GOP heading for crisis?

The Republican primary took a major lurch yesterday, with the party looking in disarray due to to increasing support of Donald Trump.

First the Republican presidential candidate from 2012, Mitt Romney, launched a blistering attack on Trump, and Trump attacked back.

Then Fox news ran a two hour candidate debate that did little but highlight dysfunction in the party.

Washington Post had a few critical articles on it.

Ferocious sparring as Trump goes on the defensive
Hours after Mitt Romney delivered a point-by-point indictment of Donald Trump, the billionaire’s three rivals took up similar attacks at a debate in which the ferocious sparring and name-calling revolved almost entirely around the front-runner.

Fox News moderator schools Trump on Trump U., and his contradictions
Megyn Kelly leaves the GOP front-runner sputtering to defend himself at debate.

For the Republicans, a not so grand old party
The 11th debate of the Republican campaign tested the patience of viewers. It was tedious and repetitious. No new information was imparted, no truly new arguments advanced. Even the insults were tiresome.

One clear loser in Thursday’s debate: the Grand Old Party
It’s highly questionable whether anyone emerged as the winner in Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit, though the candidates’ spinmeisters would all quibble with that. There was one clear loser: the Grand Old Party.

And Chris Cillizza picks Winners and losers from the 11th Republican presidential debate

Winners

* Ted Cruz: The Texas senator picked a nice moment to have his best debate of the primary season…Cruz also benefited from the fact that Trump and Marco Rubio went after each other hammer and tongs for the first hour of the debate, a brawl that allowed him to look like he was above the fray and magnanimous.

* John Kasich: The narrowing of the presidential field quite clearly helped the Ohio governor on Thursday night. Sure, it often felt as if he was participating in an entirely different debate than the other three candidates. But, when he got a chance to talk, Kasich’s uplifting and positive message made for a welcome relief from the name-calling, interrupting and general rudeness that dominated most of the conversation on stage in Detroit.  Did he do enough to boost him into the top tier? No. But that simply isn’t possible for Kasich, given the delegate math. Still, he deserves credit for putting his best foot forward.

Best doesn’t seem to equal results in this contest.

Losers

* Donald Trump: Trump totally dominated the debate in terms of speaking time and the broader conversation. There were times where it felt more like an interview with Trump than a debate with three candidates not named Trump on stage. As is usually the case with Trump in a debate setting, the more he talks, the less positive the outcome is for him.

From a more substantive perspective, Trump took real body blows — especially from Cruz — regarding Trump University and the comments he made in an off-the-record session with the New York Times. Trump, as he has in nearly every debate, showed a wafer-thin understanding of policy and, when pressed about that lack of knowledge, reverted to name-calling.

His behaviour, and lack of solid policies (and a few frightening policy ideas), hasn’t hurt him yet but it may make it hard to get over the primary line let alone into the presidency.

* Marco Rubio: The Florida senator seemed to have resigned himself to a kamikaze mission against Trump during this debate. He jabbed at and with Trump over and over again in the debate’s first 60 minutes, turning every question — and answer — into an attack on Trump. It hurt Trump but hurt Rubio, too, as he struggled to get back to his more positive “new American century” message.

It’s hard to see how this debate changes the dynamic set in place on Tuesday night: Trump as the favorite, Cruz with the next best chance of being the nominee, Rubio as Trump spoiler.

Has Rubio deliberately set himself as the Trump killer knowing it rules him out of contention, taking one for the GOP team?

* The Republican Party: The first hour of the debate was an absolute disaster for Republicans hoping to rebrand their party heading into the 2016 general election. It looked more like a high school cafeteria food fight than an even semi-serious conversation about issues.

There’s another loser that Cillizza didn’t mention – US democracy.

The beacon of hope on the fool is looking more and more like the fools on the hill.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  5th March 2016

    Political arrogance is coming home to roost. It would have happened to the Democrat Party even earlier if they were remotely honest but they are not so their day under the spot light is still to come.

    Reply
    • Gotta basically agree with you again Brown. 🙂 This is becoming a habit. :-/

      If people don’t adapt things as they go along, e.g, it costing 1 billion dollars to run a Presidential campaign, the lies and dirt inherent in present day politics, its lack of real, improved, modernised ‘democracy’, its inability to solve problems et al ad infinitum, then change comes about due to the crisis that inevitably develops.

      Reply
  2. “[Trump] hasn’t been through the initiation rites, he didn’t wander the secret society ” ~ Newt Gingrich

    [video src="http://82.221.129.208/trumpnotsecretsociety.mp4" /]

    Reply
    • @ UT – You’re kidding me, right? I can’t make that link work. Was this said in the O’Reilly interview?

      I suspect it’s probably true? Government – possibly including local government to some extent – is largely run or “controlled” by a kind of global secret society, which I sometimes refer to as “The Lodge”? Amongst other things it’s a variegated Church of some kind.

      The Papal-Illuminati-Zionist-Military-Industrial-Intelligence conspiracy theory is the ultimate “upper or zenith” expression of it, almost certainly wildly over-exaggerated but containing kernels of truth? The ideas of unequal power and intelligence in human activity, e.g. “leadership”, naturally leads to the idea of human’s with the power to do so intelligently intervening, leading, though not necessarily for the common good?

      The difficulty I have is believing Trump is for “the common good”? Perhaps he is by comparison to the ‘initiated’?

      I think one of the objectives of initiation, like basic military training, is to remove the ‘heart’ from people’s cognisance and interactions? To separate the emotellect into emotion and intellect and completely suppress the former? Defy your human nature, run towards the enemy’s fire, rather than away from it …?

      Gingrich may be refering to these sorts of “initiation rites” which apparently occur at American universities which are expected to produce the nation’s legislators, judiciary, military and industrial leaders and high level government administrators? These are ‘secret society-like’ rites apparently?

      Reply
      • “You’re kidding me, right?”

        No, it’s an actual quote from Gingrich about Trump when Gingrich was being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly.

        “I can’t make that link work.”

        Heh. The owner of the site would probably say it was part of the conspiracy of silence. But maybe your browser can’t cope with mp4 videos? The link works fine for me.

        “Was this said in the O’Reilly interview?”

        Yes, around the 0:55 mark.

        “Amongst other things it’s a variegated Church of some kind.”

        Mystery Babylon, from the book of Revelation.

        “The difficulty I have is believing Trump is for “the common good”? Perhaps he is by comparison to the ‘initiated’? ”

        Fair comment. A shit sandwich that isn’t a member of P. J. O’Rourke’s parliament of whores.

        “To separate the emotellect into emotion and intellect and completely suppress the former?”

        In some cultures the heart is the seat of the intellect as well as the seat of the emotions, but theses cultures have little in common with humanist philosophies.

        “These are ‘secret society-like’ rites apparently?”

        Bush & Kerry didn’t have much to say about it…

        Reply
  3. kiwi guy

     /  5th March 2016

    Trump has been dismissed and trash talked since day 1 by the GOP Establishment and media whores like that Kelly creature.

    Trump has demolished them all.

    The relentless, blatant beat ups by the Right and Left media against Trump only gets him more support.

    Reply
  4. kiwi guy

     /  5th March 2016

    ” Donald Trump “appeals to racism.

    “[F]rom the beginning … his campaign has profited from voter prejudice and hatred” and represents an “authoritarian assault upon democracy.”

    If Speaker Paul Ryan wishes to be “on the right side of history … he must condemn Mr. Trump clearly and comprehensively. The same goes for every other Republican leader.”

    “Maybe that would split the (Republican) party,” but, “No job is worth the moral stain that would come from embracing (Trump). No party is worth saving at the expense of the country.”

    If Republican leaders wish to be regarded as moral, every one of them must renounce Trump, even if it means destroying their party.”

    Who has laid down this moral mandate? The Holy Father in Rome?

    No. The voice posturing as the conscience of America is the Washington Post, which champions abortion on demand and has not, in the memory of this writer, endorsed any Republican for president – though it did endorse Marion Barry three times for mayor of D.C.

    Anticipating the Post’s orders, Sen. Marco Rubio has been painting Trump as a “scam artist” and “con artist,” with an “orange” complexion, a “spray tan” and “tiny hands,” who is “unfit to lead the party of Lincoln and Reagan.”

    The establishment is loving Rubio, and the networks are giving him more airtime. And Rubio is reciprocating, promising that, even if defeated in his home state of Florida on March 15, he will drive his pickup across the country warning against the menace of Trump.

    Rubio, however, seems not to have detected the moral threat of Trump, until polls showed Rubio being wiped out on Super Tuesday and in real danger of losing Florida.

    Mitt Romney has also suddenly discovered what a fraud and phony is the businessman-builder whose endorsement he so avidly sought and so oleaginously accepted in Las Vegas in 2012.

    Before other Republicans submit to the ultimatum of the Post, and of the columnists and commentators pushing a “Never Trump” strategy at the Cleveland convention, they should ask themselves: For whom is it that they will be bringing about party suicide?

    That the Beltway elites, whose voice is the Post, hate and fear Trump is not only undeniable, it is understandable.

    The Post beat the drums for the endless Mideast wars that bled and near bankrupted the country. Trump will not start another.

    The Post welcomes open borders that bring in millions to continue the endless expansion of the welfare state and to change the character of the country we grew up in. Trump will build the wall and repatriate those here illegally.

    Trump threatens the trade treaties that enable amoral transnational corporations to ship factories and jobs overseas to produce cheaply abroad and be rid of American employees who are ever demanding better wages and working conditions.

    What does the Post care about trade deals that deindustrialize America when the advertising dollars of the big conglomerates are what make Big Media fat and happy?

    The political establishment in Washington depends on Wall Street and K Street for PAC money and campaign contributions. Wall Street and K Street depend on the political establishment to protect their right to abandon America for the greener pastures abroad.

    Before March 15, when Florida and Ohio vote and the fates of Rubio and Gov. John Kasich are decided, nothing is likely to stop the ferocious infighting of the primaries.

    But after March 15, the smoke will have cleared.

    If Trump has fallen short of a glide path to the nomination, the war goes on. But if Trump seems to be the near-certain nominee, it will be a time for acceptance, a time for a cease-fire in this bloodiest of civil wars in the GOP.

    Otherwise, the party will kick away any chance of keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and perhaps kick away its future as well.

    While the depth and rancor of the divisions in the party are apparent, so also is the opportunity. For the turnout in the Republican primaries and caucuses has not only exceeded expectations, it has astonished and awed political observers.

    A new “New Majority” has been marching to the polls and voting Republican, a majority unlike any seen since the 49-state landslides of the Nixon and Reagan eras.

    If this energy can be maintained, if those throngs of Republican voters can be united in the fall, then the party can hold Congress, capture the While House and reconstitute the Supreme Court.

    Come the ides of March, the GOP is going to be in need of its uniters and its statesmen. But today, all Republicans should ask themselves:

    Are these folks coming out in droves to vote Republican really the bigoted, hateful and authoritarian people of the Post’s depiction?

    Or is this not the same old Post that has poured bile on conservatives for generations now in a panic that America’s destiny may be torn away from it and restored to its rightful owners?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-04/establishment-panic

    Reply
    • Okay Kiwi Guy – 1) You should have put quotation marks around your comment, these are not your words unless you are Patrick Buchanan? Or perhaps you are Tyler Durden?

      Nonetheless, Pat’s lengthy article is not without considerable merit. It certainly is conceivable that the ‘establishment’ has become so encrusted, entombed and fundamentally corrupt it requires someone as seemingly ‘radical’ as Trump to upset or unseat it? Labelled “racist” and all the other things he’s been labelled. “Everything capable of being imagined is an image of truth” wrote William Blake.

      What a sad indictment on politics and human nature? Interesting Buchanan was Reagan’s Director of Communications, Ronald Reagan being the President who began the economic slide to where the U.S. and NZ is now? How do you recognise when someone isn’t an Adolf Hitler? (No, I’m not comparing anyone to Hitler!) People in early 1930s Germany adored the man because he was anti-establishment and promised to undo Versailles’ effect on the country.

      Still, if it’s true Donald Trump won’t start another war and he shares Pat Buchanan’s “economic nationalist” viewpoint perhaps the end will justify the means? I am a “strategic economic nationalist” (insomuch as I’m an economist at all which is not much). The strategy of globalization need not be ruled out IMO, since international trade goes on anyhow and on a vast scale, it needs to be harnessed for the benefit of one’s own country.

      The article doesn’t really address the question: Even if Trump has the abilities necessary to win the Office of President – which may include some possibly morally reprehensible behaviour, or whatever – is he a fit person to actually conduct the Office of President?

      I guess we never know that in advance, do we?
      I can’t say I’m a Trump convert but quite an eye-opening read KG, thanks.
      I might subscribe to Pat Buchanan’s blog.
      Here is Patrick Buchanan in his own words –
      ” I am an economic nationalist. To me, the country comes before the economy; and the economy exists for the people. I believe in free markets, but I do not worship them. In the proper hierarchy of things, it is the market that must be harnessed to work for man – and not the other way around.”
      — Speech: Chicago Council on Foreign Relations – November 1998

      http://buchanan.org/blog/an-establishment-in-panic-2-124906

      Reply
  5. kittycatkin

     /  5th March 2016

    Whatever a reporter is like, and I’m not really that interested, for a man to make crude remarks about her having her period is inexcusable. That would be enough to make me vote for someone else. A mayoral candidate in Hamilton made vulgar remarks about genitals to a woman who was unamused and repeated them.It wasn’t the first time he’d talked about relative sizes of balls, as I remember, and he kissed his chance of being mayor goodbye. I have forgotten the details now, of course, I only remember that it happened and that nobody thought it funny but him.

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  5th March 2016

    Methinks the rise of the ‘Tea party’ shows that the GOP is fracturing.. into the Right & the EXTREME Right.. a sign of the times ?! :/

    Closer to home.. maybe the GOTKP is also looking increasingly like cracks are appearing too. :/

    I keep hearing that the ‘loony left’ is in disarray, but at least we can see their ‘True colours’.
    “The times they are a-changin’ & the facts are on TV..” 😀

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th March 2016

    The US still runs FPP and therefore has only two significant parties. That means all points of political view have to get squeezed into those two vehicles So it is unsurprising that they have factions. The problem for the GOP is that Trump is not even regarded as a party member yet is creating the biggest faction of all via populist extremism.

    In a sense it is the mirror image of Labour’s problem – the party members are in full control and are turning it into the smallest faction of unpopular extremists.

    Reply
  8. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/03/secret-donald-trump-voters-speak-out

    I believe that Clinton will continue the Wall Street-style march to oligarchy. With her, the eventual demise of democracy will lead to a fascist plutocracy. It is going on right now, and it will continue to be slow, painful and inevitable.

    I believe that it is too late for a conventional cure. So, there is Trump. He is indeed a buffoon and a recipe for disaster. If he were to do half of the horrific things he says he would, he would be a catastrophe. He could be a blend of Hitler and Hirohito.

    That’s why I would vote for him. The last time we crossed paths with a Hitler and/or Hirohito, the country woke up and fought. And won! He might supply us with the shock we need in order to wake up and fight.

    Reply
  9. @ Ugly Truth – “The last time we crossed paths with a Hitler and/or Hirohito, the country woke up and fought. And won!”

    I wish things were as clear as that. Here’s some very interesting reading from Pat Buchanan – http://buchanan.org/blog/did-hitler-want-war-2068 – I’m not saying I outright believe it or anything. This is KG’s critical thinking argument at work. I can handle this other viewpoint. It adds to my knowledge.

    I don’t know what to make of this stuff. It goes against all the acculturated fibres of my being. But then so does my absolute certainty America virtually provoked Japan into WW2 and certainly knew about Pearl Harbour in advance and did nothing, entombing hundreds of their own sailors in long outdated battleships due for the scrapheap anyhow.

    The problem with the “We fought and won” argument is we seem to win and then it’s a case of “meet the new boss … same as the old boss”? Ultimately, fat lot of good it did shitloads of people voting for Hitler?

    Wake up and fight who exactly? Fight in what form or configuration? Who will lead the fight? If we have leaders, won’t we be repeating the same thing all over again? “Meet the new boss”? If we don’t have leaders, do we – the nebulous “we” – have any chance of winning?

    Winning what? Sorry, bit of a dose of late night negativity here …

    Reply

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