...

Defense is 19% of the budget. Either Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid cost more-and ACA means medical spending will be going up.

However if you want to cut defense further-and it's only ever Defense that gets cut- then tear up the treaties. No one points that out. They want Empire or at least Hegemony w/o the cost. Tear up the treaties first as that's a credible position.

vxxc

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

Israel wants the US to kick the crap out of Iran. Is that too simple an explanation? I'm not trying to be flippant or condescending, I really don't know.

VXXC,

One of these dopey moderators needs to ask a question along the lines of "if Russia engages militarily with Turkey, do you support the US coming to Turkey's defense as NATO would seem to require?"

Rand Paul might actually flirt with your point in response.