On Thursday, Donald Trump and four other guys spent two and a half hours saying a bunch of nonsense that was stupid, wrong, or both. That’s what typically happens when Republicans open their mouths.
Take Obamacare, for example, which they all say they would repeal and set on fire and bury a hundred feet underground and then salt the earth. Marco Rubio trotted out that beloved GOP line — which is a complete lie — that Obamacare is a “job-killing law.” It’s not true. It’s very easy to see that it’s not true. It’s not close to true, or up for debate, or a matter of opinion. It’s just plain wrong:
Maybe Rubio knows he’s lying, or maybe he doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about because he doesn’t pay attention. That could likely be the case. Paying attention is for other guys who aren’t running for president. In January, he said he didn’t know anything about the horrible water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where children are drinking lead-poisoned water because it wasn’t “an issue we’ve been following or quite frankly been briefed on.” He doesn’t attend the national security briefings for the Senate committee of which he is technically a member and the only experience he cites for his supposed national security and foreign policy credentials. He’s too busy campaigning to learn anything.
Still, it’s not as if the other candidates sound any better when they talk about Obamacare. Donald Trump insisted he will get rid of every little last bit of it, but that he will “keep pre-existing conditions.” Does that make any kind of sense? No, not at all.
But even if he meant that people with pre-existing conditions will still be able to get insurance, it still doesn’t make any sense. The only reason pre-existing conditions are no longer an issue is because of, that’s right, Obamacare. If you get rid of Obamacare, you get rid of all the really good stuff that’s in there, the stuff Americans like, the stuff that has saved lives and money, the stuff that even Republicans have to admit is good fucking stuff. It is literally, legislatively, legally, and in all other ways IMPOSSIBLE to repeal Obamacare fully and yet still somehow enjoy the benefits of it. Anyone dumb and/or dishonest enough to claim otherwise has no business in elected office, let alone the Oval Office.
Oh, and Dr. Ben Carson? He has some kind of “plan” he explained thusly:
If Uncle Joe is smoking like a chimney, then everyone’s going to hide his cigarettes.
Do we even need to dignify that one with a substantive response? Nah.
The candidates all talked about religious liberty this, religious liberty that, wah wah wah, boo hoo, the next Supreme Court justice must be exactly like Antonin Scalia, devoted to overturning reproductive rights and returning gays to the vulnerable closet where Jesus says they belong. Did a single candidate — or, for that matter, a single moderator — bring up the Republicans’ lockstep agreement that Muslims do not have the same religious liberty rights? Haha, as IF.
Donald Trump says he would ban Muslims, including American citizens, from stepping foot on American shores. Ben Carson says Muslims cannot be president, so long as they stubbornly refuse to stop being Muslim. John Kasich — you know, the moderate — has called for 21st-century Crusades to civilize the far reaches of the globe and spread our “Judeo-Christian” values. He’s never specified whether he’d carry out any such re-education plans here in the U.S., so hey, maybe he’s the reasonable one in this whole debate.
Ted Cruz says you can’t be president unless you start every day on your knees, praying to Jesus.
All of these noble ideas are the exact goddamned opposite of religious liberty and a real clear violation of the First Amendment, but hey. They’re Republicans. You can’t expect them to know better. Or to care.
The four Non Trumps had one job: stop Trump. They failed miserably. Marco Rubio got in some good zingers everyone will forget by next Tuesday. Ted Cruz said Trump’s tax returns might reveal … who knows? Something bad? Whatever, no one is going to care about that. Trump is going to crush these numbnuts on Super Tuesday, and he’s going to be the nominee, and there’s nothing he can say or do that will make his supporters not like him. The whole reason they like him is simply because he is Donald Trump — a rich swaggering abusive offensive racist xenophobic schmuck — and that’s not going to change.
This week, Trump received the endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke, and no one batted an eye. Certainly not Trump. Trump also received his first two congressional endorsements, and even as GOP office-holders slowly accept the bitter reality that Trump is their guy, you know that anyone whose name is on a ballot this November, especially in any swingy, purplish parts of the country, is not looking forward to Trump’s name at the top of the ticket.
So who won the debate? Well, Trump easily maintained his lead over his (and we use this term loosely) Republican competitors. That’ll be a lot harder to do when his competitor is a Democrat who actually knows stuff and gives zero fucks if Trump calls them names, the way he so casually called Cruz a “basket case” in the Thursday debate. Like Hillary Clinton hasn’t been called every name in the book already? You think Trump can turn her into a nervous sweating stammering puddle on a debate stage? Not freakin’ likely.
Should Trump somehow win the White House, good luck to those congressional Republicans who will get bullied and teased and slaughtered by him if they fail to do as he commands. Even if he wins, the party loses. For, like, a generation at least. Boo hoo too bad so sad for the GOP.