Republican Debate: Round 2

The republican debate aired last night on CNN. The debate set records for viewership on CNN with 23 million tuning in to hear what the candidates had to say. One of those 23 million viewers was me. I watched the whole debate from 6pm to 11:30pm. It was quite a show. The early debate offer just a preview of what was to come.

I only want to touch two of four candidates in the first debate. Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. I thought both men had a good debate. Pataki was the more of a surprise. The formerly disgraced governor of New York seem to come out strong. He was able to bounce back the attacks from the likes of Santorum and Jindal. Pataki was also more moderate in views and was able to soften the hard political rhetoric. I thought that he performed well. Lindsey Graham was thought to have won the first debate. I will say that Graham was able to use humor to his advantage, making many good one liners. He was also very aggressive pushing his hawkish foreign policy plan to put boots on the ground to fight ISIS. I felt like his push for boots on ground might not be as well received as many think. I feel the American is going to hesitate to send in troops without a good cause. However, all the candidates in both debates strongly push the idea that Obama’s foreign policy has made the US weaker. The American people are definitely weary of another war. The test for Graham will be to show that his plan would actually work and be worth the cost. Overall, the first debate was entertaining and interesting with only 4 candidates.

The second debate had a long list of candidates. A quick google search of the republic debate will give you winners, losers, and analysis of every candidate! I took the liberty of writing down some quick notes about what went on during the debate. In order to keep this blog post from becoming very long  and boring, I want to just list the candidates names (not all of them) and then put a few short points about their performance in the debate. After this list, I want to highlight some themes and similarities across each candidate.

Donald Trump- Held strong despite personal attacks on his background and business failures, Was passive aggressive, calmer than the first debate, still wasn’t specific enough in his plans for immigration and leadership in foreign policy, would write off social security for himself.

Rand Paul- A few good rebuttals especially at Trump, Bush, Christie. Made some quietly good points, Wasn’t aggressive enough.

Carly Fiorina- Took on Trump, overcame personal attacks especially for business failures, articulated her views quite well.

Jeb Bush- Not aggressive enough, his family history was used against him in foreign policy, bashes Hillary Clinton about guns, admitted to smoking marijuana.

Chris Christie-Against marijuana legalization, bashes Hillary Clinton

Ben Carson- Went against Trump, not aggressive enough, didn’t make impact but also didn’t lose anything.

Marco Rubio- strong points on gun control: criminals ignore laws. Not aggressive enough.

Ted Cruz: Too quiet and not aggressive enough.

The overall themes of the debate were mainly on foreign policy, immigration, supreme court justices, economics and gun control. On foreign policy, almost all the candidates are for boots on the ground to stop ISIS. They all are against the Iran deal. They all want to stand up to Russia and Valdmir Putin. These ideals are all great for rhetoric but they are in reality much tougher. I’m skeptical that an American army intervention will stop ISIS. The Iran deal should be fine as long as we retain the ability to reapply sanctions. Standing up to Russia is a bit harder because Putin is not afraid to play hardball. Any candidate faces many problems around the world.

On the topic of immigration, the conversation centered on birthright citizenship and whether or not it should be repealed. This means changing the 14th amendment. If you aren’t familiar with process of repealing an amendment to the constitution his a brief rundown. First, the senate and house of representatives must both pass another amendment to repeal the 14th. Each house needs 2/3 vote. Then if it is passed the amendment goes to states. The state legislatures have pass the amendment. If 2/3 of the states vote for the amendment it passes.  If not, then it goes back to congress. I personally feel repealing the 14th amendment has little chance to work. Neither will a wall as Trump wants. The immigration issue could remedied by an in and out system to keep track of who is here and who is not. Some of candidates endorse this. The problem with immigration will be the costs of it.

On the topic of economics and taxes, the strongest candidate was Rand Paul. He gave some very concrete numbers and logic on the way to fix the economy. The other candidates like Trump and Fiorina were just talk. They probably don’t have the understanding that some of the other career politicians have of government budgets. This is not to say that Trump or Fiorina can’t manage. However, most candidates in line with Rand agree that some kind of flat tax is the best. I think they are on the right track but its more than just taxes that need to be cut.

On the topic of supreme court justices, the conversation circled around the reappointment of Justice John Roberts Jr. The controversy among republicans is that he kept Obamacare as law and repeal marriage laws for gay marriage. I thought Obamacare should have repealed. However, gay marriage was a good call. I think that any justice will have a mixed bag of good and bad decisions. I think it was a moot point because new appointments always come up.

On the topic of gun control, the candidates disagreed on how to do gun control. Marco Rubio made a really good point on gun laws. He basically said that criminals ignore gun laws just like any other law. I believe that Rubio made an excellent point. Despite his otherwise weak performance, he is right that criminals ignore laws. I strongly support more background checks and mental health evaluations. I  think that banning guns will not work because banning drugs hasn’t worked, people still use heroin and cocaine. So its purely logical.

My last takeaway from this debate is that President Barack Obama came out relatively untouched. The candidates were obviously skeptical of Obama’s moves as president.  The person who was attacked the most by far was Hillary Clinton. Trump was also attacked a lot but he was able to deflect it. Hillary got slammed for her foreign policy, social issues and corruption. I can’t say I was surprised to hear her bashed so hard. Hillary hasn’t yet offered response except trolling Trump for slamming Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish. 

This debate certain set some records in entertainment value. It has set up an interesting political fight for the republican nominee. I am looking forward to the democratic debate as I anticipate Trump and GOP bashing. I love debates and cannot wait for more to happen.

Thank you for reading! More on political fallout from the debate!

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GOP Debate Preview: The lesser Candidates

Thus far on this blog I have covered the likes of Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The Republican debate field is huge. With more than 20 candidates the upcoming debate on September 16th will have to segments. The first will feature those candidates polling at least 1 percent. The second tier in prime time will the front-runners like Trump and rest of the field. With the exception of Rick Perry who dropped out yesterday. Here is the line up for all GOP debates. The Republican field could leave any voter indecisive. In this post I want to cover a little bit about three of the other candidates. Candidates that have been overshadowed in some way by Donald Trump. I have chosen candidates that I feel actually have a legitimate chance at making a run. All these candidates will be in the second tier debate.

The three candidates are Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. I personally don’t feel that any of these candidates would get my vote. However, it is still worth while to look at they offer compare to someone like Trump. The first candidate that I want to give a preview of is Ben Carson.

If you look at Ben Carson’s website it has two interesting pages. The first page is about Ben Carson and his life story. Dr. Carson is known as a retired neurosurgeon and well written author.  He first appeared in the 2014 midterm election. Dr. Carson now is running to be president 2016. The next interesting page on his website is about Dr. Carson’s political platform. Dr. Carson addresses many issues on page. Similar to other candidates he keeps most of the his take on issues very vague. Unfortunately there is not much detail. What I can gather by his vague outlines on each issue is that he is a run of the mill conservative. His views are in line with party principles. Dr. Carson could be a considered a moderate conservative because tends to play it safe. I think playing it safe with the issues can lead to people just over looking you. In my opinion, its nice that he is educated and charitable. However, if he wants to compete with Donald Trump; Dr. Carson needs to step up his game at the debate. The obvious thing would be to detail his views more, despite the quick time limits on speaking time. Dr. Carson if elected would be the second black president. Hopefully he can survive the storm that is frontrunner Trump.

The next candidate is Marco Rubio. A name made familiar by his run in Congress as a senator. Rubio has immigrant parents and could be appealing to a growing hispanic population. A population that will certainly have influence on future elections. You can read all about Rubio’s past here. His political platform is a page chalked full of articles on each issue. Unlike some of his opponents, he goes into some detail. I have to give him credit. In one of the issues, Student Loans, Rubio actually gives us a personal story about his experience. Here is a just a part of that story: (Or read it in full here)

“My first job paid well for a young attorney. I was making over $50,000, which was more than either of my parents had ever made. I thought I was rich. But I was living with my parents and paying them rent. I was trying to save for my wedding and hopefully to buy a house. And when the $1500 monthly bills for my loans started coming in, I realized I couldn’t pay them.”

Rubio wants to educate people about going college. According to his page, he offers statistics about how the job market for college graduates depends on what field you go into. But his main point is that students should know more about college and how to pick the right major and right college. In another issue on the page, Rubio has a very long speech on foreign policy. If I had to make a summary, it would probably be that Rubio wants to America to continue to be a world leader. He thinks that America should take a lead role in protecting the world and keeping our military strong. He cites many historical examples. His policy is very forward about establishing American power. Rubio is a typical conservative. His views have put him at the face of party at times. However, when looking at American policy from the past the establishing American dominance through military strength is outdated. Rubio is certainly a realist in that he thinks if America can out might everybody, we will always win. Unfortunately I have to disagree him. America already is the world’s most powerful military. Yet it still hasn’t been able to stop terrorists from forming groups and attacking. Now a days, Rubio might want to consider working with other countries even if they don’t necessarily agree with our democratic beliefs.

Rubio certainly makes for an interesting candidate. Once again though, I don’t know if he has the ammo to take on Trump. His detailed take on the issues could certainly help him stand out. In the debate he will also need to make sure his platform stands out from the rest. Standing out is definitely a common factor that all the candidates want to do.

The next candidate is Scott Walker of Wisconsin. He is currently the 45th governor of the state. Walker’s website features a brief story about him. Walker is  known for budget prowess and his war on labor unions. His site brags as much as it can about his record on budgets. My personal bias against Walker is that he has tried to cut teacher unions. I personally think that is a horrible thing to do. Teachers aren’t given any respect in this country. Walker isn’t making it any easier. One thing that seems to be missing from Walker’s site is a issues page. His page only has a news section which gives updated stories on Walker’s campaign. In my opinion, Walker does not have that stand out feature. Walker might be able to get us out of debt but I fear the consequences. Drastic change is good but only if the changes actually create a better America. If Walker can gain traction he might be able to swing some votes.* Of course, the national debt (Also on my home page)  is out of control, so I can’t disagree with him on the budget issues. Its more of how he will cut the budget. *Scott Walker has dropped out of the race as of 9/22.*

All of these candidates feature something for everyone. Each candidate must work defining their own niche within the political party that is the GOP. The debate will certainly be an interesting event. The main circus will be around frontrunner Trump. However, the other candidates will have to vie for attention and spotlight. Its not an easy thing to do. The debate will be on CNN at 6pm and 8pm.

Thanks for reading. Up next the Democratic Debate preview!

Jeb Bush, The GOP neighborhood villain.

Jeb Bush has a name that invokes the remembrance of two former presidents. Jeb’s father is George H.W Bush who was elected in 1989 after Ronald Reagan finished up his second term. Jeb’s brother is George W. Bush who was elected in the controversial 2000 election that featured a miss count in Florida. Jeb was the governor of Florida for 8 years being elected in 1999. The Bush family was wealthy because of oil coming out of the north-west of Texas. Jeb is now running for president in 2016. He might have one of the hardest roads to travel on the way to being elected. The legacy left behind by his father and more importantly his brother George W. Bush is something that may haunt him for all his political life.

George H.W Bush served under many presidents during the 1960s and 1970s and in the 1980s under Reagan. He was elected to president finally in 1989. In 1990, trouble arose in Iraq with Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait. The ensuing invasion was quick and the situation resolved. Bush also tried to help with domestic issues like education and the economy but a slight slump gave him no success.  Bush Sr. then lost in 1993 to President Bill Clinton. After the Clinton’s two terms it was then George W. Bush’s term.  Bush Jr. was elected in 2000. His presidency already marred by a voting miss count was then derailed completely by 9/11. The chain of events that followed have changed America forever. First, an invasion of Afghanistan to root out the Taliban in control of that country. Second, an invasion of Iraq because the weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Both of these wars turned into a hunt for Osama Bin Laden. On the home front, Bush passed many security measures for airports and citizens alike. The patriot act was one of the controversial acts that still brings controversy over personal freedoms and rights.

The Bush Jr. presidency ended with the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression. All of this recent history makes up the legacy of the Bush family. Jeb Bush has this history following him everywhere. I believe that his critics are not completely fair to him. His name might be Bush but that does not always mean he wants to be exactly like his father or brother. Jeb is a known conservative in political leaning. Unlike his front-runner opponent, Mr. Trump, Jeb has been in politics and always a staunch republican. One recent article headlines “Donald Trump Dominates as Jeb Bush implodes.” The headline could not be more accurate. I want to explore how Jeb Bush might overcome his legacy associated with his name. Jeb has the same problem as democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as I point out here, but Jeb has a problem much worse. So in the next few paragraphs I will take one or two events from past and apply them to now.

Jeb Bush is so often criticized because of family name and because of his politics. One of the areas that Jeb has struggled with is foreign policy. All you have to do is google some news articles about this. Most of the recent ones from August talk about his foreign policy speech. The particularly interesting ones are here, here and here. The articles show that Jeb used a revisionist history. They all agree that Jeb has a misguided and wrong of view of what really happened. He blames Clinton and Obama for the mistakes made in reality by his brother. In order for Bush to overcome his family legacy he needs to change his views on past foreign policy. I believe that Jeb needs to just admit that Obama and Clinton made mistakes and did the best they could. He has no need to make them the villains. Jeb Bush has the appeal to most GOP voters which will could be a winning percentage for any GOP endorsed candidate.  After stepping back from his attack on the current administration, then he should start slowly talking about how he plans to help the situation with both ISIS and the wars. I would imagine a typical republican foreign policy would be a strong naval presence in the middle east. This combined with a resolution to UN for a coalition would probably be widely accepted. Jeb would be smart to ask for the help of other countries because acting unilaterally is a mistake Bush Jr. made.

Jeb should learn from the mistakes that his family made in the past. The front runner Donald Trump has bashed Jeb for many reasons, especially his bi-lingual ability. Jeb needs to come back at Trump. Trump has so much bad history that I am surprised Jeb hasn’t come out more viciously. Jeb has an advantage over Trump in respect to hispanic voters because of his connection to them. Trump is the king of insults for calling out Jeb for speaking Spanish is just dumb along with all his other racist comments on Mexico.  The fact is that America is going be more hispanic than white in just 10 to 20 years. The President who is elected in 2016 will surely see that hispanics will the the majority of the vote. No wall is going to stop border hoppers. I believe that Jeb needs to use bi-lingual and pro-hispanic background to rally voters. Many hispanics are hardworking and would more than likely vote for him if he could just stand up to Trump.

With Trump’s massive media storm bashing Jeb and his family legacy, Jeb is down in the polls. I believe that he is focused on the democrats when really his true foe is Trump. I don’t think that Jeb will win the republican primary. Unfortunately, he is in too deep with the speeches and comments made thus far. Jeb Bush has become the GOP villain because of his own doing it seems. However, his critics will always make his family legacy an issue. Jeb should really try to distance himself. I think possible to do without being disrespectful. The facts will always be true. Mistakes happen. The voters will have to decide if Jeb Bush is different his past presidential family line or if Jeb Bush will just follow in the footsteps.

Thanks for reading! September 11th/ 14 year anniversary article coming soon. Continue reading

The News Media Party

If you don’t know who Donald Trump is by now, you clearly have been living underneath a rock. Trump is like a wrecking ball in a china shop. I remember last election cycle when he tried to run for president, he never gained the momentum that he has now. Mitt Romney surpassed him despite making comments about the 47 percent and other nonsense. The whole point is that Trump seemingly came on the political scene this election on fire. He has thought about making presidential and governor bids in the past too but none like this.

Donald J. Trump is a political flip flopper. He has been a liberal, independent and republican. He is an unconventional business man filing for bankruptcy four times. He is a gambler. He is a hot head and extremely famous world-wide. I never watched his show apprentice but I heard it was entertaining.  Trump’s political ambitions are admirable and probably meant to do good. However his rhetoric is off the wall and his strategy is totally foreign to any political race I have witnessed in my life.

What strikes me about Trump’s political success (dare I call it that?) is how he is the front-runner in a party that is broken in many ways. Despite being the least likely candidate to have success, he has made himself a legitimate threat. I disagree on nearly all his views. Being a libertarian with conservative economic views and liberal social views, I almost never take an extreme view. Trump isn’t winning any etiquette awards. Despite all of his extremism and crazy rhetoric he has managed to build a lead over any other republican candidate. Polls have winning 25 percent of vote or more. However, Trump is still losing to Bernie Sanders from Vermont. After the first debate, I decided to read some articles about why Trump was so popular. What I found is that people who were interviewed said that he could be trusted. They even went so far to say that he has a regular guy type of feel. The irony is that Trump was born with a sliver spoon in his mouth and is nowhere close to a blue-collar worker. I remember in one article, a person basically said they didn’t exactly think he would be the greatest president but they felt that he meant what he said.

Is Trump’s crazy rhetoric really roping in voters because they can relate to him? Unfortunately, I believe that the answer is yes. HIs rhetoric might be crazy but I guess it speaks to the average American voter. I personally don’t think we need a business man in office. The problem is that businesses make profits. The government needs to make equal. Unless Trump can fit into his platform the promise that our national debt will disappear because of his superior business acumen then I don’t know if it’s the best fit for a president. The point being that his platform is not what really has him in the lead.

I believe Trump has been able to cash in on a different type of vote machine. A machine that Obama tapped during his runs. The media has been hijacked by Trump.  Especially the News Media, you turn on any news channel and you can find Trump. Obama was able to use social media to his advantage and it worked to his credit.  Trump is using the news media. Its been almost an overnight transition for him too. Just a few months ago there was only speculation about Trump running. Then in June he announced. The first debate has come and gone. Now it seems he is being supported and ripped apart by the media. It doesn’t seem to matter either. Trump has taken the old saying “No publicity is bad publicity” to a new level. Its outrageous.

Trump says he is a republican, but he literally hijacked the republican party into the News Media party. Instead of staying in line and taking the usual GOP stance, Trump has turned it upside down. HIs exchange with Megyn Kelly literally made him more popular than ever before. The problem with Trump’s hijacked republican party and News Media party is that its corrupting what politics is really about. The issues that are stake are being missed because the news media has taken his antics as way to get ratings. The news channels like fox news, cnn and others are all giving Trump their support. This normally would not work for a traditional candidate. Usually If a republican candidate does something crazy, cnn and msnbc will all over it, making him or her pay the price in support. Not Trump, he can literally say or do anything with little consequence. I hope this is not a sign of the future. Its evidence of many things wrong in politics. I think the biggest thing is that money has corrupted the whole process.

When you consider that a candidate needs at least a billion dollars to fundraise a campaign and that the media can just pick the winner and loser by their coverage. It makes politics more scary than ever. If Trump is able to win the primaries and there’s a good chance that he will; it should be a very interesting race. Bernie Sanders is also building some huge momentum. I will have a post on Bernie sometime. Thanks for reading!