The Gloves Are Off – Finally *Open Thread*


Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz came out swinging in Thursday night’s GOP debate, and for a change they were taking on Donald Trump (well, most of the time – Cruz got in some dings on Rubio, too). This kind of reaction from these two has been lacking a bit previously, but it seems they finally listened to the advisers and pundits that they needed to take Trump on and NOW if they were going to halt Trump’s momentum.

Trump, for his part, acted like Trump. He interrupted incessantly, talked over everyone, called people names like, “Liar,” “Basket case,” “Choker,” and more. He didn’t save all his vitriol for his opponents, though. He also targeted moderator Hugh Hewitt making derogatory and disparaging comments about Hewitt. No wonder the moderators did such a poor job last night reining Trump in – they were afraid he’d turn his venomous tongue on them as well. So they let him go, while trying to rein in others.

If the moderators HAD been doing their jobs, perhaps they would have called Trump on his claim that he couldn’t release his tax returns while he was being audited. Now, I am no attorney, but William Jacobson is. He wrote this in the Legal Insurrection:

The biggest take away from the CNN Republican Debate is that contrary to prior promises, Donald Trump says he will not release his income tax returns because he is being audited.

There is no law, that I’m aware of, prohibiting such release. It sounded like a massive dodge, since IRS audits can go on for years. Trump even said his last 4-5 years of returns are being audited. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Or maybe they could have focused more on Trump’s use of illegal aliens to build Trump Tower. Or heck,t hey could have even asked him to stop calling the other candidates names. SOMETHING. But no. They let him go. But this time, Rubio and Cruz weren’t taking his attacks lying down.

And it is about damn time, too. Mollie Hemingway from The Federalist sums it up:

1. Rubio, Cruz Show Up and Fight

For some inexplicable reason, previous debates had candidates going quite easy on Trump. Only Cruz and Jeb Bush had tried to land punches, with varying success. But last night, Rubio and Cruz both went after Trump. And they did so relentlessly. They hit him hard on policy, asking him to be specific about how he would Make America Great Again. Given a chance by moderator Dana Bash to explain his health care policy, he declined. After he said he’d done more for Israel than anyone else, Cruz asked him to name one specific thing he’d done. He was unable.

Even more effective, Rubio and Cruz teased him as a lightweight without a command of the facts, interrupted him, and teased him some more. At one point Cruz told him to “relax.” Every time Trump denied saying something he’d previously said or denied doing something he’d done, Rubio calmly encouraged viewers to Google for more information. Here’s a good look at one of these exchanges.

2. Trump Flailed

For a long time it seemed as if Trump were immune to criticism even when he received it. But during this debate, he struggled. He responded to questions with his trademark juvenility and insults. When people cheered Rubio and Cruz, he accused the audience of being packed with lobbyists. He was petulant, lashing out with even less substance and nuance than usual. And unlike previous debates, he neither landed punches nor succeeded in being funny. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

There is much more to Hemingway’s piece, and I recommend reading it all.

The Federalist also has an excellent piece, “Trump Tells Us How He’ll Hurt America.” Like all of Obama’s bankruptcies, or how low he ranks with his corporate peers (5%), or the impact of having someone with a temper whose finger is on the red button, or how his name-calling will SO unify people, and on and on. Great piece.

In any event, I am glad that the other two frontrunners finally started standing up for themselves, and standing against the many lies of Donald Trump.

But they aren’t the only ones taking off the gloves this week, nosirree. The House Intelligence Committee has taken off the gloves in its response to the Pentagon on the ISIS intelligence shenanigans. From CNN:

The Republican-led House intelligence committee wants the Pentagon to provide what it believes are illegally deleted intelligence files pertaining to the U.S. military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California blasted the Pentagon, citing the allegations that classified intelligence files and emails about the war on ISIS were deleted.

“We have been made aware that both files and emails have been deleted by personnel at CENTCOM, and we expect that the Department of Defense will provide these and all other relevant documents to the committee,” Nunes said at a hearing Thursday on worldwide threats.

The U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida, oversees the war against ISIS and all U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

Nunes’ assertions led to an extraordinary public acknowledgment from Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who was testifying before the committee, of the “unusually high” dissatisfaction inside the agency responsible for providing military intelligence on ISIS.

There is much more about this deplorable situation of deleting information that was critically important all to aid the President. No wonder there is so much dissatisfaction within the ranks:


But there is specific public evidence of dissatisfaction from DIA analysts at Central Command who are sent there by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Thursday’s testimony included the results of a survey given to intelligence analysts.

“Our committee was contacted and briefed by ODNI on the survey results which indicated that over 40% of the analysts at CENTCOM feel there are problems with analytic integrity and CENTCOM processes,” Nunes said during the hearing. “Is it appropriate that we wait 18 months or longer for the inspector general report before we even begin to rectify these problems?” […]  (Click here to read the rest.)

Uh, yeah. The gloves are off now, and it is about damn time. This kind of thing is costing LIVES. The House Intelligence Committee must stick to its guns in holding CENTCOM accountable.

Senators Rubio and Cruz also must stick to their guns, for them, and for us.

That’s what I think. How about you? This is an Open Thread, so feel free to discuss any of the above or whatever else is on your minds today.


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21 Responses to “The Gloves Are Off – Finally *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    About time Cruz and Rubio threw some punches Trump’s way! Cruz has done so before but up to now it seemed Rubio was afraid to. Not any more. I liked Rubio more last night that ever before. His mocking Trump and smirking at Trump in the way Trump mocks and smirks at others was fantastic!

    The problem is that the Trumpkins won’t pay any attention. They are so Obot like in their infatuation for Trump their thinking process seems to stop with a campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”. Good idea. Now tell us how you plan to do that other than call every one that doesn’t grovel a loser. His attack on Hewlitt was typical Trump the bully tactic.

    What it says about those that support such behavior is sad.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I’ll say. They were like Rock ’em Sock ’em robots last night! I LOVED when Trump tried that whole talking point thing with Rubio and he completely turned it around on TRUMP. AHAHA. The crowd’s response to Rubio taking on Trump was really good, too.

      Trump is not classless – absolutely classless. His attacks on Hewitt, calling Cruz a “basket case,” and Rubio a “liar” and “Choker” was just despicable. I don’t care how un-PC Trump’s supporters think he is – his behavior is unseemly, crude, and crass – we deserve WAY better than that from a PRESIDENT.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Most of those who spout the nonsense about Trump not being PC haven’t a clue what they are talking about. Being anti-PC doesn’t mean being uncivil.

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          And the same about calling people RINOs. Trump is the biggest RINO around. Even McCain is more conservative and honest than Trump. And except that I respect his service and his staunch stand against torture, I am not a McCain fan.

          Trump by the way says he would do “worse” than waterboarding. How can any decent person support that?

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          EXACTLY, Marge! Being a boor is NOT the same as being un-PC. One can be the latter without being arrogant, smug, crass, and abusive. And one SHOULD be, IMO.

          Good heavens – I shudder to think what worse torture would be acceptable to a man like Trump…

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Here’s another Federalist article I thought was good:

    4 Questions Voters Need Donald Trump To Stop Dodging

    How, Exactly, Will Mexico Pay for That Wall?

    Reaction against illegal immigration is what propelled Trump to the top of the polls. While all the Republican candidates favor strengthening the border, only Trump has adopted the idiosyncratic position that he will have our government build a 1,900-mile wall and, somehow, make the Mexican government pay for it.

    He never quite manages to say how he will accomplish this feat. Governments are reluctant to build things in foreign countries that will harm their own citizens. Given that Mexicans working in the United States send upwards of $20 billion a year to their families in Mexico, Mexico has no incentive to restrict the flow of goods and people across the border. So why would they pay for a wall that would do exactly that?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      The Federalist is on FIRE today, aren’t they?? So many great articles today, and I appreciate you putting this one up here. Those are some good questions indeed. Kinda makes you wonder why the moderators at ALL TEN DEBATES haven’t pushed for more answers, doesn’t it? Oh, yeah – because Trump is a bully and they are scared of him. UGH.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Legal Insurrection and the Federalist are my two go-to places for news. I still like Townhall but PJ Media has become Trump infested so I stay away. Guy and Katie at Townhall are definitely anti-Trump but the Trumpkin cockroaches infest every comment section til I simply don’t bother. LI is getting pretty bad too and I’m surprised they put up with it.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Right there with you, Marge. It is just pointless to try and read the comments at most of the sites these days. The Trump Trolls are just as bad (if not worse) than the Obama ones. Sigh.

          Even the Daily Caller seems to be going more the way of Trump. Truly disconcerting. How people like Tucker Carlson went from laughing at the thought of a Trump Presidency to seemingly being good with it is beyond me…

          OH – David Webb also seems to be a big Trump person these days. WTH is going on?!

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

  4. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    As if I needed any more reason to dislike Christie, he just endorsed TRUMP. Are you KIDDING me with this?!?! What a schmuck. WOW. I guess he was in there helping Trump by attacking Rubio and Cruz. Ugh. I dislike him more now than before:

  5. piper Says:

    Miss Lyndsay Graham attempt at humor – he should have stop after one drink. Unbelievable

    “A good Republican would defend Ted Cruz after tonight,” he said. “That ain’t happening. … If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

    He also made fun of Cruz’s upbringing in Canada, where he was born — which Donald Trump has argued disqualifies him from the high office.

    “I know exactly when Ted is going to drop out of the race: March 12,” Graham said. “That’s Canadian week at Myrtle Beach.”

    He also teased Democrats in the room — asking House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi not to leave for the sake of Republicans.

    And he took a shot at Hillary Clinton, who may be the next president if Trump wins the GOP nomination.

    “The most dishonest person in America is a woman who is about to be president … My party’s gone bats— crazy,” he told the crowed.

    He also mocked Clinton’s rocky relationship with White House staffers when she was first lady.


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Good HEAVENS, what the hell is wrong with my Senator?? I get that he is trying to be funny, but this kind of thing is completely over the line. He owes Cruz an apology, and I mean TODAY. What a JACKASS.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        And once a candidate is chosen the Dems won’t even have to lift a finger to write or film attack ads. The GOP has done it all for them. I know many don’t remember Reagans 11th candidate, if they ever knew it but this is nuts. Of course I don’t expect Trump to know or care about the Reagan rule because he isn’t a Republican anyway. A giant, boorish RINO.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Too true, Marge. No, Trump loves nothing more than to tear down the other candidates. That is his favorite thing to do. So the entire Party has been painted with this brush of hate from Trump and his Minions. It is appalling.

          And yeah – the Dems won’t have to do a thing…

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Trump has been exposed. The IRS says there is NO REASON why he can’t show his returns:

    But that’s not all the IRS is saying. They are saying it is “rare” to be audited every year:

  7. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A friend had this EXCELLENT piece by Matt Walsh to Trump fans. He lays it all out there in a big way, and turns the tables on those who claim they want “straight talkers”:

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    And then there is this from another friend at Facebook on Trump’s threats to the media and the First Amendment:

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    This is EXACTLY what I have been saying: Trump = DEMOCRATS WIN:

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