Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fact Free Zone

The clear winner of the GOP debate on Wednesday was Carly Fiorina.  She has done the most via this debate performance to elevate her status from the first Kiddie Table Debate to being the potential Not Trump.

She had two strong moments.  One was her response to Trump's comment about her face, but I have to grade that one on a curve.  She had to know it was coming up and only a poorly run, meagerly thought-out campaign would fail to see this issue coming and have a response in the can.  A poorly run, meagerly thought-out campaign like Jeb! Bush's, I guess.

The other was her description of the Planned Parenthood abortion video.  Which was - unsurprisingly - a bald faced lie.  These forays into the Fact Free Zone were common throughout the debate.  Donald Trump's entire campaign is a refutation of the idea that facts and policies are the centerpiece of a presidential contest.  The words coming out of his mouth are almost as nonsensical as a Sarah Palin word-salad.  "I will get along with Putin and get a better deal."  WTF?  That is your GOP frontrunner?

Jeb! Bush said "My brother kept America safe."  Which is the gold star winner for chutzpah.  Bush kept America safe as long as you don't count the worst terrorist attack in our country's history, a deadly anthrax attack, arguably the worst foreign policy decision in our history that left more Americans dead than 9/11 and an American city left to drown.

And Jeb!'s line got his biggest applause.

The GOP primary is an unfettered descent into factual inaccuracy.  "Democrats killed the economy."  Unemployment is lower now than it ever was under Reagan.  "The Iran deal insures that Iran will get a nuclear weapon."  Just the opposite.  "The Iran deal allows Iran to conduct their own inspections."  No, it doesn't.  "We have to act now to stop inflation."  Inflation is practically non-existent.  "ISIS is a mortal threat."  Not to the United States it isn't.

Perhaps the greatest indicator of how bonkers, off-the-rails the GOP has become is this poll.  One of Fiorina's applause lines was "Name one accomplishment of Hillary Clinton."  How about her role in creating S-CHIP?  Her role in writing the Lily Ledbetter Law?  Working on getting veteran's benefits for National Guard troops?  Negotiating the Copenhagen agreement?  Sanctions on Iran?  Making gender equality a focal point of American foreign policy, especially in South Asia? Negotiating the cease fire in Gaza?  The START II treaty? Authoring the Pediatric Research Act?

Name an accomplishment from the "deepest and most talented field of GOP presidential contenders in years" that can match that.  In particular, name a governing accomplishment of the top three polling GOP candidates?  There isn't a single one, because none of them have held a position in government their entire life.  The Unholy Triumvirate of Trump, Carson and Fiorina have less experience in government than your average city councilman.  And the fifth place candidate - Ted Cruz - has made his name by pretty much trying to burn the Senate to the ground.

"Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos."

The current state of the GOP presidential race is surprising the DC punditeriat.  But it shouldn't.  There has been a steady decline in the belief in the GOP electorate of the legitimacy of governance in general.  They have become a party of thinly-veiled anarchists.

Their embrace of the Four Horseman of the Governmental Apocalypse - Fiorina, Trump, Carson and Cruz - shouldn't surprise anyone.  The debate devoid of facts and long on style is a natural off shoot of the Fox News phenomenon.

Right now, the only hope for the GOP establishment is Marco Rubio.  But remember, the anti-government vote is getting over 60%.

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