-Off we go then. First impressions and introductions: the guy selling red ties in the parking lot must have made a killing. Weird camera angle on Jake Tapper. Huckabee calls his group the “A-Team”…it’s another group with only one minority, of which none could connect on a shot to save their life. Ted Cruz remembers his family fleeing “oppression” to come to America. He was born in Calgary. Carly Fiorina says her story “from secretary to CEO” is only possible in this nation. Because only America has female CEOs. Kasich is trying so hard to act like a human it’s kinda sweet.
-Opening bell. “Carly Fiorina, would you feel comfortable with Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear button?” She plays cool, and Tapper begs her to attack him. DAMMIT Carly, we changed the rules to get into the debate so you would play attack dog! If you’re not gonna attack him, what’s the point of you being here?
Donald Trump (peace be upon him), seizes the opportunity to declare that Rand Paul has no business being on stage, and 11 debaters is too many anyway. Rand Paul calls Trump “sophomoric” and “in junior high”, and Trump proves him right by slyly attacking Rand Paul’s looks. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is trying so hard to pretend Donald Trump isn’t on stage with him. Chris Christie says he can fix this country, and offers as proof over 400 vetoes of legislation as governor.
Jeb gets into it with Donald about how much Jeb’s donors control him, and eventually wins the contest over who talk the most over the other. Then Ben Carson comes along, and speaks in his slow, kindly way that makes him look like FDR next to PT Barnum and Herbert Hoover (though he always looks to me like a nearsighted guy who keeps trying to get by without his glasses.)
On foreign policy, Donald Trump says that he would get along with Putin, (better than with Jeb, I guess). And Trump then promises a foreign policy that he developed through the intense study of several games of Risk. Rubio ripostes that Obama sucks when dealing with Putin. Me, I find myself wondering if Rubio has working salivary glands. Ted Cruz brags about beating the United Nations in world court while Texas’s lawyer, though I don’t know if the UN appealed to Galactic Court. Huckabee’s foreign policy is to really not like Iran.
Kasich sounds somewhat reasonable on foreign policy, as does Rand Paul. Rand Paul is peddling nuance at this debate, which is about as smart as selling pork chops at a seder. Ted Cruz presents his foreign policy bona fides — he pronounces Ayatollah Khamanei’s name all foreigny — and brings it home by describing an editorial cartoon about John Kerry. Kasich speaks for unity with our allies.
On Planned Parenthood, Carly Fiorina is going to threaten Iran. I think? Oh wait…Carly Fiorina is going to make Hillary Clinton watch a video. But the passion, oh the passion! Jeb, Christie, and the rest brag about what they did, but in a sleepy kinda way. Trump has coolly moved the discussion from Planned Parenthood to North Korea. Jeb increasingly sounds like the unemployed guy who knows how to do your job better than you.
Jake Tapper asks again for Carly to attack Donald. She says “women all over this country hear what Mr. Trump said”. Score.
-Immigration. Dr. Carson gives a disquisition about how to build an effective border fence. Jeb demands an apology from Trump about talking about his wife, and drops it immediately. He was really mad for a second. Trump: “Speak English in America”, Jeb: “It’s respectful to speak Spanish in response to a question in Spanish”. Equal applause for both statements. Dr. Carson proposes a gastarbeiter program for illegal immigrants. Strong applause for border fences.
Ask Carly Fiorina, press start on the recorder, receive response. Ask Trump a question, put on safety goggles, receive response. Chris Christie tells ’em both to “stop playing the games…the fact is we don’t want to hear about your careers…you know who’s not successful? The middle class in this country…stop this childish back and forth between the two of you.” Meanwhile, the guy sitting at second in the polls is virtually ignored…and his fiscal policy is “all about America” and progressive taxation is socialism.
….and that’s it for me. I can’t hang in there any longer. This is exhausting. Sorry folks!