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Ten Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, debate at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX1NEGU

SUTTON: Talking Heads Failed. Here is a Correct Debate Analysis

Well, I sure am late to this party, but I’m stopping by anyway. Why? Because, with the exception of a few quiet spots around the web, almost no one has given an accurate post-analysis of this debate.

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First off, the winner of the debate. Just the debate, mind you. This isn’t an appraisal of policy or an endorsement, just who came out of this looking well. That honor goes to Ben Carson. Since so many are squawking about rising above the noise and vitriol with Trump out there, there it was in spades. He had poise and graciousness and his answers were very well spoken. Second place goes to Mike Huckabee. Now I am not, not, a Huckabee fan. I don’t even know what he’s doing here. He could be utterly destroyed simply by an opponent replaying the 1988 Bush campaign add about Dukakis and overdubbing Dukakis with Huckabee and Willie Horton with Maurice Clemmons. But he sounded on point Thursday night.

I know a few Rubio fans, a few more Walker fans, and a ton of Cruz fans. My general good feelings for them go up in the same order. But unfortunately none of them were particularly inspiring at the debate. There’s nothing wrong with them per se they just didn’t have memorable evenings.

This was, by far, the greatest moment of the evening, and surprisingly no one has talked about it. Yes, it’s a picture of my TV taken with my phone.

Chris Christie needs to be escorted to Guantanamo Bay. Jeb Bush needs to be forced into a capsule and launched into space. But wait a minute, where are his poll numbers coming from? Every retirement community in Florida? I’ve never met a single Jeb supporter. Not one. I’ve met people who would vote for him if he gets the nomination, but never one who wants to see him get it. Thankfully, albeit probably pointlessly because he’s the establishment darling, he had a lackluster evening.

John Kasich had a good showing, I guess, on his home turf. Also, who?

Rand Paul missed out on winning the debate due to his early jab at Trump, and that’s really a shame. Now, I don’t keep it a secret that I am a Paul supporter as much as I can be a supporter of any politician. But stay with me. He’s been particularly focused on taking down Trump and that’s understandable because he’s the substantive corollary to the righteous anger that fuels Trump’s popularity. He was far and above the most quotable of the debate.

When he said that ISIS rides around in a billion dollars worth of our military equipment that was the most succinct indictment of the GOP’s policies, particularly defense policy, of the entire night. We arm the enemies of the next decade during whichever current conflict we’re facing. He had to force the words, “Fourth Amendment,” out over Christie’s Superstorm Sandy sized gust of hot air. And if you think Christie was on the right side of that, screw you. You’re not my countryman. He loudly expressed his desire for big, intrusive government and his cockamamie belief in magical oversight fairies that keep big, intrusive government power from being abused. Also, he lied.

"How dare you tell me I'm hungry, for power."
“How dare you tell me I’m hungry, for power.”

By the way, Rand Paul said the most, with the most substance, when he had the least amount of time.

That leaves the main event. Trump vs. Fox. Because apparently that was his actual opponent Thursday night. I have never seen my Twitter feed split so completely down the middle before. It is truly a thing to behold. Know one thing first. I don’t care if the candidates are treated unfairly. Were America running as it should politicians would be the most expendable people on the planet. I believe in firing them for traffic violations, putting too much or too little cream in their coffee, and for putting toilet paper on the dispenser the wrong way. Do you know why America is screwed? Because political life doesn’t suck enough.

But here’s the truth about what happened. The fact is Megyn Kelly didn’t ask a tough question, she asked a loaded one. She hid it well, but you could see her old litigation skills coming out. She spoke for full effect just like she was playing to a jury, which she was. A tough but “fair” question would have asked about his comments without slowly and clearly listing off examples. Again, that’s fine. You know what’s also fine but every candidate is told, on pain of death, that it’s not? Saying, “That’s a frivolous question and I’m not going to answer it.” Nobody said they can’t be tough back.

Another thing, these moderators didn’t do a good job. they provided an adequate minefield for the candidates to traverse but they took over a third of the precious airtime. The idea is to paint him as a misogynist when the truth is he’s just not a nice person, which isn’t a prerequisite in and of itself for the office even though everyone seems to think it is. He’s not presidential, but we’ve been electing presidential for awhile now. How’s that working out? In terms of how he talks to women, Maureen Dowd has some interesting things to say on that.

Back in 1999, when he was flirting with a presidential run, I asked the ladies’ man how he would do with the women’s vote.

‘I might do badly,'” he said with a smile. “’They know me better than anybody else. Women are much tougher and more calculating than men. I relate better to women.’

There is so much wrong with Trump, but he’s a monster of the GOP’s own making. He embodies our general disgust with our supposed party (I actually haven’t been a republican since 2004). Democrat Santa Claus brings them what they want for Christmas. The same cannot be said for establishment GOP. They want to be democrats only with a big military. The GOP are like neglectful, disinterested parents. Now we’ve taken up with this new bad boy boyfriend and suddenly they’re worried. They’re telling us he’s trouble and we’re only going to end up with our hearts broken. And they’re probably right. The trouble is we’re not listening to them anymore and they’re not any better anyway.

There. The debate analysis that should have been. Be sure to add your thoughts below and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

About John Sutton

Married father of three. 5 C's. Particularly concerned with matters pertaining to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 10th Amendments.

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