Republican Debates: Beyond Fatigue, Contempt

Hard to imagine after tonight’s Republican debate yet another one follows on October 18th. The group dynamics revealed the candidates see Romney and Cain as front runners. Both emerged untouched. Overall, this cavalcade is a dispiriting manifestation of mediocrity made real.

Romney performed adequately, riding today’s earlier Christie endorsement. Cain enjoyed his attention, responding aggressively. Perry appeared slightly bored and disengaged. We saw no gaffes that would thin third tier candidates Bachmann serves no structural political purpose, nor does the languishing Huntsman. The latter, polling at less than 1%, must marvel he’s still invited to show up. Newt’s flattery campaign for everyone furthers his efforts to be an advisor for whoever wins. How he must rue that Cain built the campaign he envisioned for himself – one based on media coverage and hype, eschewing the traditional work and expense of building a ground game.

The debate’s theme? The economy. The words ‘middle class’ cut and pasted into traditional Rightist talking points. The Occupy development got cursory attention. Apart from contemptuous dismissal by others, Newt wisely embraced ‘well behaved’ demonstrators to shield the Tea Party. The candidates talked at middle class or more often, down to it, but not one bothers to embrace it. Why should they? It’s all but destroyed.

How fitting that the Senate earlier today voted down Obama’s concoction of Republican tax cuts and other proposals sold to rubes as a “Jobs Act”.

Middle Class, Republican Debate, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Dartmouth, October 11th, Bloomberg


  1. sglover says

    Speaking of cretins in power: Senator-with-a-girl’s-name Lindsay Graham blithely sez we gots to be ready to duke it out with those terrifying Persians. Sez we gots to have “regime change” in Tehran. Sez that if we don’t follow through on this, “armageddon” — no shit, his words — is coming.

    If he’d been named “Bill” or “Joe” or even “Jason”, I wonder if Graham would be quite so anxious about proving that he’s got a dick. The little twerp must’ve caught all kinds of shit on the playground.

    An “honorable” member of your U.S. Senate…..

  2. DrLeoStrauss says

    A sorry spectacle for a doddering Great Power, pretenders to the throne radiating innocence about the world abroad. The November 12th debate on CBS, cut off 60 minutes into its 90 minutes by the network to show NCIS, is a perfect window on the historical health of the American Idea.

    One can already imagine the bemusement of a future spectator reviewing the record, much like one today might look at the inbreeding and mental deficiencies of a a great family in the past, confronting the prospect of a true idiot ascending to the crown.

    In an earlier day we might have cared about it. Seems like a long time ago.

  3. Dr Leo Strauss says

    @Comment One is tempted to be uncharitable until recalling that think tank’s environment, where self-promotion, puffery and name dropping are survival skills.

    The whole episode a reminder at how easily distracted Americans are, always chasing the new shiny bauble. Just tuned out all the tweets and burps and gurgles.

  4. Comment says

    I would immediately assume the prior admin was lying about this Iran business. But I do not think BHO is a avery good liar. Not sure what to think. Obviously there is a lot about this just stinks of BS.

  5. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Comment At one time we foolishly paid attention to ‘spy stuff’ until we caught on. All one needed to do is wait for a David Ignatius column. Freed up alot more time for Farmville.

  6. Comment says

    I have not read details carefully but Iranian plots sounds dubious to this spyhead (as in deadhead). Iran has a professional secret service with plenty of trained killers who could assassinate. Why would they use a notoriously penetrated drug cartel? Not impossible, but a bizarre departure from the operational art.
    Milano? Why not Morton’s? Everyone’s grandmother knows a steakhouse hit has superior elan than Northern Italian overpriced fare.
    I could go on, but just read Leo Strauss above and he said all I could say and more

  7. DrLeoStrauss says

    Many of the DoJ/FBI allegations don’t make sense — to this reader, at least. First, the Iranian Quds Force are almost universally recognized as competent. The IRG, too. The Iranians were behind the 1983 bombing of the Marines barracks in Lebanon. Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. And so on. They are skilled and not reluctant to kill Americans and enemies abroad.

    Using the Zetas drug cartel as an operational partner would be a departure. The Zetas have not shown any capacity to act in the heart of Washington, D.C. Not only were the Zetas not vetted, the Iranians relied on two go-betweens, both non-professionals. One a well known Texan used car salesman. The Saudi Ambassador, moreover, is frequently not in the U.S., serving as favored English translator for the King. This the Iranians would know. (Most assume the restaurant in question is Cafe Milano in Georgetown). So the premise and means of the plot don’t add up.

    Careful parsing of FBI and DoJ language indicates that the informant prompted and encouraged action and escalation. Still, the two deposits by Iranians in an FBI account remain significant. U.S. claims to have hard intelligence that this plot went to senior Quds Force figures. We remain skeptical whatever happened was considered national policy by Tehran cohesively.

    re timing, we’d be inclined to see disclosure of the alleged plot timed to regional events and the sectarian war between Iran and SA rather than Holder’s domestic Fast and Furious ATF fumble/Issa’s threat of indictments.

  8. sglover says

    I’d like to hear what regulars here think about today’s malarkey, the “Iranian” “plot” to hire “Mexican” “narco-terrorists” to “assassinate” our good friend, the Saudi ambassador. I take it as a given that it’s just more “homeland” “security” horseshit. Yet again some FBI resume’ polisher has managed to find a loudmouth dumb enough to take delivery of “explosives” that the poor dumb bastard wouldn’t even be all that interested in without the FBI egging him on. But still — Iranians AND Mexicans AND “narco-terrorists”!!! Are the fear-mongers getting desparate, trying to patch together as many boogeymen as they can? I’m disappointed they didn’t throw in pedophiles and Bernie Madoff. Maybe they’re coming in the next installment.

    How many people do you think are even going to buy into this bullshit, other than Beltway courtier media tapeworms? How many **days** before this “story” disappears down the memory hole? My feeling is it’ll be forgotten after the weekend.

    There’s a post over at Boing-Boing claiming that this was ginned up as to distract media nitwits from an administration embarrassment. Apparently Holder’s getting indicted for the DEA’s brilliant “arm the drug cartels” scheme. Used to be, 15-20 years ago, I’d laugh that kind of assertion off as paranoia. But then it also used to be, 15-20 years ago, that I wouldn’t **automatically** write off something like today’s Iran-Mexico-Arabia potboiler as pure bullshit.

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