Yesterday, I took the time to watch both the Fox Debates, both minor and major. It’s the first time I’ve watched FoxNews ever, I think.
The first debate was at 2PM. I was amazed and dismayed at the overall tone presented by Fox and it’s hosts toward their party’s candidates. Why was it necessary to stage it in such a way to maximize their ability to show they were playing to an empty arena? Why did they continually pan in on the hosts in such a way that they could show what few audience member there were either talking amongst themselves or texting to others? But most importantly, why prey (I use that misspelling purposefully) tell, did they ask such rude questions of “their” candidates as though they had no right to be there and they were imposing on the hosts.
In the second debate, that of their “major” candidates at 6 PM, the verbal assaults continued. Though different hosts for both debate sessions, the tone each team used in asking their questions was one of denigration of the participants on the stage. Why did they position the camera to ensure it showed Sen. Lindsey Graham standing on a box so he appeared taller? Why did the pan to Gov. Scott Walker everytime he did his boobble-head routine as Dr. Ben Carson was speaking? Grant you, I don’t believe that any of the Republican candidates are worthy of holding the office they’re seeking, but still, a modicum of civility should have been maintained.
Additionally, I thought most interesting was that no instructions were given to the audience to display no emotion, no yelling, no clapping and candidates were left trying to talk over the audience to make their points during the one minute allowed for their responses.
The 2nd debate started with a question immediately aimed at their number one candidate. Would he pledge to support whoever won the Republican nomination and not wage an independent run for the Presidency? Mr. Trump would not make that pledge. Other stabs at Mr. Trump included jabs about his four bankruptcies, his transition from pro-choice to pro-life, and his donations to the Clinton Foundation. The answer to the donation issues absolutely made the case for needing to do something about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and getting the money out of politics.
What I learned is that there are relatively NO policy differences between the 17 Republican candidates. It was like watching “group think” in practice. Each and every one of them want to “repeal and replace” anything and everything that has been enacted to pull our nation out of the ditch their Republican predecessors so abruptly put us in by the end of 2008. They want to repeal and replace the Dodd/Frank financial regulation, but not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with. They want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but again, not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with. Then, they all resoundingly declared they would roll back any and all environmental regulations aimed at mitigating ‘climate change’ and though no one used the phrase, it was clear their means to assure ‘energy independence’ really meant more ‘drill baby, drill’ anywhere and everywhere around the globe.
Every one of the debaters except former CEO Carly Fiorina loudly declared they’d quelch the Iran Deal and re-impose sanctions. Fiorina instead declared she would make two calls on day one, one to Israel’s Prime Minister BiBi Netanhayu and the second to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to let them know exactly where we stood as a nation. The rest were pretty much in favor of literally ripping it the agreement in front of TV cameras in the oval office on Day One. Not one of those ripper-uppers could explain how they’d get China, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and any other foreign governments that it would be prudent to scrap all joint diplomatic efforts made over the last two years negotiating with Iran only to go back. Additionally, none of them offered an any explanation as to how that might make the global community at large any safer from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Gov. Christy declared that we should raise the retirement age. Senator Lindsey Graham somehow managed to work into any question he was asked, that we should increase the number of troops in the ground in darn near every country in the middle east. So if you think America should dominate the world militarily, he’s definitely your guy. Former Senator Rick Santorum wants to send pink slips to >100,000 employees at the IRS and impose a flat 20% tax. He didn’t expand on that to indicate whether that would be assessed on those families who earn wages and whether it would also apply to those who merely earn dividends/interest from stock and other financial instruments. Former Gov. Huckabee also wanted a flat tax and declared he would go after prostitutes, pimps and drug pushers to make sure they paid their fair share (but interestingly, for a preacher, didn’t say he would prosecute them for such crimes).
As expected, and whenever possible, when stretched for an answer to the question, there was clearly some Hillary Clinton bashing. One of them went so far as to declare “at least Bernie Sanders has the decency to call himself a socialist.”
But the most disturbing declarations of the night were the number of candidates who not only want to totally defund planned parenthood, but who espouse ‘personhood’ … that once conceived, the rights of the fetus are paramount to those of the woman who’s carrying that fetus. Sen. Ted Cruz declared solemnly that on Day One, he would dispatch DOJ, IRS and any other governmental dept/agency he could to investigate and “persecute” (his word) Planned Parenthood. Sen. Marco Rubio went so far as to proudly declare that he would even outlaw abortion not just for incest, but when the life of the mother was in peril as well. That certainly puts women in their place across the nation doesn’t it. Apparently, we’ve been demoted to mere incubators for men’s seed. I hope women across this nation paid close attention during this debate and will pay even closer attention as further debates ensue. In the interim, here’s some information about where the candidates from both sides stand on women’s issues. Make sure you share it with your Republican lady friends:
A work-up for former Jim Gilmore is not yet available as he just recently joined the race, because, well you know, it looked like a good opportunity?