Wednesday, December 16, 2015

OK, Let's Pile On. The GOP Candidates Are Fraidy Cats Who Can't Wait to Carpet-Bomb.

Carson? Toast. Trump? Toaster. Cruz? Grandpa Addams (but creepier).

Yes, the condemnation of the GOP candidates' "national security" debate continue to pour in. So, yes, by all means let's pile on. This actually is important because bombing your way to peace and prosperity is a dead end, one that we should recognize by now.

Not to mention claiming to be the Greatest Country in the History of the World™ or the One Indispensable Nation™ or The Exceptional Nation™ seems to be a bridge too far if we pissing our pants all the time.

So, read on. Here's Heather Digby Parton at Salon:
As I predicted yesterday, last night’s Republican presidential debate was a bloodthirsty display of macho aggression not seen since well … the last Republican presidential debate. Rather than gory descriptions of fetal mayhem and immigrant rapists, last night’s afffair was almost exclusively focused on the threat of ISIS, with a few shots at Putin and Iran just for good measure. It was nasty, brutish and seemed like it lasted for days.
OMG, is Digby right about it lasting for days. I'm a political junkie, and I got up before the end and took a shower. My second of the day. Thank God I don't believe in drinking games, especially where "bomb" is the trigger word.

And here's a centrist view of the debate (meaning the author manages to get his digs into both parties while critiquing a GOP debate. Go figure." James Poulos of The Week noticed that there was no middle left in the Republican Party:
Donald Trump might have won last night's Republican debate by default. And the only reason is that the other presidential contenders completely failed to fill the GOP's missing middle on foreign policy and national security.
Those issues don't mean the same thing as they did during the last presidential election. This is why Mitt Romney has felt largely vindicated on international matters, but only in a way that feels vaguely beside the point. It's not just war and diplomacy any more: Counterterrorism and traditional war, security and surveillance, and immigration and guns are now a single political entity oozing across the campaign trail.
And the only candidate to capitalize on it is Donald Trump, whose seemingly catchall xenophobia is actually a stalling tactic, a mask for complete ignorance about how to restore a U.S.-led global order that instills basic confidence in a supermajority of Americans.
I agree. Where I diagree was when he said:
The Democrats now belong to a party where monied power will be flattered and praised so long as its elite representatives flatter and praise the right social issues. Insurgents against the corporatist power elite, such as Bernie Sanders, realize they lack the luxury of wasting precious words or screen time on foreign policy. Having disavowed an adult reckoning with America's role in the world, Democrats are free to ridicule Republicans without offering a coherent vision of their own.
Sorry, but the Democrats have coherent policy positions on the Middle East and terrorism. Here's Hillary's, and here's Bernie's. They leave their GOP rivals in the dust, both in measure and substance.

Back to the freak show that is the GOP 2016 rivals. Here's a mature perspective from The Atlantic:

The fifth Republican debate had the feel of a Chekhov play—a cast of characters together on the same stage, but each involved in their own, only occasionally interlocking, conflicts. Near the center, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz squared off in a series of detailed, wonky disputes about the military and surveillance. Meanwhile, a bit to the side and largely unawares, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump tried to one-up each other. Off to the right, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina vied to prove most willing to start a war. And nearly off in the wings, Rand Paul delivered a series of wry commentaries on the unfolding drama. (Ben Carson must have missed rehearsals; he had little to say.)
What unified the nine candidates on stage was their insistence that the Obama administration had failed to keep Americans safe, falling short in its efforts both stateside and abroad. It was a bleak, fearful debate. But the rivals offered disparate prescriptions for how to respond to this weakness, and were often vague. The main takeaways from the evening were that political correctness is bad and that most of the field, except perhaps Trump and Paul, are eager to deploy American troops to Syria and Iraq.
That's a very mature way of saying, "They yapped and yapped, but they got nuthin.'"

So, to summarize, "We've got nothing to say but fear itself." Policies?

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

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