Friday, January 15, 2016

The smell of fear

It's a stench, with this crowd.

With two weeks to go until the first contest of the 2016 presidential race, Republicans who fear their party has been hijacked by the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz found little to comfort them in the latest debate. 
Both candidates, one a billionaire developer with no political experience and the other a U.S. Senator from Texas with a reputation for clashing with his Washington D.C. colleagues, stood center stage Thursday night and, for the most part, dominated the proceedings. 
More mainstream hopefuls such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida were left nipping at their heels and squabbling among themselves.

Cut to the chase; third place and the 'moderate' mantle is between Rubio and Christie.

All of it left some Republicans worried that time to stop Trump, or Cruz from seizing the inside track on the nomination was evaporating and that the establishment candidates were doing little to slow either man’s momentum. 
“They are digging themselves a bit of a hole,” said Fergus Cullen, the former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “It’s entirely possible the final two candidates will be Trump and Cruz, and people like me will be despondent.” 
New Hampshire holds its primary about a week after Iowa’s and perhaps offers the best chance for a more moderate option to surface as a prime challenger. Iowa Republicans historically tend to favor more conservative candidates.

Yeah, what I said yesterday.

But in New Hampshire right now, “the mainstream Republicans are as splintered and scattered as ever,” Cullen said, leaving open the possibility that Trump could win that state as well. 
Indeed, there seemed to be some acknowledgement during the debate that only one more serious contender might emerge from the rest of the field. It had Christie and Rubio, both of whom hope to win New Hampshire, repeatedly locking horns. 
“They know what lane they’re in and who their (sic) fighting,” said Chip Felkel, a Republican strategist in South Carolina, which also holds primary next month. “It’s Trump and Cruz, and the other four jockeying for some momentum.”

Cruz projects the confidence of a used car salesman reeling in a rube with a dollar bill on the end of a fishing line (yes, a Kurt Russell reference.  He's a hardcore Libertarian, doncha know).

“More and more, this is coming down to a two-man race. The polling, the support, it is more and more looking like it is Donald Trump and me,” Cruz said in an interview on the Fox Business Network after the debate. 
“We have the resources to go the distance. And one of the things we’re seeing, more and more people are coming behind us saying, listen, you guys are the only campaign that can beat Donald Trump,” he added.

I'm going to leave the play-by-play to others and just link to the fact-checking.  This Tweet speaks for me.

Wish I had listened to them.


Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

This is totally OT and need not be published on its own, but shouldn't you be covering the Flint, Michigan, lead poisoning story, which is the ultimate example of Republican economics. If you have missed it so far, Google "Flint Water Crisis" or the like, or check out Rachel Maddow's series of reports. (She was covering it when no one else outside of Michigan was.) Also check out a Skeptical Blog -- part of Science Blogs -- called RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE for solid scientific background on the story. "Orac" is Dr. David Gorski, a prominent clinical and teaching oncologist who has been blogging on quackery, Holocaust Denial, and other subjects since the pre-blog days when people actually wrote for the letter collations which were all that was available. He also calls -- or called -- himself both a 'moderate Republican' -- I doubt if he still does -- and the most conservative of the Skeptical Bloggers, but he's always been honest and extremely reliable.
This is the ultimate example of Republican economics and the deadly consequences it entails. MAYBE it will stop the Democratic intra-party squabbling from getting any worse. We have two good candidates. I'm a Hillary supporter because I just don't believe Bernie can get elected, and because I think Bernie is too much of an economic reductionist, but if he's thee nominee I'll do everything to fight for him, and I know 99% of the Bernie supporters will be behind Hillary in the end, with only a few "Barnberners" left once they see the alternative is Cruz. (Actually, O'Malley might be as good, but even if he's a new John Edwards, he still is better than any Republican -- and my own top choices, Gillibrand, Warren, Klobuchar and Merkley, didn't choose to run.)

PDiddie said...

I appreciate the blogging suggestion, Prup, and the Flint environmental crisis is national and political news. To this point I have Tweeted a bit and posted a toon in today's Funnies about it. There's a lot of ground to cover in a presidential election year and with our Texas Republicans setting new records in hideousness. I'll make time for a post if Rick Snyder gets more heat than a Michael Moore petition (and I have signed that, and admire Moore's efforts across the board).