Now that was a debate. Back in 2012 it was the live audience that got rowdy at the presidential primary debates. This time it was the folks onstage, candidates and moderators alike. And somehow it all stemmed from the presence of Donald Trump, the spiritual epicenter of this event, whose outsize persona dominated the proceedings from beginning to end. Things got off to a rollicking start with Trump's show-of-hands refusal to rule out a third-party run and Rand Paul's aggressive reaction. This riveting kickoff set a pugilistic tone for the debate that never subsided.
Bernie Sanders can win--not just the primary, but the general. Democrats should back him, and ignore the arguments made by Barney Frank and others, who say giving Hillary the nod early is the only hope for victory in 2016.
Though Walker is a relatively new national political figure, he's made a splash on the national political scene since taking office in 2011 for his controversial actions regarding abortion. What about his record on energy and environmental issues?
If everyone bred like the Octomom, the population would double every 11 years!* In less than 50 years, then, the population would be 16 times the current bloated level. And you think your ride to work is congested now?
Racism, child labor, poverty, gender inequality and homophobia are not phenomena of the 21st century. They are our history. Over the past 5 or 6 decades the doors to these parts of our reality were kicked open and folks like those in Monday's focus group and forum audience don't want to look.
If the ten Republican candidates on stage tonight all hold the exact same positions, is it really even a debate?
It seems to me there are four basic strategies the other nine Republicans on the stage have to choose from: ignore Trump, outdo Trump, attack Trump or agree with Trump.
When political wonks are prostrating themselves before Sheldon Adelson for a shot at his billions, you can't really expect us to care what politicians may or may not say in a public debate. Instead, let's set candidates in a series of one-on-one debates and run it NCAA March Madness style.
While there's still time in your FOX fantasy debate draft, here are some plays from The Standard Table of Influence to consider for Thursday night's clamber in Cleveland. And, pssst, watch for Chris Christie to trump The Donald.
The biggest question on everyone's mind throughout the night will undoubtedly be how the ever controversial Donald Trump's presence will affect the debate. All eyes will be on the billionaire, real estate mogul as his actual knowledge of public policy on both domestic and foreign affairs is put to the test.
In Cleveland, as LeBron says, "nothing is given, everything is earned," so earning respect here will require something beyond defaming Mexican immigrants as "rapists" (Trump), claiming U.S. foreign policy would march Israelis "to the door of the oven" (Huckabee), or comparing Wisconsin labor protestors to ISIS terrorists (Walker).
Have I taken biblical passages out of context? Perhaps. But who gets to decide context? Some Christians would deny that Obama is a Christian by quoting other biblical passages. For instance, Obama accepts the latest scientific advances, even if they conflict with the Bible.
This will work out to a total of about 10 minutes for each candidate over the life of the show. Sounds more like an extended high school musical audition than any sort of serious effort to identify the policy proposals and positions, and test the temperament, of the persons now seeking the presidency on the GOP side.
Elbowing for the bottom rung has been fierce, but there's plenty of material on those we know will be on the podium. Whether you tune in to the Republican debate or not, know this: No matter who wins, women lose.
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Handling Trump in Thursday's debate will be challenging, especially for Jeb Bush, who may have the most to lose if he performs poorly. Although it is very early in the campaign, first impressions can be important.