The Debate and A Critical Campaign Issue *Open Thread*


Oh, boy. The discourse in these Republican debates is being dragged down by Donald Trump. As he has done throughout the entire campaign, his behavior is so far from Presidential, it would be laughable if the media hadn’t already proclaimed him the nominee. Good grief.

And the debate moderators are willing accomplices to the Trump Chump Show as they continue to allow Trump to interrupt the others relentlessly, and demean themw ith insults.  It is stunning to see the collusion to prop up this man who lies at every turn. He referred to Sen. Cruz as “Lying Ted” during the debate while lying about Trump University, calling Sen. Rubio, “Little Marco,” and  talking about his man parts during a DEBATE. Are you KIDDING me with this?! HE is the front runner?? Wow.

While Trump continues his volley of personal attacks and dismisses any legitimate claim with lies, there are some very serious people in The GOP  who are VERY concerned about the possibility of a Trump Presidency. Particularly, their concern is National Security. In fact, they are SO concerned about it, they wrote an Open Letter on this very issue (h/t Admiral James Stavridis who mentioned this letter on Fox  and Fox Business Network  recently). War On The Rocks has the letter:

We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:

His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.

Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office. (Click here to see the signatories of this letter.)

These leaders have reason for concern given the revelations by the NATO Commander, Gen. Breedlove, about Syrian refugees. Specifically, Russia’s “weaponizing Syrian Refugees”:


That is beyond troubling. It is just this kind of action that is going to require a sober, experienced President. Admiral Stavridis made that point very well in this interview from Fox Business Network from this morning. Click here to watch it.

I would contend this concern about  a lack of Foreign Policy  and National Security also extends to Bernie Sanders, who has none, and doesn’t address it very much. It also extends to Hillary Clinton, who has a lot, but the way she has handled things has been quite poor.

This has become more evident just this week as one of Clinton’s close aides was given Immunity by the DOJ in regards to the copious number of classified emails Clinton sent and received on an open server. Guy Benson from Townhall highlights this piece from the NY Times about the trouble Clinton is in (potentially):

[…] In addition to the F.B.I. investigation, there are continuing inquiries into Mrs. Clinton’s emails by the inspector general of the State Department, the inspector general of the intelligence agencies, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Aides to Mrs. Clinton and officials from the State Department also face the prospect of questioning under oath in a separate legal proceeding brought by Judicial Watch, the conservative government watchdog group, under the Freedom of Information Act. In that case, the group has sought emails related to the special employment status given to Mrs. Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin so she could receive additional salaries beyond the one she received from State. Last week Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of United States District Court in Washington allowed the questioning after a hearing in which he criticized the State Department’s “constant drip” of revelations about emails from the server and said there were many unanswered questions about who authorized its use.“It just boggles the mind that the State Department allowed this circumstance to arise in the first place,” said Judge Sullivan, who was appointed to the District Court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton and to lower courts by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. “It’s just very, very, very troubling.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Yes, it is troubling. On both the Democrat and Republican side depending on who is elected. If it isn’t Rubio or Cruz, it will be bad news for foreign policy and national security in a BIG way…

What are your thoughts about the debate? National Security? Where we’re headed? This is an Open Thread.


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26 Responses to “The Debate and A Critical Campaign Issue *Open Thread*”

  1. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Sure wish this guy had stayed int he race longer, but glad he is speaking out:

  2. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Good for Sen. Rubio for calling out the media on focusing more on Trump’s insults, then questioning Rubio abt HIS insults, instead of dealing with POLICY issues. The media has delighted in Trump’s assaults, and then question Rubio on his over the last couple of weeks? Come on Baier – you are better than that. Or you used to be.

    Here’s the video:

  3. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    And here is a MUST – SEE video from a Facebook friend. If these kids can see this SO easily and clearly, WTH is wrong with 1/3 of adults VOTING for this man?? Wow:

    • GinaR Says:

      I love this video! Rubio or Cruz should use it in an ad. It’s brilliant! And so are those kids.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Absolutely they should and if they don’t the Super Pacs should run it in it s entirety numerous times a day on numerous channels.

        The reactions of these kids really highlights how childish, mean, petulant, and boorish Trump is. These kids see it in an INSTANCE. What does that say abt Trump’s more sycophantic supporters??

  4. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Very interesting take on Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    I remember when my two sons entered adolescence and were fascinated with their man parts and with profanity. They grew up and whereas many “men” only gatherings don’t differ a whole lot when the ‘boys’ are all grown up at least they know how to behave in “polite” society. Donald Trump is like a perpetual adolescent.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      EXACTLY, Marge. I expect that kind of talk in a locker room, but on a DEBATE STAGE televised across the country (world)?? Hell no!! And Baier has the audacity to call RUBIO’S comments “vulgar”??? WOW.

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    5 Takeaways From Last Night’s GOP Debate In Detroit

    By Mollie Hemingway

    Gen. George Washington said, “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government … can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppressive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people.”

    “A republic, if you can keep it,” said Dr. Benjamin Franklin.

    There has never been a debate more at odds with a campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.” It was a depressing debacle. I fear the republic is lost. We are an uneducated people that praise ignorance, celebrity, and entertainment over statesmanship. We are degenerates, immoral, and lost. We the people have not acted as those concerned about preserving the gift of self-government. The fraying fabric of society is putting the republic at risk.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Great piece by Hemingway. I fear she is right that the “republic is lost.” It sure seems that way when those who are so blind, so ignorant, are the ones whose voices are the loudest. Truly disconcerting…

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

  8. GinaR Says:

    Excellent post, Amy, and spot on. Donald Trump is dragging this whole election process down into the dregs and he’s doing it with the help of the media. Sadly, even Fox is now guilty of aiding and abeting, as evidenced by last night’s debate. Deliberate and conscious questions by the moderators meant to allow Trump to continue his childish and bullying attacks while completely ignoring any attempt to delve into policy issues does a great disservice to the viewers. Allowing Trump to incessantly interrupt and badger and attack Cruz and Rubio without interference was a disgraceful display of media Trump-complicity. While there were a couple occasions where Kelly and Wallace challenged Trump, the majority of the debate was a free-for-all with none of the moderators pulling in the reins on Trump. I even watched a clip this morning of an interview by Megyn Kelly with Ted Cruz, and in an attempt to not appear biased against Trump, she defended him at every turn…political correctness run amok.

    The open letter by those who understand the seriousness of national security, as well as the interview of General Breedlove, should give EVERY American pause, and to think more clearly about the candidate they are supporting. I don’t care how angry the American people are, it is no excuse to stop using your brain when deciding who is going to be the leader of the free world. Donald Trump is dangerous. He is NOT a smart businessman, he is NOT a great negotiator, he has NO moral compass, he believes in NOTHING but himself and his money, and such a man is a danger to the future of this country.

    And Rubio is right in what he said. If anyone deserves personal attacks it’s Trump. And it WOULD have been nice if the moderators had used this debate to challenge EACH of the candidates on policy issues rather than what each of them thought about Donald Trump’s most recent remarks.

    I’m greatly disappointed in Brett Baier and Megyn Kelly. Chris Wallace…I never expected any more from him then I’ve gotten in the past.

    We are in some serious trouble in this country, and if Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich don’t set their egos aside and come up with a joint plan to combine forces and choose one of them to be the candidate and the other two step aside, we’ll end up with a Hillary Clinton presidency. And that will signal the death of this great nation.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Gina – I appreciate that!

      And yes, that letter should be a MAJOR wake up call to anyone who claims they love this country and care abt National Security. Admiral Stavridis highlighted how much it says that Fran Townsend signed onto this letter. Apparently, she is considered quite the heavy hitter when it comes to matters of National Security.

      People need to wake the hell up and soon, as do the remaining candidates. Seriously – I don’t give a damn how much Kasich tries to claim he is “the adult in the room” (yeah, right) – he needs to get out. Cruz and Rubio need to come to an understanding abt a 1-2 ticket and NOW. Time is of the essence, as Romney pointed out yesterday (and check out the link abt that, the line of students coming to hear Romney speak. I don’t care how Kasich-the-so-called-“adult” and Trump try to categorize Romney (along with the media) – he has a gravitas they never will…

      I am done with Bret Baier. I respected him so much up until the past couple of weeks when he has become more petulant and condescending to Trump’s opponents. I have been a faithful Special Report viewer, but those days are gone now.

      Those kids – those kids were the bright light today. Let’s hope if nothing else some adults might realize how idiotic they have been supporting this mean, rude, child. Hey, we can hope!!

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    Can’t remember which article I poached this from – don’t want anyone to think I am claiming having written it – just with agreeing with it.

    “The only part of Trump’s business track record for which we have the full picture shows that Trump wasn’t a successful executive but an absolute catastrophe.”

    “For 10 years between 1995 and 2005, Donald Trump ran Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts — and he did it so badly and incompetently that it collapsed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. His stockholders were almost entirely wiped out, losing a staggering 89% of their money. The company actually lost money every single year. In total it racked up more than $600 million in net losses over that period.”

    “Donald Trump ran the worst performing casino company on the stock market. This isn’t a matter of “opinion.” This isn’t speculation or politics. It’s a matter of plain fact.”

    “However, one person associated with Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts did make money: Donald J. Trump.”

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Is a corrupt business man somehow more palatable than corrupt politicians? Not to me they aren’t. Crooks is crooks.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      EXACTLY, Marge!! He is a TERRIBLE businessman, and has LOST money dollars to dollars. His people blithely dismiss all of his bankruptcies, buying his BS abt how that is just the way business is done. Nope – many businesses NEVER file for bankruptcy. Never.

      “Crooks is crooks” – LOVE it!!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I always ask the Trumpkins about the small businesses that lost money when Mr. Money Bags filed bankruptcy. Small business are the job creators not the damn government.

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    I thought this exchange was priceless:

    The question of Trump’s “flexibility” also led to the strongest – and funniest – line of the night from Rubio. Here’s the exchange, sparked by Cruz’s chiding of Trump for interrupting his answer:

    CRUZ: But, Donald, please, I know it’s hard not to interrupt. But try.

    TRUMP: Yeah, I know it is. But it’s not what you said in the op-ed.

    CRUZ: Breathe, breathe, breathe.

    TRUMP: Lyin’ Ted.

    CRUZ: You can do it. You can breathe. I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard. But just…

    RUBIO: When they’re done with the yoga, can I answer a question?

    CRUZ: You cannot.


    RUBIO: Unbelievable.

    CRUZ: I really hope that we don’t – we don’t see yoga on this stage.

    RUBIO: Well, he’s very flexible, so you never know.

    Rubio’s quick wit – a far cry from the Marcobot malfunction four weeks ago in New Hampshire – capped a decent overall performance. But it remains unclear whether Rubio’s aggressive, head-to-head attacks on Trump are hurting his opponent or helping him.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      ROTFLMAO – that is so funny…Both of their responses were hysterical.

      I saw something else abt how Cruz constantly calling Donald, “Donald,” changes the power dynamic from people like Christie who always calls him, “Mr. Trump.” Well done by both Cruz and Rubio!

  11. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    It’s official – Carson has finally read the writing on the wall and suspended his campaign:

  12. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    For those who might be interested, here is Carly Fiorina’s speech from CPAC Friday night:

    Wow, to think that people like Walker and Fiorina have dropped out, and instead we have someone bragging abt his Man Parts. WTH is happening to our country?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Fiorina didn’t flat out endorse Cruz, but her emphasis on being a Constitutional Conservative, and that is what we need, sure seems to lean toward Cruz…

  13. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I love Mary Katherine Ham. I am so glad she feels up to speaking out again. What a smart woman:

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