Last night’s Republican debate was not quite as crazy exciting as the last one (it was two hours long rather than three thanks to Donald Trump, according the Donald Trump) when the ten candidates seemed bent on turning that debate into a “Call of Duty: Black Op’s” video game knockoff.  No.  Last night’s debate seemed to devolve into confusing chaos with both candidates and moderators talking over one another and interrupting each other in a cross fire of whining, blame and cross bitching. Who’s to blame?  Well according to the Republican candidates, the liberal, biased mainstream media.   No big surprise here.  Rush Limbaugh blames the mainstream – “lamestream,” in his cutesy terminology - media for everything from Climate Change to herpes pretty much every single day.

But putting aside all the whining, complaining and blaming the media for their confusing debate, let’s take a look at some of the “facts” the ten candidates used to support their positions and basically blame Obama and the Democrats and, yes, the mainstream media, for everything from Climate Change to herpes.  

Carly Fiorina:  “92% of the jobs lost in Barack Obama’s first term were to women.” 

A pretty damning and oft used claim against the Black man occupying the White House.  The truth?  Partly true.  For one month in 2012.  But by the end of Obama’s first term, the number of jobs  for both men and woman had increased even though the unemployment rate had increased as well.  Overall: False.

Chris Christie:  “The Socialist (Bernie Sanders) says they’re gong to pay for everything and give you everything for free, except they don’t say that they are going to raise your taxes to 90% to do it.”

This is an increasingly used attack on Sanders but it is totally false.   Sanders has outlined how he would pay for his proposals and nowhere does he contemplate raising taxes to 90%. Totally False. 

Donald Trump: “I never filed for bankruptcy.” 

Trump might have been referring to personal bankruptcy since the facts are otherwise for his business dealings and his entire campaign is based on what a brilliant businessman he is.    Trump Taj Mahal – 1991; Trump Plaza Hotel – 1992; Trump Hotels and Casinos; Resorts – 2004; Trump Entertainment Resorts – 2009, all bankruptcies.   Facts. 
 Rick Santorum:  “We’ve lost 2 million jobs – 2 million jobs – under this administration in manufacturing.”

Manufacturing took a huge hit during the Great Recession and 2 million manufacturing jobs were lost between December 2007 and June 2009.  But the greatest loss occurred during the year 2007 and 2008 before Obama took office.  Facts. 

Chris Christie:  “Social Security is going to be insolvent in seven or eight years.”

A favorite target of Republicans, but even if no changes are made to the Social Security system, the fund will not be depleted for at least another 20 years.  Fact. 

But enough of this.  What amuses me is the consistent difficulties Republicans have with facts and data.  Sure, any politician worth the name will shade, skew and manipulate data and statistics to his or her advantage but Republicans have a curious penchant for pulling stuff out of their asses and proclaiming crap to be truth.  If I recall correctly, after the Democratic debate, there were maybe two or three issues surrounding the candidate’s veracity around factual data.   Maybe it was four or five.  But reading through this morning’s analysis of last night’s Republican debate there are literally dozens of “factual misstatements” by the ten candidates.  This has become typical of Republican rhetoric as they move further to the right to please their Tea Party base.

The Democrats seemed to have come to the understanding that a very large segment of the American public are sick and tired of public policy based on slogans and demagoguery as opposed to facts, data and objective information.  This shift was evident in their debate but it’s a shift that has been going on for some time now in large part due to the Climate Change debate.  If you recall that one, conservatives latched onto the results of a anti-climate change proclamation signed off on by 80 'scientists' but as it turned out the 80 'scientists' weren’t 'scientists' at all.  But still the Republicans can’t accept the facts of Climate Change as the “Science, Space and Technology Committee" in the Republican controlled House of Representatives subpoenas climate research scientists and prepares for another  Planned Parenthood style witch hunt called a public hearing.  (Why can't they learn, for God's sake?)

And this, folks, is essentially the state of affairs in the Republican Party.  As they tack radically rightward to appease their radical right wing base, they have become increasingly unhinged from the rest of America and the issues that are truly important to the rest of us.  It was instructive that Ted Cruz's (R-FL) tirade against the media brought the loudest applause from the debate’s audience.    And this illustrates the problem:  blaming the so-called biased, liberal media (wherever it exists because I can’t find it) for their problems rather than maybe looking inward to figure out that the continued Obama bashing (the economy is a mess, Obamacare is costing millions of jobs, Federal regulations are strangling the economy, etc.) isn’t a winning strategy nor a workable platform that will lead to success.  

America has moved on from the Obama-blame game but the Republican Party hasn’t.  Sure maybe things aren’t perfect, maybe the economy could be more robust, maybe all the loose ends of Climate Change aren’t neatly tied up, but by and large we know that when Obama took office we were in the midst of the greatest worldwide economic collapse since the Great Depression.  Things were a mess.  Today, we know from facts, data, and statistics that things are a hell of a lot better than back on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in as President. His policies over the intervening years have restored America.   And even though Republicans vowed to make him a one term President, the fact of the matter is that we elected him for a second term.  Yet this fact, a reasonably good indication of where the public stood back then in 2012 and continues to stand, seems lost on the ten candidates fighting for the Republican nomination for President since explicit and implicit Obama-bashing was on full display again last night. 

And is it any wonder then, that we will not have a republican President any time soon?  There is a reality out here, in the country, that Republicans don’t seem to be aware of or if they do, they continue to ignore. 

Have a good day.

PS:  Late this afternoon I came across this piece on the Huffington Post site apparently agreeing with my assessment of last night's debate:




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