Tonight’s Debate

I actually thought it was a rather boring and annoying debate, but that certainly isn’t because Trump wasn’t there. I’m having a hard time getting my arms around why none of the candidates used the opportunity of Trump’s nonsense to go after Trump – to publicly make the case to the country (or at least the conservatives in the country) that they are on the verge of making an unforgivable mistake if they nominate Trump. I may feel differently tomorrow, but I give all the candidates tonight an F for not hammering Trump.

Each candidate had some strong moments tonight – including Rand Paul, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush. Overall I don’t believe there is any positive or negative consequence coming from anything Jeb does: I just think he is running down the clock, burning other people’s money, and doing damage to the best candidate in the field (Marco Rubio). But Jeb had a better performance tonight than normal, which really makes you think: Does Trump intimidate him THAT much???

Anyone who quotes Os Guiness scores points with me, and Rand Paul was very articulate and pleasant tonight. He is wrong on the issue with NSA (really wrong), and he blatantly contradicted himself about abortion as a federal vs. states issue (I think he acknowledged it was a contradiction but just decided that was ok?), but in fairness he had a good night.

Cruz’s and Rubio’s back and forth on immigration is why I think we’re going to lose in November, but it wasn’t a moment that created a clear winner. On the whole tonight, I thought my man Marco struggled. He had really strong moments in the beginning, and he is certainly the most prepared to beat Hillary and create a formidable conservative coalition in this race, but he seemed rushed at moments – not-Rubioesque anxiety.

Cruz was Cruz. I don’t know what to say. People get really mad at me when I criticize him, but he just leaves me feeling that there is no way – no possible way – he can win this race (the general, that is). He’s done if he loses Iowa, done. But he didn’t flop tonight; he was just mediocre.

All in all I am as little disgusted at what I see going on. We need to see Iowa and we need to see New Hampshire to find out if maybe, just maybe, this whole Trump thing has been a pile of nonsense. I do not believe that is an impossibility. But if we end up with a candidate Trump, I blame the guys on stage tonight. They need to be big enough patriots to recognize that this tool needs to be beaten, and it will not happen from sheer gravity.