Did you watch the Republican debate last night?

There’s no way that I would or did. Can we just scratch the capering clowns of the Republican party off our dance list? I can’t imagine any circumstances under which I’d vote for any of them; watching them argue is like trying to intellectually decide which shit-smeared boot I’d scrape clean first. Doesn’t matter, both get the treatment.

This is a competition between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and everyone else is the sideshow. And on that, Charles Pierce can speak for me.

Of course, the Republicans have little Jingo Girls singing about ‘crushing the enemies of freedom’ so maybe we should keep a closer eye on them, and their horrible fans.

I give it a 2 out of 10. The North Koreans would have provided more dignified formality in their rhetoric, but these kids have a lot of enthusiasm. Very classy, in a Trumpian sense.


  1. bittys says

    After watching that video, i’m a little confused. Last night, when I went to bed, it was the year 2016, and now I have the strangest feeling that i’ve woken up in 1930s Germany.

  2. quotetheunquote says

    Child exploitation – oh, but this is a Trump T. Trump production after all….

  3. A Masked Avenger says

    Look closely at the face of the little one in front. I’m pretty sure that’s Ted Cruz.

    Can Trump not afford skilled young dancers and singers? Meaning no disrespect to these girls, their dancing is on par with those evening dance classes that half the girls in my elementary school went to back in the day.

    Not to mention the lyrics. That part’s easy to explain: Trump wrote them himself. There’s no other answer.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    ‘crushing the enemies of freedom’

    What is best in life?
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

  5. says

    Okay, if he comes out in a Hitler mustache or Kim JI haircut and he *still* gets the crowds cheering I’m voting for nuking the site from orbit just to be sure.

  6. Sili says

    This is a competition between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

    I’m not gonna believe that until 20/1/2017.

  7. Hoosier X says

    For me, the most disgusting part of the debate was the way several of the GOP Clowns handled the recent situation in Iran involving the U.S. sailors. Rubio especially was disgusting. He said it showed that America was weak because the sailors were on their knees. And also – THE HORROR! – Iranian television showed the sailors sitting around a blanket while eating! And he would never let that happen when he’s president. The implication was that a Rubio presidency would not hesitate to go to war over an incident where Iran is protecting their territorial waters.
    He, uh, didn’t mention that the sailors were released safely and quickly in 16 hours. Not a single candidate expressed any appreciation that the sailors were released safely. Petty, childish, opportunistic, fact-free.
    And so far, not one conservative candidate, not one conservative commentator, not one conservative rank-and-file has said a thing about how disgusting that display was. None of the candidates, none of the moderators, nobody in that audience said a thing. The audience went wild.
    Yeah. I’m disgusted with all conservatives that none of them will admit how awful these candidates are and how awful they were last night.
    I bet the sailors are glad the Democrats were negotiating with the Iranian government. If Republicans had been involved in the negotiations, the sailors wouldn’t have been released until a Republican president is inaugurated. And that might be a very long time.
    These days, a “se

  8. says

    Ah, the Republican debate. More and more journalists have thrown up their hands in despair when it comes to the lies told by the candidates. There are so many lies that they just get shoved aside and the “winner” is chosen on the basis of making a humorous or emotional remark that the audience seemed to like.

    As Steve Benen said, “Aside from all the lying, how did the candidates do?” Link

    I’m not ready to stop calling out the lies.

    Candidates lied when they said that the U.S. as a country, or American citizens in general, are worse off now than they were when President Obama took over. Nope. Blatant lie. I’m looking at you, Jeb Bush.

    Since Obama took office nearly 15 million new jobs have been created, and the unemployment rate was cut in half. At the end of George W. Bush’s tenure, the U.S. was losing about 800,000 jobs per month. Which is not to say that all is rosy now (hello, minimum wage), but Jeb Bush is lying.

    Chris Christie lied. A lot. One of his lies was about supporting Sonia Sotomayor:

    [Christie said,] “I didn’t support Sonia Sotomayor.” Here is a direct quote from Christie in 2009: “I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination.”

    Christie claims, “Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey.” Nope: almost all Common Core standards are still in place.

    Christie says, “I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood.” Here’s Christie quoted in 1994: “I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations. […]

    Vox Policy & Politics link.

    Ted Cruz lied, using the same lie he had proffered before:

    “It is also the case that that Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill, one of the things it did is it expanded Barack Obama’s power to let in Syrian refugees. It enabled him — the president to certify them en masse without mandating meaningful background checks.” –Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

    This is false. Cruz previously earned Four Pinocchios for making this claim in an ad.

    The 2013 immigration bill, known as S.744, was forged by a bipartisan group known as the “Gang of Eight”and passed the Senate but was never taken up in the House. The Cruz campaign has cited an analysis that the bill would have allow categorical refugee status on various groups of refugees. But immigration experts have said that this is simply wrong.

    The provision in the bill is simply a codification of something known as the Lautenberg amendment, which was enacted in 1990 as a rider in an appropriations bill and, thus, must be renewed each year. The provision eases the burden of proof for the applicant after the State Department has invited a particular group to apply for refugee status for reasons of “humanitarian concern,” such as religious persecution.

    Donald Trump lied about the demographics of refugees from Syria:

    When I looked at the migration, I looked at the line … where are the women? They look like — very few women, very few children — strong, powerful men. Young. And people are looking at that, and they’re saying, ‘What’s going on?’

    The facts: there are about 4.6 million registered Syrian refugees, with about half being female, and half being male. About 6.5 percent are young men (UNHCR term) 12 to 17 years old. About 22 percent are men over 18. The rest are girls, boys and women.

    Donald Trump lied about the severity of the difficulties caused when Iran recently detained 10 U.S. sailors.

    I stood yesterday with 75 construction workers. They’re tough, they’re strong, they’re great people. Half of them had tears pouring down their face. They were watching the humiliation of our young ten sailors, sitting on the floor with their knees in a begging position, their hands up. And Iranian wise guys having guns to their heads.

    Link. Those sailors had wandered into Iran’s territorial waters. They were at fault. They were released so quickly that the incident was resolved in less than 24 hours. There are no photos or videos of Iranians holding guns to the heads of U.S. sailors. In one video we can briefly see an Iranian holding a gun that is pointed downward.

    Carly Fiorina touted labor statistics that included 34 million retired men in the “out of work,” “unemployed” category. The leading edge of the baby boomers retiring does affect the percentage of people working, but to mislead people about unemployment rates is inexcusable.

    This morning, Donald Trump appeared on “Morning Joe” to claim that he is going to win the Latino vote, that Latinos love him, and that he is not doing badly with African Americans. He said he is going to get about 25% of the African American vote. There are no polls that support these claims. When reporters ask The Donald for his sources, he replies, “Google it.” Trump has repeated so often the lies about Latinos and African Americans ready to vote for him that if you poll his supporters on this issue they will assure you that, yes, those two large minority groups are going to vote for Trump.

  9. says

    Cross posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush for president. Link

    Marco Rubio is running a campaign ad in which he claims that President Obama is trying to take away Americans’ guns. One of the debate moderators asked Rubio how he could defend that claim. Rubio answered: “I am convinced that if this president could confiscate every gun in America, he would. I am convinced that this president, if he could get rid of the Second Amendment, he would.”

    Okay, so that’s a Rubio fantasy then. Good to know.

    Also from the debate, we learned that the Republican candidates have decided to characterize President Obama as a child:

    [Christie said] This guy is a petulant child. That’s what he is.”

    [Ted Cruz said] “Donald is right that China is running over President Obama like he is a child.”

    Those comments follow Rush Limbaugh’s lead in characterizing Obama as “the little black man-child,” or as “a little boy” that women voters “want to protect.”

    I’m not sure why the Republican presidential candidates did not refer to Hillary Clinton as a petulant little girl, or something similar. They mentioned her 34 times during the debate last night. Is Clinton too formidable to be infantilized by the Republicans?

    President Obama seems dignified and mature to me. I can’t figure out where this “like a child” shit comes from.

  10. Saad says

    Cowardice, are you serious?
    Apologies for freedom, I can’t handle this!
    When freedom rings, answer the call!
    On your feet, stand up tall!
    Freedom’s on our shoulders, USA!
    Enemies of freedom
    Face the music, come on boys, take ’em down!
    President Donald Trump knows how to make America great
    Deal from strength or get crushed every time

    Over here, USA!
    Over there, USA!
    Freedom and liberty everywhere
    Oh say can you see
    It’s not so easy
    But we have to stand up tall and answer freedom’s call

    [Verse 2]
    USA, USA!
    USA, USA
    We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, USA!
    The stars and stripes are flying
    Let’s celebrate our freedom
    Inspire proudly freedom to the world
    A merit to, USA!
    American pride, USA!
    It’s attitude, it’s who we are, stand up tall
    We’re the red, white and blue
    Fiercely free, that’s who!
    Our colors don’t run, no sir-e

    Over here, USA!
    Over there, USA!
    Freedom and liberty everywhere
    Oh say can you see
    It’s not so easy
    But we have to stand up tall and answer freedom’s call

  11. says

    More Republican debate analysis from Steve Benen.

    […] For all of his inexperience in politics, we’re occasionally reminded that Trump, the GOP frontrunner, can show excellent political instincts. He buried Ted Cruz on “New York values” by using 9/11 as a cudgel; he turned Nikki Haley’s “anger” rhetoric into a positive; and Trump benefited when his most competitive rivals started tearing each other apart. […]

    Pressed early on to defend his eligibility, Cruz skillfully discredited the “birther” line of attack, getting the better of Trump. Towards the end of the debate, the Texan also got the better of Marco Rubio by tying him to the Gang of Eight bill and debunking the notion that ISIS’s existence justifies Rubio’s immigration flip-flop. Were it not for his “New York values” clumsiness, Cruz would have been the night’s biggest winner. […]

    On multiple occasions, Rubio repeated talking points, word for word, late in the debate that he’d already used earlier in the debate. At another point, he said, “This president, this president is more interested in funding – less interested in funding the military, than he is in funding planned – he’s more interested in funding Planned Parenthood than he is in funding the military.” Want to try that again? Talking about immigration, Rubio started complaining about Edward Snowden, suggesting there was an error in the senator’s programming. […]

    Jeb Bush had a few decent lines but still appears out of his depth; Christie lied repeatedly and shamelessly; John Kasich seems to slowly be accepting the fact that he won’t be president; and Ben Carson is still Ben Carson.

    So where does that leave us? Exactly where the Republican establishment doesn’t want to be: waking up to the realization that the debate didn’t change the dynamic of this race at all. GOP insiders continue to hope, with varying degrees of desperation, that Trump and Cruz will embarrass themselves in one of these debate and implode soon after. The exact opposite is happening.

  12. says

    As I’m sure we all noticed, seven men stood on the main stage during the GOP debate, no women. The male candidates did not talk about abortion, contraception, LGBT equality, equal pay, family leave or child care. They skipped over the topic of education like it wasn’t really important.

  13. imnotspecial says

    It is shameful how they are exploiting these young girls. But you have to brainwash them early, I suppose.

    I remember Hitler talking a lot about freedom too.

  14. Hoosier X says

    I thought Cruz’s “Yo mama was born in Scotland, Trump! Neener neener neener!” strategy was pretty lame. But some of the pundits (Chris Matthews, for one) who were realistically critiquing other aspects of the debate seemed to think that Cruz handled himself well with his birther response.
    All Trump had to say was “I was born here, Ted.” and he destroyed Cruz’s ridiculous “point.”
    I also noticed that nobody in the so-called Liberal Media is saying anything about the GOP candidate’s awful attempt to exploit the situation with the sailors in Iran.
    Are the candidates assuming that GOP supporters are so ignorant that they don’t know the sailors were released within 16 hours?
    Mind you, I’m not saying it’s an unrealistic assumption

  15. Hoosier X says

    I think it was Matthews who said he might have some sympathy for Cruz on the citizenship issue if Cruz had ever – just once – defended Obama from the persistent accusations he was a Muslim born in Kenya.

  16. says

    Cross posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    Mother Jones rounded up what they think are the most interesting highlights from the Republican debate. Viewing these highlights is better than watching the whole debate.

    Just for a mixture of fun and pain, here is Ben Carson’s response to a question about whether it was fair to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for Bill Clinton’s “sexual misconduct”:

    You know, you go to the internet, you start reading an article, and you go to the comments section—you cannot go five comments down before people are calling each all manner of names,” Carson said. “Where did that spirit come from in America? It did not come from our Judeo-Christian roots, I can tell you that. And wherever it came from we need to start once again recognizing that there is such a thing as right and wrong. And let’s not let the secular progressives drive that out of us.

    WTF? I guess that’s just Carson being Carson.

  17. shikko says

    @2 bittys said:

    After watching that video, i’m a little confused. Last night, when I went to bed, it was the year 2016, and now I have the strangest feeling that i’ve woken up in 1930s Germany.

    Listen: Bittys Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

  18. says

    That should be billions more, a good example being a current contract which will see the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in London, Ontario produce 15 billion dollars worth of LAV III infantry combat vehicles for Saudi Arabia.

  19. says

    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross, and have this as its opening act.

    A merit to, USA!

    I think they might have been saying “Ameritude.” (Like kittytude, but lacking the justification.)

  20. microraptor says

    One of the morning news shows had a clip of that number that was playing when I got to work this morning. The talking heads only talked about how cute all the little girls were, wasn’t it so adorable.


  21. numerobis says

    Those girls *are* adorable, and so brave to do their little number in front of so many people, on TV!

    But whoever put the number together… yick.

  22. chigau (違う) says

    Thank you for the transcript.
    I couldn’t get drunk enough to watch the whole thing.

  23. Solomon Steltzer says

    @23 Shikko:

    Listen: Bittys Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

    So it goes.

    Also, I have to repeat the sentiment that, without intending any meanness towards the little girls…their routine was awful. Poor choreography, all over the place, etc. Perhaps they deliberately didn’t rehearse it, to fit in with Trump’s ‘off-the-cuff’ (out-the-asshole) style?

  24. Solomon Steltzer says

    Apologies about the double post, but I just saw this, and it immediately gave me an amusing thought:

    “There are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York, but everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay,” Mr Cruz said.

    Mr Trump said the comments were “very insulting” and brought up the city’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    “When the World Trade Centre came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York,” he told the debate’s audience.

    from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-16/new-yorkers-furious-at-ted-cruzs-ny-values-jibe/7093172

    “…I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York,”

    …thousands of Muslims cheering on the streets and partying on rooftops?

    Sorry, but I just thought that comment, juxtaposed with the only other thing I’ve ever heard Trump say about 9/11, was priceless.

  25. Gregory Greenwood says

    So I take it Trump got bored having to deal with middle persons in the progressive media (if there is still such a beast – there are days when I wonder) and simply decided to lampoon himself with this fascistic abomination?

    Rather than inflicting this cruel and unusual punishment upon these poor kids, he could just wear clothing emblazoned with the truth; that his hair piece is smarter (and a far better human being) than he is.

  26. DLC says

    The entire performance left me horrified and disgusted, as well as embarrassed for those three girls and angry at the parents who would put them up to such a stunt.