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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

AIPAC speech shows the uselessness of debates

Our moral and intellectual superiors in Washington -- be they on the left or be they on the right -- have lectured the nation long and hard on the civic duty of political candidates to appear in "debates," which are not debates but rather questioning by moderators who at times are as impartial as the Spanish Inquisition.

As Trump's speech on Monday to AIPAC showed, the debates added nothing to the discussion of public policy. Let me explain.

Republicans endured 12 of these fecal fests, and yet many (if not most) people were surprised Monday to learn that Trump is the most ardent supporter of Israel among the five remaining presidential candidates in both parties. He topped Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish by birth and actually lived in a commune in Israel in the 1960s.

Had the debates worked, his views on Israel would have been widely known. Did you know he used his private jet to fly Rudy Giuliani to Israel so the mayor could attend a post-9/11 anti-terrorism event? Until last night, I did not.

The He-Man Trump Haters Club at the National Review was among those surprised that Trump is a staunch defender of Israel:
But the walkout never materialized, at least not on the scale its organizers had hoped. Reporters could see a few empty seats here and there as Trump began his speech, but nothing remotely resembling a mass exodus. For the first time this cycle, Trump delivered a scripted speech with at least some foreign-policy specifics. Some of his off-script deviations got him into trouble: He said a peace deal was “something that we impose on Israel and Palestine,” a statement that both questioned Israel’s sovereignty and elevated the Palestinian territories to nation status. But most of his improvisations elicited laughter from the audience. He received raucous applause and several standing ovations from a crowd that had cheered Clinton less than eight hours before. He even outshone Ted Cruz, his chief rival for the Republican nomination, whose own speech received a rather tepid response. It was, in short, a pretty good night at AIPAC for Donald Trump.
A good night for Trump and a lousy night for the debates because if John Harwood and company did their job, the views on Israel by Trump would have been widely disseminated. Instead Harwood asked The Donald if he was running a comic book presidential campaign.

Who is the punchline now, CNBC?

But hey, Harwood looks like a suave sophisticated man, so he must be intelligent, right?

I find it hilarious that the editors and writers at a self-important magazine that staunchly stands against Trump knew nothing about Trump's stance on Israel. Heck, people at AIPAC did not know. You had activists prepared to walk out in protest, but they stayed and applauded because he finally had a national stage to explain his position. If the subject of Israel came up in 30 hours of televised "debates," no one seemed to remember. But by golly, we do know his position on Rosie O'Donnell (he is against) thanks to that trailblazing by Megyn Kelly.

People brush Trump off as only a celebrity. And yet all we get nowadays is celebrity journalism. Even as The Donald laid out his policy on Israel (I posted the full text last night), news reports centered on his use of a teleprompter for the first time. Somehow the press decided this was "presidential."

The debates were useless. They were RNC kickbacks to networks. Drawing 12 million to 24 million viewers each, these affairs gifted the networks with a viewership that the networks pay billions to the NFL to show. Until the party and the networks are serious about them, forget presidential primary debates.


  1. I do believe you're catching on. As far as the national political party establishments and the media are concerned, it's Big Dan from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"


    - Elric

  2. "Until the party and the networks are serious about them, forget presidential primary debates."

    Amen to that, Don. If these are debates I'm the King of England.

  3. Is Trump's statement at AIPAC the first in a series of serious position statements he will release? If so, Hillary's campaign is going to be blindsided every day from now on except April 1.

    "Float like a bumblebee, sting like a bee/ The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see."

  4. But...but...but Trump's a Nazi, right? XD

  5. A terminally ill patient of mine told me that he early voted for Trump. First time vote for a Republican. Raised Catholic and Democrat. Said his dad would be rolling in his grave if he knew. His brother did the same.

  6. The "debates" are more like pop quizzes. I'd rather know how thoroughly and deeply a person thinks rather than how quickly. Moreover, the pop quizzes seem to be designed to make somebody (usually a candidate) look bad and somebody else (often a quiz-giver) look good, though the effect is not always as designed. I have no idea why the Republican party allows Democrats to conduct these pop quizzes. Unless that choice has been made my Democrat moles, in which case it makes sense.

    1. Because the Republicans are stupid. Look at their past two nominees. McRINO ran on stabbing the party in the back and "reaching across the aisle" to work with Dimocrats. Then we had Mittens Romneycare, the only Republican who couldn't run against Obummercare. Neither of them would fight against Obungler in their campaigns. I don't call it the Stupid Party for nothing.