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Thursday, October 29, 2015

A great debate

Last night, the Chris Christie that conservatives once loved showed up at the CNBC debate. He took on Jeb Bush. He took on the moderators. And he stood up for conservative values again. His moment in the spotlight was a reminder that he prevailed in the dark early days of Democratic control of Congress, the White House, and the courts.

CNBC held a debate that featured ill-prepared and irrelevant moderators squaring off against a team of Republicans who did their homework, commanded their facts, and stood up for their principles. The RNC is embarrassed and angry over CNBC's handling of this debate. But I am contrarian. CNBC became a common enemy, whom Republicans pounded all night long.

I was engaged and entertained in this debate, after shrugging off the first two. Fox tried to show it is not in the tank for Republicans, and CNN used the same model for debates that it has used since Bernie Shaw asked Mike Dukakis if he would be angry if someone raped his wife. And who can forget the old Coke or Pepsi question another CNN-er asked Republicans an election cycle or two ago.

This debate had the B team of the stepchild business news network trying to trip up Republicans. The audience booed, and the Republicans avoided the poorly set traps. I swear, Reagan must have visited each of them in their dreams the night before, and told them to attack the media, not each other.

It worked.

Cruz set the tone, answering an early question this way: "The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And, you look at the questions — 'Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?' 'Ben Carson, can you do math?' 'John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?' 'Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?' 'Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?' How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?"

The audience cheered.

Then he added: "The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, 'Which of you is more handsome and why?'"

Many said Cruz won the night. Drudges online poll gave it to Trump again.

My scorecard:

Carson is the front-runner because he seems like an average voter who is slightly bewildered by how far the off the tracks our government trolley is. He is catching up with the pros in his command of the arts and language of politics.

Peak Trump? Don't believe it. He too has grown, entering the next phase of the contest where you tone things down. He can do his talking points without making them sound like talking points.

Rubio slipped into the Republican Establishment shoes. He wears them well. Hang in there. Organize. Raise money. Organize. Campaign. And oh, did I mention organize.

Christie snapped back. He sees the crowd thinning and knows his opportunity is still there. Not only did he vanquish that silly fantasy football question, but he hit Social Security hard. He said the government has lied to you and has stolen from you. He's back. Deal with it. I know the feeling because I wrote him off months ago.

However, the Obama hugging side showed when he talked about making solar panels affordable. Coal-fired power plants already are affordable.

Cruz continued to snap at ankles that need snapping. His conservative credentials are unchallenged -- unlike every other candidate. He's in the fray.

After those five, there was a great fall off. My favorite candidate, Fiorina, made poor use of her time. Huckabee talked about Alzheimer's and diabetes. Kasich is running for a third term as governor. Bush is looking at his watch. Is it Iowa yet? Rand Paul returned from outer space to say something sane, but he is a critic, not a leader.

Have to think the river of money no longer flows through Team Bush.  Kasich too will have to trim sails. Fiorina, Huckabee, and Rand Paul will be there till Super Tuesday because they run small.

It was a good night for Republicans.


  1. Didn't watch. Don't care. With some, but not total, Republican support, the House passed an Obama-friendly two-year budget that raises the debt ceiling through the end of Obama's term, kills the budget sequester agreement that had imposed the slightest bit of fiscal discipline on an out of control Marxist president, raises spending to $4T or double the level of just a decade ago, and guarantees two more years of budget deficits despite the government collecting more in tax revenues than ever before. In 2014 the Republicans promised voters to restore sanity to the Federal government. Instead they decided to go along for the ride with the Democrats to our nation's financial armageddon. Republicans are part of the problem, not the solution.

  2. "the Obama hugging side showed when he talked about making solar panels affordable"

    They already are "affordable." Because the Chinese manufacturers can low ball every other maker of PV panels, the panels themselves should cost less than about $200 apiece. Installers charge homeowners a lot more for them, well over a $1K each, because they know the government is subsidizing the cost. It's the same as with the college loan scam: students get "free money" loans from the government, so the colleges raise the cost of education to whatever financial pain level their students are willing to endure.