I’m not sure the latest Republican debate — held in Coral Gables and hosted by The Washington Post and CNN — did for the party what their power players wanted it to do.
Without a doubt, the debate was more civil…between the candidates. But if you’re an American who happens to be Muslim, or an immigrant this debate was far from civil to you. And that is really the heart of the matter; it’s what Republicans still to this day refuse to acknowledge — their policies are offensive to millions and millions of Americans. Does Donald Trump even realize how many Islamic Americans serve in the military? Do Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio realize the bitter, biting irony in the sons of two Hispanic immigrant families standing in the way of immigration reform?
The answers to both those questions seem to be a resounding, “Fuck no.”
How about Donald Trump telling the world if he becomes president that America will be in the torture business, but unlike even Darth Cheney Trump didn’t even bother feigning deference to international treaties and human rights laws.
Per HuffPo, here’s what Donald said about widening interrogation laws:
“We better expand our laws or we’re being a bunch of suckers and they are laughing at us,” he said. “They are laughing at us. Believe me.” (source)
It’s that kind of shit that makes me unable to simply wave-off Trump’s idiocy. Maybe he’s kidding. Maybe he’s trolling. But the fact that on live TV he’d tell everyone that we need to be more tortuous to suspected terrorists is beyond the pale of any joke I could make about it. What’s funny to me is that Republicans have carped for almost a decade about how Obama just does whatever he wants and disregards the Constitution, and here is their party’s frontrunner completely ignoring due process, the premier principle in our justice system.
But the Bewigged Bombastic Bastard of Bloated Bloviation didn’t just imply he has no human feelings for Muslims. He also made sure to be a dick about the abject racism and violence at his own campaign rallies.
And then he went on to say that some of the violence could, in fact, be justified. “We have some protestors who are bad dudes. They had done bad things. They are swinging. They are really dangerous,” said Trump. “We had a couple big strong powerful guys, doing damage to people. And if they’re going to be taken out, I’ll be honest. We have to run something.” (source)
Trump wasn’t the only one saying stuff that should make Americans’ skin crawl. Rubio trotted out the old “let’s privatize Medicare and raise the Social Security age” trope that got his party nowhere in 2012 because most Americans know exposing the extremely poor and sick to private health insurance markets isn’t good for costs or quality of service, and that forcing people to work later when we can just lift the cap on the Social Security tax is Ebeneezer Scrooge levels of apathy for the poor and elderly.
Ted Cruz, never wanting someone else to suck all the sociopath out of the room, made sure to just make vague threats against federal employees. And he also reminded everyone he’d build a wall just like Trump on the southern border and “triple the border patrol.” Then of course he made sure to insult Democrats’ compassion for immigrants, as well as generalize about them in the same breath.
CRUZ: The Democrats support illegal immigration because they view those illegal immigrants as potential voters and far too many of the Republicans are doing the bidding of Wall Street and the special interest and they view it as cheap labor. (source)
And if all that wasn’t scary enough, Republicans proved they’re selfish to the core when they all hemmed and hawed about climate change. Kasich was the only one that sounded remotely normal, saying we could balance pro-economy and pro-environment policies, reminding me that he can sounds so normal and logical until he starts talking about women not having control of their own uterine activities.
If the point of toning down the insults toward one another was to make themselves look more grown-up or civilized, I think they only succeeded in the most superficial ways. The reality is that Reince Priebus ultimately in an unwinnable situation. He either showcases his candidates — which are complete abortions of human beings — or he showcases his party’s policies…which scare normal people. So in the end, the debate probably didn’t do much except help people be okay with not voting for Republicans in the fall…unless they’re a Republican, in which case they were probably relieved to be hearing ugly policy ideas instead of hearing ugly insults slung at one another.
…and it’s your call which was better for their party, because I truly don’t know.